Monday, January 25, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
It took me 4 days to read the 4th and final book in the Twilight series, Eclipse. It took me about 2 weeks to read all 4 books. I'm a little sad now that I'm done and at a loss for what to read next. I can't go back to a political thriller, not now, not after Twilight and Edward. If you read my first post about Twilight, you know my thoughts on Edward. After I wrote that, I thought of several more qualities that add to his perfectness. There was one flaw though that did occur to me. He's not funny. He never cracks a joke. Sure sometimes he can be a little sarcastic in a humorous kind of way, but he's not someone you would find yourself wanting to be around purely for the laughs. Most girls I know like guys who are funny to some extent. Most guys I know like to be funny. It doesn't really matter though. When you are a beautiful, rich, intelligent, multilingual, boat sailin', fast driving, beautiful, value lovin', immortal vampire who's faster than the speed of light with super human strength and the self control of a rock, you don't need to be funny too. Ahhh...Edward.
Even though I did enjoy it, book 4 was not my favorite. My friend, Susan described the whole book as having an epilogue feel. I tend to agree. The author did a good job of wrapping up all of the characters in a way that was pleasing to the fans, yet still managed to be a little surprising. (To me anyway. Maybe some of you were better at figuring out how the Jacob/Bella/Edward love triangle was going to work out than I was.) My guess was that Bella's mom somehow was part vampire. That would explain how Bella was so good at being a vampire from the start and how she seemed to have special powers (the mind blocking thing) even before her transformation. I was wrong. Not the first time. The author completely left it open for a whole other series though. Maybe my guess will turn out to be right some day. Maybe Stephanie Myer will read my blog and get the idea from me!
To finish my earlier thought; book 4 was not my favorite partly because it seemed that all of the characters went under some pretty drastic transformations, not just Bella, and not all in the physical sense. I had grown to like the characters as they were in the first 3 books. Edward was not so perfect in this one. His human side showed through a lot more. Maybe that made him more attractive to some of you but not to me. His whole appeal for me was based on the fact that he wasn't like anything or anyone I've ever known. Ya, I know, I've never before met a vampire! Can you believe it?! That's not really what I mean. You know, he was perfect. He was a rock of strength and moral character. In book 4, he was ready to kill his own unborn child and when that didn't happen, he spent his time in such physical and mental anguish that his flawless facade disappeared. I know, I know, it was supposed to be all romantic because he was suffering for the love of his life/existence. But I liked him, calm, cool and collected.
Jacob's personality also went through some changes. Yes, like I said before, I was glad the author gave him an avenue of happiness and that he wasn't left burned and bitter, but he just wasn't the same after that. And Bella, of course, experiencing the most drastic change of them all, was different too. I know that couldn't really be avoided being that she pretty much died and came back into existence as a vampire, but I kinda liked the crazy, stubborn, dependant, clumsy Bella from before. Of course, it was totally cool that she can now kick but.
Another thing that made #4 not my fave was the baby thing. The speed at which this baby was supposed to have grown freaked me out a bit. The whole time I kept picturing that computerized dancing baby from the 90's. Remember? I think it was on Ally McBeal a few times? Anyway, like my friend, Nancy, I am wondering how they are going to make this one into a movie. I guess if I'd actually read Lord of the Rings before I saw the movie, I would have wondered how they were going to make that one a movie too, but they did.
I could sit here and disect the book from a Christian worldview, but I can't expend that kind of mental engery right now. All I know, is I am a Christian. I'm 34 years old. I'm married (almost 9 years) and have 3 kids. And I liked Twilight.
I do wish it wasn't over. At least I know I have 2 more movies to look forward to!
Vacuum and sweep house
First of all, I need to amend my schedule. I don't know why I said I would only sweep once a week and then sweep and vacuum on the same day. I certainly can't be expected to sweep and vacuum all in one day. Even without the schedule, I usually sweep every other day if not every day.
I'll admit it was a bit difficult to motivate myself to even just vacuum today. After all of the other straightening and just general cleaning, I felt done. Not that I didn't think the house wasn't in desperate need of a good vacuuming, I just didn't feel like it. However, how much of a failure would I be if I couldn't even stick to the schedule on the first day. So I vacuumed. The whole house. ( I usually only do a couple of rooms at a time, the ones that need it most). Let me just say that I think I would have made a good episode of I Love Lucy or Amelia Bedila, take your pick. That stupid cord. If it's not abruptly coming out of the wall, it's getting stuck around a corner, wound around the vacuum or wound around me, getting in the way of the vacuum, somehow knotting up and just making it more difficult in general to rid my house of random bits of dust, crumbs, paper, food... Why in the world, with all that man is capable of, cannot someone invent a vacuum cleaner, with intense suction, that does not have a cord!!?? I can put raw bacon the the box in my wall and push a button and have beautifully, crispy bacon in less than 5 minutes. I can sit here and write on my computer and push another button and you all can see what I've said in and instant!! Man on the moon!! No cord there! Why not on a vacuum cleaner!? That's all for now.
