Tag Archives: books

Misc.

21 Oct

Not much has happened in our neck of the woods. We’re enjoying (slightly) cooler weather by breaking out our sweatshirts only to shed them by noon when it’s in the 80’s again. There have been a couple of times that the temperatures have dropped to the forties at night and we’ve snuggled around a fire (Hey! Any excuse for some fire therapy is okay by me). In fact, that’s what we’re doing right now–enjoying some hot cider with a fire nearby.

Fall is my favorite season. I love to watch the beautiful colors come out. Sadly, there’s not much of that here in Louisiana, but we’re able to celebrate fall in other ways. For example:

Do yourself a favor and whip up some pumpkin muffins. Just mix a can of pumpkin with a box of spice cake mix and voila! Yummy fall treat.

Last night I watched a friend’s little one while she went to a concert at Ft. Polk. Her daughter and I had loads of fun creating fall decorations with paint!

Speaking of lazy fall days, I’ve even been able to catch up on some reading. It’s been amazing to be able to read books that I actually want to read. I had a week off from school this week and it has been glorious. My grades from last semester came in and I’m happy to report that the 4.0 still stands! For those of you who don’t know, I’m an idiot occasionally scatterbrained and turned in the wrong paper to my professor. Graciously, she allowed me to re-do it and still gave me a perfect score. Originally, she only gave me 20 points out of 200. I was so relieved with my new grade because otherwise I would have failed the class, dropping my GPA dramatically. Next class starts on Monday and I still haven’t received my school books. 😦 I’m going to be behind in the first week. It seems like I’m constantly behind now. It could have something to do with this little guy who is as cute as ever these days:

Completely worth it, though. I cannot tell you how much I love these bottles. After writing this post the other day, I randomly decided I would give nursing (directly) another try. I haven’t breast fed Baby K this way in over a month, but tonight I was in pain from hyperlactation and he was ready to eat so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. I was sure that there was no way he would accept this form of feeding again, but he did. I was so happy! This gives me much more flexibility and I attribute it all to Tommee Tippee (and the brilliance of my small son) 😉 I’m now feeling much better and I think he is, too. He doesn’t seem to have belly troubles after feedings now, although he still spits up a bit.

I realize I just gave you a yummy recipe and then talked about baby puke in the next breath. I think that makes me a mommy blogger officially?

Stick around, y’all. One day I’ll post something riveting that will blow your mind. It’s just not today.

Princess dreams

17 Sep

If I happened to be a princess, I wouldn’t ask for much. Just a wall full of books and loads of time to read them. Since J and I have been married, it has been an ongoing joke between us that he would never buy me shelves. I asked for them once and he said that ‘Army families couldn’t have shelves because they’d just get damaged or broken in the various moves we’d have to make and no one makes a good, sturdy shelf anymore so we’d just have to wait until we got out of the Army‘. I’m paraphrasing here, but I’ll tell ya- that’s pretty spot on to what he told me.

Naturally, I thought he was joking, but as the years go by, I’m starting to believe him. The man won’t buy me bookshelves.

When we arrived at Ft. Benning and began house shopping, I immediately fell in love with the built in bookshelves in the house we ended up renting. I walked in the front door, saw the lovely, tall shelves, and whispered in awe, “this is the one.”

Remember them?

They were fabulous. So much room for literary geniuses (and ok, let’s be honest, some delightful vampire novels)! So much room for little knick knacks.

But now I’ve got this:

(Not the baby bump- praise the Lord!)

Those awful little cube shaped shelves. Now, I know they have their place. I have this one because it was originally in my very own craft room that no longer exists due to lack of space. And I’m sure it will look sweet as pie when I move it to Baby K’s room to organize his toys later on in life.

But really…

It’s no place for books.

I mean, they need room to breathe…

Like here:

or here:

One day, when I grow up…

I’ll have bookshelves.

Or maybe I’ll wait until Captain J goes out in the field and sneak them in then. Either way,  “it will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine!” (Name that movie for cool points.)

Anyway, thanks pinterest, for letting this (wannabe) princess dream.

