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Showing posts from March, 2009

Post to Ponder

One Step Further

Do more than exist: Live.

Do more than touch: Feel.

Do more than look: Observe.

Do more than read: Absorb.

Do more than hear: Listen.

Do more than listen: Understand.

Do more than think: Reflect.

Do more than just talk: Say something.

-author Unknown-

Excerpt:Success - One Day At A Time by John C. Maxwell.

Musing Mondays - Keeping Track of your Books

Today's Musing Monday, hosted by Rebecca of Just One More Page is about keeping a record of your reading.

"Do you keep track of what and/or how many books you read? How long have you been doing this? What's your favorite tracking method, and why?If you don't keep track, why not? (question courtesy of MizB)"

Honestly, before I started this blog I did not keep a record of my books, when I read the book, the number of pages, etc. Why? Laziness would be a good excuse. I had a large amount of books and the thought would occur to me from time to time. Especially when I was working in Insurance writing policies and the number one thing we told every single person that the most important thing they need to do is keep an inventory of their personal belongings. Did I practice what I preached. No. *Gasp*

I would take pictures occasionally and figured I could use that for a record. Of course, by not keeping a record, I ended up buying duplicate copies of some books -…

The Sunday Salon - Brain Food

Good evening Sunday Saloners. I've been up to ears in a salon of another type today. The art salon. In my Art History course, we have been reading about and discussing impressionism and expressionism for the past two weeks and I have to say I like impressionism so much more. Monet, of course, being my favorite. However, Auguste Rodin's expressionistic style runs a close second. I have always like the thinker, however he has done other sculptures that are much more emotional and sensual such as The Kiss or The Eternal Idol. You'll have to click on the link to see the pictures, as they are too graphic to post on the blog. I gave Father a copy of The Eternal Idol a few years back for a birthday or valentine's, I can't quite remember. He keeps it in his home office and says it reminds him of us. Gee - perhaps that is why I gave it to him.

I finished "War and Peace" Saturday (review here) and after my reading binge, my brain is on strike, it is fu…

Weekly Geeks - Linking Book Reviews

This week's Weekly Geeks is an interesting one - it is all about linking your reviews to other book bloggers reviews. Several times I have come across blogs that linked to one of my reviews and thought "oh wow, how neat." But I've never quite had the nerve to request another blogger link their review to mine. So I think this is an excellent idea.

When Dewey started Weekly Geeks, one of the first projects she encouraged us to do was link our book reviews to each other. Sadly, I've fallen of the wagon on this one. For people like me who need a refresher and for all the new Weekly Geeks this is a topic that could use repeating.

Let's look at Dewey's original post : Dewey's post.

Here's what we'll do:

1. Write a post encouraging readers to look through your archives (if you have your reviews in a particular place on your blog, point them there), and find the books that they have also written reviews. Tell them to leave a link to their review …

Weekly Report # 23 3/23 to 3/27

We had a very productive week and I'm beginning to plan what we are going to do for 4th grade. When we decided to home school years ago, I thought that by the time James was done with 3rd grade, we would have moved to a better area with better schools and we would be putting him into school. Well, we haven't moved and we have no desire to send James to public school. We have been taking things one year at a time and each year, we decide to continue with home schooling. James is thriving and at this point, it is pretty much a given that we will continue for the rest of his elementary school years. So, I'm reviewing my well worn copy of Well Trained Mind and thinking about our choices. The revised and updated 10th Anniversary edition of Well Trained Mind will be available in May and I am looking forward to reading it.

What we accomplished this week:

Explorer Bible Study: Lesson 7: Crisis on the Earth - Genesis 7 & 8. More about Noah and the Ark, their land…

Book Review # 41 - War and Peace

War and Peace


Leo Tolstoy

A New Translation by Anthony Briggs

Front Flap: "At a lavish party in St. Petersburg in 1805, amid the glittering crystal and chandeliers, the room buzzes with talk of the prospect of war. Soon battle and terror will engulf the country, and the destinies of its people will be changed forever. War and Peace has as its backdrop Napoleon's invasion of Russia and at its heart three of literature's most memorable characters: Pierre Bezukhov, a quixotic young man in search of life's meaning; Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a cynical intellectual transformed by suffering in war; and the bewitching Natasha Rostov, whose impulsiveness threatens to destroy her happiness. As they seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by conflict in different ways, these characters and their stories interweave with those of a huge cast, from aristocrats to peasants, from soldiers to Napoleon himself. Battles, love affairs, births, deaths, changing…

Booking Through Thursday - Best "Bad" Book

Today's Booking Through Thursday is all about the best "Bad" book.

