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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #13

Marriage is the topic today and simply I will just quote some verses in the Holy Bible regarding it.  Just something to think about for those of us who are married ... Valentine's Day is just around the corner!
  • For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  Ephesians 5:31
  • Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.  Ephesians 5:33
  • Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity:  for that is thy portion in this life, and thy labour which thou takest under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 9:9
  • Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence:  and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 1Corinthians 7:3
  • Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.  Colossians 3:18-19
  • Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it,... Ephesians 5:25
  • Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.  Proverbs 5:15

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist"

by Michael J. Fox, non-fiction, 2009, 279p, rating=4

"At the turn from our bedroom into the hallway, there is an old full-length mirror in a wooden frame.  I can't help but catch a glimpse of myself as I pass.  Turning fully toward the glass, I consider what I see.  This reflected version of myself, wet, shaking, rumpled, pinched, and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face.  I would ask the obvious question, 'What are you smiling about?' but I already know the answer:  'It just gets better from here.' "
This is the second autobiography that Mr. Fox (kinda weird to be so formal considering I had posters of him all over my bedroom wall as a giddy teenager) wrote.  The first titled Lucky Man, which I haven't read.  This one basically memoirs his life after retiring from his hit TV sitcom, Spin City in 2000.  He divided this book into four parts:  work, politics, faith, and family. 

Non-fiction books can be a tedious read so finding an interesting subject becomes essential.  Needless to say, Michael J. Fox was an interesting "subject" for me.  Then having read this book, I find him even more interesting.  He's quite a stand up guy.  Inspirational, funny, intelligent, philanthropic, and yes, optimistic.  Most of his adventures were a delight to read.  It was a refreshing look at his personal life.

I most enjoyed his stories involving his families ...parents, siblings, wife, and kids.  His story of his sister K.C. was especially heartwrenching.  Moreover, his relationship with his wife and kids jumped out as sincere love and devotion.  I'm such a sucker for stories reflecting solid marriage and parenting.

Of course, he discussed his adventures with having Parkinson's disease.  He went through a grieving process but quickly turned it into a fight and built a Michael J. Fox Foundation with an initial pitch of "I need you to help me go out of business." (pg 55).  His determination to find a cure eventually lead him to be in the political arena, namely pushing for the stem cell project.  There he found hurdles but some good news in the long run came.

This was an overall lovely read.  A good man sharing his hopeful journey with upbeat perspective.

Friday, January 28, 2011

"No Country for Old Men"

by Cormac McCarthy, AF, 2005, Playaway audio, narrated by Tom Stechschulte, 7.5hrs, rating=5

"Llewelyn Moss is hunting antelope near the Texas-Mexico border when he stumbles upon several dead men, a big stash of heroin, and more than two million dollars in cash. He takes off with the money, and the hunter becomes the haunted. A drug cartel hires a former Special Forces agent to track down the loot, and a ruthless killer joins the chase as well. Also looking for Moss is the aging Sheriff Bell, a World War II veteran who may be Moss' only hope for survival."
This was an intense book ... very violent.  I can't believe I finished it.  I'm speechless and seriously unsure what to rate it (at this very moment, the rating is empty ...figuring I'd commit to one by the end of this review).  The writing and story telling was what I believe of McCarthy style (having only read one other of his books, The Road)...tell it like it is, sweet and simple (yet at the same time, confuse the heck outta you!), and throw in some bleakness for good measure.  No doubt this book will leave you with some sort of emotional mulling.  So many angles you can get out of this.  Like:  good vs evil; God vs playing god;  the bad side to integrity; the past vs the present; life driven by guilt; human psyche; patronage; and on and on and on!  I tell ya, my head is ready to explode! 

The main cast of characters was a doozy.  Chigurh (sounded sorta like "sugar" on audio), the ruthless killer, scared me.  I certainly don't want to "inconvenience" him or play coin toss with him.  Oddly enough, he's a psycho with integrity that proved to be particularly unfavorable for one of his victims (ok, to all his victims, but if you've read the book, you'll understand which particular victim I speak of).  Then, there was Llewelyn (sounded like "Luellen", a girl's name so my mind had to do some gender fixing) the hunter turned huntee who was generally good but temptation got the best of him.  Furthermore, there was Sheriff Bell, driven to do redemptive good and old enough to witness his country/people change for the complex. 

