Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Reads

I completely love to read, which at one point in my life I couldn't stand to read a book. I get so much gratification out of finishing a book...even the not-so-good ones. I keep track of what I read, have read, and want to read on Shelfari. It's a lot of fun for me to go and see what I've read and get suggestions from others on what I might want to read!

So, here are a few books I hope to finish over the summer...

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy; after all, they have just won a life of safety for themselves and their families . But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life. Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard—and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret. Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him—something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

WE DON'T WANT TO TELL YOU TOO MUCH ABOUT THIS BOOK. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't. And it's what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.

the other half lives by Sophie Hannah

Ruth Bussey knows what it means to be in the wrong - and to be wronged. She once did something she regrets, and was punished excessively for it. Now Ruth is trying to rebuild her life and has found a love she doesn't believe she deserves. Aidan Seed is a passionate, intense man who has also been damaged by his past. Desperate to connect with the woman he loves, he confides his secret: he killed a woman called Mary Trelease. Through her shock, Ruth recognises the name. And when she's realised why it's familiar, her fear and revulsion deepen. The Mary Trelease that Ruth knows is very much alive...


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome to the Youth Group

This post is a little bittersweet. This past Sunday, Parker and all the other 6th graders were welcomed into the youth group at our church. The Minor's hosted the shin-dig at their home and there were kids through 12th grade there to welcome them. It was really a surreal feeling for me watching him grow into this new role of his life. I'm really excited for him because I know how much fun this time is but I also don't want him to miss anything or let it go by without 'stopping to smell the roses'.

I decided this morning to make a committment to myself over the summer to be more fervent in my prayers for my children. I feel like I've done them a huge injustice by not being as prayerful as I should be. I pray God's grace will cover my inadequacies in this. I have three amazing, beautiful and healthy children and above all else I pray they are filled with God's love everyday of their lives.

Here are the pics of the Welcome...ENJOY!
The 6th graders coming in...

The kids with Brian, our Youth Minister

Tyler & Parker

Jake & Parker

Liv & Ashton...too sweet!!

Not even sure what to say about this...I just like it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friendship Garden

Ok, I love flowers. Fresh flowers. Anywhere. But mostly for me they come in the form of gardening. They just instantly brighten everything around them and are so colorful! I found a rather simple contraption this past February at The Affair of the Heart and couldn't pass it up. It's called a Friendship Garden. Phil and I went flower shopping last Friday and got flowers for our home and the Friendship Garden. Saturday Parker and I planted everything. Gardening with my family is something I truly enjoy. Usually at some point I'll have spent some time with all of the fam while gardening. It brings me joy.

Supplies are all gathered

Putting it all together

Without the flowers

Finished Friendship Garden...Beautiful!!

Now, let's just pray everything grows!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

At Work??

This cracks me is Phil and Ellen at work. What do they do you ask. Well they are business partners in a consulting company, Buzz Consulting Company! I found these pics on my camera so I thought I would post them. Hehe! I bet they'll be so happy about this!! I think they're out doing a job survey. They sure look important, huh? Not sure what the hard hats have to do with computers though!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

WW Success

Today I went to my third WW meeting. I was a little nervous because I knew I probably didn't do as well as I did last week, but I've lost a total of 4.4lbs. I'm glad I'm still going in the right direction. I was surfing the web for helpful tips or recipes and I found one guy who had lost over 75 lbs on WW and he had listed all his helpful hints. One tip that really gave me a different perspective on something I feel like I struggle with is...
Proud to be Hungry
This tip is kind of philosophical. There will be times (perhaps many times) that you will be hungry. Instead of exceeding your points and eating something, wear your hunger as a badge of honor. The hunger you feel lets you know that the program is working. I’d be surprised if you can go around feeling full all the time and still lose weight. However, this should be the exception rather than the rule.

