Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

#6

Grade: A

I finished this book last night and just realized today that it has been made into a movie! I guess I'll be watching that!! This is not a "light" read, but it is worth the read. It is beautifully written and the characters really came alive for me. I've attached a summary from online & some reviews. Check it out and see if you are interested.

The Secret Life of Bees is the story of Lily Owens, a girl who has shaped her life around one devastating memory—the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Besides her harsh and unyielding father, Lily’s only real companion is Rosaleen, a tender, but fierce-hearted black woman who cooks, cleans and acts as her "stand-in mother."

Set in 1964 in South Carolina, a place and time of seething racial divides, violence explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten. Lily is desperate, not only to save Rosaleen, but to flee from a life she can no longer endure. Calling upon her colorful wits and youthful daring, she breaks Rosaleen out of jail and the two escape, into what quickly becomes Lily’s quest for the truth about her mother’s life.

They are taken in by three black, bee-keeping sisters, May, June, and August, and Lily is consumed by their secret world of bees and honey, and of the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Lily’s journey is one of painful secrets and shattering betrayals but that ultimately helps her find the thing her heart longs for most.

The Secret Life Of Bees allows us into a world apart—in a novel whose strong, irresistible voice catches us up and doesn’t let go. The Secret Life Of Bees is a mesmerizing novel about women with extraordinary gifts coping with loss and finding forgiveness and especially, learning to forgive themselves.

Reviews:
The Washington Post
The tale of one motherless daughter's discovery of what family really means—and of the strange and wonderful places we find love.

Good USA Today
A moving first novel...Lily is an authentic and winning character and her story is compellingly told. The bees presage her journey toward self-acceptance, faith and freedom.

Good The Baltimore Sun
...Sue Monk Kidd is a direct literary descendant of Carson McCullers.

Good People Magazine
Populated with rich, believable characters and propelled by a swiftly paced plot, this debut novel is a cut above most coming-of-age tales. You’ll be glad you went along for the ride. Bottom line Buzz-worthy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Discontentment

It's an ugly beast. I think it may be the best word to describe whatever "mood" is going on with me. I'm not happy with my house right now. Everywhere I look, I see a project or something that needs to be cleaned. School/classroom? Same thing. I can't get caught up. There is always something to do. I am having the hardest time getting into my Bible Study right now. I was so excited when it started because I thought "Life Interrupted" - a Bible Study about life not going as I expected. But, I'm frustrated because I'm not getting it. Then, last week, I had a near panic attack because I thought I needed to "get it" or else, God was going to send me the message another way. And, I am just tired of going through battles. I mean, I know I'm not supposed to look at other people's journeys and compare, but can't we all agree that Kevin and I have had our fair share of battles? We seem to attract them.
Anyway...I don't know what's going on with me. I feel like I'm at a crossroads of sorts. Which path to take? I don't know. I'm tired of being broke all the time. We both have some hard decisions there to make. Is it time to give up on the business? I don't know. I certainly hate to give up on a dream, but I also am tired of debt hanging over my head. Two solid incomes could solve some money problems, but money isn't everything. I would choose living with my best friend and him doing something he loves over having all the money to do what we wanted/needed. So...what to do? Then, there's the question everyone wants to know. What's going on with the child situation?!? I don't know!!! I have zero clue what God wants us to do. I am not feeling lead in one direction or the other. Maybe it's the whole getting closer to 40 thing. Maybe it's a mid-life crisis. Maybe it's coming down off the emotional infertility roller coaster. I'm not sure what's going on with me. The only thing I am sure of is that I don't know the answer to any of life's big questions right now. Career Paths? Business Paths? Child Paths? I don't know!! I feel like I am missing something. I'll let you know if I figure it out. OR, you let ME know if YOU do! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gettin' Crafty

Friday night was what used to called scrapbook night but is now scrap/craft night!! My cousin, Kristen and I were determined to figure out the vinyl and cricut together. So, I brought some stuff home from school to play around with the vinyl on until we felt like we had it under control. I was in no way prepared for how easy it was going to be!! And quick! Here is my first project on a small tile:
And, all the projects from the night below:
I labeled two of my buckets from my classroom and we also made a card (thanks to Sandy for the guidance on that one!).

