Friday, November 30, 2007

New regime!

I was talking to a friend the other day about Gibson's Gimmies! They are driving me up the wall and are making teaching opportunities about Christmas nearly impossible! She said that letting her children earn and spend their money really helped them to understand better, and then we started talking about chores and stuff too. I always wanted my children to do chores, but I always thought they were too young and put it off- but now GIbson is 5 and I am frustrated that I waited SOO long!
This morning I did not want to get out of bed, so after turning on the TV for him (PBS, though, I swear) and going back to bed for 15 minutes, I came out to the living room to find my son had gotten out a bowl and a cup, the cereal and milk, made breakfast for himself, and put everything away with out spilling anything.

so he's ready for chores- beyond ready really. So we made a chart with LOVELY pictures and words of everything (click on picture and zoom in to see!), then ran back to try it and it went really well! then we made a to do chart for mommy, who needs a cleaner room (and house!!!) too! We also made a little list of Money earners- let's see how THIS goes- because the biggest gimmies are transformers, and they cost a good 6 weeks of work- at least!!!!

Stick'em up- with Rhumba ruffles!

So Gib and Joshua were playing in the living room the other night, I was washing dishes, and Laney comes pelting into the kitchen, roaring, wearing her rhumba tights on her head.

Pink ones, by the way.

So if your 7-11 is ever held up by an impossibly cute, roaring, 2 foot tall person in pink rhumba tights, please bring her back home where her mommy will still be wondering where she comes up with this stuff!!!!
She kept doing it, and I caught it with the ol' digital!

ANd to Top it off..

Gibson INSISTED on a star this year that HE had to put on top while DADDY picked him up- he must have seen this on a show, because when I told him we were ANGEL people he cried and was devastated. Luckily my MORAVIAN star ornament has a area for a candle that worked fine as tree topper- so here are my boys, topping it all off!

Hello Kitty???

Yeah, I'm Askin the question before everyone else does! But it was the only one that said Merry Christmas that didn't look wrong on my screen. It's cheerful right? Maybe I just hung around too many Asian Toursists in Hawaii- cause they were ALL about Hello, Kitty!
ANYWAY! MErry CHristmas!

New look

And I hate it. Tried to get a great subdude CHristmas background and it is failing miserably!! so I don't lose my content I just went back to this one for now. Please come back soon! I have some cute video and pix to post!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Books: Which way to go?

Most of you who know me, know how much I love to read. All the time, take one with me, read in line at the grocery store, movie theatre and I can go on. So, now I am the cooridnator for our CHurch's Reader's night and I love it- always have! We have found some wonderful books to discuss and I am even considering starting a Book Blog or kind of book club that friends and family from other places could do together (online book club, totally stole the ideas from the CARTER family - Thanks!).

One thing that has come up recently is this whole GOlden Compass thing. and I have to say, it is all true, but the way everything is being handled can be disturbing. I got the following review from the AFA website:

I saw the movie trailer months ago and decided to read the book it was based on because my children and I enjoy watching fantasy films together. I always prefer to read the book before seeing a movie. I was dumbstruck and morally outraged by what I read! I have one thing to say about Mr Pullman, whatever else he is, he is a masterful writer. Unfortunately, this book will go a long way in leading an entire generation of youth into atheism and satanism. Mr. Pullman may be a confessed atheist but in actuality most of the underlying themes of the trilogy (His dark materials)exemplify the satanic laws (see wikipedia article on the satanic church). The bottom line of this trilogy is to kill God, reenact the original sin, which by the way means the two main characters in the series, Lyra & Will (12 & 13) must have sex in order to "save mankind" - and to restore the balance of power from the controlling god who only wants to stamp out pleasure, enjoyment and freedom of expression to those who encourage learning and growth of self through exploration of the senses to the fullest extent. We should be warning EVERY christian organization about this movie and these books! The worst thing about these books (and movie) are that it professes the lie that God IS NOT the creator, he was only the first to come into existence and he usurped the power by lying to every creature created after him by telling them that he made them! If ever there was a book to censure, THIS IS IT!

I wanted to include it because it does tell the truth. me and Derick read these books about 8 years ago and the first and second are really engaging, then by the third, we were like " did what just happened really just happen???" We just gave the books away and warned people when we could. the trailer looks amazing, the movie is enticing. people are buying these books for their kids (I LOVE when kids read!) But these books bring to the front a very ugly topic to me: Atheism. I may be criticized by some that I love, but this whole theme is TERRIFYING to me. While I am a Christian and have a very defined testimony of how and in whom I believe, the thought of not believing in ANY support from above is empty and horrible.