Laundry and Dust house
First of all, it was tough to wait until Tuesday to do laundry. I was determined to stick to the schedule though, even if it meant a couple of the kids had to wear something I dug out of the dirty clothes basket. Second, dusting is not going to happen on the same day as laundry. I don't know what I was thinking when I scheduled that. Laundry is an all day, all consuming thing for me. I did it though. I got 4 loads washed, dried and folded. I do have to admit that it did not get put away until the next morning. I have an excuse for that though. Usually, as far as household chores go, I clock out at 8 PM, when we put the kids to bed. After 8 is my time, my husband's time. Time that I can do nothing if I want to and not be interrupted. Time that I can have a grown up conversation, and not be interrupted. Anyway, in order to keep to my schedule, I was not able to clock out at 8. I did have to finish folding. That meant that by the time I was done, the girls were already asleep therefore preventing me from being able to put their clothes away.
I did get it put away, first thing the next morning though.
Mopping got done. The floors are one of the biggest areas where my cleaning prowess is most lacking. If I was ever fortunate enough to have a house keeper, floors would be on the top of my list for her. It got done though and I do feel better for it. I usually mop when a) I can't stand it anymore because they are just gross b) when I have time. Yesterday I didn't really have the time, but I made the time. So, they are clean now. Yeah.
Ok. It's official. I have failed. The bathrooms did not get cleaned according to the schedule. I had a really busy morning. I had a headache in the afternoon and yes, I turned on the T.V. for the kids, and I laid down on the couch. So what are you gonna do?
( I did make up for yesterday though and cleaned the bathrooms today. They really needed it).
screw the cleaning schedule! I tried. I really did. It's just not for me. It did teach me a few things though. One, that I'm lazy. Not a lesson I was really hoping to get out of this, but I think it might be a little true (hard to admit). Not that I'm lazy in the sense that I just lay around the house all day. That's not it at all. I'm usually really busy during the days. I'm just lazy in the sense that I don't like having to constantly be moving all day because of some stupid schedule I set for myself. I've always thought of myself as a pretty schedule oriented type person. I'm sure if you asked my in-laws, they'd agree with that whole heartedly. But maybe having a schedule for cleaning, something I don't really enjoy, is taking it just a bit too far for me. It was actually a bit stressful. It made the task of cleaning almost worse.
Another thing that this experience taught me is that if I stayed home a little bit more, I could be more productive around the house. I'm on the go a lot. When I'm not home....the housework doesn't get done. So I've decided that if I can try to choose one day each week to stick close to home, that will be my cleaning day. And on that day, I will only clean the things that need to be cleaned. It might be that I have to do several tasks on one day, but if I plan to be home most of that day, that shouldn't be a problem. Laundry will be done when it needs to be done on a day all by it's self and ironing will be done when I feel like it or when Paul says he doesn't have anymore shirts or pants to wear.
All in all, I do feel good that I am ending the week knowing I have a clean house. The laundry is done, the floors are clean (that is huge for me!), all the bathrooms are clean, the house has been vacuumed and dusted. It's nice. Not sure how long it will last, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can. Of course, the room I'm sitting in right now is a disaster, toys all over the place. We have a play room and this isn't it. They like to be where I am. That's something else I am going to enjoy while it lasts.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
On another quick thought...I just wanted to let you know that I did start working on my cleaning schedule this week. So far so good. I have been jotting down my thoughts though on the whole experience. I am saving that all for one, end of the week post.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I think I tried to have something like a cleaning schedule once upon a time, way back when our house was literally 1/2 the size of the one we have now and I only had one kid. Even then, I couldn't keep up. Maybe I didn't do it right.
It seems that now, most of my friends have house keepers, or at least someone that comes every 2 weeks. That has never been a luxury I have experienced. It is, however, something I attain to. For now, it's just me. I do clean. I really do. I just don't do what I call "deep" cleaning as often as I should. I sweep on a daily basis, I wipe stuff down all the time. I clean the bathrooms when a ring appears around the toilet and clean the mirrors when there's enough spots on them to make it difficult to get a clear picture of my reflection. I do laundry when it needs to be done and mop when I can't stand it anymore. The baseboards get cleaned when I'm crouching on the floor to look for some tiny doll shoe or accessory and notice that they are disgusting. All that being said, I am in a much better mood when the house is clean. I do get frustrated though feeling like I am fighting a losing battle. When I do "deep" clean or even straighten up (which does happen everyday and is usually what I spend most of my days doing, straightening) an hour later, it looks like I hadn't done a thing. I have 3 tornadoes who literally follow me around as I clean and erase any signs of progress. So what' the point? Does it say somewhere in the Bible that my house must be clean and orderly? I get tired of cleaning all day everyday! I want/need more to my life! I am not a maid by trade.