Only problem is that my card is so cute, I don't want to give it to anyone! haha!
I'm getting lots of ideas on pinterest for more vinyl projects. You can all probably expect some handmade gifts made with love for the next few holidays. :) I can make signs, frames, tiles...oh the possibilities!!!

Bonus to the weekend was it was our LAST Upward weekend. Whatever will we do with a WHOLE Saturday free next week???? woohoo!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ready for Friday!

Why?
*scrap night!
*girl's night!
*good food!
*crafting
*learning how to do vinyl on the cricut
*giggles

Enough said! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My top 10 books...

In no certain order, here are my top 10. I read a lot and have since I was a much younger pup, so this took me awhile to really think about and consider.
Here we go:
1. Where the Red Fern Grows
2. It (this is the first book that really got me into reading)
3. Uncle Tom's Cabin
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
5. Little Women
6. The Giver
7. Gone with the Wind
8. Old Yeller
9. The Shack
10. The Hunger Games trilogy (I've thought about if it was because it is so fresh, but I've never cried because a book was over and I had to say goodbye to the characters, so I say that alone deserves the top 10)

So, there are my choices, what is your top 10?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

One more week!!

Only one more week of Upward Basketball. While I am ready to have my Saturday's back after two months of volunteering, I am also going to miss it!! I've really enjoyed working the concession stand and meeting new people!! Plus, I love interacting with the kids. Yep, I'm going to miss it!! Kevin, on the other hand, probably won't as much. He has been a ref for 4 straight games every week. So, while I'm having fun and visiting with everyone, he is running up and down the court! ha! We are thinking a flea market Saturday is our first order of business when we have a free Saturday!!
Other than Upward, reading and working, that's about it! I am so sad for The Hunger Games trilogy to be over that I can't even start a new book yet!!! :(
What is going to compare?

PS. If you get a chance, hop on over to the BoxAR blog. If you love boxers, there has one featured each day this week!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

#5

Grade: A+

I just finished the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Needless to say, it didn't disappoint. The first book was awesome. The second was slower to start but finished strong and let me wanting more. The third was just as good as the first. Wow! I have been reading since about 4:30 this afternoon nonstop because I couldn't stop. I have shed tears and I actually want to pick up the first book and start over so I don't have to say goodbye to the characters!! If you haven't read these book, I really think you would like them. You can bet I will be at the movie when it comes out in March. Go to The Hunger Games website and watch a trailer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone's day is filled with love! The pups have already be-headed their Valentine! ha! I've got 5 minutes until movie time starts, so I leave you with my most impressive Valentine bag today at school:

You drop the Valentine's in the mouth! Cool huh?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow Day! (Sort of)

Today was supposed to be a winter storm. But it was a FAIL! Luckily, the kids were already out of school today for teacher workshops, so we don't have a make-up day!! That's the good news! The bad news is that the snow lasted about 30 minutes MAYBE and was just a dusting. Just enough to get Rex all excited and then poof! Gone. :(
It was pretty while it lasted!! I do LOVE snow!! Rex gets so happy and Stella just starts eating it like food is falling out of the sky just for her! LOL!
It has been an all day PJ day around here. But, I've got my taxes ready for the tax man. And, like Nala, I'm all rested and ready for the week. My Nala girl knows how to nap AND keep the pups in line!! :)
Now, to get back to reading the third book in The Hunger Games series....

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

#4
I rate this book: A-
This is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and while I didn't find it as captivating as the first one, it was still really good. It just took a little longer to grab me than the first one. I highly recommend this trilogy, because I've already started on the 3rd one, and it has me from chapter one. I've heard the third one is the best of the three. We will see! There is a summary below but unless you have read the first book, don't read the summary! Go to my tags and click on books and read the summary for The Hunger Games. It's good stuff! :)

In The Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, teenagers Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark emerged as victors of the 74th Hunger Games—a compulsory, nationally broadcast, gladiator-style fight to the death against 22 other teens. However, the fact that both of them emerged as victors is an unprecedented embarrassment to the Capitol, the oppressive regime that rules the nation of Panem and stages the annual Hunger Games. Katniss outsmarted the Capitol by feigning love for Peeta, and—when only the two of them were left alive in the arena—threatening to eat a handful of poisonous berries simultaneously with Peeta, such that both of them would die (think Romeo and Juliet). Unable to stomach no Hunger Games victor, the Capital momentarily buckled and allowed both to win.

