Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book Review: Five Little Speckled Frogs

Five Little Speckled Frogs Five Little Speckled Frogs by Nikki Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I won this book from Goodreads' FirstReads program, and am so glad I did. It's based on the popular children's song of the same name. My young children love this song, and before now I never knew all of the words. So, it's helped me with that! LOL More importantly - at least so far as other people are concerned - the book is BEAUTIFUL! I absolutely LOVE the illustrations! They are so cute and so pretty, and I love the colors used, too. My children love this book and likely will spend lots of time looking through the colorful, fun, GORGEOUS illustrations!

Get your own copy of Five Little Speckled Frogs. (By purchasing through this link, you help support my blog. Thank you!)

View all my reviews >>


Friday, January 22, 2010


Today, looking through my blogroll, I noticed that Blogger FINALLY has pages! That means that I can have an About Me page, and anything else I want! :-) The links are below the header, and visible from any page! If you're a Blogger user, go here to learn how to do it! At some point I'm going to attempt to customize it, but for now this'll do! :-)


Book Review: Your Name Here Guide to Life

Your Name Here Guide to Life: The book you'd have written, if only you had the time. Your Name Here Guide to Life: The book you'd have written, if only you had the time. by Michael Rosenbaum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. I'd expected it to be a decent read, but found it quite enjoyable. The voice is perfect, and the nuggets of advice are right-on. Many times I found myself nodding and smiling in recognition of what I was reading. I could relate to much of what was said. The references to life in Chicago helped that for sure - especially talk about Chicago sports teams. I chuckled as I read it, because that's something I've always said, too. (I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, so I could relate to the Chicago talk.) I did find myself wondering whether people without a Chicago connection could appreciate the references - even the one about the Chicago Bears.

I honestly would prefer to give this four and a half stars, but that's not an option, so five stars it is. It was an enjoyable, quick read. I would recommend it to my friends as something fun - and light - to enjoy.

View all my reviews >>

If you're interested, please support my blog by purchasing the book through this link. Thank you!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book Review: The Spirit Level

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Kate Pickett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book was very tough for me to get through. Honestly, I can't quite remember why I signed up for this giveaway in the first place! That said, this is not a book I would've read had I not won it through the FirstReads program on Goodreads. While reading, it reminded me of college. I could see someone reading this as part of a political science or sociology course.

Basically this book is about income inequality and how it's crippling many of the world's richest nations. While, sure, greater income inequality would be nice to see happen, I doubt it's the cure for all of each society's problems like the authors of this book make it out to be. What works for Japan (the most equal of the richest countries) might not work for the USA or the UK. While it seems "simple" - just introduce legislation, taxes, or whatever that would make this equality real - it's not. It would require a change on the very basic levels in people. Given the way our democratic society works here in the US, I just don't see something like this happening - at least not in the near future. Sure, more-equal incomes would be great, but the means to make that happen is something our most conservative and/or wealthy and/or powerful people/groups would fight tooth and nail.

View all my reviews >>


Friday, January 8, 2010

Best Marriage Advice

I remember early in my marriage (within the first year) cringing when I watched my husband load (or unload – can't remember which) the dishwasher. At one point, I had an epiphany. The thought came to me, "if I want him to help, I can't be picking at HOW he does things." I don't doubt in my mind that was a Divine revelation of sorts!

I will be honest, God has blessed me with a wonderful husband. He's a caring, responsible, fun man. As a father, he's amazing, and he's domesticated, too! ;-) Yes, my friends, my wonderful hubby cooks, cleans, changes diapers, etc. He does it all – we BOTH do it all. (Well, I don't cook if I can avoid it, but that's beside the point.)

While I'll admit that some of how I got here was luck of the draw – and/or Divine leading, I think there's more to it. I think that while who we end up with is important, I think our attitudes and actions can make a huge difference.

You wanna know what I think is the best marriage advice ever? It's simple: don't micromanage. You know what I mean – don't insist he do everything YOUR way. He's NOT YOU, and he doesn't work the same way as you. Allow him to do things HIS WAY. If you can't stand it, LEAVE the room. Don't say anything. Just go. Seriously.

Think about it. How would you feel if you were trying to help someone out with something and they were too concerned about HOW you were doing it to be grateful that you're doing it in the first place? Be honest. You KNOW you wouldn't like it. And, it seems to me, it would DISCOURAGE you from helping out like that in the future. Don't you think our husbands feel the same way?

When your husband helps out around the house, don't pick at how he does it. Don't pick at what he does wrong. Don't give him ANY idea how much it "hurts" to watch him do it "wrong" – just thank him. Smile when you thank him, and make sure he knows you truly are grateful.

This also applies to when he's caring for the kids. Men are wired differently, and chances are he won't do things the same way you would. There's nothing wrong with how he's doing things, so long as no one gets hurt – well, at least none of the kids. ;-) Be grateful, make sure he knows you're grateful, and count your lucky stars!

So, I challenge you. The next time your husband helps out, BE POSITIVE. NO NEGATIVITY ALLOWED! After that, keep it up! Enough positive feedback from you, and I bet you'll find him more willing – or at least less reluctant – to help out!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not a Morning Person

I hate when it's time to get one child somewhere and one of the others is still sleeping. I hate having to wake the peaceful child. But, sometimes it's gotta be done.

