Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: National Portrait Gallery

Me and the kids hanging with their Uncle Chris at the National Portrait Gallery in the Atrium.

Make sure to check out these fabulous Wordless Wednesday participants: 5 Minutes for Mom, Mom Spotted, and A Beautiful Mess.

Enter your links to your Wordless Wednesday photos!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas To All

I'm so thankful that my kids and I are able to be with my parents and brothers for Christmas this year. It's been a few years since we spent Christmas with them so it's good to be here in VA.

My hope and prayer is that you are able to spend Christmas with those you love and those who love you. May what brings you joy not come from under a tree, but from your heart.

I know these times aren't easy; emotionally, spiritually, or financially, but take heart. You are loved by the ONE who was born to save the world. The ONE who was sent as a baby, to a carpenter and his wife. The ONE who would one day stretch out his baby hands to be nailed to a cross...for you and for me.

If you can, take the time to savor the birth of the newborn King, Emmanuel "God with us".

Happy Birthday Jesus. This day is the day to celebrate your birth.

Rejoice, again I say Rejoice.

Merry CHRISTmas to you all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Digital Story of the Nativity

I think whoever created this did a great job. My cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling through the whole thing! Imagine if the Nativity were to happen with today's technology. That's the premise of this YouTube video.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Touching the Clouds by Bonnie Leon

Touching the Clouds
by Bonnie Leon
ISBN-13: 9780800733599
Publisher: Revell

About the Book

Kate Evans is an adventurous and independent young woman with a pioneering spirit. She pilots a mail-delivery plane in the forbidding Alaskan wilderness, the lone woman in a male profession. But even that seems easy compared to finding true love. She likes a fellow pilot and would even consider marrying him--if it weren't for Paul, a mysterious man on her mail route with a gentle spirit and a past to hide. Can Kate break through the walls Paul has put up around his heart? And will her quest for adventure be her demise?

My Review

I have to admit, I have been so behind on getting my book reviews done. Trying to make my site more personal and keeping up with my Marvelous Mom Reviews site has left very little time to read. When I tell my friends this, they look at me with dropped mouths. They know me, and my passion for reading.

Well, reading Bonnie Leon's first book in her Alaskan Skies series has hopefully gotten me back on track. I have loved Touching the Clouds since page one. We are propelled into the wilds and harsh climate of Alaska. As a reader we are able to live through Kate Evans, a bush pilot who, as a woman has a lot to prove in this rugged land.

This book is set in the 1930's and I'm a lover of historical fiction. I felt like I was right there with Bonnie's writing! Even being in Alaska in this time period, you have a sense of being drawn back to the past.

I enjoyed reading the trials Kate goes through as she feels she has to constantly prove herself, mostly to herself, and as she's drawn into the lives of those she interacts with on her flights. So many of the people she sees rely on her for so much. I was really sucked into the story line and sometimes I felt like I was flying right along with her.

Being that we're just coming into our winter, I thought this would be a fantastic book to read and get a feel of the cold and darkness of the beautiful Alaska!

About the Author

Bonnie Leon is the bestselling author of more than ten historical fiction novels, including Touching the Clouds. She stays busy teaching women's Bible studies and speaking at writing seminars and conventions. She and her husband, Greg, live in Oregon.

*I received my book as a gift from the author and publisher. The review is my own and not influenced by anyone.

Holiday Depression/Suicide Resource

Many individuals will struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts during this Christmas Season. Some studies show that there is an increase in emotional/mental health struggles from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Author and speaker, Linda Evans Shepherd, understands full-well the added pressures many face this time of year. She has compiled materials to help others find the hope they need to win over depression.

When Your Husband Wants To Date...Someone Else

Now, there's a back story to this and that is that my husband and I are separated. We've been separated for just over 4 yrs. Yep, a LONG time. We have barely spent any time together during that time, and I'm more than fine with that.

There's a lot I can't explain, wish I could, but can't. Sure I could've divorced him on the spot, when our marriage went down the tubes, but because I have a tendency to rush headlong into things, I decided this time I was going to take my time and see if God had something else in mind for our marriage.

My estranged husband and I are both Christians and hold by God's standards. So, in sticking with those standards, regardless of what happened to my marriage thanks to his choices, I was holding on to the vows and commitment we had entered into 12 yrs ago. Wasn't happy about it, but that was the choice I made.

A few months ago I felt we had come to the decision that a divorce was inevitable. I was really ok with that. I had done what I felt God had asked of me, and now it was time to go our separate ways. Thing pretty much fell into place. Then after our meeting with his counselor, where we discussed the impending divorce, he seemed to be questioning whether or not we had really come to a final decision.

