Friday, February 28, 2014

The Road by McCarthy

9
Thank goodness this book was short.  I didn't like it.  Very choppy writing and some disturbing stuff.  According the reviews on goodreads, you either love it or hate it.  It won some awards and is supposed to be really good writing.  I guess I just have a different style.  I'm glad it's over.

Goodreads.com Summary:
A searing, post apocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Help! Which one???

Which fabric for curtains in the library?  I'm serious!  Either comment, email or text your vote in by Thursday.  I'm shopping Thursday!! Which one?
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Get those votes in! :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Beautiful Redemption by Garcia & Stohl

8
Book 4 in the Caster Chronicles series.  I have to say I was pretty disappointed in this one.  I almost felt they were trying to churn out the final book in the series or stretch it out for one more.  It really was slow moving and in the areas where the plot had potential to be suspenseful, they missed the boat.  Disappointing ending for sure.  Overall, I would give this young adult series a 3.5 out of 5.  The first book is the best one.  You could read it and just stop there. 

Summary from goodreads.com:
Is death the end . . . or only the beginning?

Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

Back in Gatlin, Lena is making her own bargains for Ethan's return, vowing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means trusting old enemies or risking the lives of the family and friends Ethan left to protect.

Worlds apart, Ethan and Lena must once again work together to rewrite their fate, in this stunning finale to the Beautiful Creatures series.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A few more pictures from Kevin's Mission Trip

 *Be sure to see post below this one for more stories and pics*
 



At the church dropping them off to head out at 4 am!


 Kevin wanted to remember this fun moment of the trip for him.  He ran into a new believer in one of the villages who was smoking meat - he thinks goat.  He talked with him and was able to watch him use every part of the goat so nothing was wasted.  He loved being able to tell him (through a translator) that what he was doing was what he did back home in the States.  He said there were even 3 dogs sitting at full attention to the side waiting for something to drop.  He almost felt like he was at home! ha!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kevin's Mission Trip to the Dominican

 These are the only pictures I have so far.  I could talk about it but I'm sure I couldn't do it justice.  So, I'm going to get Kevin to answer questions and I will type his responses.
What was the highlight of the trip?  "My highlight was to see the drunkard come in with a bottle of liquor and leave a saint.  A man with a bottle of liquor came into the church for the first time in his life and after hearing our testimonies, he came down to the alter to be saved.  The congregation asked me to pray for this man at the end of service."
 What were some impressions that were made upon you? "They are hungry for the gospel.  We were mainly with Haitian people and they primarily practice voodoo or are Catholic.  They wanted to know about Christ.  My team didn't get turned away anywhere.  The other team only got turned away once."
 What would you say to someone wanting to go on a Mission Trip?  "Make sure that your heart is right.  Ask yourself 'Why are you going?'"
What would be something that stood out to you...a memory/snapshot of the time you don't want to forget? "I don't want to forget the praise and worship at the church on Sunday. I knew every song they sang and I sang it with them in English.  They were singing I Surrender All, How Great is Our God...songs I knew."
 Any last thoughts?  "I'm ready to go back.  I want to go back and go back soon.  I want to go back every opportunity that I can go back.  But I do not think it's right for me to go back until I've shared the gospel here with as many people as I shared there."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beautiful Chaos by Garcia & Stohl

7
This is the third book in the Caster Chronicles (young adult - fantasy fiction), and we are back on track.  The first one was really good, the second one just took forever to pick up the pace (not good until mid-way through), and this one was back on!  There is one more in this series and I will be starting it in a few minutes.  There is no way NOT to after the way this book ended.  

Summary from goodreads.com:
Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Tribute to my Nala Girl

