Sunday, June 30, 2013

I'd Say, My Dear, That You Were in Need of a Project.

Via Pinterest
Hey Readers!

I can see you wrinkling your brows as this post pops up in your blog reading list... "Who is this person again? I can't remember who she might be.... Oh! Oh yes, now I remember. That's the girl who hasn't blogged in forever!" :P

All I can do is shrug and say "I'm sorry!" :)

Since the GHEA convention, life has been just grand and full of happy things, but I haven't been diligent about blogging. That has been shelved in favor of more exciting summer pursuits. We're getting TONS of fresh produce from our garden right now and have already made several batches of mouth-watering, downright-delicious, sizzling summer salsa that is chock-full of ripe tomatoes... as well as blanching beans, pickling cucumbers, frying breaded squash slices, and making blackberry jam.

BUT. I was talking to a really really good friend yesterday and they asked me if there was anything I was working on.
To my complete surprise, I couldn't name anything! I usually have at least ten projects whirling through the air like so many spinning plates (like that one circus act!) but right now I didn't even have one.

Not a good realization, when one someday hopes to be likened unto the industrious lady of Prov. 31! :D

This has made me take stock of what I've been doing with all my time lately. Even with everything that's been going on and the usual household chores, cooking, dishes, laundry, exercising, and sleeping, there are hours of my day that aren't spent in any useful pursuits.

One of those time-suckers is definitely Pinterest. I'll admit it. I often spend a couple hours a day (stretched out in many 15-minute increments here and there) pinning and re-pinning pictures. It's a lot of fun. But is it really that important? Um.... NO. So one thing I'm going to try is to only check my pinterest feed once a day and spend only a few minutes on it. We'll see how that goes!

That being said, I thought about it and realized I do have some projects awaiting my attention! Some of which are:

  • Setting aside goods for a YARD SALE... Not only will that help raise some funds for our upcoming summer vacation - it will also help me clear out some of my possessions. I have too many clothes and need to pare down some of them, and thinking about the future makes me realize I've just plain got too much stuff. :D If we were going to move, I wouldn't want to cart all these things around with me!
  • Sewing my 'butterfly dress' ... I found some really sweet fabric at Jo-Ann's a couple of months ago that was sheer white with peach butterflies sprinkled on it. Mama and I are going to work together to get it sewn into a lovely dress, over-top of some white muslin. We also will be sewing a new peach swimsuit for me, since the one I made last year is now way too big for me. A good problem! :) I like being slimmer and feeling fit. :)
  • Looking for a coat - I need a new winter coat, the one I've got now is very nice but I've had it since I was 13 and it is beginning to show a little wear! I'd love to find a wool coat in a nice shade of warm caramel brown that comes down to knee-length, and now might be a good time to find one on sale.
  • Mark's Senior Photos... My brother Mark is graduating from homeschool High School this year, and I'll be doing his senior portrait shots to send out with his graduation announcements. That should be a lot of fun!
  • Writing! I haven't opened up my Microsoft Word docs in a really long time, and I think I'm ready to get back to working on some of my novels. I glanced through Ashburn the other day and it's really made me want to work on the sequel. :)

And... blogging. :) I've missed it and I want to be a more faithful blogger... writing at least a couple posts every week. :)

What are you working on?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I Love My Daddy

Happy Father's Day!

I have the best Daddy in the world and have been firmly convinced of this fact for my whole life. My sweet Mom is the best mom ever too, but this day is all about Dads... I love you, Daddy!

:D He's wonderful. 

My father is a man who loves his family and cherishes us. He is always there when we need him. He's a kind, sweet man, who leads us in the paths of righteousness and is committed to sheltering and providing for us as the head of the home. 

Daddy loves his garden, going fishing, spending time outdoors, and kissing Mama in the kitchen. :D  

I love him so much. 
Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
I'll always be your little girl.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Season of Change - A Book Review

The Story of Two Young Stepsisters Comes to a Bittersweet End in the Final Book in the Sisters in All Seasons Series

“Anybody who’s in a blended family and has a daughter who’s 12, 13, or 14 years old really needs to read these books.”—Lynne Ford, WBCL-AM “Mid-Morning”

season of change.JPGBrought together by their parents’ marriage two years ago, Diana and Stephanie have overcome a near fatal car crash, school suspension,  wild wolves, and even helped solve a crime—all while “trying” to appreciate each other’s distinct differences.

In SEASON OF CHANGE (Zonderkidz; May 2013; $10.99), things have finally settled down for the teens. Their friendship has strengthened, and the usually reclusive Diana has finally begun to open up to Stephanie. So when they discover their parents are going on a mysterious weekend getaway to “work on their marriage,” they worry that their now happy union will be tested.

While staying at Diana’s grandparents’ lake house, the teens decide to take their minds off family turmoil and focus on having a good time together.