I need a pin or t-shirt that says "Proud to be Hungry". Ha!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Proverbs 31

I've debated for some time about posting this, really for no legitimate reason, but after receiving an email devotional today I thought it was a good time. Something I truly desire and aspire for in this life is to be the kind of woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31. It is such a powerful passage. I know I could get really bogged down with the daily failings I seem to struggle with but I still yearn to be this woman ~Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, vs28.
God knows my struggles and thankfully He also knows my heart and he cares about my desires. I have the belief that if you desire something godly for your life, how can God refuse it to you? He may not give it without struggles or at the time you feel necessary, but it will all be in the way I need it. I know this is cliched but the older I get the more I realize my time on this Earth is short and I only get one life in which to make the most. This poem was included in the devotional and it really spoke to me...
My hands were busy through the day.
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes.
I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And asked me please to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later son."
I'd tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door...
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.
For life is short, the years rush past.
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play.
No good-night kisses, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands once busy now are still
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
Author Unknown

If you're not familiar with Proverbs 31, I strongly encourage you to read it. Also, HERE is the link to the devotional that encouraged this post.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers

The first part of unforgettable epic family saga about the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter and the very nature of unconditional love. On the eve of the First World War, fiery Marta Schneider leaves Switzerland and her difficult childhood behind, determined to find a new life on her own terms. Barely out of her teens, Marta is haunted by a devastating loss that fuels her ambition to one day own a hotel. From the cramped quarters of a French housekeeping school to the portrait-lined halls of a stately English manner, Marta becomes a hard working domestic who has little time to dwell on what might have been. Instead, she draws her strength from what could be. Then, Marta meets Niclas Waltert, a man just as determined as she to forge a better life in a new place. Niclas captures her heart and together they endure the harshness of life as tenant farmers on the vast prairies of Winnipeg, Canada, before following the promise of the American dream and migrating to the agriculturally rich Central Valley of California. Marriage and motherhood bring both joy and heartbreak, as Marta must surrender her long-held ambitions for the sake of her husband and children, including her daughter, Hildemara, upon whose shoulders her own hopes now squarely rest. Only the strong survive and Marta is determined to raise a daughter as strong as she. But as Hildie reaches young womanhood and another war is fast approaching, those hopes become too heavy a burden for Hildie to bear. Born with a heart to serve others, Hildie pursues her calling as a nurse, something Marta can’t understand. Marta’s years of hardnosed parenting have left Hildie still hungry for her mother’s love…and now for her mother’s respect. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie falls in love and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter, Carolyn, never to doubt her love—but the challenges of life conspire against her vow and the only person who can come to her aid is the person she remains so desperate to please: Marta, her mother. With hallmark touches of brilliant prose and gripping characterizations, Her Mother’s Hope is a rich, moving epic about faith and dreams, heartache and disappointment, and ultimately the resilience and tenacity of love. ~Francine Rivers website

I feel like I sailed right through this book. It was so easy to read and continually kept my interest. In my book, Francine Rivers can do no wrong. I love how she brings the lives of others right to you so vividly. This is another 'GREAT' by FR and I'm already anticipating the second book, Her Daughter's Dream, in this series. I recommend this book for anyone...5 stars!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

12-Year-Old Web Sensation Greyson Chance Performs! - The Ellen DeGeneres Show

I've apparently been out of the loop with this little guy. After posting a video of him singing and playing the piano at his school talent show on YouTube his popularity has gone crazy! He's a middle-schooler from Edmond, OK and he really is amazing! Thursday he appeared on the Ellen show...check it out!!
12-Year-Old Web Sensation Greyson Chance Performs! - The Ellen DeGeneres Show
It's always nice to see another Oklahoman go big...especially with a talent like his.

Cabbage Soup

I was scared to death to try this soup. First, I've never eaten cooked cabbage and I don't like homemade coleslaw, which usually has cabbage. But since I'm really trying to eat better and succeed at my goal with WW, I decided to try it. Let me just say, YUUUUMMMMMYYYY!!!! I did add a little too much black pepper making it pretty spicy but next time I'll know better. The texture was perfect; I seem to be craving crunchy and the veggies had the perfect crunch! The kids seemed to like it pretty well too. I think they were pleasantly surprised. They've all been supportive of me and my efforts. It's nice to have that. Thanks guys!!
Ww 0 Point Weight Watchers Cabbage Soup - 128956 - Recipezaar
It's just as good warmed up!!

