Wednesday, March 23, 2005

ANOTHER Left Behind?!

It came to my attention today that yet another "Left Behind" book has been released. This book, The Rising, is #13 in the bestselling series, and is booked as Prequel #1. How many more do we need?

In addition to the "Left Behind" book series, there is a series of "graphic novels", Left Behind: The Kids, which consists of 38 individual books, a military series, and a political series.

I read the first couple books out of curiousity, and basically to see what the big deal was. After that, I felt the urge to read the rest, because it's always best to finish what you've started. :) After books 1 - 3, they steadily got worse. How long can the Left Behind trend go on?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Changes for our own children...

Yesterday, someone asked on the Fundamentalist Forums what we were allowed to do as children, that we wouldn't allow our own children to do. This question made me rather nostalgic.

Between the ages of 4 - 6, as well as during the summer, and vacations from school, I lived in a little town called
Sailor Springs.. I spent a lot of time at my Grandmother's, and playing with my cousin Melissa. Basically, we were allowed to go where we wanted, and do what we wanted, as long as we were home by the time the street lights came on.

We'd take our dog and wander around this historic little town. We used to spend hours searching the site of the bank that had been torn down years before, searching for old coins, and sometimes, we'd be successful. In the summer, we'd go out in the country, and swim in the creek.

We attemped to catch tadpoles once. This involved going onto someone's land, and to a little area of another creek that was pooled over. Unfortunately, there was an electric fence, and I missed seeing it. But you'd be surprised at how little pain that actually involves. To this day, I wonder why the cows don't just step on it, and go on their way. But I digress...

Later, I lived in Chicago. When I was a teenager, (Around ages 13 - 15), I was allowed to go to Dominick's (a 24-hour grocery store), alone, at night. I was allowed to spend time with a male friend, alone, at night, in his room. Nothing ever happened between us, but that doesn't change the fact that something could have happened.

When I was 16, I moved back to Sailor Springs, and later moved to the next small town over, Clay City. I was allowed to spend all the time I wanted with my friends, to date whomever I wanted. I had no curfew.

When I look back at all the times I could have been in danger, all the times I could have done something infinitely stupid, and ruined my entire life as a result, I wonder.. What was my mother thinking?!

I don't have any children yet, but I do know how I want to raise my children. I would never let my children disappear all day, without having a clue where they were. My children will check in with me, so I'll know where they are at all times. I will never let my teenager daughter be alone with a boy, with no accountability, and the same with my sons. I will not let my children date someone who I don't know, let alone one that's on the level of some of the losers I dated when I was in high school. My children will have curfews, and accountability. I will know what my children are doing, who they are with, and where they are.

But then again, I wonder if I've become the person I am today, because of this, or in spite of this. I read all the time, and I've seen it, about children that are protected and watched, going away to college, and going basically.. insane. Drinking in excess, sleeping around, with no thought of the consequences, ditching classes, and inevitably failing or dropping out of college.

I fear that if I make my children completely accountable, will they do the same? Will they rebel against what they will see as a police state? While I have these concerns, I still feel that my instincts are correct. As to the consequences, I suppose I'll just have to wait until I have children and see.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Monday Madness!!!

When it comes to Monday, I tend to take a Garfield-esqe stance.. Yuck!

But today, I'm going to do my first
Monday Madness, and then consider going back to bed until tomorrow.

So here we go...

How Many........
1. gadgets do you own?
Well.. I guess that depends on what you mean by "computer related". I have a printer, scanner, etc.

2. on your living room walls?
Hmmm... 21 on the walls, counting the ones that are in the kind of frames where you display more than one. In the room in general, 34.

3. ...magnets on your refrigerator?

4. ...reference books in your bookshelves?
Okay.. I'm done counting for the time being.. I've got a couple various dictionaries, a set of encyclopedias, and various Biblical reference books.

5. ...boxes of cereal in your cupboards?
Probably about.. 5

6. ...lamps in your house?
Let's see.. 3 in my room.. 2 in here... so a total of 5

7. ...times a week do you shop for groceries?

8. ...magazines do you subscribe to?
3 or 4

9. programs do you watch on a regular basis?
Not many.. American Idol.. and 7th Heaven.. a couple more than I watch every once in awhile.

10. ...items on your bathroom counter that don't really need to be there?
I am proud to say, NONE! I just cleaned the bathroom last night. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Hope everyone's wearing green today! :)

Nothing too interesting in my little world to blog about today... I'm currently re-reading C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. I finished the second, and most famous book, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, last night... I'll have to make a quick trip to the library tomorrow to get the rest of them.

The last time I read these books, I was about 9 or 10 years old, and I didn't recognize the references to Christianity. Specifically, while reading last night, I saw the reference to the cross, when Aslan gave his life to the witch, in place of Edmund.

Since I'd only gotten the first two books, when I finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I started in on The Screwtape Letters. I didn't make it very far before I decided I needed to get some sleep. When I finish that book, I'll let everyone in on my thoughts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Why are little boys so.. weird?

