Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Status report, some book logs

It has been a loooonnnnggg time since I posted anything!  This winter and spring has been crazy busy - mostly good busy, though.  Lots of fun stuff with the kids, our science co-op, all kinds of fellowships with friends, and the cabinet shop has been inundated with orders!  We also got to host a little guy from Safe Families for almost a month.  He is coming back out today for a few days to visit.  So excited!  In the meantime, though, here is a bit of status, hopefully I can update some reading logs, and maybe get a few pictures in as well.
Stole the questions for the Status Update from Kim at The Upward Call
Sitting:  in my big recliner, where I do most of my reading and studying.
Glad: that I got a bunch of cabinets ordered last night so I can chill this morning.
Thankful: to have a beautiful day, since we are driving over an hour each way to pick up our little Safe Families guy for a visit.
Re-evaluating: my plans for school this fall.
Looking ahead to: time on Saturday that I am going to make some jewelry.  The guys will all be gone at a Mens' Breakfast at church and I am going to sort my goodies and string some beads.  It has been way too long.
Feeling bad: for some of my friends who are going through some really tough times.  I know prayer is the most important thing we can do, but I wish there were some physical things I could do as well.  Sometimes there are, but most of the time it is too big.
Relieved: that Joe, who was droopy all yesterday and not feeling good last night, is up and back to his normal self today!
Happy: to be working on a new Bible study from Cruciform Press titled "Joy! A Bible Study On Philippians for Women" by Keri Folmer and reading "Ties That Bind" by one of my favorite authors, C.J. Darlington
Curious: about so many things.
Thinking: about how to mesh sports and homeschooling.
Proud: of my husband.  
Wondering: if it is too soon to start stressing out about our biology co-op next year.
Praising God: for this gorgeous day that I get to enjoy.
And now, onto some books....I really wish I could just cut and paste my logs from Goodreads...here is a link to my shelf of books I have read so far this year which I have creatively titled "2013 Log".  All my current reads are over to the right.  I have pretty much gotten away from writing reviews, just doing stars.  I know, I know.....
Other than that, not much to tell.  But, I will anyway, with just a few from the family album!
Ben at his 13th birthday party.  He had a dodgeball party.  The cake is Rubik's Cube themed.  He does not like having his picture taken, can you tell?

Joe, performing a science experiment

My Nevin.  

Henry showing us some Darth Maul moves with the double light saber his dad made for him.

Me and my mom at a ladies dinner at her church.  Yes, we are wearing paper hats.  Don't ask.

Group photo from our last airsoft war.  We usually do one in the fall and one in the spring.  

And the latest family portrait, from Mother's Day.  I think Nevin and I are starting to resemble Phil and Miss Kay, what do you think?  With our four boys, we could be some Robertsons in the making.  Tony especially plans to have a beard, as soon as physically possible.  


Tony's 15th birthday.  Me and my four men, plus Tony's buddy Caleb.  Caleb seems to show up in a lot of our pictures. 
And that is it!  Hopefully I won't wait four months to write again.  I need to update the pictures on the sidebar as well.  But not today.  Today I am going to go get the little guy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

48 Things


Just for fun


Cherise over at DSMA posted a list of answers to 48 questions.  
Others have followed suit and I thought I’d just jump on the bandwagon…Just for fun!  Here are 48 things about me.  (sorry for the wonky formatting but I'm tired of trying to fix it.)



