Monday, January 31, 2011

What's He Really Thinking? by Paula Rinehart

Paula Rinehart aims to help women understand how to relate to men. She breaks the book into 2 categories: "Understanding the man you love" and "Loving the man you understand." She discussed what men do, how they change, the respect they need and conflict. The goal was for women to become a "relational genius" with the men in their life.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. After reading it, I have not come away with anything that I will use or think through. I never felt like the chapters accomplished the purpose, they just stated information and shared stories that were supposed to make us laugh and agree wholeheartedly. The practical advice given was, in my opinion, not godly; and her use of Bible verses was only to prove her point and therefore seemed out of context. Her assertions such as, "In a man's life, the driving force in her personal and spiritual development is his sexuality. It's the way God designed him." are not cited, nor do I find in the Bible, and therefore she is making these ludicrous statements to sell a book that women will read and try more schemes to have a happy marriage instead of working on their own spiritual growth and praying for their husbands.

Mainly, I felt like she assumed her audience believes men are dumb and only useful when it comes to sex, and suggested women are here to run the relationship through manipulation and coddling.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Good days

What can turn a day into a good day?

A really good cup of coffee. And good doesn't have to mean Starbucks. I'm talking a flavorful, full-bodied cup of hot coffee. Sipped slowly to enjoy the flavor.

A profitable time in the Bible. When you walk away pondering something and working through it in your mind all day.

Getting your workout done in the morning so you feel good all day long.

Finding exactly what you were shopping for - on sale. It hardly ever happens that the exact item you needed is the item on sale. Usually it is a cute item that you don't need, but spend the money anyways because it is such a good deal.

Trying a new recipe that becomes one of the best meals you've ever cooked. It makes the last 10 new recipes that failed worth it.

Getting everything on your to-do list done - then having some guilt-free relax time with a good book or movie.

A great big hug from Hubs. Out of the blue.

So, what turns your days into good days?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Catching you up

In x weeks we will be in Israel. I have been busy thinking about the gear I want to get and the trip. You know the anticipation of a vacation is half the fun. This is the biggest vacation we have ever taken and it is very appropriate considering we will be hunkering down for 30 months living on my income and paying for school. I can't wait for the time with Hubs exploring a new country and I this vacation should tide me over for 30 months - til we take our finished-with-school-forever-celebration-trip.

So, we've been looking at homes. Yes, we've decided to buy. The homes we really want are a little out of our price range, so we are being a bit more realistic this week. There is a lot to think about. I think we have a few good prospects and I am really having to fight controlling this issue and letting God work it out in His timing.

And of course the biggest search will be a job. The resume is almost updated and ready. It's early, but I'm prepared.

On Sunday, Hubs and I ate with some friends. At one point, while they were getting some pizza from the buffet, Hubs said, "We have to find friends like this in St. Louis." It's true. We have awesome friends and they are going to be missed. This being my 13th move, I know it is all about enduring the awkward conversations and being open and real. We are already praying for friends there.

I just got home from a 3-mile run with Ransom. As I've done before, I thought I would take you through my thought process...

My face is cold, but the rest of me feels great. Hubs is gonna have a good day for 13 miles.

Oh wow. Ransom's pooping already. 

I feel pretty good. I am definitely going 3 miles.

The half marathon wouldn't be so bad. I think I should do it.

Mmmm. Somebody is drying their clothes and that fabric softener smells really good.

Weird. I can still smell the fabric softener.

It is a really nice day. I'm glad I got out and ran.

Ransom! Get over here.

Pee break (we had about 5 of these)

Okay. This is getting kind of boring. But, at least I still feel pretty good.

Turning around. The hard part is over now.

Ransom! Come. over. here.

Okay, so I can obviously run 3 miles but I am NOT running that half marathon.

Severence has never looked so long.

I can't imagine running this 4+ more times during the half.

Ugh. This is not fun.

[Back home] Wow. I feel so great after getting out and running today!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Fun

I like snow. It is so pretty. Ransom and I got to take a walk Monday morning before the roads had been "cleared." It was so still and quiet. The only sounds were from a few brave souls up early to shovel their driveways. I loved it.