Happy, Healthy Eating!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Healthy Eating...

I've really always had the desire to cook healthier meals but the ones I find are typically something you'd find in a fancy-smancy restaurant that no one really wants to eat. Well, Phil found a website that has WONDERFUL meals, and things people will actually eat. It's called Skinny Taste. So far we've made the Roasted Red Pepper was really yummy and the kids ate it.

You can get the recipe here.
Another really good thing about this site is she posts the WW points for that awesome or what!! I'm really excited to try some other recipes from this site, I think tonight will be Chicken Piccata. I've also made the Blueberry Smoothie, smoothies are becoming a staple at our house. I'll let you know what else we try.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Parker's soccer team, 98 Vision, played their final tournament this weekend. They have had an AMAZING season; undefeated in regular season play and only one loss in tournament play. They have come a long way in 2 years, which is when this team was formed. Coach Matt has been a huge asset to this team and Parker has grown so much in the last year. This weekend they played in The President's Cup and came away VICTORIOUS!! Way to go VISION!!

Coach Matt's CrAzY shoes

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, Ronald Reagan signs into law the designation of the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer. The objective for the NDP is to invite people of all faiths to pray for the nation. The actual observance goes much further back then 1952. In 1775 the first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer and in 1863, Abraham Lincoln called for such a day. I love that our country is truly based on God and what he desires for our great Nation.

I know we should be praying, especially for our country, more then one time a year, but I think this is a great time to remember what our country was founded on. If you want to know more about this very important 'holiday', I found a great website you can check out here.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”- James 5:16

Weight Watchers

So last night I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting! I'm really excited and anxious! The best part is I know I have a lot of support! The main thing for me, well actually there's a couple of things, is that I need to be patient and to stay away from the sweets! They said at the meeting that I should take a beginning picture and take a picture every 10 lbs lost!! I'm not too excited about that first pic...ugh!! You need to check out my girlfriends blog, Becky. She does a great job of tracking her weight loss and she's a HUGE support for me. Anyway, I'm a little nervous about posting this but I know it will help hold me accountable. Let me know if you've got any good tips or food ideas!! I'm struggling with ideas for breakfast!! I'll try to keep you posted with my progress!!

Becky sent me this devotional from Devotions for Dieters...

James 1:3
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

When you get really serious about losing weight, you have no alternative but to develop patience. There are no safe, quick ways to lose a lot of weight. It takes time. The body takes a long time to build up, and it takes a long time to wear down. However, the person who sticks with her diet will be amazed to find that the longer it's adhered to, the easier it gets. A time comes when the diet is no big deal. In many cases, people find they prefer their diet to their former way of eating. Patience is an elusive trait, but once it is attained, it is its own reward.

Today's thought: Patience would be a lot easier if it didn't take so long to get.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dear John

Dear John, by Nicholas Sparks, is about a young man, John, who grows up with a closed off father which causes a rift between the two. John decides to join the military to get away from his life that seems to be going nowhere. On one of his times of leave he returns home and soon falls in love with a girl, Savannah, who is staying in his home town building Habitat for Humanity homes. Their time together is short but they are both sure they have fallen deeply in love. They both look forward to the end of his duty in 18 months and decide they can hang on while he's away. They write and call regularly, never doubting their love for each other. Towards the end of his time 9-11 happens and he decides to re-enlist, which soon begins putting a strain on their relationship.

Nicholas Sparks is the master of the 21st Century fairy tale and this book is no exception. He has a knack for letting us into the deepest part of characters lives. Dear John is a great love story and how real life can get in the way. I definitely cried when I was done. Nothing can replace true love. I haven't seen the movie yet but this is one I think I'll be renting. If you haven't yet, pick up this book, it's a fast read!!

Happy Reading!