An intensifying story.  It's etched in my brain now and hoping that a Mr. Clean Eraser can rub it off ...just not liking this eerie feeling.

All right, I've settled to give this book 5 stars.  Not necessarily because I loved it or highly recommend it, but because it was amazing in its own right.  Shook me to a high level of hypnotic awe! ...or confusion.  :)

If you decide to read it or have read it, I'd appreciate to hear your take on it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


by Ally Condie, YA, 2010, 369p, rating=3.5

"Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow." (Goodreads)
I was gobbling up the story from the beginning.  Dystopia seem to fascinate me.  I totally enjoyed Lois Lowry's The Giver, my first introduction to this type of classification.  So the premise is similar ... creating the ideal perfect world.  One free from conflict and confusion.  This only to be achieved by a totalitarian kind of governing.  Reasonably sound in theory but impossible to reach when humanity embraces the beauty of wonder.  Anyway, this book touched on that suffocation... the loss of personal freedom to choose anything and everything about ones life.  However, as you may recall, I'm not a fan of love triangles lately.  Over done for my taste.  Yet, the love triangle here wasn't necessarily choosing the better guy but the act of merely choosing for oneself.  Cassia was in a quest to wonder ... to be able to get all the facts, weigh them, and then make a decision for herself.  The life she has known had been like a spell and now with increasing knowledge of a different way of life, that spell was beginning to be lifted.

The beginning was strong then it got a bit trying (from describing a dystopian world not done by other authors that some aspects didn't make sense), but by around page 300 onward, well, I couldn't read fast enough to see how it ends!  Unfortunately, it left me asking, "Huh?".  I will read the sequel but I won't be the Mervyn's lady who's glued to the door squealing, "Open, open!".

P.S.  I think I would have liked a close up of the encircled girl for a book cover.  I think a larger view would be prettier, more colorful, and more inviting.  Just sayin'. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Southern Lights"

by Danielle Steel, 2009, Playaway audio, 9hrs, rating=3.5

This took me for a loop.  I was at the library for a quick browse at the Playaway rack and saw this ...Danielle Steel, I figured a romance book.  I haven't read one in ages so I picked it up without reading the blurb.  When I listened to it at home, it started off in a mystery fashion.  I was disappointed!  I was looking forward to romance and it wasn't.  Never occurred to me that an author would go out of his known genre (back in the 80s I pegged her out as a romance novelist).  I was enlightened!

So the story starts off with a chase and capture of the elusive Luke Quentin by New York detectives.  Then they got lucky and gathered substantial evidence that presented Luke as the snuff serial killer.  So this is where Alex Hamilton, the main protagonist, comes in.  She is the assistant DA that would be prosecuting Quentin.  But then threatening letters started to surface that were addressed to her 17yo daughter, Savannah.  Of course, in fear of her safety she had to turn to her ex-husband, Tom, for help.  It had been 11 years since she had left her southern life with him but she had nowhere else to turn.  So she sent Savannah to live with her father for 3-4 months while she was preparing for the huge trial.  From the get go Tom's current wife, Louisa, had it out for Savannah.  Those few months promised to be hell with Mrs. Cruella de Vil! 

Though initially disappointed thinking that I had another psycho-thriller book in my ears (having just finished Darkly Dreaming Dexter), the story actually focused on the personal life of Alexa.  We learn the background to her past southern life and get sucked in on the drama that enfolds.  But this time around I was preparing myself for a twist.  I was waiting for a dark moment to pop into the memory lane segment, after all the story started out about a suspected killer.  Did it come?  I can't tell you.  I don't want to spoil it for you!

I enjoyed the set of southern characters in this book ... southern hospitality with a hint of snobbishness.  I'm certainly ruined from ever voicing the phrase bless her heart!, unless of course I want to be mean (just kidding, this was a fictional story and not necessarily representative of southern culture).  Overall, we meet a variety of intriguing personalities.

This was a nice surprise and it turned out to be mostly a "page turner".  I personally think it could have ended at chapter 19 (or 20, can't remember for sure).  Those last few chapters could have been summed up in a quick epilogue or could have been used as the beginning to a sequel, so that was my main hiccup of this book.  What I did appreciate was the overall theme of family ties and cultivating relationships.  Oddly enough it was also somewhat a hiccup moment ... everything turned out too smoothly.  This makes me sympathetic to an author's search for a happy medium for their readers... just can't please everyone! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #12

Today let's take a look at Esther 1-4.