The pups, however, loves snow more than I ever could. He is constantly whining to go outside and play. And he could stay out there for hours. Unfortunately, due to his past Houdini-like escapes, I don't trust him without supervision [from inside the warm house], so he only gets 5-10 minutes at a time. He did get an extended play time with his best bud, Bo, at their house.

Today, I finally captured some of his moments. This pretty well encapsulates his favorite activities: running back and forth with the ball, tossing the ball in the snow and pouncing on it, and, of course, eating the snow.

No matter how cold it is, he just doesn't care. He plops down in the snow and thinks we are crazy for bundling up.

When it is time to come in, I call. And if he comes in immediately, he gets a treat. I think he's getting the hang of this.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The case of the [2] missing coffee grinders

Shockingly enough, I have not made coffee in the new house. Thanks to Christmas Blend Via packs and Starbucks gift cards and lots of traveling, I just haven't done it.

So, it was quite embarrassing when we had guests over and I frantically had to search through my cabinets to find a coffee grinder. It was even more embarrassing that I have not found it. And then the final embarrassment came when our guest drove to the grocery store to get ground coffee.

It's a mystery to me how I could lose track of, not 1, but 2 coffee grinders - one still in its box. I am resigned that it probably won't show up for 5 months when I start packing all over again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Life with the black-hair-shedder

A friend recently asked me for pictures of our dog. Can you believe that Ransom is going to be on the wall of their nursery? I am so honored that our pooch made a [positive] impact on someone's life.

Ok, well it is more like their nursery is dog-themed and they knew we love our dog [too much] and would have a plethora of pictures handy. But, it was kinda fun clicking threw pictures over the last 18 months with Ransom.

So, for those of you who check-out when I post pictures of the pups, you may stop reading now.

This was our first meeting with Ransom. I wasn't immediately attached at this point. It was the second visit when I knew I would not walk out of that shelter without him.

The first month was a challenge [on our marriage]; and there were serious thoughts of taking him back. Which pretty much made me cry just thinking about it. But finding him at 4:30 in the morning like this, was more humorous than anything.

There was also the skunk incident at 4:30 in the morning.

But we kept going and he soon made himself at home [fyi - this is a big fat no-no]. We learned that he loves laying on anything soft and comfy.

The metal crate saved the day [and Ransom's life in our home]. With the right amount of conditioning, he now contentedly calls his crate home while we are away.

Our mission for each day became: wear Ransom out. As an energetic 1-year-old, this was a challenge. We took trips to the dog park, long walks each morning, and runs with Hubs. We filled a backpack with 10-pounds and even forced this "water dog" into the water.

Soon, we found ourselves doing anything for those sad eyes.

Frequently, he causes us to laugh, and I'm not sure what we talked about before he arrived.

But, I do know that he is worth every single piece of black hair that sheds from his body all over my clean house. And I can't wait to have another!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Kansas Language

Our area is civilized. We don't drive 30 minutes or more to the grocery store. We don't live on dirt roads. And our fire department is not volunteer only. Nobody I know really has a "country" accent. However, I have caught my use of the English language declining in the past months. I was extremely embarassed today when I heard this come of out my mouth during a conversation with my boss:

"I got to."

I immediately corrected myself, but as those of you who know my boss can imagine, the damage was done. We joked over the fact that my grammar has deteriorated over the past months. Hubs has also noticed that my verb usage has been sub-par. I believe it might be time to move back to the city where I can refine my vocabulary.

In preparation, I think I will go home and read a classic novel, revelling in the beauty of word choice and sentence structure.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition by Robert Morgan

This book is a compilation of different hymns, each with a short history of the song. This edition includes "150 Christmas, Easter, and All-Time Favorite Hymn Stories." It also include famous patriotic songs. Although this series of books has been around for years, this is the first one I have read.

It was neat to read the Christmas hymns during the Christmas season. I think you would find it interesting how many of them were written by secular artists, or put to secular music. However, I found it very hard to bet myself back into the book after setting it down. I really had to force myself to read. I found myself getting lost in the dates and names and countries and settings. There are some wonderful stories though, especially the one of Phillip Bliss and "I Will Sing of My Redeemer."

The most practical use I can find for this book is to use it as reference. When I hear a famous hymn and I want to learn more about it, I can pick up this one and get a little background information.

All that being said, I'm pretty sure my grandma-in-law would love this and it would make a great gift!

I received this book free from the publisher through the <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”