How in the world does someone come away from discussing getting a divorce wondering if they're getting divorced? Then again, he always had this habit of hearing things his own way, as his counselor would attest.

We hadn't gotten together with his counselor again because life happened and the time never was available. You know how it is being a single-mom, you can only do so much as one person. Finally, after getting sick and tired of some of the messages he was leaving on my phone, just being snotty, I called his couselor and said we NEED another meeting.

I get to our arranged meeting ready to discuss these stinkin' messages and she lets him share first. I had no idea what he was going to say! Oh man, I was not ready.

"I asked someone out on a date." I think I laughed at the incredulity of it. I shouldn't have been shocked because, well, just because. Then I got pissed. Sure, it's been 4 years. It's been 4 yrs for BOTH of us. He's not the only one who hasn't been able to share their lives with someone else. I'm in the same boat.

So his counselor asked me how I felt and I said something like, "I'd like to tell him to eff off and that he's not trustworthy or honorable." We're still married. True, it didn't matter the rest of our marriage, but after the separation and all his commitments to church, men's group, purity, etc you'd think the guy would have it figured out by now. Guess not.

I wasn't hurt, like emotionally, because I disconnected from him years ago. It just pissed me off that he still can't think of anyone else but himself. Do you know anyone like this? I mean, we're all self-centered creatures, but some more than others can't see past themselves.

At some point early on in the meeting, I turned to him and he looked at me with a stupid this-is-uncomfortable smirk on his face and I said to him dead straight, "This marriage is over. We are getting a divorce." If he was unsure from our last meeting then he knows now there is no going back.

The beginning of 2011 will usher in a new chapter in my life. He and I will start divorce proceedings. I can't even imagine what possibilities life will hold for me. I'm giddy and curious and I'm sure a ton of other things that I just haven't had time to consider yet. Life will be good!! Woo Hoo

This information comes from Robyn at Robyn's World Online. She said we were able to copy and paste from her site and since I'm at my mom's (just got here a couple hours ago) I'm only going to add a quick piece of personal information:

My 17 yr old daughter has ADD-Inattentive (just like good ol' mom) and has depression. She has dealt with this pretty much all her life and it's been a real test of faith. Here's more about what Robyn wanted to share including her own family information:

I am putting a call for help out to all of my blogging friends for you to please make a quick blog post (copy and paste whatever you want from mine even). Many of you already know that my son has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and anxiety - we’ve had this diagnoses for over 10 years now (Taylor is now 16). Over the years the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation has been a wonderful resource for me in so many different ways for information and support. Honestly, the information I have gotten at bpkids.org over the years has been so incredibly helpful for me and my family and I know it’s that way for other families also.

Right now CABF is in the running for a $250,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything campaign. They have to come in 1st or 2nd in order to get the grant money (as of today they have slipped to 3rd). So, I am asking ALL MY BLOGGING BUDDIES - Please, please, please take a moment to post on your blog about CABF and how to vote for your readers and share on Facebook and share on Twitter and just share any way you can so they can get some more votes and win! Below is a sample post you can use - take any or all of it - whatever works for you and your blog.

There are over 5 million U.S. youth who live with depression or bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, a very small percentage receive treatment. The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) is hoping to win a $250,000 grant from The Pepsi Refresh Project during December to raise public awareness and help more youth and their families who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder.

Youth depression and bipolar is seldom discussed. It affects 7% of all children in the U.S., yet only a small fraction receive treatment. We plan to launch an outreach campaign to inform parents about the symptoms of mood disorders and how to find help. The outreach will be accomplished via:
-Detailed Communication Plan
-Online ads
-Bi-weekly webinars
-Weekly podcasts
-Daily social networking
-150,000 brochures & 3 mailings to psychiatrists
Experienced CABF staff members will coordinate the webinars, podcasts and volunteer training. Our trained volunteer corps of 100+ around the US are ready to assist new families and youth who reach out to us in crisis. CABF has the capacity to refresh the lives of so many more youth!
The Pepsi Refresh voting allows you to vote daily in EACH of these ways for CABF, plus you can vote for 9 other organizations each day also to spread the love!
  • Vote for CABF daily on the Refresh Everything site You will need to log in daily for this vote - but it is very quick
  • Vote daily on Facebook
    Please consider hitting the Share This button after you vote which will post it to your own Facebook wall and hopefully inspire others to vote
  • Text 104174 to PEPSI (73774) This is a super simply method! You will receive 1 response each time you vote, but I haven’t had any other texts related to this - no spam.
  • NEW! There is an iPhone app now to vote daily
    If you have an iPhone please download the app and vote daily too!
BONUS FOR YOU - WIN AN iPAD That’s right, CABF is going to give away THREE iPADs if they win! You just have to sign up for their daily email reminders about voting in order to be entered. Super simple!
Thank you all so much for your continued support and votes for this cause. It is very near and dear to my heart! xoxoxo

Do you have a cause that is also participating in this program trying to get a grant? Please share in the comments so we can vote for them as well!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Woven by Words: I'm Losing My Mind

Ok, so I accidentally posted my WW over at my Marvelous Mom Reviews! UGH, so I'm gone from my computer for 3 days and I don't know where to post my WW? Sorry to anyone who goes to my MMR site for my Wordless Wednesday. I'm a dork! So, I'm going to repost it here. Please bear with my addled brain!