1.   WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
My full name is Paula Ann.  My Uncle Paul and my Grandfather Benjamin.  "Ann" in Yiddish is Ben.  Or vice versa.  I am relying on my mom for this information, as I do not know Yiddish.  My grandfather was Jewish.
2.   WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? 
Last weekend when I heard my friend Becky's son had died.
3.   DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Not really.  It is sort of schizophrenic.  Sometimes it will change from slanted to straight up and down within the same paragraph.
4.   WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Turkey
5.   DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Four incredible men-in-the-making.  Tony will be 15 next month, Ben is 13 next week, Joe will be 10 next month and Henry is 8.
6.   IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I'd have to be pretty thick-skinned.  I tend to say awkward things without really thinking them through.  And I have a wierd sense of humor that can be off-putting.  But I think I am fun to hang out with, and will return calls and texts.  What more can you ask for?
7.   DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Probably too much.  See "off-putting sense of humor" above.
8.   DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Indeed I do.
9.   WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Not of my own volition.
10.       WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Special K Fruit and Yogurt.  I really don't like cereal that much.  
11.       DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Not usually.
12.       DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
I am one tough cookie, and that is a fact.
13.       WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Spumoni
14.       WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their countenance.  Are they smiling or cranky-looking?  
15.       RED OR PINK?
Red.
16.       WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I tend to get impatient with my kids, and not give them the grace I should.  
17.       WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My dad.  It is hard to believe he has been gone 27 years now.  I miss him every day.
18.       WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Consistency
19.       WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Brown Chacos, cream and red trim
20.       WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Coffee right now...probably a pack of Smarties last night.
21.       WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Moneyball on tv.  I recorded it months ago, waiting for a chance to watch it without the kids around.  Wasn't sure about the language, and I hate having to turn off a movie we have already started.  
22.       IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Some sort of burnt orangey color
23.       FAVORITE SMELLS?
Laundry detergent.
24.       HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
Probably way too important.  At least they used to be.  I have found myself so discouraged, with both parties, that I have lost interest.
25.       MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Probably the beach.
26.       FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Professional baseball - St. Louis Cardinals, of course.  My next favorite is college basketball.  I don't watch it much, but then I get all excited for March Madness.
27.       HAIR COLOR?
Dark brown, with some interesting (!) streaks of silver
28.       EYE COLOR?
Hazel, greenish brown.  
29.       DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No, my glasses are becoming more and more a permanent fixture on my face.  
30.       FAVORITE FOOD?
I guess if I had to pick one, it would be Mexican.  Though I love seafood so much.  And McDonalds.  Don't judge me.
31.       SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
I don't like scary movies at all.
32.       LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Right now I am watching Moneyball.  Last week we watched Remember the Titans and Rudy.  I think Remember the Titans was one of the best movies EVER.
33.       WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Black "Predator" monster truck shirt that I bought in 2002 at our first Monster Jam.
34.       SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer.  Bring on the camping, park days, and hanging at the pool.  And no school.
35.       FAVORITE DESSERT?
Cheesecake
36.       STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
A little of both.  I mix steps/aerobics with light weight toning.  
37.       COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Can I choose a book instead?  
38.       WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
I always have a few going, but my for-fun right now is Evans to Betsy by Rhys Bowen.  I love cozy mysteries.
39.       WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
A picture of Bro. Bob Schembre baptizing me in the Plattin Creek, 8/18/10.
40.       FAVORITE SOUND?
Nevin coming in the door.
41.       FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
I don't think I have one.  It depends on what kind of mood I am in.
42.       WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Sayulita, Mexico.  I am probably not spelling that correctly.  
43.       DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I am good at seeing the big picture and putting all the pieces together.  
44.       WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Crystal City, MO
45.       WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Festus, MO.  I haven't gone far.
46.       WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
Beige, brown, white.  Belends in with the forest.
47.       WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
The Suburban is black.  I think of that as being "my" car.  
48.       DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
It kept me from doing any real work for the last twenty minutes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Borrowed this from Staci at Writing and Living
Status Report for January, 2013
Sitting… at the kitchen table.
Drinking…nothing.  Should probably have a glass of water.  Will most likely have milk before I go to bed.
Waiting…for the kitchen timer to go off, so I know to go check my blood glucose.
Recovering…from way too many holiday treats, late mornings, and lack of exercise.
Slowly…getting everyone moving off to bed.
Thankful…that I got most of the school stuff ready for next week, and all my science lab reports and tests graded.
Chagrined…I have fallen back into check FB way too often.
Reading…a Molly Murphy mystery by Rhys Bowen.  Not the most intellectual of pursuits, but I enjoy a good clean mystery.
Also reading…The Silver Chair by CS Lewis to the littles and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to the bigs.
Hearing…too much chatter, not enough getting ready for bed.  I guess I'd better get off the computer and go supervise!