"The opposite of last week’s question: “What is the best ‘worst’ book you have ever read — the one you liked despite some negative reviews or features?”

The best "worst" book I ever read would have, and this is according to the press and many book bloggers and my dad, would have to be DaVinci Code. This book upset many, many people - for various reasons. Now me - I happened to enjoy the book. And upon hearing all the controversy read it a second time, took notes and did some research. Came to the conclusion as with all things that it is a fiction book after all.

We all know what fiction is, right?

A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
Evidently there are some folks out there that believe everything they read or hear without regard to the source. The same thing happened when the first Harry Potter book came out. I had ne…

Work In Progress Wednesday

Work In Progress Wednesday is brought to you by Kate of The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me.

Well, I really fizzled this week and only wrote 450 words. However, I did think about the story alot. Does that count? :) I was going to let this week's post slide and not say anything, but I swore I was going to be accountable to not only myself, but my fellow WIPers, so laying it out there. I didn't accomplish much.

Anyway I have to blame it on this thing

I decided to come up with an arbitrary number of words to reach in finishing "Winter's Illusion" of 100,000 words and put in it the sidebar. Must be a psychological thing. It is all that little widgets fault - yeah that's right.

I was getting ancy about not writing and working on the story. Yesterday, the books I ordered from Amazon arrived and one of them is "Zen in the Art of Writing" by Ray Bradbury. Within the first few pages of just the preface I was hit with

"We must take arms each a…

Perseverance pays off - He Did It!

For the past month James has been diligently playing his Super Mario Galaxy Wii Game and earning 3 or 4 power stars a day. The game isn't easy especially with having to play the game two handed with the wii remote and the nunchuk remote. He earned 119 power stars and got really stuck with the hardest challenge of all. Luigi's purple coin which he had to get 100 coins in 3 minutes and back to the start. He tried and tried, but just couldn't do it. So what did he do? He started a new game and went as fast as he could through the challenges.

In one week he earned 112 power stars. Then, he decided to go for the purple coin challenge and did it. At first, he said he was just going to finish the current game and not go back to the original game waiting for him with 119 power stars. Finally, Father talked him into it and he tried. He did it!

Look at that happy face!

He is so happy and we are thrilled he has finally mastered the game. But did the game end the…

Book Review # 40 - The Seven Storey Mountain

Thomas Merton

The Seven Storey Mountain

An Autobiography of Faith

Back Cover:"The Seven Storey Mountain is one of the most famous books ever written about a man's search for faith and peace. While still in his early twenties, Merton, an intensely passionate and brilliant man, found that nothing in his worldly life assuaged a growing restlessness. His curiosity about spiritual matters led him first to baptism as a Catholic and ultimately to entry into a Trappist monastery--'the four walls of my new freedom.' There he wrote this extraordinary testament, a unique spiritual autobiography of a man who withdrew from the world only after he had fully immersed himself in it. In the half century since its original publication, The Seven Storey Mountain has been recognized as one of the most influential religious works of our time. Translated into more than twenty languages, it has touched millions of lives.
I discovered "The Seven Storey Mountain" a couple years ag…

What's On Your Nightstand - March Edition

My goodness-the month just flew by. I totally forgot about it being the 4th tuesday of the month until I came online today. What is the significance of the 4th Tuesday.

