Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Husbands and Books

I think I am qualified, after 16 years of marriage, to comment about husbands. Or at least mine. I know what a husband is and what he is not.
Anything you see in a romance novel...he is probably not. I fell into the trap, early in my marriage, of always being lost in a romance novel. And when I'd come out of it, into the real world, I was always disappointed in my husband.
He wasn't like those characters. Planning romantic dates, saying just the right thing at the right time, debonair, running his fingers through my hair. Whisking me off to romantic places, showering me with gifts and flowers.
But, after a lot of time wanting him to be like those men and being discontent with him, I realized that those characters are made up! By women! That they are a woman's fantasy of what a man is. 
My husband can no more be one of those men than I could be a woman that gets her fame from posing for Playboy. Those women are simply real women but turned into a man's fantasy using all kinds of tricks-photoshopping, airbrushing, posing, hours of hair styling, etc! They aren't real. Just like in romance novels...they aren't real! And just like women complain that they could never live up to those fantasy women in Playboy and other pornographic magazines...men could never live up to a fictional "perfect" man.
I'm not saying that I don't still love an occasional romance novel. I'm a reader. I love to read. It's in my bones. And I'm a romantic. But, I've expanded.
I still read a lot of romance, but I try to stick to mostly Christian romance. There are so many good authors in that genre. They may not be what the world would judge as literary greatness, but I enjoy reading them, they make me feel, and I miss the characters when the story is over.

::Karen Kingsbury. If you haven't read her, you are missing out. Her stories touch your heart. The characters are "real" people with flaws and all! I am torn when reading her books (she writes stand-alone novels as well as series) because I want to keep reading til it's over, but at the same time...then it will be over.

::Janette Oke. I don't read her too much anymore because I read everything already. But, Lindsay is now starting to read her stuff. It's that wholesome. This picky mama lets her 10 year old read her stuff. There is some romance involved, but not silly "crushy" "hooking-up" romance. More along the lines of real, love-for-a-lifetime romance. They are super easy reads-simple.

::Francine Rivers. Try Redeeming Love or The Scarlet Thread or Leota's Garden. All great novels. And as I looked for titles to tell you, I found a  million more of her books I need to check out!

::Tracie Peterson. Treasures of the North, Ashes and Ice and Rivers of Gold are all titles in the Yukon Quest series. And tons of others you would probably love-and again, I'm behind!

Add to these the Frontier/Pioneer type books. They are usually mail order bride kind of things...fluff. But enjoyable fluff if you don't need your literary senses titillated at every turn. (I've wanted to use that word-titillated-for a while now!)

Got a penchant for intrigue?
::Terri Blackstock. Last Light, Night Light, True Light and Dawn's Light are all part of a series that is part intrigue and part "what if". I LOVED that one! Private Justice, Shadow of Doubt, Word of Honor, Trial by Fire and Line of Duty are all part of the Newpointe 911 series. Great series! Another of her series of books is Cape Refuge. Cape Refuge, Southern Storm, River's Edge and Breaker's Reef. I have also discovered I'm way behind on Terri Blackstock's books. Wow. I have a lot of reading to catch up on. If I become MIA you'll know I'm stuck with my nose in a book every spare minute.

There are also a lot of books on parenting, cooking, homeschooling, homemaking, etc. that can encourage you in a positive way and not make your husband seem less than right for you.

Oh, and don't forget The Book that has sold more copies than any other book. EVER. According to one article, in the last 10 years alone 250 million copies of it have been sold. And that doesn't include the number of Bibles printed and given away! Wikipedia didn't even list it on their best sellers because they said there's no way of having an accurate count when so many are given free.

Believe it or not, your library will probably have some of these books. And I request them (either for purchase or interlibrary loan) when they don't!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wasted Time

I've come to the conclusion that the time I spend looking for things that aren't where they were supposed to be has accumulated to the point that there are years of my life wasted that I will never get back. Seriously.

::Sippy cups. Untold hours-adding up to days and possibly weeks-lost. And some of them either never found, or found months later. And let me tell you. We rarely wash the ones found months later.