XOXO,

Mrs. K

books-a-trillion

9 Jul

I have been a reading machine lately. This is partly due because I had a class that required us to read a book a week, but I have also managed to sneak in a few I wanted to read, too. This can only mean one thing around here-

It’s time for a book review!

I read these:

Oh, and this, too-

But I only recommend the following that I will give reviews for:

I’ll start with fiction because I just love fiction.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness was really, very good. Her website gives this description:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

This book is to be a part of a series. I was very happy to read that after I finished this book because there was so much left up in the air. The book is excellent! It appeals to the magic, vampire nonsensical side of me, but it is very intelligently written. Try it out!

Sail by James Patterson is a page turner. I think all of his are, though. If you want a quick read that you don’t want to put down, then pick this book up. Here’s an exert from his website:

Only an hour out of port, the Dunne family’s summer getaway to paradise is already turning into the trip from hell. Carrie, the eldest, has thrown herself off the side of the boat in a bid for attention. Sixteen-year-old Mark is getting high belowdecks. And Ernie, their ten-year-old brother, is nearly catatonic. It’s shaping up to be the worst vacation ever.

Katherine Dunne had hoped this trip would bring back the togetherness they’d lost when her husband died four years earlier. Maybe if her new husband, a high-powered Manhattan attorney, had been able to postpone his trial and join them it would all have been okay….

Suddenly, a disaster hits–and it’s perfect. Faced with real danger, the Dunnes rediscover the meaning of family and pull together in a way they haven’t in a long time. But this catastrophe is just a tiny taste of the danger that lurks ahead: someone wants to make sure that the Dunne family never makes it out of paradise alive.

And now on to the non-fiction…

To my counseling buddies, you should check out Competent Christian Counseling and Effective Biblical Counseling.

I would also recommend Boundaries in Marriage for anyone who finds themselves with an ole ball and chain 😉

I also thought The Anxiety Cure would be useful for someone suffereing from panic attacks and severe anxiety. This book attempts to describe the physiological etiology of such issues while also addressing the spirituality issue that many secular theorists and psychologists ignore.

The rest were not so good. Ha! I’ll try to do these more often so as not to bombard you with a bunch of titles.

What are you reading these days?

(Mil)ing It Over: Good Reads Edition

30 Mar

In a last ditch effort to ignore today, I signed in to Google Reader. When things aren’t all copacetic around here, I like to read about my bloggy friends and how they’re doing. It takes me to another place, much like reading works of fiction do. The first three blog posts I opened were about reading and/or books which reminded me, I haven’t participated in Jenn’s blog hop yet this week! You may have guessed that this week’s topic is all about Good Reads. I won’t be vlogging as I normally do because I don’t think you want to see this soon-to-be Mama minus the makeup and her sanity and a shower and with bloodshot eyes. Instead I’ll hide behind this glorious contraption that is my computer while you pretend I’m typing away, looking fabulous as I sip a fruity (non-alcoholic) drink, and living the good life. Can you do that for me?

Here are some questions:

1) What are you currently reading? I’m reading…

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini It’s pretty good thus far. I’ll be sure to update you after I’m finished.

2.) What is your favorite book and why? I can’t ever answer this question. There are too many novels, too many genres that I love. I think the Harry Potter series would have to rank pretty highly on this list, though. J.K. Rowling is a literary genius and if you still haven’t given ole Harry a chance- you should!

3.) What types of books do you like? For the longest time, all I ever wanted to read was Greg Iles. He writes psychological suspense. Yes sir- right up my alley. I also enjoy Nicholas Spark’s books, although I typically stay away from other authors who write the mushy, gushy lovey stuff. I like to read biographies, too.

4.) Do you read more than one book at a time? Sometimes I do. I don’t like to, though. When I read, I want to be totally immersed and interested in that one story and not have other plots confusing my train of thought.

5.) Do you use an e-reader? Nope. Not that I would be opposed to it while traveling, but I enjoy having the tangible pages to turn. I like seeing my progression through a novel instead of being told that “I’m 44% done…” Some of my favorite days are spent in libraries and book stores just browsing.

