Book Review

Make that books and movies.  In the last two weeks I have seen as many movies as I have in the months prior.  Most of them on dvd or Netflix.  I did get to checkout the new Sherlock Holmes, which I enjoyed immensely.  I was hoping for some better choices than what I was given this Holiday season.  Some of my top dvd recommendations?  “Midnight in Paris” and “The Help”.  I read “The Help”  so I watched the movie with trepidation.  I was crying at the end, so I guess it was pretty close to the book!  what movies have you seen that you would recommend?

Over the course of the year, I have been reading, what seems to be, a multitude of books.  I read the famous trilogy, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Help”,” Blood, Bones and Butter” , “Little Bee”, “Freedom”,  “Olive Kittredge”, “Sarah’s Key”, “The Secret Kept”, and it seems there might be a few more, but honestly I cannot remember what they are!   What have you read this past year?  What do you recommend?  Oh there is one I read and recommend to anyone and everyone, “The Other Wes Moore”.  I cannot say enough about this fabulous book.

I am currently reading “Pride and Prejudice”, for the third time.  I was left without anything new to read before Christmas, so I picked up one of my favorites.  even though I’ve read it before and have watched various movies at least once, I can’t put it down.  I went to the bookstore to load up on my new readings for the next year and i could start one of those, but I cannot put this book down.  It’s a compulsion, I mean I know how its going to end and what happens next, but yet, I cannot stop reading it.

So this is what is in queue.  Whats on your book list?

Happy Reading!

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Post Partum Blues

The post-partum blues of holidays…. The time in which, after having given birth to a mass of gifts to others, you feel depleted, withdrawn and unappreciated.  Do you ever feel that way?  Did you get what you wanted?  Were there people out there who took the time to think about who you are as a person and what makes you smile and then bestow upon you a gift that they felt would befit you?  Yes?  Well, good for you.  There is so much to say on this, but I never know who is reading this, so I will just stop myself now.  For those of you who have a feeling of emptiness after Christmas, fear not, you are not alone.  I am feeling beside myself because I really wanted a Tardis and I did not get one.  Again, don’t get me started.  Do you feel guilty about taking gifts back?  Or do you just hang on to them so you don’t offend the person who gave it to you?  I don’t mean ill fitted clothing, but I mean something you won’t use, or not your taste at all?  I’d like to get some idea about how everyone deals with Christmas, their attitudes to Christmas gifts, etc…  While you ponder your responses, here are some pics of the kids on Christmas eve before church and a couple of Christmas morning!

 

 

12 Days of Giving Part Blah, Blah, Blah

And that pretty much sums up my thoughts these days.  I have tried really hard to get into the Christmas spirit, but it just is not working.  Do I look forward to watching my kids open their gifts?  Of course!  Do I look forward to getting a gift or two?  Of course!  Am I all excited about the whole ship-sha-bang!?  NO!  And I cannot figure out why!    This is a new thing for me.  Christmas is always my favorite time of the year, but not so much this year and I cannot figure out why.  In my past posts I have argued with myself about this, thinking that in time as Christmas draws nearer, that I will be filled with it.  But I’m not.

 

So, as you may have guessed, my 12 Days of Giving gave out.  I did eventually drop off my goods to the homeless shelter and I even fulfilled day number 3-buy the persons meal in line behind you at the drive thru, but honestly, I do that every once in awhile as it is.  Maybe I just feel that all those 12 days stuff shouldn’t be about Christmas time-it should be all the time.  Unexpected gifts pop up all the time at Christmas.  You read about in the news and see them on the tv.  But what about in the middle of May and you walk out to your car and someone left you a $10 Starbucks gift card on your windshield, for no reason at all.  How about going out to the grocery store when its raining or really cold out and collecting all the carts in the middle of January, just so the guys that have already done it 3 times already can get a little bit of a break.  I don’t know, but I feel like Charlie Brown waiting for my Linus to show up and stick that spirit in me.  Tonight everything feels like a chore.

12 Days of Giving, Part I

The 12 Days if Giving is not unlike, say, a photo challenge.   There are 12 specific tasks to do in 12 days.  You are to journal about them and your experiences and send it back to the originator of the list.  The tasks are all about giving, random acts of kindness…spreading the Christmas spirit.  With that being said, I would like to add that I am not blogging about my experiences to toot my own horn.  I am just attempting to share my experience with you and since I need to send it all to the originator anyway, this is how it will happen.