I am not for banning books, or even telling people what not to read, but I think having the facts, and motive is very important. THings aren't always as innocent as they appear. I guess researching the author is a good idea. Harry Potter is fantastically entertaining- good versus evil with many spiritual ties and when you see the interviews with JK rowling, you can tell how she is motivated by wanting to get children to read and learn and love others. and of course some really conservative websites are slamming families that have allowed them in their homes for years and are now shocked by these Dark Materials books! Argh! YA fiction is my Favorite book genre, and it kills me that there is controversy and this kind of movement !

Anyway, just going through my mind! Up for my Church book group we have the following chosen for the next couple of months- btw I LOVE book lists and feel free to add some suggestions!!

Christmas Stories (an Anthology) Edited by Tesdell, Diana
A beautiful little book ( has a ribbon and cloth binding and is really "cute")
an anthology of some of the world's greatest writers such as Tolstoy, Dickens, Capote, Runyon, Cather, Nabokov and more.

we're going to read Tolstoy, Dickens, Capote, Runyon first so that we can discuss those ,but if we read more, great, and if not- hey, it’s Christmas and we’re busy!

My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging by Rachel Naomi Remen
From Publishers WeeklyWhen she was four years old, Remen's grandfather brought her an unusual present: a paper cup of dirt, which he instructed her to water daily. She did, with increasing boredom, until she was astonished to find that a plant had sprouted. "My grandfather was a scholar of the Kabbalah, the mystical teachings of Judaism," Remen tells us. Through this exercise and others, he taught her that the "spark of God" exists, even in the most unpromising places. Through a series of unpretentious, affecting vignettes, the author of the bestseller Kitchen Table Wisdom encourages readers to recognize and celebrate the unexpected blessings in their own lives. Many of her recollections are linked to her experiences as a medical student and a physician working with cancer patients, but the most memorable ones relate to Remen's deep engagement with her grandfather, who died when she was seven. She gently illustrates her advice through simple yet powerful stories, such as that of a young woman whose husband helped her discover the real meaning of beauty years after her devastating mastectomy; of a widow who learned to cherish her husband's memory with love instead of with "a monument of pain"; and of a little boy who recognized that it's easier to love just a few toys than it is to love many. "Wisdom," Remen writes in this exceptional book, "lies in engaging the life you have been given as fully and courageously as possible and not letting go until you find the unknown blessing that is in everything."

An Assembly such as This: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman ( First book of a trilogy) by Pamela Aiken
A fantastic series based on the story of Pride and Predjudice written from the perspective on Darcy. If you are a true Austen fan, these are delightful and well written and as a very good friends says, "like reading chocolate"!

Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About God, Dreams, and Talking Vegetables by Phil Vischer
A fantastic book about creativity, chasing a dream, running a business and gaining a testimony. This book can be shared with teens, adults, parents, business owners and so many more. It is moving, funny, heartbreaking and informative all while being incredibly spiritual. Phil Vischer is the creator of the fantastic VeggieTales franchise (that has a movie coming out in January- I have more info on that too if you want it!) and probably the best biography I have ever read (not a big fan of biographies). I also have an extensive collection of VeggieTales movies and cds if you want to become better acquainted!!!

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
A great book about a young man who explores life and religion who is separated from his family while sailing from India to Canada. It is an adventure, a story of survival and creativity and has some interesting questions at the end.

The Ladies #1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
From an Amazon reviewer
5 Stars is not enough!, May 2, 2003 By
Lisa Bahrami (orlando, fl USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1) (Paperback)
I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. It's technically classified as a mystery because the heroine, 30ish Precious Ramotswe, operates Botswana's first female-owned detective agency, The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency.But to pigeonhole this sublime,wonderful book as just a mystery is to unjustly limit its appeal. Mma Ramotswe does solve a few cases, a lot of them involving matters of the heart, during the course of the book. She does so with integrity, a gentle sense of humor , compassion and just plain common sense. The mysteries are fun but what makes this book so special is the author's ability to weave together the themes of African tradition, nationhood, pride, simplicity and independence without being the least bit preachy . The writing is just so simple and beautiful and I found myself thinking about this book long after I finished it. It just stays with you. I've already read the second installment in this series, Tears of the Giraffe, and there is no doubt in my mind now that these books are destined to become classics. Anyone who likes mysteries, or anyone who enjoys just plain good writing will fall in love with Mma. Ramotswe. A superb book.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Godwin
A long, but fantastic biography (my other favorite one) about one of the greatest leaders our country has ever had. His kindness, intelligence and ability to see the talents in others are truly moving and inspirational. I thought this would be great for he summer because of its length and an appropriate way to herald Independence Day and Memorial Day.