As I said before, I do seem to be in a better mood when I know my house is clean. So, I am going to give it a try...the cleaning schedule that is. I'm an even number kind of girl, so I plan to start next Monday. (I can't start anything new in the middle of the week). This is the plan:
Straighten house, make my bed, wipe down counters, empty/fill dishwasher.
sweep and vacuum house
dust, get rid of cobwebs
every other week, mop floors, clean baseboards
alternate weeks, change sheets
I still refuse to commit to cleaning the windows on any kind of schedule. Another problem I have is laundry. Sometimes, laundry needs to be done more like every 5 days instead of once every 7. And then sometimes, (frequently actually) it takes me longer than 1 day to get all the laundry washed, folded and put away. Somewhere in here, I have to find time to play taxi between 2 different schools and gymnastics, get to my 2 day a week exercise class, shower DAILY (I am not one of those moms who goes without a shower every day. This is a necessity for me!), make breakfast, cook dinner, check and respond to emails, run errands and play with my kids. I need to do better on that last one, especially. I feel guilty about that a lot, that I don't play with my kids enough. My time is usually so filled with the things that need to be done that I often don't have much time left over just to play with them. Maybe a cleaning schedule will help free up some time for that!
Well, wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I must give the instructor her props though. I will admit, when I first saw her, I thought to myself, "oh my goodness. This is going to be lame." She is friendly as ever but seemed to me to be a little old for a Zumba instructor. She looked to be in her late 50's. Now I'm not knocking women in their 50's. If you've even heard anything about Zumba, you know that it's not the proper kind of dance that you might find older ladies doing. Not like the waltz or fox trot even. It can have a bit of a sensual feel to it, once you get the hips going that is. So, you might can understand my apprehension when I first saw the instructor. However, like I said before, I have to give her props! This lady can move! AND she looks good doing it! I was very impressed.
So, I gyrated and shook it until I was afraid it was going to fall off. In the end, it was fun. I enjoyed it. I even felt like I had a good workout. I convinced a friend of mine to take the class with me with the pretense that what happens in Zumba class stays in Zumba class. Both of us were athletes in our former years and have no dance experience. The whole dancing idea is a bit intimidating. But, you know what, who really cares what I look like zumba-ing? I'm having fun, and getting in better shape. So Dancing With The Stars, here I come!!
p.s. I do not have a picture to include with this post, nor will I ever.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
In reading other blogs, it seems that most people began their blogging this year being all reflective on the past year with thoughts and resolutions on the new one. I guess I should say something too. Most people seem excited to move on past the old year and hurry on to 2010. I know for some of you who truly had a difficult and tragic year in 2009, the desire to move on and start fresh is very valid. But for most of us, it just seems that we are eager to move on excited to see what better things might be in store for us in 2010.
For me, starting a new year just means I'm one more year older. I'm at that age where my body is beginning to remind me daily that I ain't no spring chicken anymore. My knees hurt, I lay awake some nights because my body aches, my stomach is more sensitive than it used to be and with every passing day, I get closer and closer to having to give in and get glasses. I've always had a sort of , if you fall off the horse, get right back on kind of attitude. I guess I could translate that to a yearly sense. Whatever I didn't accomplish in 09, I can try again with gusto in 2010. With each passing year though and middle age fast approaching, I am beginning to feel a sense of defeat. I know, I know, I'm too young to feel this way, right? I've always thought of myself as young, but like I said before, my body is trying to convince me otherwise.
It's my kids too. They are growing up right before my very eyes! By the end of 2010, I'll have all 3 kids in some form of school, a first for me. Yes, you are right, I should rejoice in the new freedom I'll have at that point, and I know it'll be nice. And one day (hopefully before 2010 is over), there will be no more potty accidents, we'll be able to make it through a meal at a restaurant without me having to make 5 trips to the bathroom with various configurations of children, we'll have gotten through the terrible 2's.
I know I have nothing to complain about. God was truly merciful to us in 2009. Everyone is healthy, no major accidents, no job loss, families that love us. It's just that in the last few years, my sensation that time is the enemy has become intensified and there isn't one thing I can do about it. My youth is slipping away.
However in true, get back on the horse fashion, I'm not going down without a fight. I started some fitness classes this week (the first of which KILLED me, more of my body fighting me) and I started this blog. Despite my sadness over the passing year, I know in the end, this entire life is just temporary. There are MUCH better things than whatever my 20's, 30's, 40's, etc. had/have in store for me. One day, I will be new again, with the Father in Heaven. I guess I can rejoice that I am one step closer to the ultimate joy.