So, Task 1:  Buy a $5.00 lunch and give it to a homeless person.

Most of you know that I recently moved.  I live in a little subdivision close to woods, a country club, and a Kroger.  In my neck of the woods, we don’t know of homeless people.  In order to go to a more economically deprived area, I must travel 15 minutes south, (yes, seriously, the distinction is so obvious its painful) to Pontiac, MI.  This is one of those cities our dear new governor has just taken over.  Emergency management they call it.  From what I hear, it’s all good.  Time will tell on this one.  Bu, I digress.  The problem with this scenario is this:  In an economically deprived area, that was never a flourishing community, at least in the past 20 years, crime is prevalent and drug dealings as well.  So, how do you distinguish between the homeless and the hoodlums?  You can’t unless you live there.  I would assume.

Using my high level of intelligence, I look up homeless shelters and find one in Pontiac.  I call them and ask what they need.  This particular shelter requires all those that stay to take a shower, and they wash their clothes.  Being that it was the Holidays, their food supply was well stocked already, but detergent and bleach were necessary.  Another need that all shelters are in need of are socks and underwear.  I know this from working with the schools collecting socks for homeless kids.  These items, if not brand new, cannot be re-sold at Salvation Army, Goodwill or any other clothing source.  Doing so, would be a health code violation.

Okay, so this isn’t exactly buying a lunch for a homeless person, but if I grab some supplies for this place I am helping to feed these people’s souls, right?  Ask for limitations and you shall receive them.  I head to the local Target and grab some stuff and the next day grab my three youngest children to give them an experience of giving.  I explained to them about people and their problems and what we are called to do and how Jesus expects this of us….we pull in and the place is closed.  My lovely 10-year-old says, “I think Jesus would have known when they were open, don’t you?”

Jammed Up!

It was a jammed packed weekend for me.  I mean as jammed and packed as I get!    Spent my Saturday with a dear, dear, dear friend.  You know, one of those friends that you can go years without seeing each other and just pick up where you left off?  Yeah, that’s it!  I cannot tell you how much a girlfriend means to a woman.  Someone who already knows all your dark secrets, your stupidness, your weaknesses and you strengths and cheers for your growth and cries for your tragedies.  Yep.  It was a good Saturday!  She even brought me a gift.

 

Little does she know, her presence was the best present!

 

So, My next 12 posts will be about a journey that I will be going on, of sorts.  It is a quest for the 12 days of Christmas.  Each day I will be doing a little something different, for someone, with no expectations.  I am not blogging about it for self promotion, but more for self awareness-that and it holds me accountable to start and then complete.  Also, the woman who designed it wants to hear from everyone who takes this on.    If you want more details about this, you can find it here: http://www.chicagonow.com/chain-links.

 

Now for some plain old silliness!  My dad had bought me a beautiful porcelain Nativity set some years back.  For the last four years we have not used it due to little people invading my home and disrespecting all that I own.  But Christmas is not Christmas without a Nativity set.  So here is ours:  (please note some of the pieces are somewhere else-no one is quite sure where, but when we find them, I am sure they will need therapy)

And LuLu out in the snow!

Happy Monday!

Let the Games Begin!

Eric and I have discovered a trend.  Whenever a holiday calls for any form of arts and crafts, a competition begins.  Easter egg coloring, pumpkin carving, Christmas is no exception.  I can sense the very beginning of what could turn into some ugly fights.  I can see us handing down this tradition to our children and then, unfortunately, making headlines.  I’m on a runaway train and I don’t want it to stop.  Look out Martha Stewart!

In case you have not figured it out, we decorated Christmas cookies the other night.

Oh what a clever idea to make a snowman and snow woman, who came up with that?  Oh wait!  That was me!  Pure genius!  (Is it just me, or does the snow woman seem to be looking down her nose at us?)

Cookies, cookies, cookies!  This was the first time I did this with the kids.  I think last year I made the dough, but never made the cookies.  Baby steps.  Ironically, I do not even like these cookies.  But I am off to make some more delectable treats.  I think I have a prodigal MoJo.