Monday, January 31, 2011

Tandem by Tracey Bateman

I wanted to read this book because I love Christian fiction and I love suspense novels. I thought this book, "Tandem" by Tracey Bateman sounded intriguing and thrilling.

Unfortunately, to me, it left a lot to be desired. It took me several chapters to really understand the characters and their relationships. I felt like there was a lot of background that was not covered well. It made me think this book is part of a series, and I'm still not sure about that. Some of the characters irritated me because they went back and forth between being very strong and confident to suddenly becoming weak and whiny. Some were very transparent, although the other characters seemed to be completely fooled by these people.

It was a story about vampires, which I could not tell based on the back cover of the book. I do not particularly enjoy vampire stories, but I believe I gave this one a fair chance.

The main character, Lauryn, was fixated on a boy from her childhood who she hadn't spoken with in many years. I felt that this obsession over him was unrealistic. She also had a relationship with her father, who suffers from Alzheimer's, and their relationship and his outcome was unresolved in the end, which made me wonder what would happen next. Not enough to read another book involving these characters though.

I feel like some people would like this book but it just wasn't for me. The characters did not interest me, and really, I felt like Christianity really wasn't a theme in this book and I felt like I expected that going into it. It was a pretty easy read, so if someone offers it to you I would say you could take a chance on it but I'll not read any other books along this same line offered by this author.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

These Kids Cost an Arm and a Leg

I just got an email from Babycenter with a link to a "baby cost calculator". It says the average baby will cost the parents $10,158 for the first year alone.

Hoooooly cow.

The calculator lets you change things based on your lifestyle to see how that brings down the amount you are actually spending.

Staying home with the baby and not paying for childcare - my cost is already down to $5,550.

Using cloth diapers brings the cost down to $4,914. Using your own wipes is cheaper too.

If you breastfeed, the cost goes down to $3,942. That even includes spending an average of $57 per month on solid foods from ages 6 months to 12 months. And y'all KNOW I won't be spending that much every month!

I won't be purchasing any clothing, toys, books or games. I can't imagine any clothes Hunter is going to need, and he CERTAINLY doesn't need any new toys, books, or games.

That brings the total to $1,098.

That does include medicine and some other miscellaneous things. I know there are some things moms can't avoid (most people don't want to cloth diaper or can't afford the big payout in the beginning; some women can't breastfeed; some women have to go back to work, etc.)

We have been incredibly blessed to be able to keep our costs down with having kids. Even as Brianna has gotten older we save money by not buying separate foods for her (such as Stage 3 or 4 baby food), we have not bought her toys (except her Christmas slide) but we've been blessed with gifts (actually I did buy her an awesome puzzle last week at the Coalition for 50 cents), we've had people donate clothes to us just as she's moving up sizes, we had someone give us a potty for her from a yard sale, we don't buy videos or movies for her to watch, we've been incredibly thankful for grandparents who buy gifts for her "just because", she's never been sick and had to have medicine...

We just really have so much to be thankful for. I was thinking about this today as a girl loaded up my trunk with garbage bags of clothes for Brianna, some with the tags still on them, and all of them the exact clothes Brianna needs that I was about to break down and going to go buy.

It's just proof that God really will take care of us!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

So Much Fun

It seems like every day around here is action-packed!

I never did get to blog about Kindermusik so here goes... Monday morning we got a phone call that pretty much said if we were still interested in Kindermusik a space had opened up. Classes would begin in six hours. Well, obviously I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity! Mom and dad said they could keep Hunter until Stephen could come get him from work, but it turned out that Stephen was able to just pick him up from S.P. United Methodist which is where Kindermusik is.

Kindermusik is basically a silly, educational music class. The leader sat all of us down in a circle and basically said she doesn't expect our kids to sit still for the entire 45-minute class. So if they wander, let them wander. Which is such a freeing feeling! You know, if I let Brianna down in Walgreens, I'm constantly like, "Okay, she's picking up the Vitamin D right now, I have to remember to have her put that back before we check out." or, "Okay, she's headed towards that Valentine's display, I have to make sure she doesn't collapse the whole thing." (Side note: Bri does extraordinarily well when walking through stores which is why I let her do it. I figure a bottle of vitamins grabbed here or there isn't an issue as long as she puts them back without a fight. When she starts to be unruly you had better believe she'll be plopped back in that shopping cart or we'll leave the store if necessary!) But in Kindermusik, she would wander off and I could just let her roam. She always came back to the circle anyway because what we were doing was so much more fun than what she was doing. We played with jingle bells, scarves, blocks to hit together, we sang a song for everything - to say hello, to clean up, to read books, to do motions, to say goodbye... We danced around in circles, we acted completely goofy, we sang a ton... it was so much fun! As much as Bri loves music I knew this class was for her. She spent half the time laughing and the other half saying quietly, "More? Again?"