Lately, I've been contemplating Easter baskets. I have 3 neices, ages 6, 3, and almost 3. Joe has a neice, age 4, and a nephew, age 10. My best friend has 2 children, a girl, age 4 months, and a son, age 2.

Now, the girls.. they're easy. Little stuffed bunnies, and chocolate. Same thing with Mason (2-year-old.) Kaly, the baby, will be getting little stuffed animals, teething rings, etc.

But then.. we have Maverick. Maverick is the strangest child I've ever had the pleasure of almost being related to. He's a very intelligent kid. Very into science, and that's the main thing about him I don't understand. But specifically, he likes bugs. BUGS!

I've been having a hard time trying to come up with stuff to put in his Easter basket. I'm thinking gummy worms. Last summer, he had a toy called a "water worm". It was the strangest thing. It's basically a water gun, covered with fabric, with the ugliest little buggy face. It broke, so I might have to toss in a new one
water worm

But.. what else to give the kid who's a science fiend? I don't know anything about little boys, as
I've never really been around them before, and I was never one myself.

For Christmas, we got him a telescope and microscope, and he loved that. Joe plays with the
telescope more than Mav does, but he can use the microscope to look at, you guessed it, bugs.

Looks like the kids going to get a lot of gummy worms...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Is it just me...?

My newest obsession is American Idol.. upon watching tonight, something struck me while pretty boy Anthony Fedorov was performing.

Is it just me.. or is he a blonde version of Daniel Radcliffe (Of Harry Potter fame)?



What do you think?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Finally Friday!!!

Today, to start things out, I've decided to do my first Friday's Feast .

Appetizer - Where do you go when you want to relax?
I either go to my Gram's house, or I curl up in my bed with a book and a cup of hot chocolate

Soup - Tell about something that made you laugh this week.
My lovely friend Ashley can always make me laugh... so I'm sure it was something she said or did.

Salad - What is your favorite texture?
Cotton.. that nice, soft cotton, like an old t-shirt.

Main Course - If you were to publish your autobiography, what would the first sentence be?
Wow.. this one's kind of tough. How about... "They always told me I would make something of myself."

Dessert - Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? If so, how?
Nope.. not really.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Good movies, Better books

I'm a self-proclaimed bookworm, and a movie nut. I'm currently on a Nicholas Sparks kick, and in the last 2 days, I've read The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and I'm currently reading Message in a Bottle; All which are also really good movies. So I've been thinking of some of my favorite books through the years, that later went on to become movies.

There's such classics as the LOTR trilogy, and Little Women. Then there's the Harry Potter movies, The Westing Game, Where the Red Fern Grows. There's the Tom Clancy movies, such as Patriot Games, and The Hunt for Red October. There's The Cider House Rules, and many Stephen King movies, such as The Shining, The Green Mile, and Apt Pupil.

A lot of great kid's movies were originally books as well, such as James and the Giant Peach, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The Horse Whisperer, Silence of the Lambs, Where the Heart is, Gone With the Wind, and many, many more.


Was your favorite movie originally a book? Why not try to find out, and read it. Most likely, you'll like the book a lot better.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

National Women's History Month

As you may or may not know, March is National Women's History month. I've been looking into the lives of women throughout history, and there are so many women who have done a lot to further the cause of making women equal. I'm not a "feminist" in the way that people see it now. definies the women's liberation movement as "the movement aimed at equal rights for women". I believe in the right of women to vote. I believe in equal pay for equal work.

I've found a list of the 2005 National History Month Honorees here . Such famous women, as Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Emily Dickinson, and Amelia Earhart, and some you may or may not have heard of, are listed.

If you can read this.. Thank a woman. If you can vote... Thank a woman.

There are so many amazing women to look up to. For myself, two come automatically to mind. The first one is my grandmother, Maxine Gray.

She married young, and had 8 children, as well as raising her nephew. She raised her first son almost alone, as my grandfather was in the navy. She's one of the strongest women I know. She has two degrees, the first in elementary education, and a second in Home economics. She's intelligent, beautiful, loving, funny, wise, and I could go on. My grandmother taught me to read.. she taught me how to tie my shoes. She's the greatest woman I know.

And the second is my 4th grade teacher, Ms. McKay. She was the first teacher I had who saw me as a person, and not just a number, which amazes me. She taught 4th grade in a class of 35 +, in a busy Chicago public school. I remember that she signed my report card "When you publish your first novel, I want an autographed copy." I went to visit her often as long as I lived in Chicago. She nurtured my interest in computers; she encouraged my love of books (Except when I was reading while she was teaching). She is easily the favorite of every teacher I've ever had.

As promised, here's some of my favorite books...

Right now, I'm reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series, ( Official Dark Tower site ) and I'm waiting for my library to get in book 6, The Song of Susannah. So far, I've loved them. Stephen King is one of my favorite artists, and a true literary genius of modern times. I think the true proof of a good author, is that, while you're reading a story, you forget where you are, and feel like you're a part of the story, and Stephen King's books do this to me every time.

The books you read as a child that come back later. Books that you remember through the years. The next 3 books fall into that category, and I go back to read them about once a year, and they still manage to touch me in the same way they did when I first read them. The first is Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Number the Stars Page It's the story of a young Jewish girl during WWII, and the family that takes her in, to protect her from the Nazis.