It is time for What's On Your Nightstand hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

Each month, you can participate by sharing your reading habits with us in one of these ways:Give a list (or take a picture) of the stack of books that you are in the process of reading or planning to read (it might be on your nightstand, on a bookshelf, or like me, under your bed). Give short reviews of the book or books that you read that month.Tell about what you are reading and why. I love to read the backstory on books. Did someone give it to you? Are you trying out a new genre at the recommendation of a friend (or website)? Did you stumble across a new author in a used bookstore?Fill us in on your reading habits. When are you reading these books? Is one reserved for bedtime reading? Does one stay in your car to be read while you are waiti…

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading asks you to:

Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Please avoid spoilers!
"Zherkov responded smartly; still saluting, he spurred his horse and galloped off. But the moment he was out of Bagration's sight his courage failed him. He panicked uncontrollably and could not bring himself to ride into the danger area. Approaching the left-flank troops, instead of riding straight ahead into the gunfire, he veered off to look for the general and his officers in placed where they couldn't possibly be." pg 196

"I would never dare to claim that I know the truth,' said the mason, whose manner of speaking, with its fir…

The Sunday Salon - The Art of Reading

Good Evening, Sunday Saloners. Today has been one of those days that everything you didn't get accomplished during the week catches up with you. It was a day of working on my Art History course, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, paying bills, planning lessons and of course, giving my loving hubby a foot rub.

This morning I received a surprise when I came online. I received the Sisterhood Award from not one, but two lovely ladies: Desert Rose and Sheri of A Novel Menageri

Thank you, my bloggy sisters. It is very much appreciated. The rules are to nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude. I am going to reserve the award for the future to share when you least expect it.

This week in Art History is all about my favorite artist - Claude Monet. I have this wonderful screen saver which is a slide show of his artwork. One of these years, we plan on going to stay with friends in France and one of the many stops will be Claude Monet's house and gar…

Weekly Report # 22 3/16 to 3/20

This has been a fun week. Besides normal lessons, we've been working on Cub Scout stuff and Friday was the monthly pack meeting. This month's pack meeting was all about inspections.
Does he look ready for inspection? James' den was also supposed to be responsible for the invocation. However, neither Den mother was there because one was out of town and the other one sick. So they just skipped the invocation and Father and another parent stepped in to do the inspections.

In the past couple weeks, two new kids have joined James Den and didn't have uniforms yet. A blamed his dad for losing his hat, so he was wearing a bright yellow one that skated pass inspection since it was a cub scout hat of some sort. James skated by not having blue socks - something a mother can easily overlook since you can't see their socks. Instead of the the kids doing skits, the parents were enlisted to perform silly jokes in the midst of the cub master trying to talk. Father and I…


Happy 2nd Blogoversary to Me!

I am excited to be celebrating my 2nd blogging anniversary today. When I first started this blog two years ago, I had no idea what the future was going to hold. When blogs first started appearing on the internet, I didn’t have a clue what they were about. Just a web log about something or other and basically ignored them. I used the internet to gather information, not to read or browse through someone else’s thoughts or feelings. After I was on the well trained mind boards for while, I was exposed to the homeschool blogs. I actually read a few and thought how interesting. Not really something I could do...had all the excuses in the world popping up. I am not that verbose, our life isn’t interesting enough, why would anyone read it.

Then as the blog world matured or maybe as I matured; learning, thinking, expanding my horizons, the thought crossed my mind. Hey, I could do that! Even if it was to keep our families abreast of our daily doings, it would be fu…

Once Upon A Time III

Challenges, Challenges, Challenges

I just finished two challenges, but couldn't resist taking on another two-Callapidder's Day's Spring Reading Challenge and one more.

In celebration of my 2nd Blogoversary, which is tomorrow, I am going back to my roots - my reading roots that is. When I was a teenager back in the 70's, my favorite genre was Fantasy and Science Fiction. I lived on a diet of Charles De Lint, Tom Deitz, Ray Bradbury, Mercedes Lackey, Joel Rosenburg, Katherine Kurtz and more. I've been going back through my old boxes of books and pulling out a few to re-visit.

Coincidently, I also discovered Carl's Blog Stainless Steel Droppings and I was very excited to see he annually hosts a reading event that celebrates not only Fantasy, but Fairy Tales, Folklore, and Mythology.