6.)How do you get your books? I’m a Barnes and Noble junkie. When I realize I’m poor, though- I start hitting up repeat book stores. I’ve been known to purchase literary treasures from Goodwill, yard sales, etc.

7.) Have you ever been part of a book club? Yes, very briefly- I participated in an online forum discussing a book that we had all collectively agreed upon. After reading, I looked forward to an in depth discussion about it or at least something a little more than “I like it” or “I think it’s dumb”. I typed out a lengthy, reflective post about the book and got no response. I was that nerd who put too much thought into it. I decided that wasn’t the book club for me. I like the idea of discussing literature among friends over a cup of coffee- nothing too homework-like and mildly thought provoking. If anyone wants to start an email/blog/forum book club, shoot me an email!

I haven’t read as much as I would like to this year. The last book I finished was Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. It might be my favorite of his as far as grabbing my attention goes. I really enjoyed it because it had the element of suspense mixed in with a real-life type of love story. For a full description, click on the link above.

Happy Reading! If you want to link up with Jenn she’d love to have ya!

These are a few of…

27 Jan

my favorite things! Not as cool as Oprah’s favorite things, but still post worthy. I mean, you’ve gotta appreciate the small things in life!

1. Amazon deliveries (and reading!)– Call me a bible thumping Republican, if you will, I’ve been called worse. I’m excited to read these three new books that were delivered to my door yesterday. Back in our days in the Great White North, I visited Decision Points at Barnes and Noble each time I went to read by the fire. I never purchased it, though. It’s mine now! America By Heart was one I added to my list, too because I think Sarah Palin in interesting. Finally, Baby Wise was recommended to me by several mothers and soon-to-be mothers. It’s a Christian-based book that supposedly is a miracle worker for trying to get your baby to sleep through the night!

2. Bath time– Ahh, I just love a nice hot bath! Pretty pink robes and products that make my skin super soft and smooth are some of my very favorite things. Usually, I’d add a glass of red to this combo, but I think Baby is too young for that yet. 😉 Oddly, I haven’t missed my wine tastings much.

3. Fabulous vintage finds– I found this old ring at a vintage jewelry store in town for 3 dollars. Consignments and repeat stores are my new best friends.

What are some of the small things in your life that make you happy?

 

Boat (and Book) Reviews

26 Nov

Hey! It’s Mrs. K- back in real time. 🙂 Captain J, the dogs, and I got off the ferry around 10 AM this morning with a spring in our step. The boat ride cut off many, many miles from our car trip so we were thankful for that, but we were also very ready to be on dry land. The weather was yucky and rainy most of the time so it was difficult to see much along the way due to all the fog in the area. Still, we’re glad we took the ferry. We had a lazy couple of days and I read so many books- I may just have to review them for you in a moment.

As soon as we drove off the boat, we used the awesome “Dog Parks” app to locate the nearest fenced in play area for our furry friends. It took us right to one so Drifter and Holly were playing and running within 10 minutes of being in Bellingham, WA. After getting all that energy out, we loaded them up and hit the road again. Now, I’m writing to you from Salem, Oregon. Our plan next is to head over to the Red Wood National Forest and camp for a few days so if you don’t hear from me–that’s probably why 😉

Now, on to what I’ve read the past few days-

The Last Bridge was written by Teri Coyne. It is a very dark book about a woman who has become estranged from her family due to disturbing issues involving them in her childhood years. When she gets word that her mother has committed suicide and left her the only suicide note reading, “He’s not who you think he is”, she wants to get to the bottom of it and find out who her mother meant when she wrote it.

I didn’t want to stop reading this book, although I wouldn’t recommend it if you can’t handle reading about child abuse. Parts of it were quite shocking, but it is a work of fiction!

I also finally read Sweet Love, a book lent to me by the lovely Nicole. This novel was written by Sarah Strohmeyer. It’s a cute book, but do not read while hungry! She describes desserts to die for! The main character, Julie, receives a gift from her mother to attend a class by a renown chef. She hesitates to go because her career seems to be on the downhill slope much to her dismay, she finds out her first love is enrolled as well, and to top it all off- she’s juggling the role of single parent along with all her other titles. If you enjoy Shakespeare, you’ll enjoy the quotes that the author ties in quite frequently.