Vashti disobeys Ahasuerus, king of Persia, so she was disposed as queen.  The king therefore sook for a new queen.  Mordecai who worked for the king presented his young cousin Esther (whom he took to raise after her parents had died) as one of the candidates, imparting her not to mention that she was Jewish.  The king ended up choosing the very beautiful Esther. 

Haman, the chief prince in the king's court grew angry at Mordecai because he would not bow down and pay homage to him.  In Mordecai's eyes he saw Haman's requests as to worship him instead of allegiance hence Mordecai being a Jew would not break the first commandment.  Haman didn't see it that way and in retaliation he deviously convince the king to destroy "certain people" not naming to the king who they were but Haman was referring to the Jews, therefore including Mordecai.  Moreover, with the permission from the king to handle the matter, Haman sent a decree to all provinces to kill all Jews on the thirteenth day of the twelve month.

Mordecai sent word to Esther regarding the decree and asked her to plead to the king for her people.  Wary at first reminding Mordecai that it was against the law for anyone to go unbidden into the inner court of the king (at that time she had not been called to the king for thirty days).  Those who broke this law would be put to death unless the king held out his golden sceptre, allowing the person to live.  Then Mordecai inferred that she might have been place at her particular situation for such a purpose.  Esther gathered her courage and declared, " will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law:  and if I perish, I perish.".  Then, Esther admonished her people to fast for three days and three night for her. 

When Esther did go into the inner courts of the king, the king found favor in her and held out his golden sceptre.  Esther arranged a feast and there informed the king that she was a Jew and told him of Haman's plot to kill all the Jews.  The king accepted Esther's plea to save her and her people.

Esther's story was an example of courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness.  Her courage resulted in saving a nation and to this day Jews honor her courage through a festival called Purim.

I leave you with a food for thought ... when challenges that require faith and courage to stand for truth and righteousness, how will you respond?

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Darkly Dreaming Dexter"

by Jeffry Lindsay, AF, 2004, Playaway, 8.5hrs, rating=4

"Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman.  He is handsome and polite, and has been in a relationship for nearly a year and a half.  Yet appearances can be deceiving, for Dexter is a serial killer who has slain many people.  But in this tale, he's the good guy, for there is one little twist--Dexter only snuffs out other murderers.  When another serial killer, with an eerily similar style, starts grabbing headlines.  Dexter has a fairly morbid thought.  Am I being challenged?" (back flap)

This is not my usual cup of tea.  That is, books geared to themes of murderers and psychopaths but I'm trying to spread my wings.  Anyway, from reading the synopsis it sounded interesting and that it could be an episode in one of those detective TV shows.  To my surprise, apparently there was/is (?) a Dexter series in Showtime channel (I have young kids so the only cable channels around this house are cartoon ones).  Hmm, I would like to catch an episode of the show for comparison.  Anywho, anywho, this certainly isn't for the faint of heart.  Lots of blood splatters, chopped up bodies, and crazies.  But its saving grace was that I got several chuckles and it had a wicked ending! 

Nick Landrum's narrating voice was just right.  Dramatic, charismatic, ... movie star quality to it.  I was totally following the characters' traits through his dramatization.  So good that I forgot that one actor was playing all the parts.  Great job Mr. Landrum!  Oh, of course kudos to Mr. Lindsay as well for setting up interesting characters.

So if you can stomach some blood and insanity then this is a thriller worth checking out.  It was entertaining, it had captivating cast of characters, and wham, that ending!!  What a twist!  Of course, this is an excitement coming from a newbie mystery-thriller reader.  Those into this genre might say, "What are you talking about?  I saw that coming.  That happens all the time!".  Well, good to be a newbie then.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Follow Friday Hop

Welcome to another round of blog hopping graciously hosted by Parajunkee!
This week's question is "Who do you cheer for?"
Well, I'm not a sports enthusiast so I'd have to go a different direction with this question.  My answer would then be, my little kids!!  I applaud every effort they put out.