Their plans are foiled, unfortunately, when Stephanie’s mom shows up unexpectedly to pick her up for the weekend.  Meanwhile, Diana struggles to make sense of a crush she’s developing for a boy she thought was just a friend.
With the sisters apart and their parents’ marriage possibly on the rocks, the two learn that they care for each other more than they realized. What will become of their friendship if their parents split?
Kline concludes this charming saga with a bittersweet ending that will have devoted readers reaching for tissues and hugging their families a little tighter. SEASON OF CHANGE is proof that the bond between sisters is truly unbreakable.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Williams Kline has written several books, including the first three books in the popular middle-grade series,Sisters in all SeasonsSummer of the WolvesWild Horse SpringBlue Autumn Cruise and Winter’s Tide. She also authored Write Before Your Eyes, the Princesses of Atlantis, and Eleanor Hill. The latter earned the North Carolina Juvenile Literature Award. Kline is the mother of two grown daughters and lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, with her husband.

What I thought:

This story was the last in a series, so some of the references to past events escaped me, but it wasn't too hard picking up where the other books left off. I didn't love this book but it wasn't awful either. I liked reading the scene about Stephanie learning to knee-board behind her step-grandpa's boat, it reminded me of the time I learned how to knee-board with some friends of ours in Florida. :) This story was mild enough for most teens to read, with nothing overly objectionable, although I didn't really enjoy reading about all the dynamics of these blended families... though I realize this is the unfortunate norm in many households these days. I did not think the author did a super job of wrapping everything up (especially considering this is supposed to be the last book in a series!) but the writing style was smooth and engaging.


Man on a Mission - Book Review

A New Book on the Inspiring Life of Astronaut and Physician David Hilmers Teaches Young Readers to Aim for the Stars
man on a mission.JPG
Tween-aged readers will embark on an incredible journey through space and beyond in renowned astronaut and physician David Hilmers’ autobiography, MAN ON A MISSION: The David Hilmers Story (Zonderkidz; $6.99; May 2013).

Co-written by Rick Houston, Hilmers, 61, recounts his extraordinary life story– how a young boy from Iowa became a rocketeer and man of medicine and was able to travel to places far beyond those he ever imagined.
Chronicling a bumpy, yet steady, road to success, Hilmers shares never-before-seen pictures of his childhood, his family, mission trips around the world, and his memorable space shuttle flight aboard the STS-26 Discovery in 1988. 
The well-known figure also touches on personal aspects of his life about which even his most dedicated fans may not be aware —the grief he feels for his friends lost in the fatal 1986 Challenger flight and his life-threatening fall down Macchu Picchu.
Through good times and bad, Hilmers has fiercely held onto his faith. He reveals how space travel and reaching out to those in need here on earth invigorated him in a way he never thought possible. “I became aware of how big God was and always will be,” he reflects in the book.
Moving, spiritual, and at times thrilling, MAN ON A MISSION will inspire young space enthusiasts and anyone interested in the life of an astronaut.  It will also provide a deeper look at a man revered by many, a man of God. Together with Houston, Hilmers captures the finest details of his exceptional life, bringing the American hero and his fans that much closer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Houston planned to become a minister before he began his career as a journalist. With more than 20 years as a full-time writer under his belt, Houston has authored five books and covered a variety of articles—from NASCAR to NASA. He is also a deacon in his church and regularly contributes to Stand Firm, a men's devotional magazine published by LifeWay. He lives in Yadkinville, North Carolina.

ABOUT DAVID HILMERS: David Hilmers is a retired NASA astronaut who served between the years 1980 and 1992. A former U.S. Marine, he received a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Cornell College and a M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He later earned a Doctor of Medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine and a M.S. from the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center. As a Colonel for NASA, Hilmers flew in four missions to space, including the STS-26 Discovery, which was the first flight after the Challenger flight of 1986 resulted in seven lives lost. He currently serves as a faculty member of the Medicine/Pediatrics department of the Baylor College of Medicine. Born in Clinton, Iowa, he now calls Houston, Texas, his home. Hilmers has two grown sons.

What I thought:

This was a good book overall, I found it interesting to read about Mr. Hilmers' life and he seemed like a very dedicated, hardworking man. The details about the space programs and techniques were also interesting. I don't read a lot of non-fiction but this book held my interest until the end. I thought it very admirable that this man turned to medical efforts and helped poor people in missions work. The only thing that I was not impressed with was the fact that Mr. Hilmers and his wife divorced after many years of marriage - and it sounded like he put all his work before his family. For that, he gets a thumbs-down from me. :(

I would recommend this book to anybody interested in astronauts! :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Garden Goodness

We are very excited about our garden this year. :) It's looking very promising! Daddy jumped on things early and planted some great stuff, including lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, golden zucchini, potatoes, peas, popcorn, and green beans! And the wild blackberries are clustering more thickly on the bushes than I have ever seen before.

How does your garden grow? :)