Monday, January 4, 2010
My husband thinks I'm incredibly silly, I know. It's a girl thing though. He wouldn't understand. Despite the fact that the book is about vampires and werewolves, I somehow manage to find the characters relatable. Bella's intense despair when Edward leaves her (been there), Edward's desire to do what he believes is right despite what his peers think (been there), the way they both are so in love and pine for one another (kinda been there), Bella's desire to not age (there right now), her real but platonic love for Jake and her pain in knowing that she does not love him the way he loves her (been there too). Where I haven't been is with a perfect man, i.e. someone like Edward. Don't get me wrong, my hus is wonderful in more ways than I ever hoped for in a man, really, but Edward, Edward is perfect. It's no wonder this series has been so popular with the ladies, young ones especially. The author really, should probably put some sort of disclaimer in the front of the book to all young girls reminding them that Edward is a fictional character and does not exist. I mean, come on, not only is he beautiful, but he is athletic, chivalrous, intelligent, strong, thoughtful, moral, her protector and he plays the piano. His only mistake is loving Bella too much. And girls, not even poor Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward, is Edward. He is human, therefore not perfect. Let's not get confused. Sorry Rob (as I know you probably spend your spare time searching for and reading mommy blogs and so are most certainly reading this one) to burst your image, as I'm also sure I'm the first to announce your mortality. Right?
I know, I know, I'm 34 and married. How could I get so caught up in this teenage romance novel. To tell you the truth...I don't know. Do you think I'm crazy? Silly? I do. But I don't care. And the funny thing is, while reading these books and the vivid descriptions the author writes about the relationship and the closeness shared between Edward and Bella, it has not made me jealous of their love or affection. It's made me recognize just how loving and affectionate my own relationship with my husband really is. I have realized that my husband touches me and is engaging with me in ways (just like Edward) many times throughout the day that I had grown so accustomed to that I have stopped noticing. And he may not even notice that he is doing these things either. But now, I have a renewed appreciation for these things.
Now, don't tell me what happens. I've only just begun book #3. I plan to take it a bit slower with Eclipse since the movie does not come out until June. I've already told my friend, Susan that I'll be going to the midnight showing with her, a first for me.
My 7 year old daughter, Kristin, is in the first grade at a public school. Our other 2 daughters will follow once of school age. The church we go to has a wonderful school that does a great job of educating the students with a Christian worldview, that is, to express the preeminence of Jesus Christ in everything. However, we chose not to send our children there. We chose the public school system. Does that make us bad Christians? Irresponsible parents?
Before I continue, let me give you a little background info on my husband and I. We both grew up going to public schools. We both received great educations and did very well. After graduating H.S., my husband went to the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) and I went to a small liberal arts, Christian college on Lookout Mountain, GA called Covenant College (go Scots). My husband does, however, have siblings that were both at Christian schools and home schooled. I graduated from Covenant with a degree in Elementary Education and taught first grade for 5 years in the public schools before we started our family. My mother was a PS (Public School) teacher, my sister is a H.S. PS teacher. Both my husband and I come from strong Christian homes and have been Christians ourselves for as long as we can remember.
Our church has a lot of young families and there is a good mix of public school, private school and home schooled kids. We have never felt left out or ostracized because of our decision to send our kids to public school. That being said, I know there are some people, friends even, who do not understand or agree with our decision. A pro private school friend of mine once stated that she just couldn't understand why we would not want to give our kids a Christian education. My answer to that is an emphatic, We ARE giving our kids a Christian education! No matter what kind of school we send our children to, it is not that school's job to give my children the foundation of what it means to be a Christian and to live like one in this world. That is MY job as the parent.
Now, I am not defending the public schools in this respect. I am defending our decision to send our children there. Let me back up slightly for a minute by saying that we are very fortunate to live in an excellent school district. We moved here because of the schools. Test scores are through the roof, something like 95% of the kids in the H.S. we are districted for, go on to not only attend, but graduate from college. Let me also throw in that one of the major deciding factors in where to send our kids to school was and still is money. Private schools are expensive!! However, for me, even if we did have the money, I'm still not sure if we would do things any differently.
Now, yes, we may have to be more vigilant about talking to Kristin about what's going on at school, and yes, it did really irk me that the word "Christmas" was completely eliminated from her entire school this past Christmas. That's a whole other post. Despite our decision, I am still capable of seeing the pros of a private education....and the cons, as I can freely admit the cons (and pros) of a public school education. I am not trying to say that I think one form of education is better than the other. For us there really is no choice. We can't afford private school. My whole point is, we are giving our kids a Christian education and will continue to do so with fervor. That our children know who Christ is and what He did for us, for them, and how He wants us to live, is VERY important to us. It's on our minds whether we are at school, church, the grocery store, the playground... And shouldn't it be? Wherever they go to school?