Possible changes:
My friend and former ward member, Jessica Day George, wrote a wonderfully charming and entertaining fantasy novel called Dragonslippers and she may come to our area next time.

So keep reading and tell me what you think, books suggestions etc.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Life is Good

So I got about three phone calls from people who read my blog (but HELLO you guys didn't leave any comments!) and were worried I was "close to the edge". SO I am sorry I sounded so pittiful in my last post. Really, life is good, I have so many blessings to be thankful for, I just get mopey and scattered and down sometimes- I guess everybody does, and the change in weather can't be helping. Also that day, Delaney was in such a foul mood, and she is usually such a sweetie - I guess I kinda reflected her mood since she is my little sidekick.

Today, Derick is under the weather, but I was able to get some stuff done after I put the kiddos down for a nap. We got to play at the church at a fun activity, then I got to go to lunch with some great friends for a friend's 50th birthday party!! and then got to catch up with some people on the phone- always good.

On the excercise front, I am still a slacker, but my girl Ali ran 13 miles today because she is already in training for her NEXT half Marathon! What a champ and inspiration!!!

so- the long and short is- Malissa is ok, just a whiner, but I confessed that from the begining. Everyone now needs to scroll down and see my adorable daughter sing to the bird for 40 seconds!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

For the Birds.

So we are all guilty of doing it I guess. I have the blues- that is why I am posting so late. Just don't want to sleep, just kinda wanna be a lump.

Saw the FUNNIEST t-shirt on the AWESOME website that says
"More people have read this t-shirt THAN YOUR BLOG"
Love it, and just about everything else on that site, now that I think ON it. Read "Wishes" my new personal favorite demotivator! And the Classic Potential!

We "sat" for a bird while friends were away and 'Lane fell in love. she would sing and coo to it and even learned to say "boi-urd" like a true Jersey Girl! The bird's name is Twinkles and she has been singing "twinkle twinkle little star" for about two weeks now and loved singing it to the bird!
Sorry about all the chatter at first, it is a little grainy too, but you can see the overall cuteness.
I just need to watch this more to cheer up- maybe pray a little more too. Please think good thoughts (prayer works) for my friends Ed and Arlene and for Maria and Beth.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sabatical and Catch up.

I just had Friends (I would consider them almost Family) here for about five days- they have kids stepping in between mine and I love them to death and was HAPPY they were here- THat said, I never recovered from the Half- MArathon Hoopla- and then the Hawaii hoopla- and now Taber family fun- SO needless to say I am so behind that I can't get my head out of it! (sorry that sounds crass, but I am TOTALLY feeling that way). I miss writing on the ol' blog- it is very theraputic, and I promise more pics from Hawaii although I am sure people are sick of them.

I am taking a BIG sabatical from my chosen lifestyle- ie healthy eating and excercise and I am feeling it BIG time. luckily only 2 lbs went on during Hawaii. And yes folks, I am officially down 50 pounds! that is a little over a year, but I am proud regardless- only 50 more to go! I must get rid of the Halloween candy in other ways that shoving it down my OWN crawl! Also I found this EV-EEEEL flourless torte that is so decadent one shutters with each bite.

Regular sleep schedule would help too! My kids are beautiful and funny, the church is still true and I LOVE my friends (esp those for 20+ years *wink, nudge*) and my husband can be really amazing. (how many times can you watch Transformers in a week?)

A brief capsule of Catch Up
Laney LOVED the whole getting candy thing and scooped it up with Relish! Gibson, yet again had an identity crisis as soon as his buddy arrived and ditched my perfectly cute, begged for, homemade, glow in the dark costume for Spiderman to match Joshua!

FALL! we made apple sauce with the Rizo-Patrons and it was SOOO yummy(and Fun)

Delaney's first day in Nursery at Church! She is SO big- an offical 18 month old and she could CARE LESS that I was gone! Little miss social just like MAMA. (shocker)

NYC with the Tabers! A trip for the kids with only the moms and kids- hit Toys R Us, Build a Bear and American Girl -WHEEW were we tired afterwards- but this is us on the way and on the ferris wheel INSIDE the TRU- I was such a freakin' kid in there!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hawaii 5-0

I am saying that because that is the minimum of Hawaii pictures I am probably going to put up and ya'll are going to HATE me and Hawaii by the end of them I am sure! Oh and BTW I just taught myself how to use Photobucket (thanks BETH) so I know there is ALOT of action- I didn't mean to and I don't know how to fix it, so please bear with me! With no further ado- The Arnold's Greatest Hits of HAwaii (BY ISLAND):

Oahu- We stayed in North Shore where it is not as crazy as Honolulu and Waikiki, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Temple.

Near Honolulu we went to Pearl Harbor.

Diamond Head