We finally made it to my parents in VA! We met my mom and dad at a pizzaria a couple towns over from their house. It was so nice to see them. We had a hysterical time! Baby and I pretty much laughed the entire time. Here are my boys with their grandpa!

Make sure to check out these other fabulous WW participants: Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House, 5 Minutes for Mom and My Organized Chaos!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I’ve Been Blessed By A Mystery Person

So, as most of you know, Minnesota was hit by a pretty big snow storm last Friday night and into Saturday. I was so thankful that we didn’t have to go anywhere and I didn’t have to work all weekend! YES!

Later in the afternoon I saw our neighbor riding around in his Bobcat. Buddy plays with his son. Doodle and I were sitting around the house doing pretty much nothing when I saw the Bobcat going by. I jumped up and said, “Please come to my drive way, please come to my driveway.” I wasn’t expecting him to. He’s never plowed our driveway before. When he turned into the driveway, Doodle and I both yelled, “YES!” And he was done in about 5 minutes. Man I wish I had a Bobcat!

I had gone out right away (10am in Mimi wake up on Saturday time) and shoveled the sidewalk and made a b-line for the path for the boys to take to get to the bus. We have a really big yard and they have to trudge thru a lot of snow to get to it in the mornings.

IMG_4640 Well, about 2 hours after I shoveled, the wind was so bad it had completely covered my path. Ugh, I could NOT believe it. My shoulders were killing me because it was deep and heavy and took about an hour to shovel!

Tuesday night I was letting Rugby out to do his business and all of a sudden I realize there’s a path in my yard. Like an intentional path.

I did a double take. Were those tire tracks in my yard? What the…

IMG_4648 At first I didn’t realize it went all the way through my yard. I thought maybe a snowmobile had gone thru, but realized it was a plowed path.

Someone came to my house, at some point, and plowed a path for my boys to walk to the school bus in the mornings and after school.

Isn’t that the craziest thing? I have no idea who would know that my path was filled up, that they didn’t have their usual path. I’m going to make a couple of calls tomorrow because this will drive me nuts.

I’ll check with the people I think it could be: KB (who blew all my leaves this Fall), LP (who knows of my neediness), the neighbor D who plowed my driveway, our neighbor down the street? I’m baffled.IMG_4652

If I run into road blocks I will just chalk it up to a God thing, which it is regardless of whether or not I find out who did it or not.

Whoever it is, thank you for blessing my boys with the bus path.

*An update, even tho you don’t know it’s an update. Wednesday morning my youngest told me a different neighbor 3 houses down came over and plowed the walkway! Rugby likes playing with his Border Collie, Lucy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Can Your Kid Beat Up My Honor Roll Student?

Sorry I haven’t been able to do a lot of visiting of Wordless Wednesday participants. I’ve had computer issues since Thanksgiving. You have NO idea how long it takes me to get anything done.

Thankfully a friend is going to work on the computer while we’re gone on Christmas vacation. Hopefully when I get back I’ll be able to get thru everyone who visits and links up!

IMG_4584 Make sure to visit these fantastic Wordless Wednesday participants also: Beautiful Mess, 5 Minutes for Mom, and My Organized Chaos.

Remember, Inlinkz.com no longer allows photo links for free so I will only be using text links for now. Thanks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Life Is Not A Hallmark Movie

Hallmark Logo I have no idea if it’s the season, my mood, or too many darn Hallmark movies, but I realized my life is NOT one.

Ok, I realized it a long time ago, but watching all these stupid sweet movies has really solidified it in my mind. A woman somehow meets this amazing man, they fall in love in ways we could only dream, run into conflict, and repair their relationship and live happily ever after. Oh and they’re both beautiful and have the perfect music softly playing in the background.

First of all, I have a crappy track record with men. And I mean years of crappy. Started with my dad leaving when I was 6 and ended with my 2nd marriage in the crapper. Crappy all around.

Yes, you read 2nd marriage. Obviously I can’t do this right.

So, after watching all these movies the last week or so I’ve been trying to figure out who I am and who I want to be…kinda. Follow me here, okay.