I got home from Kindermusik at 6:10 and had just enough time to pump and switch children before ladies group at church. I always take Hunter with me and let Stephen and Bri have their time together. I also had snacks this particular month so I had to make sure I had all that stuff ready!

This is what I did on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, we went to lunch at mom and dad's and then I went to work. After work I went to Altered Attire, picked up Brianna and Hunter from mom and dad's, and had just enough time to go pick up Stephen and get back to church by 6:30.

Thursday I was freaking out because our water was supposed to be out from 9am to 3pm for a new water line. Fortunately it was only like 11:30 to 2:30. I had jugs and jugs of water filled up, you'd think it was Y2K or something around here.

Friday we had an awesome play date at Jenn's house with some girls from her church. We stayed for quite a while because Hunter fell asleep when we got there and didn't wake up for almost 3 hours. He is such a trooper with daytime naps! I know eventually that will spill over into nighttime sleeping... right?!?!

Brianna has started calling us "Honey", especially when she really wants something. I guess we really don't call each other by our names very often, we usually say "honey" or "babe" so maybe it's rubbing off on her. It's really funny to hear her say that to us though.

Another thing Bri really loves is when we kiss each other. It makes her laugh and then she wants us to do it again and again. So when Stephen comes home from work we usually have a great smoochfest which is obviously a lot of fun. For some reason she never wants us to kiss her though, just each other... :) I think she associates kissing with bedtime or leaving because those are the only times she'll allow me to kiss her.

She's up from her nap so I gotta go.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Saw It!


On Christmas Eve, Brianna and I went out and when we came home Stephen said that Hunter had rolled over. Whaaaa!?!?!? I'm with him 24 hours a day and this is the thanks I get!?!? Ever since that day I've been begging and pleading with Hunter to please roll over for me. There have been many times that came close but didn't happen.

Tonight Stephen laid Hunter down on his playmat while I was getting dinner ready. After I ate some, I walked over to see how Hunter was doing. He was on his stomach, so I said, "Oh, did you put Hunter on his stomach when you set him down?" To my surprise, Stephen said no!! So of course I immediately rolled him back over and then talked and begged and bribed until he finally rolled over again right before my eyes! So now I am a witness. :)

And it's his four month birthday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Support Local Businesses

I stopped by the Singer store today because I really needed bobbins. When I went to Altered Attire yesterday I asked if she sold bobbins, but she only sold them for one brand sewing machine. When I told her I had a Singer, that's when she told me about our local Singer store. So I ran by there this morning. They were super nice and they had a great assortment of items. They actually had their thread a bit cheaper than Altered Attire and they are closer so I may be going back to them when I need thread again. Anyway, here is their information because I think this is a great business to support!

Singer Sewing & Vacuum Center (yes, they have tons of vacuum cleaners and supplies as well! And they do sell the sewing machines there!)
1355 Town & Country Shopping Center (by the old twin cinemas)
Aberdeen, NC 28315

Check them out!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Support Local Businesses

So, I have been trying really hard for the past year to buy local. I started this when we joined the food co-op and I realized how much our local businesses are struggling.

At Mom's Morning Out, the leader was saying that she wanted to laminate one of the crafts the kids made. I suggested a local place I learned about through work, CopyWright (if I can get her information I'll put it on here). She said, "Oh, I'll probably just take it to Staples." I said, "Yeah, but it would be really great to support a local business." She said, "Well, Staples is local..."

Not exactly what I meant.

In this economy, you can bet your bottom dollar Staples isn't struggling. But CopyWright probably is. Lowe's Hardware isn't struggling. But Burney Hardware probably is.

Today I got to work, went to the bathroom, and my zipper on my pants fell apart. Jenn happened to call me about something else and when I told her about my zipper, she suggested a local place to me. I went by there after work to make sure they're still open, and they are! They were really nice, and so helpful. I told the lady that my mother-in-law had just bought me a sewing machine and some of the craft ideas I had and she was so encouraging! She helped me pick out some thread and then told me that we actually have a Singer store in town!! So now I can go get my bobbins and other Singer materials from our local Singer store!!