Thank you for visiting me. 
May you find something of interest here and choose to become a follower.  I will return the favor so leave me a link/blog address in the comment to make it easier for this not so tech savvy lady.  :)
~Have a great weekend!!~

Should you follow me on Twitter (jinxtweet).  I will follow you right back.


by Iris Rainer Dart, AF, 1985, 276p, rating=3
**Contains adult language and content**
(book I read from actually has a different bookcover image, but I couldn't find it, original '85 hardcover edition, and honestly I like this paperback cover better)

"1951.  They meet as children under the boardwalk in Atlantic City.  Cee Cee Bloom, with a Brillo pad of red hair, a knock-out voice and a sparkle that demands attention, is performing in a kiddie show.  Bertie White is from a conventional family with traditional values, but she finds herself captivated by the glitter of Cee Cee's world.  And Cee Cee in turn depends on Bertie's enthusiastic support and open-hearted affection.  From that first special day on the beach, they enliven each other's existence.  As pen pals, they confide to each other the growing excitement and frustration they experience in their awakening womanhood.  And as they meet through the years, they strengthen the friendship that will last them the rest of their lives.  Cee Cee soars to stardom in Hollywood and on Broadway, while Bertie settles into marriage to a successful attorney, who finds Bertie's relationship with the outrageous Cee Cee unsuitable.  But neither of these women can relinquish her special tie--a bond forged in their youth and destined to endure the hidden jealousies, the glare of celebrity, the explosive misunderstandings, the tolls exacted by drugs and tragedy, the shock of divorce and death, the unsparing demands when a loved one is in need.  And the tears and laughter of two friends who finally make their peace through a little girl's love." (original book's synopsis)

At the library a few days ago, this title (Beaches) came to me... thinking of the movie.  I figured maybe it was inspired from a book so I checked the catalog and sure enough there's a book!  I was excited because I love love love the movie!  Bette Midler was great in it and her "Wind Beneath My Wings" song is just beautiful.  I figured it would be a fun read.  I was giddy at first, totally picturing the scene when Cee Cee and Bertie first met.  I had forgotten the bold language Cee Cee had even at a young age.  It called for it in her character though, but it progressively got too crass for my taste.  Bette Midler's take on it was perfect though and often throughout the book I'd picture her sassy attitude and get a smile.  Anyway, Bertie's character is a bit different in the book as well.  Barbara Hershey, who played her in the movie, portrayed a demure and steady Bertie.  In the book, Bertie was too passive and easily shaken (except in the end).  Overall, I had high expectation coming into this book with having enjoyed the movie version under my belt.  I wasn't completely disappointed because the book did have the crust of the storyline I enjoyed in the film version.  I just happen to like the film's take on it much better... much more heartwarming.

Best friends are awesome!  Through thick and thin Bertie and Cee Cee were there for each other.  It took me back to days with a couple of my BFFs.  In our case we (the Three Musketeers) met in 7th grade.  We also had a falling out but fortunately we were able to resolve it and continue to be BFFs to this day.  Such bond in friendship was what I enjoyed most in this story.  Every girl needs a homegirl(s) by her side.  There's nothing like having friends who will stand by you.  Thankful that we don't have the same ending as Bertie and Cee Cee.  ~Love you forever Peb and Glo!!

Book version:   rating =3
Movie version:  rating =5  (but I suppose I'm bias because again, I love love love the movie)  :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Writing Jane Austen"

by Elizabeth Aston, AF, 2010, audio Playaway, 9hrs, rating=3

"Critically acclaimed and award-winning — but hardly bestselling — author Georgina Jackson can’t get past the first chapter of her second book. When she receives an urgent email from her agent, Georgina is certain it’s bad news. Shockingly, she’s offered a commission to complete a newly discovered unfinished manuscript by a major nineteenth-century author. Skeptical at first about her ability to complete the manuscript, Georgina is horrified to learn that the author in question is Jane Austen.
Torn between pushing through or fleeing home to America, Georgina relies on the support of her banker-turned-science-student roommate, Henry, and his quirky teenage sister, Maud — a serious Janeite. With a sudden financial crisis looming, the only way Georgina can get by is to sign the hugely lucrative contract and finish the book." (back cover)

At first reading of the side binding title, I was confused.  Aston-Austen ...what?  Then I pulled out the audio cover and read the synopsis and then it made sense.  I know, it doesn't take much to confuse me!  Anyway, it sounded interesting and it started off so.  But it just dragged on after that.  I kept thinking, okay Georgina don't be such a wuss.  Make up your mind, either do it or not.  I didn't care for her long drawn out evasive decision process.  It gave her a childish character.  Not pretty for a rising author.  So if it wasn't for the last couple of chapters, I would have rated this a solid 2.  Plus, I like her sidekicks, Henry and Maud.  They rock!  They're the interesting ones and pulled me to the end.  Oh, Livia, the hard-nosed agent livened up the storyline which was a comedic treat.