This morning was one such morning. It was getting close to time to take Grant to school, and Natalie was still sound asleep. It was clear we'd have to wake her. Grant and I headed to her room, where it was clear she was still OUT. She didn't even move when we turned on the light. While I was getting her clothes out, she finally became aware of our presence. I heard a squeaky, whiny "I don't want to" come from the crib. I smiled as I got everything – clothes, diaper, etc. – ready for her. I approach the crib to get her up, and am greeted with another "I don't want to!" LOL Her eyes were still closed tightly and she hadn't moved except to speak! I gently told her it's time to take Grant to school, and again heard "I don't want to!" LOL This went on for a few minutes before I lifted her out of the crib to get her ready.

Once she was out of the crib, the protests changed to "Noooooo!" and all-out screaming/crying. Poor thing. While I was getting her PJs off, I looked away for a minute to grab her blanket. When I turned back, she had put her foot back into her PJs! LOL As I pulled it back out, I hear, "No! No! No! No!" Poor thing - I know it's cold! Still it cracked me up. Little stinker! I think we're going to be in trouble when she hits the teen years!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe 2009 is over and we're beginning 2010! That year FLEW by - at least for me! I'm trying to remember what - if any - goals I had at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, the end of 2009 was a WHIRLWIND. We had a death in the family and my 2-year-old was VERY sick – both occurring within the past 2-3 weeks. So, my mind is foggy as to how things were a year ago! LOL Luckily, a year ago today I was making a similar post! Unfortunately, after rereading that, I can see I fell far short of my goals. Of the few I listed, only one was really even partially accomplished: losing weight. I guess I was right when I said I might be setting the bar too high for myself!

Enter this year's goals. There are some repeats, and some new ones. Life has changed over the past year. I have changed over the past year. Thus, goals must change, too. So, below are what I hope to accomplish this year - in no particular order other than that in which I think of them!
  • Continue losing weight. I've lost roughly 12 lbs. so far. By some miracle, I've managed to keep it off through the holidays! Now it's time to get serious about it again. Watching what I eat and getting back into an exercise routine will be the way to get it done!
  • Work more. Yes, that's right - work more. I recently started some freelance editing work, and it's actually been good for me. It feels good to be bringing in money again, and I was able to get a new computer. While it's freelance, the company would like its editors to edit 75-100 (or more) articles every week. I've only had a couple of weeks in the 70s. I'd like to maintain the rate they would like me to be at – well, after getting there! LOL
  • Get off the Zoloft. I know. This was a goal last year, but I didn't do it. I can't remember why, but there were some things that made me want to keep it. Next time I see my doctor, though, I'm going to discuss it with her.
  • Read more. Last year I met a reading challenge goal to read at least 50 books in the year. I actually read 51. I think I'll aim for 55 books. With work added to the mix, this might be a bit tougher this year, but I think I can do it. Just might have to spend less time online!
  • Blog more. I really enjoy this. I just sometimes have to force myself to sit down and write. I'll have a post idea in my head for hours before acting on it – or I wait too long and completely lose my thoughts. I'm going to try to post at least twice per week. And, yes, book reviews do count toward that goal! ;-)
There are more things I'd like to see happen, but these are most important to me for now. I think that this year, in order to avoid completely losing sight of this list, I'll revisit this quarterly – complete with a progress report. That is, of course, assuming I remember!

To those of you who have frequented my blog and subjected yourselves to my Ramblings, I send my gratitude! I am humbled that anyone reads – and even FOLLOWS – this. THANK YOU! While I'd still write if even no one read this, you make this that much better! Every comment you leave is cherished – it's nice to know someone "hears" me.

Finally, to everyone, HAPPY 2010! I wish blessings and happiness to all for this wonderful new year!


2009 Reading Review

At this time last year, I set a goal to read more. My goal was 50 books for the year - and I was documenting each as I read it. I have shared some of the reviews on this blog, but many of what I read I didn't post reviews for. So, I'm going to share a list of what I read over the course of 2009. Some of these books were read more than once - mostly for the purpose of editing. My favorites are in purple.

1. The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan
2. Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling
3. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
4. Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery
5. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
6. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
7. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
8. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
9. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
10. American Rust by Philipp Meyer
11. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
12. Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
13. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
14. The Gnostic Mystery by Randy Davila
15. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
16. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
17. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
18. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
19. Gold of Kings by Davis Bunn
20. Late-Talking Children by Thomas Sowell
21. The Einstein Syndrome by Thomas Sowell
22. Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan
23. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
24. Something Blue by Emily Giffin
25. Body of Knowledge by Bryce W. Anderson
26. Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin
27. Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles
28. Of the Ashes by Kristen Taber
29. The Cleaner by Brett Battles
30. The Deceived by Brett Battles
31. Nyphron Rising by Michael J. Sullivan
32. Beyond Road's End by Janice Schofield Eaton
33. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
34. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
35. One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
36. Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
37. Every Now & Then by Karen Kingsbury
38. Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving
39. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
40. Things that Make Us [Sic] by Martha Brockenbrough
41. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
42. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
43. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
44. Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne
45. T.L.C. by Barbara Delinsky
46. The Sound of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall
47. A Little Bit Country by Debbie Macomber
48. Country Bride by Debbie Macomber
49. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
50. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
51. Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson

As you can see, I made it one above my goal for the year. I haven't yet decided what my goal is for this year, but clearly I need to up the ante a little.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...