I'm so glad I purchased from her instead of Walmart or Michaels.

So if you need alterations, or some sewing materials, head over to Altered Attire. It's near Sandhills Paint and Shuckers, on the same road off US1 that Rite Aid is at the corner of. It's a tiny little store so you'll have to pull up like you're going to the paint store.

Altered Attire
295 Pinehurst Ave
Suite 1-B
Southern Pines, NC

Mon-Fri: 10am to 5pm
Saturday: 10am to 2pm

I'm going back when I can leave my pants with them to get my zipper fixed!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All Over the Place

Today I feel like I got so much done! Last night on the way home from ladies group I got a phone call from the company I do mystery shopping for. They had a shop with a deadline and so I offered to do it today. I got a major bonus so it was definitely worth it!

After we (I took the kids of course) finished lunch at our mystery shop I took two big totes to my friend Allison's thrift store and the four hats I had completed so she could start selling them. We then went by church so I could get some things done for FBF. When we got home, both the kids had fallen asleep in the car so I was able to bake a lemon pound cake for dessert tomorrow. I sewed four more hats to give to Allison to sell. Then I made homemade mashed potatoes and dinner rolls. My dinner rolls turned out great! I will try to remember to post the recipe, although it will definitely be on my recipe blog. I also cleaned up around the house, did laundry, did the dishes, loaded the dishwasher, worked some, listed some items on eBay, packed up a couple of items that sold and cleaned a few items out of the refrigerator. I love days where I get so much done!!

Typical Day

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lots of News

Lots of news, little time to blog!

We got to go to Eden this weekend to see Nenah and Papa (Brianna calls her Nee-Nee). Unfortunately, I didn't get a single picture because my memory card said I needed to reformat it!?!? I thought I lost every picture and video on there and I thought I was going to puke. When we got home I downloaded said pictures and videos before anything could happen to them! But still, no pictures of our Eden trip. :(

Leila and Corky came into town for the weekend and brought with them a new sewing machine for me to use!! Over Christmas Leila taught me the basics of using a sewing machine and we did our first craft together - making hats. You can see the one I made for Claire here. We made four in Georgia (one for Bri, Claire, Evan and Hunter!) and I've made three since Saturday.

On that topic, my friend Allison who owns The Classy Paci in Carthage is going to start selling these hats! So you should really go check out her store! You should anyway because she sells some great homemade items and things for both moms and kids. She has clothes, toys, furniture, jewelry, handbags, etc. You can also take your things there to cosign so you really should check it out. Also, any items that cannot be sold are donated to Fed By Faith! So that is really awesome.

Shameless plug... it's located at 4475-A Hwy 15-501, phone number 947-2900.

In other news, Hunter has been in his crib now for several days. He stayed downstairs in the bassinet much longer than Brianna did and even though he's not sleeping through the night yet I thought it was time to move him. Between the tight space of the bassinet (he can't move around!) and Stephen's snoring, I wasn't sure if Hunter was really waking up on his own or if he was being woken up. Being upstairs in the crib affirms that he was definitely waking himself up, and he's starving to death every time he wakes up, but I'm still glad to have him out of our room.

That sounded rude, but I'm just being honest!

One reason we kept putting off the transition to upstairs is because we were worried that he would wake Brianna up with his crying. Fortunately that hasn't yet happened, which is great! We don't even have a monitor in her room anymore, just the one in his room so we don't get mixed up about which monitor is going off in the middle of the night. Trust me, Bri needs no monitor. She's got the lung power.

Ever since Brianna was about 8 months old I've been trying to get her into Kindermusik. They're always full. BUT. This morning I got a phone call that there was a cancellation for this semester and would we be interested in signing up!? ABSOLUTELY! It starts this afternoon actually so we're jumping right in! I am so freaking excited about this. Now that we're in we'll probably be grandfathered into each class from here on out and won't have to worry about not getting in ever again! Wahoo!

Mom and Dad will have to watch Hunter for the first couple of Mondays of this class because Stephen is going to 12-hour shifts. With no days off. Not even weekends. What a bummer. We figured out his next day off is something like February 19. Soooooo. He's probably going to be pretty wiped for the next month!

That's all I can think of right now. Both kids are asleep, but not for long, so I need to go accomplish some housework!

