Friday, January 28, 2011

A Little Grumpy this Friday Morn

1. Even though there is school today, we're on a 2 hour delayed schedule, which means Miranda stays home (no preschool). Which makes it the third day in row I've been home with Miranda. And I need a break from her. She's hasn't slept through the night in I can't remember how long, which means I haven't slept, which means I now have a cold. Hence the grumpitude. I'm trying to think of decent ways to torment her today, like making her help me clean her room. What I should do is make her more banana muffins (like I've been planning to do for days but kept running out of energy) and let her play in the bath for an extended period of time (which makes all her sensory issues happy). Maybe we'll do all three. After I have some tea and put Alex on the bus about 10:30 am.

2. If you hadn't heard (HA!), it snowed here again on Wednesday. A whole foot's worth. So there was no school yesterday and Marshall stayed in a hotel across the street from his office courtesy of his employer Wednesday night so he wouldn't have to fight his way home that night and fight his way back to the office yesterday morning. Which left me with the shoveling, something, on a usual day, my husband graciously does on his own and without complaint. My arms are still sore this morning, but after I dug a minimal path through the driveway, our neighbor came over and finished it up with his snow blower. God bless Gary!

Alex came out to "help" me shovel during the first round (and he did actually help some) but he also had a great time playing in the snow. Here is my darling boy, getting happily soaked through all of his layers:

If you want to see all of yesterday's pictures, you can find them here

3. I haven't had a tremendous amount of energy to stitch this week and Page 8 of White Lilies on Red has been a beast, but I finally got some traction on it Wednesday night and came close last night to finishing it. By my calculations, I've reached the half-way point, which is a good feeling. :)

Of course, since I started it Thanksgiving of 2009, I probably have about a year's worth of stitching left to do. Or maybe not. The second half could go faster. :)

4. If you missed the story on Facebook, on Wednesday, Miranda managed to lock herself in my bedroom and then get stuck in our powder room (sometimes the door jams). And, being a foolish woman, I keep the keys that open all the interior doors in my dresser, so I had no way to get in and Miranda was too upset to get herself out. So I went around outside with a chair and climbed in through our bedroom window (which we leave unlocked because this has happened before) and have some impressive technicolor bruises on my legs from the windowsill for my efforts. But I was able to rescue my girl, and she promised not to lock my bedroom door again. Maybe if I'm smart, I'll find a better place to hide the keys!

5. Alex's current obsession is The Sorcerer's Apprentice, both the book released by Disney in 1974, and the music video from Fantasia. He earned the book this week with his consistent good behavior, which made him a very happy boy, but I swear everyone in the house knows every note of the piece. I keep telling myself to be grateful, though; I mean, he could be obsessed with Beyonce. :)

6. I finally finished watching Buffy's Season 4. I'm not sure I will go back and finish Season 2. Too much heartache. What I would like to do is go out and see The Green Hornet. It will be nice and fluffy and empty of any heartache. Too much of my life is high maintenance, so I need my entertainment to be mostly brainless.

7.My mother's book, Bathsheba's Lament, continues to earn praises and recognition from among a growing number of readers. There is a great review of it on the International Christian Fiction Writers' blog that you must read! There is another awesome review of Bathsheba's Lament on LeAnne Hardy's blog. Read it here. Remember, if you haven't already ordered a copy, you will find it available here, or, if you are a local fan, inform me that you are claiming one of my few remaining copies.

And here's Jen

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Cold Friday - Updated

1. Starting the day after Christmas, we've had one snow storm a week. Then starting last week, we've had two per week. Yesterday it was sunny and the snow was starting to melt enough so I could start to see the front yard, but then it snowed again over night. Thankfully, it wasn't enough to cancel or delay school again, although when both children are protesting about wearing their boots to school AGAIN, you know the novelty was worn off. It is a white wonderland all the time now and I weary of spending my days shivering. Ugh. Excuse me while I go put on another pair of pants and some wool socks.

2. My mother's book, Bathsheba's Lament, continues to earn praises and recognition from among a growing number of readers. There is a great review of it on the International Christian Fiction Writers' blog that you must read! Remember, if you haven't already ordered a copy, you will find it available here, or, if you are a local fan, inform me that you are claiming one of my few remaining copies. 