::Recipes. This one prob'ly isn't as bad as some. Prob'ly less than a total of 24 hours lost on this. I have this entire cabinet in my kitchen for recipes. But can I ever find the one I need? No. I have this great idea for a pretty and organized way to keep track of my recipes. And if I wasn't wasting so much time looking for things....maybe I'd have time to implement it. If I ever get it done I'll share with ya.

::Important papers. Years. Gone. Last night alone I wasted 2 hours on this endeavor. Looking for something that should've been in a specific place. (The diaper bag) And worse than that, delayed medical treatment for Nathan. I couldn't find his medical insurance papers. The proof I needed (or thought I did-they ended up having it on file at the hospital) to show the Emergency Room people that he has coverage so I didn't have to pay tons of money (that I didn't have) for him to get seen for viral croup. Still haven't found those papers. I was spitting mad. At myself. Thing is, I had the paper in my hand 2 days ago. I took it out of it's envelope to put in the diaper bag. But, I guess I never made it there. It happens a lot. I'm trying to be methodical about something (which doesn't come naturally to me-I'm more of a spaz I think than a methodical person) and put it directly where it needs to be and I get interrupted by 1 or 2 of my 4 children. I then lay the article down and forget about it. That thing could be in the weirdest place. But, the point is...that's almost 2 hours of my life that I can never get back.

::Articles of clothing. Still looking for the bottom half of Nathan's pajamas. It's a pair I LOVE. And one of his few that is just right for these cool-but not cold-nights that we are having. And they're cute on him. Although I do have to roll up the left sleeve because it covers his thumb and then he wakes up A LOT. And I don't like that. But the pants are MISSING!? That is ridiculous. And this is just one example. I know I spent hours (not all at once, but still...)looking for 1/2 of an outfit that Haley had. It was cute and comfy. I ended up finding it,months later, in Lindsay's toys. Oy.

Are you wondering what happened to Nathan last night? Why he needed to go to the hospital? We put him down for his nap yesterday afternoon and he was FINE. He had a runny, snotty nose, but no biggie. Just a little cold. I made the mistake of leaving the ceiling fan on in his room because with the air off and using windows, the boys' room gets stuffy because we don't open that window. Anyways, I was decorating a cake for a party and so Harold went to get him from his bed and when they came out you could hear every inhalation and exhalation. Sounded horrible.

(It was something like that sound, only deeper.)
Very scary to hear. So, as I was frantically looking for his paper that proves his insurance...he got better...then worse again...then better. Each time he sounded better I was tempted to skip the ER. Who wants to spend a Saturday evening in the ER!? We ended up going. And he was better. So, they just gave him an oral steroid, a prescription for some more of it. And everyone thought he was adorable. But, I knew that already.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Where we live, this is the best time of the year. Late October through April. The rest of the year, we survive. And during those months of unbearably hot weather, I remind myself that while so many people we know are buried in snow and ice, we....WON'T. It's what gets me through. (And for the record-I hate snow! Worse than heat I hate it. Yes, it makes beautiful post cards...but other than that? No redeeming qualities when you're over 12 in my not-so-humble-but-oh-so-honest opinion.)
So, in November we like to camp.
Our weekend went something like this:
We arrive at 5:20pm (just after the park closed so that we had to wing it on choosing a campsite-no biggie though) and while my hubby sets up with the help of the two older kids and Nathan I head to the nearest little grocery store to find the rest of our food supplies (I only get some of it before we leave because they have a nice little version of our same grocery store and it's easier than trying to fit everything in our limited space for traveling). Oh, and firewood. Yeah. I almost panicked because it looked as if we were not going to find it. And it was chilly! And we didn't get a site with electricity, so we were dependent on fire for cooking! But (because I'm not afraid to chat with the checker at the grocery) I found out where I could buy some. phew!

Thursday night was PRET-TY chilly! Thankfully I slept with a little heater-Nathan. And after some middle of the night sleep rearranging, all was well (we moved Haley to sleep with her daddy so she'd be warmer and happier). And the animal sounds were really neat to listen to-because the park was so empty at this point they were out in full force! Owls, coyotes and some I'm not sure about (I promise that when Lindsay needed to make a trip to the ahem-powder room-in the wee (still dark) morning hours we took the van! I didn't want to meet any of those animals.