Friday, January 4, 2013

December 2012 Book Log, and 2012 Superlatives


With Christmas break, I ended up getting a few mysteries under my belt, and finished up with 65 books read this year.

December:
Death in the Floating City - Tasha Alexander - 4 - next in the Lady Emily mystery series.  Much better than the last few.  Not my favorite series, but I enjoy them.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - JK Rowling - 4 - finished on New Years' Eve, so we could watch the movie New Years' Day.
An Impartial Witness: A Bess Crawford Mystery - Charles Todd - 4 - I really like this series.  Bess is a normal person, and I noticed it never mentions anything about her appearance.  I like that!  I have never read much about WWI, so I am enjoying this.
A Beautiful Blue Death - 4 - Charles Finch - a new series, with gentleman Charles Lennox solving mysteries in Victorian London.
The Mayflower Adventure - Colleen L. Reece - 3 - Christian American historical fiction, written for kids.  Covers the Mayflower to the end of WWII.  Read this aloud with the younger boys.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness - Susannah Cahalan - 4 - excellent book, reconstruction of events by a young woman whose body began attacking her brain, and the month she lost.

And now, for the year-end wrap up....a few years back I started doing a Superlatives list on a homeschooling forum.  You remember superlatives, right?  Best Smile, Most Gullible, Super Senior, etc.  Well, these are for the yearbook of the past years' reading.  So, without further ado....

2012 Year in Reading Superlatives


What was the best new (to you) author you discovered this year?
A tough decision, as I found so many new authors this year! I am going to go with Janice Holt Giles

What was your favorite new (to you) series?
Bess Crawford Mysteries, by Charles Todd

Best parenting book?
Only read one, an Ebook "True Christian Motherhood" by June Fuentes. It was ok.  Mainly just a series of blog posts, at least that is how it read.

Book that made you cry?
None of them did

Book that made you laugh out loud?
I am sure something must have, but I can't recall it now. Must not have been all that funny.

Book that totally changed your perspective on something?
Maybe Hard Times in Paradise, by David and Micki Colfax.  They were VERY politically liberal, and I am.....not.  Reminded me that we don't have to agree on everything to agree on some very important things.

Best homeschool(ing) book?
Hard Times In Paradise, by David and Micki Colfax.  By the way, one of the best homeschooling books EVER.  Back to the basics, before homeschooling was such a trendy thing to do.

Worst book that you managed to finish?
I had two with only 1 star - Fairy Tail Interrupted: What JFK Jr. Taught Me About Life, Love and Loss by RoseMarie Terenzio (just never liked the author at all), and Six Horse Hitch by Janice Holt Giles. Loved most of her books, but this one was just too melodramatic.

Book with the best surprise plot twist?
The Hidden Flower, by Pearl S. Buck. I always think I know how her stories are going to go, and they never go that way.

Best book-that-was-better-than-the-movie?
The Hunger Games

Most over-hyped book of the year?
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. Very disappointed. Lame, lame, lame.

Best online-reader recommendation of the year?
I don't think I got any I really enjoyed from individuals this year, most of them came from goodreads, or even better, www.fantasticfiction.com

Book you have recommended to the most people this year?
The American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes

Best feel-good book of the year?
Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Draper

Best childrens/young adult book of the year?
A tie:  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A re-read, read aloud with my younger boys; and Hittite Warrior, by Joanne Williamson.  I read it with the older boys for school.

Book you’ve been meaning to read for years and finally got to?
Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of WWII by Darlene Deibler Rose

Read aloud that the family enjoyed the most?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Best cookbook/knitting/gardening/or other household how-to?
Complete Guide to Carb Counting by Hope S. Warshaw

Best non-fiction?
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susanah Cahalan, or Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Draper

Best religion/theology/doctrine/philosophy?
Practical Theology for Women by Wendy Horger Alsup.  Her blog is in my blogroll, over to the right.