Bri's newest words: poop (soup), new, caulk (talk), papi (paci), Whoa!, and when you change her diaper she says, "Ewwww!", waves her hand in front of her nose and says, "Phew Phew!!" I guess I did that one too many times...

Friday, January 21, 2011


Waiting by the window for Oma and Opa to arrive from Georgia...

How much longer??

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Up Above

If you spend much time with Brianna, you may hear her request "Upabuh" or "Upa" which means she wants to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". Definitely one of her all-time favorites. In this video you will have to ignore my singing and focus on the star (pardon the pun) of the show, Brianna. She loves to dance, and she particularly likes to watch herself dance in the reflection of the dishwasher, as seen in this video.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life Lesson #283

What happens when you give a 20-month old chalk for Christmas??

The best part is I also thought it was a good idea to give said chalk to Claire. Sorry Matt and Jenn! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh, What a Difference...

What a difference a toy box can make!!



We had talked about getting a toy box for a long time and could never find one that was just right. We mentioned it to Leila one night on the phone, and lo and behold, within just one or two days she actually found one exactly like we wanted at a thrift store in Georgia! And talked the owner down from $20 to $15!! What an Oma!

I love how much easier it is to clean up. It's very obvious to Bri where her toys go when it's cleanup time, and she doesn't drag quite as much out during the day. Although there are still days when our living room looks like the first pictures! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Georgia Christmas (Atlanta division)

Okay, as long as I post these before Easter, I'm doing good, right!??

So, after a couple of days in the Kennesaw section of Georgia, off we went to the Atlanta part of Georgia to see part of my family. Yes, it just so happens that my family and Stephen's family in Georgia live only about 45 minutes apart. Rock!

Claire: How do you get this thing going??

Got it!!

Claire and Bri are very dramatic when they fall.

Oh Evan, that thou couldst taste a Varsity burger. In time....

Evan was so good for Grandpa! And Grandpa behaved for Evan too!

A four-generation picture, complete with Brianna tugging on dad's shoulder for attention!

If you want to see more pictures and better explanations and captions, go to Dad's blog right here!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's Your Sign? Not Anymore.

What's that? They're changing the zodiac signs?

I mean, I guess I really can't get all huffy about this because I never read my horoscope. But seriously, I loved being a Capricorn. I always felt like Capricorns were the best and coolest sign. Sorry to everyone else.

Now all of a sudden, thanks to the Earth's alignment and all that crap, I'm a Sagittarius?? What? I can hardly even spell that. So here are the qualities a Sagittarius normally has:
  • travels abroad (nope)
  • learns foreign languages (nope)
  • immerses themselves in foreign cultures (nope)
  • thrives on higher education (nope)
  • partial to the "great outdoors" (not so much)
  • optimistic (okay, now we're getting somewhere)
  • great capacity for faith (I agree)
  • not reliable (I like to think I am reliable!)

Fortunately I still won't pay attention to my horoscope. In my heart, though, I will still always be a Capricorn. What about you? Did your sign change?

New dates:

Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18 - May 13
Taurus: May 13 - June 21
Gemini: June 21 - July 20
Cancer: July 20 - Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 - Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 - Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 - Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 - Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 - Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 - Jan. 20

Next thing you know they're going to tell us Pluto could actually still be a planet. Oh wait...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shout Out

I just want to take a moment to give a shout-out to my dentist. I know, that is really weird, but I have to give props where props are due.

Growing up we went to the dentist religiously. Which would explain why I never had a cavity until I was no longer living under my parents' roof. Once I went away to college, and then got married, going to the dentist just wasn't a priority. Finally, a few months before we moved away from Charleston I went to the dentist - I think I was starting to get paranoid that I had mouth cancer or something. Nope, but I did have a cavity.

The dentist has never been a place I wanted to be. Not even just for cleanings. There's just something about the dentist. Sorry to all you dentists and hygenists out there - it's nothing personal. So I was particularly terrified at the thought of having a cavity filled and getting a SHOT in your MOUTH which sounds UNGODLY.

We didn't really have a choice in dentists, thanks military, and the dentist I went to seemed busy and old, not a good combination. He shrugged off my sensitivity to ephedrine products (my heart rate increases very rapidly if I have too much, making it likely that I will pass out), saying that he was sure there wasn't enough in the numbing medication to affect me.