Friday was awesome. Most of the day we had the campgrounds pretty much to ourselves since most people were still at school and work. And the weather was gorgeous! And when you start your day with eggs, bacon and pancakes cooked over fire...what can go wrong?

(Ok, something could go wrong, but it was little, and nothing a band-aid lovingly applied by her daddy couldn't fix)

OpieJared (cue whistling)

Friday night we had a campfire and s'mores (of course). Only bummer was that at this point a ROWDY band of boy scouts (I use the title loosely) showed up at the site just behind us. Thankfully, we were separated by some brush-but not enough. These boys had to have been trained in the same scout pack as the Osbornes. As in Ozzy. Obnoxiously loud. Kept coming into our campsite-even when told not to-and messing with our stuff! But, they didn't ruin our camping trip. Just something to deal with.

Saturday we had more of the same. Pretty weather. Walks around the grounds. And loud, in-your-space boyscouts. Oh well, you can't win 'em all, right? Some friends joined us for the day and we had a nice time with them. Walking around, playing some games and just enjoying life.
(The girls, enjoying a little Ladder Ball-after we untangled the balls that the BOY SCOUTS, ummm aren't they supposed to do good deeds?, tied in knots!)

Good times with a great friend...never mind the no make-up Jaba the Hut (sp?) look I'm sporting....it's camping for goodness' sake!
All tuckered out. But so cozy in his stroller with the blanket the kids and I made for him!
Don't bother them now, they're playin' bocce ball!

Saturday night something funny and cool happened. We were out of lighter fluid, so my hubby went to get more (thankfully the store is very close-so it's no big deal) so we could start our evening campfire as well as cook our dinner. While he was gone, Jared was messing around in the campfire ring with the ashes and stuff from our morning fire. I wasn't too concerned-although I prob'ly should have been since we've experienced burns on 2/4 of our kids-from campfires!-because he had no matches, lighter fluid or active fire, right? Next thing I know he is calling me to look! He got a fire going! Just from an ember. He blew on that little ember and poked at it and blew on it-sooo patiently!-until he got a little flame. Then, he added some fuel (ie wood) and blew a little more.
And then Sunday....we had to pack up and leave. Right about the time the un-scoutly scouts did....booo. We'd have LOVED to have had a little more time where the park was all quiet and peaceful (well, except for us!)
P.S. There are so many more pictures I'd like to post of this camping trip...just not sure if everyone wants to see that many. ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cooking in My House

Cooking in my house is quite the chore. I want to enjoy cooking. And I do. But, my children have come to expect that every meal is exactly what they want. Does that make sense? What I mean is this: we can never eat to live. You know, "boring" food. Food that you eat to sustain you.
I'm not talking about gruel or anything, just regular food.
Have you ever read Little House on the Prairie? My kids have. But they don't get it. Those people (and other pioneer-type people) ate the same thing every day. And much smaller amounts of it-and they survived. Not only did they survive, but I'm sure they were much healthier for it. And meat was not an every day occurrence. Let alone every meal.

And I'm aware that I'm guilty of this too, eating becomes a hobby. It's one of mine. You can tell.

I'm on a new campaign. For a while, everyone in my house can have cereal (things like Cheerios or Frosted Mini-Wheats or something else with some kind of food value) or oatmeal and toast. And they can like it. None of this waffles covered in syrup (which isn't even real syrup by the way, its main ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup) and expecting me to cook a big breakfast. That should be a once a week thing. Saturdays maybe. When daddy is here to help and enjoy it. And lunch will be sandwiches-without the whine. We have a variety: peanut butter and jelly, ham or turkey. And if they really want to change it up, they can switch out miracle whip for their mustard. Oh, and tuna occasionally. And soup or chips with the least ingredients (Fritos only have a few ingredients in them-and I can pronounce them all). Oh, and fruit. Definitely fruit. Apples. Oranges. Bananas. Regular fruit.

What do you do for meals in your house? And snacks? How do you eat to live, rather than living to eat?

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