Update: There is another awesome review of Bathsheba's Lament on LeAnne Hardy's blog. Read it here.

3. I found this very funny poster mash-up as I was wandering the web yesterday and, as a big fan of Doctor Who, enjoyed it greatly!

4. I forgot to include this in my Star Wars fan post a few weeks ago, but it's too funny to be forgotten: The Star Wars Kids Alphabet.

5. My cross stitching has slowed to a crawl as we've had extended family visiting, off and on, for the past 2 weeks, and I've hit a particularly difficult section of the pattern. I even had to do some frogging last night, but only about a dozen stitches. But I keep slogging forward by repeatedly gazing at the finished project. Here's your progress picture, then:

6. The cleaning ladies are coming this afternoon so I really should be rushing around, picking up clutter and sorting through the thousand pounds of paper Alex brought home from school this week (I am not exaggerating too much) so the house will be ready for them when they arrive. It helps that I already cleaned up the kids' rooms once this week so those rooms won't take long, but the master bedroom could use some attention. Perhaps what I need is loud music to motivate me. My favorite motivating music from high school was the soundtrack to Top Gun. It worked perfectly for cleaning bathrooms.

7. My Wednesday Morning Bible study started up again this week (finally! Dang snow.) and I was overjoyed to be back with my prayer and study partners. We will be working through Beth Moore's book on The Patriarchs this semester and I'm thrilled to have another scripture and history intensive study; those are my favorite! My only problem is that I often miss the end of the video sessions, racing home to meet Miranda's bus, and loved having the opportunity, previously, to download the audio file from iTunes for a pittance to make sure I didn't miss anything. Lifeway now has the downloads available on their site, but for $5 a pop. Dang. This is when living 15 miles from church is a bit inconvenient.

And here's Jen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Introducing a new blog

Jen at Conversion Diary has introduced me to a great, new-to me blog. It's written by Simcha Fisher and her blog is called I Have to Sit Down. And if you have an hour to spare and want a good laugh, read her post Pants: A Manifesto.

Happy reading!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another Strange Week

1. As you know from my previous post, we had a snow day on Wednesday. I am glad my cousins were able to experience a real blizzard for themselves and my kids enjoyed a day home from school. But Wednesday afternoon, my cousins left to visit their grandma in Lancaster, PA, and the house returned to its normal activities. I'm really glad they came and visited and got to see my life here in NJ but I expect they will be happy to return to real warmth in San Diego on Sunday. Of course, there is a forecast for more snow tomorrow....  :)

2. Miranda announced this morning that her ear hurt and she didn't feel good. I can't remember if she's ever said something like this before. Neither of my children are terribly communicative about feeling ill; their disabilities make it difficult for them to comprehend and communicate those feelings. So she stayed home with me today and I have left a message with our Pediatrician that she needs an appointment today. Like my mother always said, "If you're sick enough to stay home from school, you're sick enough to see the doctor." But it's January and this is the first day of school she's missed, which is amazing! God is good.

3. I went to the movies with a dear friend last night to see Tangled and really enjoyed the film and the company. The music is not as memorable as, say, Aladdin's, but very little is. Nonetheless, it is a fun film and I do recommend it.

4. Courtesy of my cousins, Marshall and I had an evening out together on Tuesday. We went to Friday's for dinner (mostly for their fried green beans) and enjoyed the peace and quiet of talking to each other without interruptions.

5. Tomorrow night is the annual Italian Dinner fund raiser for Hope's Youth Group. This year it's being catered by Carrabba's--yum! Hope to see you there!

6. On Sunday night, my High School small group will begin reading Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. I am excited to share one of my favorite Bible study-type books with the young women I love spending time with.

7. A few other links for you, in case you've missed them:

And here's Jen

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day!

So my cousins are still visiting and experiencing their first snow storm. We forgot to move their car into the driveway last night (we had no expectation of being visited by the snowplow before noon!) so they had to shovel their car out of the piles made by the snowplow earlier today. Aaron, California dude that he is, opted to shovel in shorts.