Next up, we have Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell. It's the beautiful story of a young woman, who lives alone on an island for 18 years.

Finally, in this category, anyway, is The Giver, also by Lois Lowry.
The Giver Page This is the story of a boy growing up in a Utopian society, and is a book that really makes you think.

I've always loved the classics, as well.. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott; the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder; Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, and hundreds that I can't think of at this particular moment.

On to Christian fiction:

I love Lori Wick, and recommend all her books, but especially The English Garden Series.

Also, Dee Henderson's The O'Malley series.

I'm a self-proclaimed bookworm, and I'm willing to read about anything once. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment. :)

Pickle U

On January 15, 2002, I was conferred an honorary doctorate from a prestigious institution called Pickle U. Their site can be found here: Pickle U

Pickle U has only 81 graduates to date. I received this doctorate at the early age of 17. I'm not totally sure of this, but I think I may be the youngest recepient of a degree from this wonderful institution. However, recently, I've begun to fear that I may lose my degree, as I'm not sure if Pickle University has a "Use it or Lose it" clause, and I haven't done anything cute in quite some time. So, if anyone has an idea of something really cute I could do, place it in my comments section.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Okay, I lied...

We didn't make it to the movies on Sunday, but oh well.. life goes on. There's always next weekend.

I was thinking about my movie obsession. My best friend said Joe and I were movie fiends.. and I'm starting to think she's right. I've been thinking about some of my favorite movies, and decided to pass on my suggestions. :)

The newest addition to my list is The Notebook, which I just saw about 2 weeks ago. It features Gena Rowland, James Garner, Ryan Gosling, and Rachel McAdams. HUGE tearjerker, and it may be classified as a chick flick, but I've never really had a problem with that. I loved it, Joe hated it. Great story. 4 stars, 2 thumbs up, all that good stuff.

My all time favorite movie is 8 Seconds, starring Luke Perry, Stephen Baldwin, and Cynthia Geary. It's the true-life story of Lane Frost, national champion bullrider. Also a tearjerker, especially the end. I think this movie might be somewhat of an aquired taste, however.

Hm.. then there's Armageddon. Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, etc etc. It seems I have a taste for the movies that make me cry.

And last, but not least, The Green Mile. Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan. This is the story of the relationship of the head of the death row cellblock, and a very special prisoner. Also a tearjerker.

These are my recommended rentals for this weekend. If any of my readers have any suggestions to add, feel free to post them in my comments section.

Maybe tomorrow I'll do my favorite books. I'm headed to the library tomorrow, so I'll have lots of ideas. :)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Mini "vacation" & a date

I was out of town last week.. my best friend is a single mom, who's going to college, and who's babysitter was ill last week, so as the wonderful person I am, I agreed to go stay at her house, and watch her kids for her. The kids are great.. Mason is 2, and if that's the terrible twos, I no longer fear it so much. He's just a tad bit whiney, but beyond that, still a good kid. And then there's Kalysta.. a beautiful 3-month-old, who just got over colic, (yay), but is starting to teethe... I figure by the time SHE's 2.. she'll be a lot easier to deal with. :)

But here I am, back in the land of the blogs, and so glad to be home. :)

Yesterday afternoon, Joe and I went to see The Pacifier, Vin Diesel's new movie, and it's such a cute movie.. it's funny, has emotion, and action. We usually go to the movies in the evening, but we decided to go early, because it's cheaper, and we were bored. We got out of the show at 5:00, and decided to go visiting. We went to my Grandmother's, and I sorted out her medicine for her, and visited there for about an hour and 1/2, and then we went to Joe's mom's house, and visited with her, and the rest of his family, and played with their doggies. :) It was just a really nice day. We're planning on going to see Man of the House, with Tommy Lee Jones this afternoon, so I'll update y'all on how that movie struck me, either this evening, or tomorrow.


Yay... Here's my interview, from a lovely lady named Cindy, whose blog can be found here: Notes in the Key of Life

1) You're getting married this summer. Why do you think your fiance will make a good husband?
Of course! :) He's patient, and great with kids, and affectionate, and responsible, and.. anyway.. Yes, I do. :)

2) What was the last really good book you read, and why did you like it?
I'm actually currently reading the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.. Stephen King's just awesome, and I think these might possibly be the best he's ever written.

3) Why did you decide to start a blog, and what do you hope to accomplish with it?
I decided to start it because.. boredom, mainly. I'm hoping to accomplish.. I'm not really sure. It'll give me somewhere to put my thoughts on various topics, for myself, mainly, but if someone else wants to read it, hey, great. :)

4) Like me, you live in Illinois. Would you live somewhere else if you had a choice, and why or why not?
I'd live somewhere else in Illinois, anyway.. I'd love to move back to Chicago, but that's most likely not going to happen. My fiance's a country boy at heart. :)
5) You have doggies. Why are dogs better than cats?
Dogs are just so much fun! Belle can always make me smile, because she's just such a silly little dog. Cats are so.. aloof, and not nearly as much fun. But then again.. you don't have to walk a cat! :)