If you're a serious Jane Austen fan, I don't think this would render a place next to her original books.  This just has her name for clout.  Though, it does have tidbits about Jane Austen which you might care to investigate.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Before the Dawn"

by Carol Warburton, AF, 2003, audio cassettes, 4.5hrs, rating=3.5

"Clarissa Yeager never imagined a more terrifying reality than being abandoned by her husband in a harsh wilderness, then receiving word of his death.  But as she takes a heroic stand to save her homestead for both herself and her unborn child, she discovers she must do much more than just face an uncertain future.  The time has come for her to battle the demons of days past.  Her companion in this journey is Quinn, a kind neighbor and gentle friend who is also alone and battling his own ghosts of the past.  Together, they begin an adventure in the grand expanse of the Oregon wilderness, struggling to survive against both the elements and the consequences of past decisions.  While a premature birth during a mountain rainstorm jeopardizes the lives of both Clarissa and her baby, an even greater danger threatens to destroy them." (back cover)

I pictured this in my head as the likes of one of those Hallmark movies set in the prairie times.  Decent people battling harsh physical elements and western bad dudes.  But this story is mainly the struggles of one woman (only 17yo ..but a woman at those times...1800s) who married a selfish man.  Mind you, she only married Jacob to get away from another man.  Here was her story of her fight to make the best of circumstances.  This woman, Clarissa, was an endearing character.   I also like the part where her friends, including Quinn, rally to her side.  An overall nice story of courage, hope, friendship, and second chances but it struck me as predictable. 

By the way, I didn't realize that this is a sequel.  Without any background to the first book, I think this book stands alone just fine.

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #11

Today let's take a look at Matthew 11:28-30:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  ~Jesus Christ.

If you're a Christian you will find these words especially comforting.  After all, we all have moments of rough times so this warm plea from our elder brother tells us that He can bring us peace.  Therefore, He is the problem solving deity to turn to. :)

I am grateful for the rest that Christ brings in my life.  Life guarantees difficult times but through Christ those times are lifted.  No obstacles too great or too late to triumph through Him.  The result is true happiness.

These things I humbly leave with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"The Greatest Salesman in the World"

by Og Mandino, AF, 1968, 111p, rating=3

"What you are today is not important... for in this runaway bestseller you will learn how to change your life by applying the secrets you are about to discover in the ancient scrolls."

An inspirational read that I've come to know of Mr. Mandino, however, this one didn't zap me as much as the others I've read.  The 10 secret scrolls contain themed suggestions to get one into the habit of positive thinking/attitude to succeed in life.  The story of Hadfid's journey to be the greatest salesman in the world is the tool to present and captivate the reader to these secret principles.  Having these scrolls guarded and deemed most valuable is another way to say that those who possess such secrets are special.  Thus, Mr. Mandino is telling you these secrets so that means you are special and implying that these secrets can truly be applied to real life and thus can change you for the better.  I can see how most of these principles could do just that.  Overall, I think of this as a book version of one of those live motivational talks.  A pep rally of philosophical ideas.

Just for my reference I am going to write down the 10 secrets:
1.  Today I begin a new life
2.  I will greet this day with love in my heart
3.  I will persist until I succeed
4.  I am nature's greatest miracle
5.  I will live this day as if it is my last
6.  Today I will be master of my emotions
7.  I will laugh at the world
8.  Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold
9.  I will act now
10.  Call God/I will pray for guidance

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


by Andrea Cremer, YA, 2010, audio CD, 12hrs, rating=3

"Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?"

(Ugh!!  I accidentally deleted the entire review so here I go again ...but now the short version)
I love the cover!  So pretty.  Unfortunately, the inside was not as enthralling.  I don't know if I'm werewolf-ed out or this got the misfortune of being read (in this case, listened) at a moody time.  The writing was quite good and an engaging story line is there for those into paranormal tales.  I just didn't care for it this time around.  It may be that I'm also tired of love triangles.  But overall, I think YA fans will find this right up their alley.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I was thinking of reviewing some toddler books in this fashion.  I probably won't review every picture book we read at home but whenever my mood sees it fit, I guess. 