But what I wanted to post about was the awesome book Marshall gave me for a late Christmas-New Year's Day present, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by J.W. Rinzler.

I'll bet you didn't know I was a Star Wars geek. Or that my favorite version of The Phantom Menace is a fan edit by Magnoliafan called Balance of the Force. Or that I watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars but appreciate the artistry of Star Wars: Clone Wars. Or that I've lost whole evenings surfing around Wookiepedia. Then there's this new site that Marshall found called The Secret History of Star Wars that swallowed up another afternoon and evening of my life.

But, about the book. Marshall went to Borders with Miranda to pick it up (with a pile of coupons) and handed it to me at about 5 pm on a Saturday night. And I spent most of the evening reading the last half of the book (sometimes I start in the middle and work out from there) and am still working through the first half. We both highly recommend it for other geeks of our ilk. Of course, it's big and heavy so handle with care (or prop it up on pillows to read it, as I do) and enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Slow Week

1. It has been a very slow week for me. The children went back to school on Monday and while Alex seems to be happily working away again, Miranda continues to frustrate us all with her lack of cooperation and unwillingness to follow directions. She cried herself to sleep Tuesday night (because she wasn't tired--yeah, right!) and had been so disobedient that she forfeited her rights to have one of us lay down with her and snuggle. When I said "I love you" and walked out her door, I could hear her whining, "I don't love you! Where's Grandma? Where's Grandpa?" She calls for them when she's in trouble, expecting them to rescue her from duly earned consequences. As if!

So while the kids were back in school and Marshall was buried at work, I sat around with not much to do. Took a lot of naps. Did some grocery shopping. Wrote some postcards. Strange week. 

2. It is presently snowing. It's only supposed to snow about an inch here in South Jersey. If it falls as expected, Miranda has a sitter coming to play with her this afternoon so that I can go out shopping with my mother-in-law. But we are still waiting to see what the accumulation is.

3. My aunt Katie is coming to visit tomorrow with her two adult children, my cousins Laura and Aaron. I am so excited! Laura and Aaron haven't seen Alex since he was 2 and have never met Miranda, so they are going to have a great time together. And Katie is the person in the family whom I resemble the most (she is my father's baby sister) so we get along famously and have ever since my birth. The sleeping arrangements are going to be interesting in our small house and I hope I have enough blankets (they live in San Diego and are not accustomed to the cold of East Coast winters) but it's still going to be wonderful!

4. Youth Group is starting up again this Sunday evening. I am really excited to get back into the swing of things, especially since the small group I'm leading this time for Inner Mission will be reading Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. I can't wait to share this story of God's grace with our students!

5. It's been slow going on my cross stitch this week. Too much confetti. I keep looking at the original to inspire me to slog ahead. But last night I almost finished the top half of Page 9. Unfortunately, the bottom half looks like more of the same. Here's your progress pic, anyway: 

6. I gave up on Buffy this week. Somehow, I wasn't up to coping with the drama and pain of "Surprise/Innocence," even though they are some of the best episodes of the series. So I watched a couple of movies that, strangely, the theme was mostly about theivery and deception.
  • Righteous Kill - not as bad as I expected from its terrible reviews, but still only a shadow of what it could have been.
  • Takers - Idris Elba continues to be impressive in whatever he does. I really need to finish watching Luther. Although I also enjoyed watching Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen.
  • Despicable Me - Miranda and I watched this together yesterday, even though I think it was a little beyond her comprehension. It is a great film, though.
  • I was planning to watch The Town last night, to keep up with my week of heist movies, but Marshall voted for something lighter, so we continued to work our way through Series 4 of The Sarah Jane Adventures
  • Aunt Katie is sponsoring a night out next Tuesday for Marshall and I and recommends we see The King's Speech. The reviews are very impressive, so perhaps we will do so. I'm also tentatively planning to see Tangled with a good friend on Thursday evening, if the week doesn't get away from us.
7. A few other links for you, in case you've missed them:
 Here's the link to Jen's page, although she doesn't have a Quick take for today.