So couple the medication with the fact that I was a nervous wreck, I was sweating, my heart was racing, I was repeating the Lord's Prayer over and over in my head... you get the picture. And then once he got going, it seems he didn't even numb me all the way. I could feel the sensitivity in the tooth he was feeling - it didn't hurt but it felt very cold and sensitive - I don't know how to describe it. He stopped what he was doing and proceeded to blame it on the nerve in my mouth saying that everyone's nerve is in a different place and that's why he couldn't find it to numb it properly. Needless to say, I did what every normal person would do after that experience. I didn't go back to the dentist until four years later.

Well, maybe a normal person would have found another dentist. But I was scarred!!

I finally got my nerve up to get a cleaning. I was pregnant with Hunter and knew that it was really in mine and my baby's best interest for me to get my oral care under control. Of course after another four years of not seeing a dentist, I now have a cavity in each side of my mouth - top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right. Learn from this, kids.

My present dentist was aware of my ephedrine issue (uses a different type of medication that doesn't have any ingredient linked to that), but still made sure that when he numbed me a hygenist was talking me through it, he kept checking on me to make sure I was feeling okay, etc. He was extremely gentle and told me exactly what he was doing during the entire procedure.

I just suddenly realized what a BORING post this is going to be. So I'm going to skip to the good stuff.

If you need a dentist, I highly, Highly, HIGHly recommend Allison, Allison and Hulihan. It's a father, daughter and her husband.

15 Aviemore Dr
Pinehurst NC 28374

The hygenists are incredible. I've had a different one at each visit but it's like they have to take classes in being personable. Do they?? Dr. Craig Allison has done each of the fillings I've had to endure and they have been completely painless and I just can't tell you how much better he's made me feel about getting my oral stuff under control. I can tell you this - I will never go six months without seeing the dentist now. Now that I realize not all dentists are hacks.

I know this is the most boring blog post ever, but if you have a great experience somewhere, I think you should share it. Even if it's just your dentist.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesdays With Morrie

I can't believe it took me so many years to read the book "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom. This book had such incredible things said in it and I really just wanted to write them down because it made such good sense and I just really thought some of the things in this book were beautiful. If you haven't read this book I highly recommend it. It's an easy read but has great nuggets of wisdom!

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

"We're so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks - we're involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don't get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?"

"The truth is... if you accept that you can die at any time - then you might not be as ambitious as you are. The things you spend so much time on - all this work you do - might not seem as important. You might have to make room for some more spiritual things."

"We're deficient in some way. We are too involved in materialistic things and they don't satisfy us. The loving relationships we have, the universe around us, we take these things for granted."

"We've got a form of brainwashing going on in our country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. The average person is so fogged up by this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship."

"There's a big confusion in this country over what we want versus what we need. You need food, you want a chocolate sundae. You have to be honest with yourself. You don't need the latest sports car, you don't need the biggest house. The truth is, you don't get satisfaction from those things. You know what really gives you satisfaction? Offering others what you have to give."

"There are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don't respect the other person, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don't know how to compromise, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don't have a common set of values in life, you're gonna have a lot of trouble."

"The problem is that we don't believe we are as much alike as we are. Whites and blacks, Catholics and Protestants, men and women. If we saw each other as more alike, we might be very eager to join in one big human family in this world, and to care about that family the way we care about our own. But... we all have the same beginning - birth - and we all have the same end - death. So how different can we be?"

"In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right? But here's the secret: in between, we need others as well."

I know this was a long blog just full of quotes but these quotes were just so great, and I couldn't have said it better for some of this stuff. I just really enjoyed this book and if you haven't read it you should check it out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

100 Books in 2010

In 2009, I pledged to read 100 books in 2010. I had never before counted the books I've read, so I was interested to see how I did. Here are the books I read:

1. "A Treasure of the Heart" by Valerie Hansen
2. "Suddenly Mommy" by Loree Lough
3. "Bluegrass Hero" by Allie Pleiter
4. "Cradle of Secrets" by Lisa Mondello
5. "Amazing Love" by Mae Nunn
6. "Two Hearts" by Cynthia Rutledge
7. "An Amish Christmas" by Beth Wiseman
8. "Big Bad Wolf" by James Patterson
9. "The Power of One" by Ron Luce
10. "Who You Are When No One's Looking" by Bill Hybels
11. "Homefront Holiday" by Jillian Hart
12. "The Christmas Kite" by Gail Gaymer Martin
13. "In His Eyes" by Gail Gaymer Martin
14. "Family in His Heart" by Gail Gaymer Martin
15. "Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death" by M.C. Beaton
16. "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks
17. "Cherry Cheesecake Murder" by Joanne Fluke
18. "Sugar Cookie Murder" by Joanne Fluke
19. "Christmas Dreams" by various authors
20. "Fudge Cupcake Murder" by Joanne Fluke
21. "The Heart of Grace" by Linda Goodnight
22. "Hero in her Heart" by Marta Perry
23. "Fresh Disasters" by Stuart Woods
24. "Lifeguard" by James Patterson
25. "While My Pretty One Sleeps" by Mary Higgins Clark
26. "Moonlight Becomes You" by Mary Higgins Clark
27. "Judge & Jury" by James Patterson
28. "Bundle of Joy" by Robin Hatcher
29. "The Lake House" by James Patterson
30. "Toxin" by Robin Cook
31. "Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman
32. "The Subtle Knife" by Philip Pullman
33. "Clowning Around" by Wanda Brunstetter
34. "A Love Beyond" by Kate Welsh
35. "The Doctor's Miracle" by Anna Schmidt
36. "His Answered Prayer" by Lois Richer
37. "Too Busy Not to Pray" by Bill Hybels
38. "Back to School Murder" by Leslie Meier
39. "Drop Shot" by Harlan Coben
40. "A Highland Christmas" by M.C. Beaton
41. "Permed to Death" by Nancy Cohen
42. "Free Fire" by C.J. Box
43. "The Amber Spyglass" by Philip Pullman
44. "Dark Tower: Drawing of the Three" by Stephen King
45. "Hidden Deception" by LeeAnn Harris
46. "Dark Tower: The Wastelands" by Stephen King
47. "You're Next" by Greg Stier
48. "River of Secrets" by Lynette Eason
49. "Palindrome" by Stuart Woods
50. "Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass" by Stephen King
51. "Dead in the Water" by Stuart Woods
52. "4th of July" by James Patterson
53. "Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla" by Stephen King
54. "Cat & Mouse" by James Patterson
55. "Dark Tower: Song of Susannah" by Stephen King
56. "Swimming to Catalina" by Stuart Woods
57. "The Cat Who Went Underground" by Lillian Jackson Braun
58. "Dark Tower: The Dark Tower" by Stephen King
59. "Final Exposure" by Roxanne Rustano
60. "Lemon Meringue Pie Murder" by Joanne Fluke
61. "The Perfect Life" by Robin Lee Hatcher
62. "Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson
63. "A Teacher's Funeral" by Richard Peck
64. "In Memory of Junior" by Clyde Edgerton
65. "My Gal Sunday" by Mary Higgins Clark
66. "God Has Never Failed Me, But He's Sure Scared Me to Death a Few Times" by Stan Foler
67. "Orchid Beach" by Stuart Woods
68. "Anything Goes" by Jill Churchill
69. "Plant a Geranium in Your Cranium" by Barbara Johnson
70. "Angels Whisper" by Tony Perona
71. "Blue Zone" by Andrew Gross
72. "Mistletoe Murder" by Leslie Meier
73. "This Side of Heaven" by Karen Kingsbury
74. "New York Dead" by Stuart Woods
75. "Beverly Hills Dead" by Stuart Woods
76. "Father's Day Murder" by Leslie Meier
77. "Key Lime Pie Murder" by Joanne Fluke
78. "Cross" by James Patterson
79. "Fairway to Heaven" by Roberta Isleib
80. "Mary, Mary" by James Patterson
81. "Plato and Platypus Walk Into a Bar..." by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein
82. "The Possibilities of Prayer" by E.M. Bounds
83. "Blink" by Ted Dekker
84. "How to Reach Your Full Potential for God" by Charles Stanley
85. "Danger in the Shadows" by Dee Henderson
86. "Like Dandelion Dust" by Karen Kingsbury
87. "Where Does a Mother Go to Resign" by Barbara Johnson
88. "7th Heaven" by James Patterson
89. "Kissing Christmas Goodbye" by M.C. Beaton
90. "Cradle and All" by James Patterson
91. "Five Minute Mysteries" by Ken Weber
92. "The List" by Robert Whitlow
93. "The Trial" by Robert Whitlow
94. "The Listener" by Terri Blackstock
95. "The Gifted" by Terri Blackstock
96. "Dark Harbor" by Stuart Woods
97. "Flabbergasted" by Ray Blackstone
98. "Life Lessons with Max Lucado: 1 Corinthians" by Max Lucado
99. "Nighttime is My Time" by Mary Higgins Clark
100. "Love Beyond Reason" by John Ortberg
101. "Tell No One" by Harlen Coben
102. "False Memory" by Dean Koontz
103. "Daniel X" by James Patterson
104. "I'm Fine With God... It's Christians I Can't Stand" by Bickel and Jantz
105. "Dolores Claiborne" by Stephen King
106. "Refuge" by Lisa Bergen
107. "How to Talk About Jesus Without Freaking Out" by Covell and Rogers