I want to be a woman who inspires those around her. I want to make people feel like they’re better because they know me. I want to add to people’s lives. I want to build people up, encourage them. I really want to be all the things I’m not.Me and Ryan

I have no ambition (to be addressed in a future post). I can be crabby ESPECIALLY when I’m PMSing (I’m really not a pleasant person). I have ADD so I tend to react immediately instead of thinking things through. I am very self centered and rarely think of the happiness of others. I’m pretty reliant on others and generally have little to give back.

So, the contrast between those two items doesn’t bode well for my life ever becoming a Hallmark movie. I have no idea how to bring who I’d like to be into the life of who I am. Sure it’s easy enough to say, “just do it” but putting it into action seems impossible. I live moment to moment and have never planned anything out. Even when I do plan something out I hardly ever follow through thanks to my ADD.

Detour…If you’ve never believed in ADD you should follow me around for a week. I’ll make you a believer. I’ve lived with it all my life and two of my kids have it. Thank goodness I’m not hyperactive (no commentary LP) or who knows what more of a mess I’d be.

What do you do when you struggle with who you are and who you want to be? I’m middle age…an old fogey by my own standards. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Yada yada yada

If I’m stuck in my hard and fastened ways how am I supposed to turn my life into a Hallmark movie? I realize that Hallmark movies aren’t real, but don’t we all want some part of the fairy tale? Well I do at least.

Anyone have a violin to play a sad song for me? Boo hoo woe is me. I know. I need to get over myself. I love my blog because it’s so cathartic!

Hey, if Hallmark were to name a movie after your life, what would it be?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dear Boys ~ Your Hats & Gloves

Hello sweet and cold boys of mine. Winter hasn’t officially arrived, but the snow and cold has. I do have a number of requests as we come into the next 6 months of our lives.

Couldja do me a few favors?IMG_4639

○Keep your mittens/gloves together. When you take one off, put the other one with it. Look around you at school and make sure they BOTH go into your locker.

○Hats, they’re meant to be worn on your head. To keep you warm. To cover your ears. Not wearing your hat means your extremities are being exposed.IMG_4637

○When you come in from playing outside wouldja take your snow pants OUT of your boots and hang them up to dry? Keeping them in a pile means they stay wet and you can’t wear them at school. That means no outside playing but standing against a wall and freezing your butt off. Doesn’t sound like fun to me!

We can do this boys! We can get thru the next 5-6 months and only go thru a couple pairs of hats and gloves, right? Come on, don’t make a liar out of me! And if you come across the matching gloves/mittens would you mind bringing them home to their mate?


Your dry and warm Mama

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Not Our Christmas Photo


Be sure to visit all these other great WW participants: A Beautiful Mess, 5 Minutes for Mom, and Mama to 4 Blessings.

Inlinkz.com is changing how they do their links so from now on my WW links will only be text starting next week. Sorry. I just can’t pay for the photo links. =)

UPDATE: As of tonight, the above photo HAS become the cover to our Christmas card! Thanks for your comments!

Lactose Intolerant? What the Heck?

Ok, so we are milk drinkers. And when I say “milk drinkers” I mean buy me a cow so I can attach a straw. That’s how all of us are. Sure, my boys would prefer pop, but give them time.

My girls and I could easily go thru a gallon of milk in a day. We have a crazy addiction to milk. Always have.

So, my oldest, Baby, is away at college for her 2nd year. For the past couple of months she’s had…belly issues. She hasn’t been feeling well. Finally went to the campus doctor and he thought she might have irritable bowl syndrome (IBS). She’s been on some medication to see if it has an effect.

Then I thought she might be dealing with a lactose intolerance or have allergies to gluten. Those are two things I can’t possibly imagine living without!IMG_4602

We love our Skim Milk…yes SKIM

I was shopping for her yesterday, wanting to send her a little care package for finals. Guess what she can’t have:

Milk Chocolate
Cheese String
Zucchini Bread (butter in mix)

And those are just things off the top of my head that I couldn’t get her!! She tried Silk as a milk alternative, but it wasn’t going over well. I know there’s Lactaid and some form of medicine that is supposed to help the system be able to digest milk better.

Well, she has been dairy free for about 4 days and is feeling better! I’m am so thrilled to hear she’s feeling better, but you don’t understand the bitter disappointment that she could be lactose intolerant.

Our love of milk…think of the one thing you absolutely adore to either eat or drink and you will understand our passion for milk. If we had a keg, it’d be filled with milk!

Do you have any food allergies? How do you deal with it? Going Organic is extremely expensive, but what choice does she have? How do you supplement when it comes to baking alternatives?

Do you have any recipes I could share with my girl? Thanks so much!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.