 I'm already bawling and I know I'm going to cry all the way through this.  I miss her every single day.  There hasn't been a day in the past two weeks that I haven't looked for her only to realize she's not with us anymore.  Over 17 years we had together and I guess I never realized just how much of my daily routine included taking care of her and loving on her.  She was definitely loved and I know she knew it.  Sometimes I would go and look for her just to kiss her on top of the head and tell her.  I lost count of how many times I told her on that last day.  When you have an elderly pet, you know your days are limited, and I didn't take them for granted, but yet, I selfishly wish she were still here.
She raised FIVE puppies in her 17 years!!  She was a year old when Jax and Rocky entered the picture.  And, then raised Rex and Stella.  Poor Rex, she bullied him.  She knew he was weak and would trap him in rooms or corner him and when we heard him crying, we would go help him! LOL!  Bubba Bear was too much for her.  She was just about too old to deal with him.  Of course, I think we all are!  But, she tolerated them all.  She had the softest spot for my precious Jax though.
So many things about my beautiful girl that I don't want to forget...how she only drank water from the bathroom tap and let it drip on top of her head and run down...how she would lead me down the hall all the way to her food bowl or to be let up on the sink, stopping to look up and make sure I was still following...her ears and feet (like the grinch with all that hair coming out.  Oh, how I loved her paws!)...and her purr....I miss her purr every night as we would fall asleep...
...she was clumsy for a cat...so clumsy!...she once tried to walk along the fence and fell over to the other side (scary for Momma)...she was a princess and rarely went outside and when she did, she mainly stayed on the deck with me & laid under the lounger while I read...but in her later years, she started wanting out for just a few minutes each morning & she would sit and stare at the back door just willing it to open...
...she loved to lay on me when I was reading and loved our new blanket this winter...she fell asleep snuggled  in my arms each night and would sleep there or at my feet...so each morning taking care of her was the first thing I did...we got up together and she came into the bathroom while I got ready for work...
...she didn't care that the dogs were bigger than her.  She would come into the room where they were and sit right in the middle of the floor and dare them to disturb her.  They didn't....
Mostly, I miss her fluff...her fluff and her purr and those eyes.  I just miss her every single day and I don't want to forget.  I want to always remember how soft she was and how she loved to sit in my lap when I was on the computer or scrapbooking or reading.  She loved her momma just as much as I loved her.
It was so hard to watch her that last week and half.  We pretty much gave her whatever she wanted.  Several times a day, she wanted to just go outside and sit by the pond.  I would go outside with her and just soak it up because I knew our time was coming to an end.  You can't really tell how skinny she got at the end because of her gorgeous fluff and for that I am glad.  Did you know she had her own song that I sang to her? "Could her be, the most beautiful cat in the world?  Yes, her be."
I have peace in that she died at home in my arms and not at the vet.  She spent her last day getting to go out by pond, getting brushed, being told multiple times how much she was loved, and I held her in my lap for her final hours and I never stopped petting her.  I pet her, I sang to her, I loved her and let her know it was ok.
 
I love you Nanna Girl and I hope you & Simba & Rocky & Jax are all having a big time!

*diagnosed with diabetes in October 2011
*diagnosed with kidney failure in June 2012
She was one tough cookie all the way until the end! :)

Nala Benson
October 1996 - February 3, 2014
Most loved cat in the world

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekend Report

My furkids are WORTHLESS!  See why we got a king size bed!  Seriously, where do I fit? Ha!
It's been a quiet weekend.  Busy though.  Friday night, we had a big Valentine banquet catering that went off without a hitch.  It was awesome!!  Then, early, early Saturday morning, Kevin left for his Mission Trip.  I did a few chores that morning and then went to volunteer at Upward for awhile.  After a dreaded trip to Wal-Mart and paying bills, I was FINALLY able to RELAX and READ!  I just need a FULL DAY of reading!!  That's why I wanted a snow day.  Course now that it has been practically 70 degrees, I'm ready for spring! :)
Today, after church, I had a 3 hour lunch date with some friends and came home and worked in a flowerbed and on the pond for a while.  Somehow, I have a goldfish still alive so I thought I better clean up the water some for him before he was just swimming through mud and leaves. Oops! 
I think all my chores are done for today.  Business books are caught up and sales tax for January is paid.  So, I am about to find a spot on the couch and read!! Imagine!!
Kevin's cell service is spotty, but he has texted a few times today.  Lots of good stuff happening and people are getting saved!!! Keep those prayers coming!

*I was really going to try to post my tribute to Nala today, but I just can't.  I'll try again tomorrow.  I'm really having a tough time with this one.  I still look for her to come down the hall when I get home, and I still get easily upset about missing her.  I didn't realize just how much of my daily routine was taking care of and nurturing my fluffy girl. :(

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mission Trip

At 4 am this morning I dropped Big Bear off for his first Mission trip.  Six men from our church are going to walk the streets in the Dominican and basically spread the word of Jesus by asking if they can show families the Jesus movie.  The electricity is apparently sporadic where they are going so they have equipment to be able to show this movie without electricity.  I cannot imagine doing what these men are going to do.  I would be too chicken!  
Please pray with me for their safety and for them to be well received and people have open hearts and minds to hear about Jesus.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with the men and guide their actions and words.  God is good and I can't wait to hear all about what He does with this trip!

Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stella Love :)

 Well, I didn't get my snow day. :(  But, somehow, I was only cranky about it for a little bit this morning.  
I decided today would be Stella Day!  With all the boxer love around here sometimes my little chocolate girl just doesn't get the attention she deserves.  Well, not really, it's just that she isn't very photogenic! Shhh!  Don't tell her!
 For my birthday, the pups got treats (a new toy and a new bed).  Which normally, Bubba snatches up anything and everything for himself and the other two just comply.  And, honestly, I bought the bed with the boys in mind because they love to curl up in a ball and sleep.  But, Stella decided it was hers. :)  Sweet girl deserves it too.  She puts up with A LOT from Bubba Bear.  She's the best big sis he could have ever asked for!
 Stella is the love in our house.  Plain and simple.  This girl loves so hard all the people & pets in this house that sometimes you think her heart will just explode.  She is our neurotic girl.  The girl is a nervous wreck in new situations, when we first arrive on trips, she is certain the vet is going to kill her, she can't handle getting her toes clipped, and a bath tonight about sent her over the edge. She's been like that from day one, but we love her.  And, the love we get in return from "this long nosed, long tailed dog" as I like to call her, is priceless.
Happy Stella Day! :)





Monday, February 10, 2014

All I have to say...

...is it BETTER snow TONIGHT!  All this hype!  First, we were getting 2 to 4 inches.  Then, we were getting 7 inches.  Now, they are back to maybe 2 inches if anything.  Oh, it better SNOW!  If I get up tomorrow and have school, I'm going to be cranky.  Mark it down! LOL!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Trying to get back in the groove...

Today I am trying my best to get out of my funk.  To get back to "normal" - whatever that is.  It's been a crappy week, hence the absence from here.  On Monday night, we said goodbye to Nala...about 7:30 pm, she tried to walk to the back and just sat down and couldn't go any further.  I picked her up and carried her and held her in my lap.  Just the two of us for about 3 hours of constant petting, telling her I loved her and saying goodbye.  My heart was broken.  The next day was an "ice" day and no school, so I basically stayed home and bawled ALL day.  That night I had to take a muscle relaxer just to make myself stop crying and sleep (right or wrong, it's reality).  The next day, I called in sick and literally slept until 2:45 pm.  After a week and a half of being up most of the night to check on her or wake up every time she moved, and then the emotional roller coaster each day, I think I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  Thursday I pushed through the day, but luckily I didn't have classes (due to a sewer leak at school, the library was being used as classrooms).  So, I was able to do mindless tasks and fake my way through the day.  I honestly thought I was ready for this, but I wasn't.  This was/is a tough loss for me.  I mean, come on, let's be honest.  Over 17 years together. I was with her longer than either husband! ha!  
Friday, I had planned a month ago to take a personal day for my birthday so I stuck with it.  I figured the week was a wash anyway.  And, I woke up to a text from my Momma that Bubba Bear's daddy, Rufus, had died unexpectedly.  Did I mention that my BFF's dog died on Wednesday of this week too?  It's really been a craptastic week!  After hearing from my mom, the vet called and said that Nala's ashes were ready for me to pick up.  (Yes, I have my pets cremated.  I know I will not live here forever and can't stand the thought of moving and leaving them behind.  I want to be able to take them with us when we move.)  Saturday was my actual birthday.  Kevin was gone most of the day and since we "celebrated" Friday, he kind of forgot the first half of the day that it was my birthday...yes, that happened to top off the week.  He recovered by bringing home a card with a Barnes and Noble gift card in it and cake and ice cream.  But, all in all, it was such a horrible week, that I declare a do over in April or sometime in the spring anyway.  I have only cried once today...progress friends, that's progress.  Everywhere I look, it seems like she should be there looking up at me. :(

Beautiful Darkness by Garcia & Stohl

6
Book #2 in Caster Chronicles Series
This one wasn't as good as the first one.  It really was slow to pick up.  There was too much repeating of why things happened - recapping of the first book.  It did eventually pick up the pace, but could have been cut down.  The last 200 pages were the best.  It is a Young Adult series and while the first one might could be read by a mature 5th grader and up.  I think I'd leave this one alone until late Middle School. 

Summary from goodreads:
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
Book Details: Format: Paperback Publication Date: 9/19/2011 Pages: 528 Reading Level: Age 12 and Up