Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Reading for Spyder

That boy is such a good reader that I have to preview many of his books. Just because he CAN read something doesn't necessarily mean that he SHOULD. Luckily, he's working on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys at the moment, which don't really require review.

I'm always on the search for books for him though, just to be prepared. Yesterday, I read Anthony Horowitz's Stormbreaker, the first of the Alex Rider series. Excellent!! I can't wait to start the second one, but I'll wait until I'm finished with The Last Cato since it's getting good! :o)

Stormbreaker is currently being made into a movie as well. Only a pseudo-teaser trailer is out so far though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Living the big life

So, what constitutes a "big life"? This has been a discussion on one of my yahoogroups recently, and as a result I've been more consciously evaluating the way that my family lives and explores the world every day.

We read. We read constantly. Poetry, novels, picture books . . . Sass's current favorite is Jack Prelutsky's The Dragons Are Singing Tonight. Spyder is zipping through the classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series like mad -- about a book every two days.

We play board games. Sass loves Candyland, as most almost-4 year olds do. Spyder loves playing chess and backgammon and the occasional hard-hitting game of Monopoly. :o)

We talk. And talk and talk and talk. I don't like having the television on, and I think a big reason for it is because it stifles conversation. We talk about fun things (Sass wants to be a princess when she grows up, and she refuses to be persuaded otherwise); we talk about issues (yesterday's was how international politics affects gas prices); we talk about abstracts ("Mom, I think that most adults forget what it's like to be a kid. That's why adults don't ever believe me when I say I'll be a detective when I'm an adult!").

We travel. Unfortunately, finances don't allow us to travel as far or as often as I'd like. Sass is still too small to appreciate long travel anyway. She's just as happy hiking the trails at one of the local nature centers as she would be if we'd traveled long and far to get there.

So what truly constitues a "big life"? Is it one where the family regularly experiences new things? Is it one where the family is just simply happy with each other and themselves? Is it an achievement, or is it always a work in progress?

I honestly think that my family lives a life that's big enough for us. At least for now. Things will change as the children get older, I'm sure. Their lives -- our lives -- will grow with them.

4 Things (Tagged by Julie)

Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
hospital switchboard operator
comedy club jack-of-all-trades

Four movies you would watch over and over:
Ella Enchanted
The Princess Bride
The Mummy
anything Indiana Jones

Four places you have lived:

Four TV shows you love to watch:
The Vicar of Dibley
Absolutely Fabulous
Chasing Nature

Four places you have been on vacation:
Great Britain

Four websites you visit daily:
Go Fug Yourself

Four of your favorite foods:
White cheese dip
Homemade biscuits
Sweet potatoes

Four places you would rather be right now:
having a snooze
at the Children's Museum
at a crop
having a chat with Skeeter

Four bloggers you are tagging:
leaving this part for the moment, since poor Alicia is backed up with my previous requests! :o)


By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

– Confucius, 551-479 B.C., Chinese Ethical Teacher and Philosopher

Monday, January 23, 2006

Reading . . .

Just finished Freakanomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner a week or so ago. An excellent read!

Currently reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. I'm approximately halfway through it, and it's great! Absolutely fantastic! If you haven't read Gladwell's The Tipping Point, give it a try as well. It's still one of my top five books, even after about five years!

Just started The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi. I'm only on the second chapter, but it's good so far! More on this later, after I've gotten through enough to actually have an opinion. It seems like a good book for fans of Dan Brown. It's actually not due out until early April, but working at a bookstore does have some advantges. I scored an Advance Reader's Copy today. :o)

Monday, January 09, 2006

It's all about me!

I did a great job on my new "be mindful of myself" resolution yesterday!

As usual, I worked all day at the bookstore. After work, I was supposed to head straight to a going away party at Molly's. We'd had the usual incredibly busy Sunday though, and I was tired.

Little White Lies by Gemma Townley was my most recent fluff book, and I only had a couple of chapters to go, so I decided to sit and finish that before going. I sat in the cafe, had a glass of water and finished my book. Fifteen minutes of sitting, reading, relaxing, and I was ready to go have fun!

Mini-book review: A fun, easy read. Loved it! I'm going to read Townley's other book too, When in Rome.

The party was crowded and fun, and I got to chat with several people that I don't see very often. I'm sad that Laura's moving though. Bunco just won't be the same!

Friday, January 06, 2006


I don't know how it works for others, but God speaks to me all the time, through the simplest things. I shouldn't be surprised by it, but every time it happens I feel a little "WOW!" run through my emotions. I somewhat expect it during my prayer time, but the during-the-day ones always make me feel extra special. :o)

On my drive home from work last night, I was thinking over the day and feeling completely inadequate, and The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns came on the radio. WOW! What a song!

It really is so incredibly easy to get discouraged, whether it comes from your own expectations or from others. That's exactly what was happening to me, and this song was a fantastic reminder that I just need to push those discouraging thoughts aside.

If you've never heard the song, you can listen to a snippet here thanks to the Casting Crowns website.

Or you can listen to K-Love online. Lucky for me, they play it pretty often. :o)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Two Things (tagged by Julie)

2 names you go by (other than the obvious):
  • Noodle
  • Sugarbooger

2 parts of your heritage:

  • German
  • Native American

2 things that scare you:

  • ladders
  • birds

2 things you are wearing right now:

  • maroon shirt
  • khaki pants

2 favorite songs (at the moment):

  • Pure by Superchic[k]
  • Rhinoceros Tap by Sandra Boynton

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love):

  • honesty
  • respect

2 truths:

  • I have absolutely no idea what I would do without my husband.
  • I love Neil Diamond's music.

2 physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex):

  • hands
  • voice

2 of your favorite hobbies:

  • reading
  • soapmaking

2 things you want really badly:

  • More sleep than I usually get
  • To live to a fun and healthy old age with Skeeter.

2 places you want to go on vacation:

  • England
  • Germany

2 things you want to do before you die:

  • Live in Europe, if only for a little while.
  • See my children grow into wonderful, generous, respectful adults.

2 ways that you are stereotypically a dude/chick:

  • I love sappy chick flicks.
  • I detest most insects.

2 things you are thinking about now:

  • I need to put the dogs out for the night.
  • I wonder if I can get some reading in before I go to bed rather than vacuuming like I should.

2 stores you shop at:

  • Target
  • Schnucks

2 people you would like to see play along:

  • Alicia
  • Dana

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Year, New You

Last night, I went shopping for the first time since Christmas. Really, it wasn't much of a shopping trip, just a minor stop after our weekly night at Fazoli's. Sass has a birthday at the end of the month, and I went to Kohl's looking for a new nightgown for her ("a princess bednight dress" as she says) since she's outgrown and worn out the Barbie one that she has. And I found one that I think she'll love.

BUT . . . . thinking about my new resolution to be more mindful of myself, I went looking in the jewelry department! I have plenty of necklaces, but only one pair of earrings. I found a great pair of silver filigree earrings that I loved, and I spent some time at the cologne counter trying out new fragrances. Lately I've been wearing the Herb Citrus perfume oil from, but I thought it might be nice to try something new. I didn't find anything that really thrilled me, but at least I tried! :o)