Remember how I told you I wanted to read Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’Easter? Well, my dear friend, Sarah, got it for me for my birthday and I absolutely loved it! I read this one in about a day because it was just so relatable for me. Written by a resident of Memphis, Lisa Patton created a witty work of fiction that describes the life of a Tennessee woman who loyally follows her husband to Vermont to fulfill his dream to open a bed and breakfast inn. LeeLee finds herself changing as she adjusts to life with a bunch of yankees 😉 As I said before, I loved this novel and would definitely recommend it to a pal!

Whew, I read a lot of books in five days! Let’s see….2 more to go:

On Captain J’s recommendation, I finally picked up Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern. J and J’s friend were talking about how hilarious it is and when I ran out of things to read, I perused his collection. I sometimes read what this guy has to say on Twitter and I hear they have a show coming out on tv, too. The book is funny. There’s a lot of profanity and crudeness, but still there are many humorous quotes. I suppose it’s good end table material!

Last but certainly not least is- I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced. This nonfiction book was written by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui. This young lady is from Yemen and was forced by her father to marry a man 3x her age. With much courage, she decided she would no longer tolerate her husband’s tendency toward abuse. She found a chance to flee from her family and marched up to the courthouse where she insisted a lawyer help her to get a divorce. She was honored by Glamour magazine (alongside Condoleezza Rice!) as their Woman Of the Year. This book is excellent!

 As you can see, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. I owe you all some more book reviews, but I’m going to stop with what I’ve read recently. Perhaps I’ll catch up eventually. Now, I want to get to reading some of your blogs!

 Adios.

Choosing to See

26 Oct

It’s 7ish PM Alaska Time (Yes, that’s the name of the time zone) and my husband is outside tinkering with his jeep, although he is home so I can’t complain. I have a glass of red sitting by the computer and dinner intoxicating our home with delicious smells. The two dogs are downstairs being good (and quiet) and I can truly say, “Life is good today”.

I had a great day. One of my favorite things to do in this town is to go to the local Barnes and Noble bookstore. They have a huge circular fireplace with oversized, comfy plaid and solid chairs surrounding it. It’s the perfect place to relax, put my feet up, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a good book. Today I chose a book that I first heard about from Kate. The book was written by Mary Beth Chapman, wife of the popular Christian songwriter and performer, Steven Curtis Chapman. It’s called Choosing to See and I can’t sing its praises enough…

While I’ll admit I only got half way through it before it was time to leave to go start dinner, I already have been spoken to via her writing and God’s will. I will, of course, have a book review to come when I do finish, but I just wanted to go ahead and recommend it to all of you. Her story is one of struggle. She pictured her life all planned out, but God continues to throw some curve balls in her way. You may know that this family experienced a tragic loss when one of their sons hit one of their adopted daughters in a tragic car accident. She writes about this loss and many other obstacles that she has had to deal with throughout her life. What I like about her story is that it is real. We often look at people in the so-called spotlight and put them up on a pedestal. Christian musicians and ministers have it all together, in our minds. In reality, they struggle, too. Everyone struggles with something. Life isn’t perfect. But the faith and grace that Mary Beth Chapman talks about in her book can be an example to anyone who wonders why God does some of the things He does. We may never understand His ways, but it’s encouraging to know that there are others out there who endure (very) hardships but still come out at the end praising and worshiping God for all He has done in their lives.

Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed learning more about was their experience in adopting. The Chapmans’ adopted three beautiful little girls from China to add to their already family of five. Since I was young, I have always thought about how one day I would like to adopt. Captain J and I have talked about this as an option (an option far, far away, of course) and I plan to look into it some more as the years go by.

I could have posted up there all day and finished the book if time allowed. I love her writing and I really love stories of faith and grace. You won’t be disappointed if you check out her book.

I’m glad I was able to look at my life today and see how God has blessed me. I’m choosing to see!

Anyway, I’m going to go prepare some rice to go with what I’ve already prepared. Let’s talk soon, mmkay?

Much love,

(*I was not compensated or contacted to write this review)