Picking up the story in Catching FireCatching Fire by Suzanne Collins, Katniss’s victory has changed her life. She now lives in a mansion in the “Victor’s Village” of District 12, and has more money than she will ever need: her days of poverty and hunger are over. However, despite her new wealth, all is not well. As a victor, Katniss must now be involved with the violent Hunger Games (which she would rather forget) indefinitely. Most immediately, she must participate in a Victory Tour, visiting the Districts and families of the other Hunger Games contestants—“tributes”—who were killed in the arena, some of them at her hand. Then, she, Peeta, and Haymitch Abernathy—the alcoholic victor of the 50th Hunger Games, who mentored Katniss and Peeta during their time in the arena—will be required to act as mentors to the District 12 tributes at the 75th Hunger Games. That round of the Games has been deemed a “Quarter Quell,” i.e., an especially brutal version of the Games to commemorate its 75th anniversary.

In addition to the distasteful requirement that Katniss continue to be involved in the Hunger Games, she, her family, and her friends are in personal danger. Apparently Katniss’s rebellious act with the berries has stirred the possibility of insurrection in the Districts: if a 16-year-old girl can defy the Capitol and survive, why not entire Districts? President Snow—the cruel dictator of Panem—has personally threatened Katniss that unless she can pacify the Districts on the Victory Tour, she and those close to her will be in danger. The only way for her to obey this order is to continue feigning love for Peeta on the Victory Tour, and thereby to convince the restless Districts that the berries represented desperate love for Peeta and not rebellion. This project is, of course, excruciating since it is sure to further alienate her long-time hunting partner, friend, and would-be suitor Gale Hawthorne.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm back!

Conference forms are all finished. Interim reports done. Grades updated. Half of my conferences completed. AND, craft night at church that I was in charge of is over and was a fun success! Now, I can resume normal life. Whatever that is!!! I even have a clean house as of today and have finished the second book in The Hunger Games!!! I tell you, I need an assistant!!!! Or really, just a cleaning lady would be nice! Oh, how I miss those days!
Oh, and how can I forget?!? I had a birthday to celebrate mid-week as well. I got to turn 29 again and took the day off to spend with Big Bear. Other than being all congested and unable to breathe, it was a good day of flea marketing. But, since I wasn't feeling 100%, I get a birthday do-over on a Saturday in March. :-) You know how I like to spread my birthday's out as long as possible!
Anyway - now I am just relaxing and waiting on the snow to hit....hoping for snow pictures and fun tomorrow!

Monday, February 6, 2012

blog interrupted

This blog has temporarily been interrupted by the fact that I am currently under a pile of parent teacher conference forms!! Between that and trying to get ready for a craft night at church that somehow I am leading, well, I am treading water. Back soon! I have to get everything done so I can celebrate my 29th birthday on Wednesday! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Seriously?!?!

**updated**
So after all that mental preparation and working up a schedule and having things ready for "the girl" to do today, she never showed up. Yep! Just.didn't.show. No email. No phone call. Interesting! Frustrating!!!
I think this is a done deal. I'll keep you posted. Keep praying because apparently my prayer warriors can make things happen! Ha!

And, I no longer have a college student in my room. What a mess!! But in all the tantrum throwing, crying, fits, praying, talking....this is what I got out of the "the girl" being sent to my room. I wasn't dealing with the fact that we can't have kids. I had just tucked it away. Kevin wasn't handling it very well and couldn't take seeing me depressed, so I knew I had to toughen up for him. As a result, I just packed it away. But I didn't "deal" with it. I didn't work through my feelings. I just pushed them aside. So, I guess the fact that a pregnant girl in my classroom had me crying for FOUR days straight means I have some feelings to sort through. And, I guess the embryo conversation means that all doors aren't closed. So, while I can't go back into depression. I can find a way to work through all this in prayer and Bible study. And, what do you know? God sent me to a start a study on Jonah tonight. A study about how when YOU have a plan for your life and it doesn't go YOUR way because GOD has another plan. Hmmmm....sound like something I need? Oh yeah, God is smiling. I just know it! :)
And, to my prayer warriors, I love you!!!!! Let's keep praying!