Best political book?
Didn't read one.  Sick of it.

All-around best story of the year?
The Believers by Janice Holt Giles

Book that you feel is SO INTEGRAL to your library……you’d even pay full price for it?
I paid full price for a couple - most notably, Practical Theology for Women

And the Award for Best All-Around Book of the Year is Presented To……………
Hannah Fowler, by Janice Holt Giles

5 Star Books 
I rate my books 1-5, and so does Goodreads.  I had a whole bunch of 4 Stars, but only a handful are worthy of that 5th star.  These were the books this year that earned my coveted 5 Star rating:
Hannah Fowler, by Janice Holt Giles
The Believers, by Janice Holt Giles
Hard Times in Paradise, by David and Mickey Colfax
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson
The American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes


__________________

Fiov

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Status Report, Book Log for November, etc.


Sitting…in my big recliner.
Drinking…coffee. Stevia in the Raw sweetener, and a touch of Coffeemate Caramel Machiatto.
Complaining…mentally about not complaining.  I had a big, silly, self-centered day of shopping planned.  I had gotten money for my birthday, and was going to just go and have a day of it.  Then one of my kids began throwing up last night.  So, I realize that scrapping my silly, self-centered plans for the day is not a big deal.  And I am not complaining.  But I would like to.  Does that make sense?
Realizing…that complaining about anything is a useless waste of time, and more importantly, is not pleasing to the Lord.
Convicted…that I should really be quiet and get over myself.  
Reading…nothing right now - though I have A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch on the table next to me.  I will probably start it today.  I get all excited when I am trying out a new author for the first time.  
Anticipating…going on a family road trip soon, as long as no one else starts barfing.
Listening…to the dryer on "fluff" now, as it is full of throw pillows from the sofa.  Where the barfer was sitting last night.  Just saying, you fill in the blanks.
Almost ready…for my science co-op tomorrow, which is a shame, because if the barfer is not 100% better in a few hours (and no one else is sick) I will be cancelling.
Wondering…if I am going to get sick, too.
Thankful…that my life is such that we can re-arrange for sickness, etc.  Thankful that we homeschool, and that our business is in our home, so I don't have the stress of having to be somewhere else.  Also thankful that as I get older I am learning to "go with the flow" more.  
Ready…for whatever the Lord brings my way today!

And now, since I read so few books last month, I might as well just pile these posts together!

November

A Duty to the Dead - Charles Todd - 4 (out of 5) - first in the Bess Crawford mystery series.  Bess is an English nurse serving in World War I.  While home recuperating from an injury, she takes a deathbed message from one of her patients to his family.  There she finds a mystery, an family secret surrounding a murder, and a few more suspicious deaths.  I would say that if you like the Laurie R. King "Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes" books you will probably enjoy this one as well. 

A Shilling For Candles - Josephine Tey -3 - this is only the second Tey that I have read. She wrote in the same time period as Agatha Christie, so her books have that sort of feel to them.  Lots of characters, at some points it was hard for me to keep track of who the minor players were.  

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis - 4 - a read aloud with my younger boys.  Always like Narnia, this is one of my favorites.

And that is it!  I picked up and put down lots of books, and really just had a hard time finishing anything.  I am blaming it on too much social media.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday on the Homestead

It has been a very nice, very relaxed week.  Nevin has spent the last two weekends deer hunting.  This is the last weekend of rifle season, so he is gone for a few more days.  So far Ben got one during youth season, and Nevin got three last weekend.  Our freezers are filling up!  We did some processing this week, and for those who don't get all squeamish over fresh meat, here are picks from our activities!


Nevin and Ben, hard at work.  They cut up the meat out here, I package and label it inside.


Everyone gets in on the project.
I love having a full freezer, and I especially love that we have done it all ourselves.  Looking forward to some good eating this winter!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Twenty Year Old Self

My friend Anne at Not A Supermom posted this earlier this week - a letter to her twenty-year-old self.  There is a linky thing on her website so that you can blog on the same topic and link it to others who have done the same.