by Jane O'Connor, 2010, 32p, rating=3

"The fashion boutique is a huge success, but it's also Nancy's little sister's birthday. And when it starts to rain, her birthday party might be ruined! Nancy knows she has to come up with an idea—a brilliant one—and fast."
Of course, a very girlie-girlie book.  Picture full of frilly dresses, jewelries, accessories, but to add a bit of spice ... some pirate theme.  Beautiful illustrations done by Robin Preiss Glasser.  The story had a good deed lesson.
by Joan Holub, 2010, 32p, rating=5

"Every bright star in Ms. Sun's class could hardly wait to be a superstar. Twinkle knew what she would share when it was her turn-her very favorite song! But first, Blaze shared his asteroid cookies, Beamer brought his pet comet, and Shimmer led the class in Constellation Tag. Then Blink sang... oh, no! the very song Twinkle thought only she knew! Can Twinkle find something else to share? Maybe if she wishes and wishes..."

The kids and I enjoyed this book.  Cute story, concept, conflict resolution, and expressive facial illustrations.  Also love the trivial facts in the front and back of the book.

by David Shannon, 2008, 32p, rating=5

"Spencer has too many toys! He has robots, puzzles, board games, stuffed animals, and plastic dinosaurs. Toys spill out of every drawer and closet and clutter the floor of every room. Come along as Spencer tries to persuade his mother to keep them all—because every single toy is his favorite!"

We love David Shannon's David books in this house.  Some of those funny, crazy antics ring true to our clan and this book is no exception!  Especially with the recent holidays and birthdays, we have toys coming out of our ears!!  But when I finally get myself together, I'll sift through them when the kids are not around otherwise they'll pull a Spencer and say But I love them all! ...BTW, the quirkly, almost scary looking illustrations have grown on me and I can totally spot a David Shannon illustrated book!!

by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, 2010, 34p, rating=3

"My mommy hung the moon.
She tied it with string.
My mommy's good at EVERYTHING."

I like the plot but the delivery was shaky.  The rhymes were a bit of a stretch and the illustrations was bland and cluttered.  But again, I do like and agree that mommies are good at EVERYTHING ... daddies too, I'd like to add.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pondering the Scriptures Sunday #10

My son was baptized yesterday and it was beautiful.  It was a sacred, tender, and memorable moment.

So today, baptism is on my mind and hence decided to be today's topic. I'll simply define the word quoting selectively from my scriptures' Bible Dictionary section (LDS quad):

"Baptism. From a Greek work meaning a dip or immerse.  Baptism in water is the introductory ordinance of the gospel and must be followed by baptism of the Spirit in order to be complete.  As one of the ordinances of the gospel, it is associated with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and the laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Baptism has always been practiced whenever the gospel of Jesus Christ has been on the earth and has been taught by men holding the holy priesthood who could administer the ordinances ...  Baptism symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection, and can only be done by immersion.  It is clear that John the Baptist and Philip baptized in that matter (Matt. 3:16...) ... Baptism is not optional if one wishes the fullness of salvation.  Jesus said a person must be born of water and of the Spirit ... Baptism in water has several purposes.  It is for the remission of sins, for membership in the Church, and for entrance into the celestial kingdom; it is also the doorway to personal sanctification when followed by the reception of the Holy Ghost.  The age at which baptism should be administered is not specified in the Bible, although it is evident that candidates were to be old enough to be capable of belief and have some understanding.  In latter-day revelation we learn that the Lord has set the age at eight years as the time when a person be baptized.  This was also the age given in O.T. times (JST Gen. 17:11).  Baptism is a most sacred ordinance, which a person, having received it, can remember throughout life as a reminder of the personal commitment to Jesus Christ ... By being baptized Jesus obeyed the law himself, and set the example for all mankind."

Simplified for my son, here is his baptismal covenants:

What I (my son) promise:  I will remember Jesus Christ.
                                            I will follow Jesus Christ.
                                            I will keep His commandments.
Heavenly Father promises:  He will forgive me.
                                               His Spirit will be with me.
                                               He will give me eternal life.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On stress leave

(love her expression!)

I still have not picked up a book (except toddler books that I read to my kids)!!  I've got quite a lot on my plate this week and I'm wigging out!!  I miss reading so much but by the time I have time, I'm too tired.  I'm hoping to be back blogging next week.  ~See you then.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Thank you 2010.  You were good to me. 

Hello 2011.
May you be good to me too.

Have a great year everyone!!
Thank you for your continued support.

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