Once Upon A Time III

The Reading Event takes place during Spring from March 21th through June 20th. It is actually a low key event in which you can choose to list your books or ju…

Spring Reading Thing 2009

Callapidder Day's
Spring Reading Thing 2009

March 20 to June 20

Spring is upon us and once again it is time for Callapidder Day's Spring Reading 2009. I decided to have a theme this year since have so many new books in my to be read pile. The theme is First Time Author Reads. Due to the wonderful reviews out there in the blogosphere, I've have acquired quite a few. Also, due to the advent of book reviewing, I've been requesting and receiving review copies of book from different sources, which thrills me to no end.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy. (Translated by Anthony Briggs) Father gave me this book for Christmas and I promised him it would be the first book I would read for Spring. At 1424 words it will take some time.

1st to Die (The Woman's Murder Club series)- James Patterson. Believe it or not I have never read anything by James Patterson and heard much about him. Decided it's time to give him a try. We'll see what I think.

14 - J.T. Ellison. A m…

Winter Reading Challenge Wrap up

The Winter Reading Challenge is coming to an end as of March 20th. Originally I had 18 books on my list and ended up reading 24. The only books I decided not to read during this challenge were Magyk by Angie Sage and Joe Hilley's book about Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader. I started Magyk and just couldn't get into it and just wasn't in the mood yet to tackle the Sarah Palin book. I set these books aside to read at a later time.

Salvation in Death by J.D. Robb
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
If There Be Dragons by Kay Hooper
Love by Design (2 classic novels) by Nora Roberts
Fire Dancer by Colleen Coble
Five in a Row by Jane Coffey
Bad Faith by Aimee ThurloUnspeakable by Sandra Brown
Distant Echoes by Colleen CobleTo Catch a Thief by Christina Sky Black Sands by Colleen Coble Hot Mahogany by Stuart WoodsSplit Second by David Baldacci
Kiss - Ted Dekker
Spider's Web by Agatha Christie
Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur Prey for a Miracle by Aimee Thurlo
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerrit…

Booking through Thursday - Worst Best Book

Today's Booking Through Thursday brought to you by Janet:

How about, “What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”

The worst "best" book I read was "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" by Gregory Maguire. I had read many reviews about how wonderful the book was and you just have to read it. There were many, many Amazon reviews (616 5 star reviews so far) that said it was


"Wickedly Brilliant"


Well you get the picture. Wicked was totally dark and morbid and found myself reading only a few chapters at a time, then giving up my reading time to browse the blogs. It wasn't bad enough for me to give up reading the book. I wanted to get through the story, even though I pretty much knew how it ended. Don't know why I expected a story about the wicked witch of the west to be a light read, but I did. It wasn't unt…

WIP Wednesday

Work in Progress Wednesday is the inspiration of Kate of The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me. If you want to join in on the fun, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments of Kate's post.

For the past week, I've worked on the two chapters I mentioned last week. I've been writing out things by hand and then typing it up later in the day or the next day. Surprisingly, and this is a good thing, it results on my expanding upon what I've written - ie higher word count. The other morning I tried the old method of sitting down at the computer and typing, versus handwriting. When I worked directly on the computer, managed about 500 words and when I wrote things out, at least 1400 words in the same period of time.

I finally sat down and wrote the love scene between my two main characters - Dom and Winter. Imagine if you will, trying to do this, with the sounds of my son playing his wii Mario brother's or watching 101 …

Christian Readers Challenge - Completed

I finished the list of books planned to read for the Christian Readers Challenge hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. The challenge runs from January 1st through April 30, 2009, but I managed to finish all my books early.

The books completed during the challenge are:

Fire Dancer by Colleen Coble (# 5)Distant Echoes by Colleen Coble (#9)Black Sands by Colleen Coble (# 11)The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner (#29)Line of Duty by Teri Blackstock (# 32)Coral Moon by Brandilyn Collins (#35)Dangerous Depths by Colleen Coble (#36)Fireproof by Eric Wilson (#38)
Hadassahby Tommy Tenney(#39)The numbers in red at the end relate to the 100+ book challenge and number of books read so far. Thank you to MizB at Should Be Readingfor hosting.