I don't have a good picture of my twenty-year-old self right now.  Maybe later.

But, without further ado, here is the birthday letter:

Dear Paula,

Happy 20th birthday, December 2nd, 1985.  Tonight you are going to go out with some friends, drink cheap draft beer and overall have a pretty good time. Your life is generally a mess, it is true, but right now you have a smidgen of hope.  You moved out of the dorm, you have joined a sorority and living in the house.  Basically, you have done another "geographic."  You don't know that term yet, but you will in 1993.  A geographic is when you move from one place to another, thinking that if you could just get away from there, then everything would be fine.  Problem is, you keep taking you with you.  You have a few more geographics to come, but that is later.

For today, I am glad you are happy.  You just came home from Thanksgiving break, your father bought you a beautiful bright blue wool coat.  All is fine.  A few more weeks of school, finals and then Christmas break at home.  Christmas parties are being planned with your sorority sisters, possibilities are in the air.  Enjoy today, because in eight days it is all going to collapse.

On December 10, your mom is going to call.  Your father and brother are going to be in a terrible accident.  Your little brother is going to be physically okay, but the scars are going to go deep.  Your dad, on the other hand is going to be in persistent vegetative state for the next 7 1/2 years.

And you, Paula, are going to fall apart.  Over the cliff, no holds barred, freefall.

If I could give you one piece of advice right now, it would be, "Whatever you think is a good idea, do the opposite."  Every choice you make is going to be wrong.  Literally, every.single.one.  I would love to tell you about how the Lord is going to preserve you, but I don't know that you would listen to religious talk.  You have been to church, done all that.  Didn't work.  I know.  But listen to this - there are going to be some dark, dark moments coming up - times when you honestly don't think you can go on another day.  And something - someone - some small remnant of a Sunday School lesson or a sermon or a hymn from long ago is going to give you just enough to keep going.  Just enough.

You are going to pull yourself up by your bootstraps a few times, take those geographic cures several times, and in the meantime you will finish college, and go through a series of jobs.  You will leave a path of wreckage behind you, like a tornado whirling through peoples' lives.

Be nicer to your mom and your grandma, by the way.  They are going to pull you butt out of the fire more times than you can count.  Appreciate them more.

But hey -it isn't all gloom in doom.

In late June of 1993 you will finally reach the end of your rope.  You've tied a knot and hung on so many times, and at 27 you are too tired and too worn out to do it anymore.

And finally, FINALLY - you will be broken enough.  And God will save you.  He will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  You will cry out to him with this new heart and repent.  

And it is all different.  Suddenly, it really is.  You will quit drinking.  You will see life through new eyes.  You aren't going to realize at the time that this, this moment, is when God saves you.  You are still deluded by the theology of your youth, that walk-the-aisle-repeat-the-prayer notion of salvation.  That is going to lead you on a spiritual journey to understand what salvation really means.  But, maybe another letter.  When you are forty or so!

In July of 1993 Daddy will die, never having woke up from the permanent vegetative state.  The night before is the last time you will drink or use a drug up to and including today - over 19 years so far.  Not bad for someone who couldn't go more than a day or so for years and years.

You are going to make new friends.  You are going to meet him.  The real HIM, that God has for you.  You will build a life together, build a home, build a family, be part of a community.

You are going to homeschool your four (yes four, I am not joking!) sons.

Yes, it is legal.  No, you won't worry about socialization.

Your husband (his name is Nevin, don't go looking for him now though, he is a big mess at twenty, too) is going to build you a little house out in the forest, with his own two hands.  He is going to grow into a Godly man, and he is going to lead you.  Yes, lead you.  You will understand later, don't start panicking now.  It is going to be good.

Life will not always be perfect, as the world sees perfect.  The house is going to get crowded and messy, the kids are loud (you cannot imagine how loud four boys can be), you will own your own business and that is going to have its' ups and downs and lots of stress.

But Paula, the Lord is good.  He is merciful, and his grace and mercy have no end.  God is going to reveal himself to you, over and over, and it is good.

It is good.