So, I read 107 books in 2010. Not bad for the amount of free time I had. I'm still going to keep track in 2011 because I liked looking back to remind myself of what I had read, but I'm not going to try to read a certain number.

Favorite authors of 2010: James Patterson, Stuart Woods, Joanne Fluke

Favorite new author found: Harlen Coben

Favorite "inspirational" book: "How to Talk About Jesus Without Freaking Out" by Covell and Rogers

Longest series: Dark Tower series by Stephen King

Favorite fiction book: The Gifted and The Listener by Terri Blackstock

What good reads did you have in 2010??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Part 1 of Christmas in GA

Part one of our trip to Georgia for Christmas begins...

The drive down was actually incredibly smooth. Stephen thought it would be best if I sat in the back with the kids, so I could entertain, feed, and generally make happy. That seemed to work, because Brianna pretty much entertained herself and Hunter pretty much slept. We stopped for lunch at Fuddrucker's like we always do and that went really well too. We were wondering how much harder it would be with two kids, but as usual, things just kind of flowed.

Thanks to mom and dad, I had an electric outlet adapter so I could pump while we were driving and then just feed Hunter from the bottle. With Brianna, we had to stop every time she needed to eat and then I had to uncomfortably feed her in the car, which could take up to an hour. It made our trips very long and not so fun.

First thing Hunter needed when we arrived was to stretch out with the heating pad:

Corky's Christmas present: (the hat, not the snowman)

If I'm not mistaken, this is Hunter's first "Little Brother" outfit??

It's much easier to unwrap the present when you just crawl on top of it:

And then sit on it:

Coooool! A 3-stage trike! Trust me, Brianna loves this. We are wearing out our floors using this at home!

Of course, any game where you hit stuff with a hammer is okay in Brianna's book!

Technically this is Hunter's, but since he's not old enough to use it yet, Brianna had to test it for him.

Jenn and Bri rock out to Glee Karaoke:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blogging on Twitter

I think I would be better at blogging if I did it more like Twitter. So...

Right now I am watching huge snowflakes cover our yard. We already have about four inches. It looks like a blizzard outside. Stephen is painting Brianna's fingernails.

I love it when Stephen has a day off!

Life Lesson #483

What happens when you let a 19-month old help you wrap Christmas presents:

Saturday, January 8, 2011


We were fortunate enough to be able to go see some of our family in Eden this year for Thanksgiving. We were also blessed to have family from Georgia come in town to see us!

But first, Stephen had to kill dinner. :)

Early morning? No big deal for Brianna - as long as a slide is in her future!

Uncle Josh is the perfect play toy!

"Okay, let me take a bite..."

"If you'll excuse me while I clean my face..."

"Now you take a bite, Uncle Josh!"

Papa holding Brianna (his great-granddaughter), and Kaleb (his great-grandson)!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


These are all pictures from before we left for Georgia. So within the next couple of days I hope to have up one or more blogs about our annual trip to Georgia! Anyway, it took forever to upload these so most will not have captions or anything. Most are self-explanatory.

First and last big snow of 2010!

(not our house... how weird is it that I took pictures of our neighbors' houses and not ours??)

Strong man!

One Wednesday after spending quality time at mom and dad's... I put her in the Pack N Play thinking it would wake her up! I ended up changing her diaper right here and she never even moved.

Precisely one week after that last picture... after quality time with mom and dad. Hmm.. starting to see a pattern!!

Looks like she's been in a gang fight, but it's just Nutrigrain.

Chillin' with my bro.

Moms, Grandmas, etc. Don't freak out about this next picture! I went in to check on Hunter one evening while he was napping in his swing... somehow he ended up like this and never once woke up!!

I was afraid to move him (didn't want to wake him up!) and I couldn't go to bed while he was sleeping like this, so I had to stay up until he woke up to eat. So funny! He slept really well too...