Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Invasion by Jon Lewis

Invasion by J. S. Lewis is the first book in the C.H.A.O.S. series, a science fiction book about a boy's mission to uncover the scary truth about a huge company with some big secrets.

This was a gripping teen sci-fi thriller that grabs a hold of you in the first chapter and never lets go. Even adult sci-fi fans will enjoy this easy read. I saw this as a mix between James Bond and Roswell, the book series. If they had books like this when I was a teenager, I probably would have read more.

The only issue I had with Invasion was the unskilled teens continually fought and out smarted skilled adults. That didn't quite make sense to me. However I am looking forward to the second installment due in January 2012.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Voices of the Faithful - Book 2

I was excited to see a second book in the Voices of the Faithful 'series'. This is a devotional book with 365 readings and is for the person who has an interest in seeing the Christian experience from a missionary's viewpoint. Beth Moore wrote in her introduction that her goal is for the reader to: feel connected to brothers and sisters in Christ all over the globe, change your 'God bless the missionaries' prayer to praying for REAL people, be motivated to cross your river of fear and do the thing God has called you to do. This doesn't mean that we need to become a missionary to a foreign land but to be missionaries where we are!!

One thing different with this book is that each month has a theme, ie. prayer, hope, lost and found, etc. Although I haven't read each day's reading, I am looking forward to seeing what God will work through in my life in regards to these themes. As I read through some of the stories, I couldn't help but be encouraged as I saw missionaries go through similar experiences that I was going through. And it is so uplifting to see God work in their lives and know that he can do the same here in the United States!! In fact, in my own small country church!!

I definitely recommend this book to add to your daily Quiet Time readings for encouragement and the knowledge of community in our commission to spread the Good News.

Note: I received this book free for an advance reading as part of their Booksneeze bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and therefore, this review is 100% my own opinion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Really Woolly Bible Stories

This is a board book by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and is illustrated by Julie Sawyer Phillips. It is geared for ages 3-5 and tells several short Bible stories in poetic form. The pictures are illustrated with the Really Woolly characters which the little children love. The story/poem is on one side and the picture of the story is across the page. So it is wonderful to be able to read the poem to your youngster and have them able to look at the picture at the same time. The poem is just long enough to hold their attention and the fact that it is a board book means that it holds up to some sudden and ambitious page turning.

I want to add that our 3 year old daughter loves it and is glad to have a Bible story book of her own. And I can have her hold it or carry it around and I don't have to be afraid of torn pages, etc. I would recommend this book as a sturdy addition to a preschooler's library.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. This review is my own opinion.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

This is a devotional book geared for children and there is a page for each day of the year. It is written as though God is speaking to the reader and the author did a great job in putting it in language that children can understand.

Right now my husband is reading it each day to my two girls, ages 7 and 9. Our 9 year old reads the Bible passages and both girls are able to answer questions after reading the devotional. I highly recommend this devotional and view it as a great tool in helping children learn about God and how He cares for them.

This book was provided for my by Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for a review, either positive or negative.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Andrew's first year!

It's hard to believe that Andrew is over 1 year old now!!! I know these pics are a long time coming, but they don't do him justice. He's got more hair on his head than the last pic gives him credit for. He loves to walk! He also loves to eat anything we do as long as it's soft enough. He has about 6 teeth--3 on top and 3 on bottom. The tooth on the left side of his middle teeth on top and bottom are almost through. They are coming in differently than they did on the girls. Your nap times have been anything but routine until this past week. We had your shots updated yesterday, so today you are taking a morning nap. I'm hoping you'll take an afternoon nap, but we'll see. :) You and Melanie play pretty well. At least, until she decides to lay on you for whatever reason. I've been trying to limit how long you have your paci between sleeping, and Melanie loves to help with that as well, much to your chagrin. You are such a cutie, and I'm so happy God decided to bless us with you!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Know It's Been a While...

So, since my last post I have been offered a full-time teaching position at Siloam Springs Middle School. With any luck and the Lord's provision I will retire in this school district!!! I'm teaching 7th grade math--which I love!!!! We have also enrolled the girls in the district. This should be the last time we transfer them as far as schools go. ;) I'm really enjoying my math team, and I think it's going to be a great school district to work for.

As I type this I'm listening to Michael Buble on Pandora and trying to maintain some kind of sanity while my 4 children are going crazy--I mean, cleaning the playroom upstairs. :) I was really hoping that this summer would be the time I'd get my life, our house, and our kids organized. Guess again!!! We continue to be in survival mode even though Drew is a year. If I dwell on it long enough I get depressed. It's extremely frustrating. As I've said to others before...you give me a class full of 25 rowdy junior high kids, and I'll have them under my thumb in 5 minutes. You give me my own four children, and you'd never know I have a teaching degree! It's sad, really. Any suggestions? I don't know how others with this many or more kids do it. Or are they in the same boat I am? Where does one even start? Anyway...

Summer is definitely in full swing here! Anne and Naomi are enjoying Terrific Tuesday activities with our church. The same wonderful lady is leading it and does a fantastic job. I need to plan another trip to Silver Dollar City with the kids since we have season passes. The next time we go, Andy and I would like to just take the oldest two. Then we could all ride rides together.

I'll try to get birthday pics of Drew among others posted soon. Maybe I need to start with a schedule...I don't know. Till next time.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

So Hard to Wait!

So it is the morning after my interview at Siloam Springs Middle School. I feel like the interview went really well, except for the fact that I didn't actually teach a lesson. I had one prepared, but it used powerpoint for the direct instruction. There was not a computer in the conference room. Ugh, anyway...I wish I would have adapted and gone ahead and taught the lesson, but alas I did not. So now I have that one thing replaying over and over in my mind. Hoping that didn't ruin my chances of being hired. Otherwise the interview went great! The fire alarm even went off, and it wasn't a drill. We were about 1/2 way through the interview when it happened. Come to find out a rubber belt on the washer in the locker room burnt up and filled the room up with smoke. Of course, the building was evacuated, and we were outside for about 45 minutes. I actually enjoyed continuing the interview informally outside with a few of the committee members. I think there were about 7 people overall involved in the interview--Whew, if that doesn't make you a little nervous.

Today I would normally be at WJHS because it's a work day for me, but Mel and Drew have had fevers and sore throats. I took them to the dr. yesterday afternoon. So now they are on meds, but I stayed home with them to make sure they were over the fever.

Okay, so much to do at home now that the job stuff for Siloam is over. Mel isn't 100% so she's fussy right now. Thankfully Drew is taking his morning nap. Trying so hard to not be anxious while I wait to hear from Siloam Springs. The song by John Waller, "While I'm Waiting," continues to replay in my mind. Going to try to really worship and praise God while I'm waiting. Lord, please take away the anxiety. I give the whole interview and that job possibility to you. No matter where I'm teaching I will do my best to be a light for You. Thank you for taking care of me and my family. I love you! Amen.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gotta Talk About It...

Since there are only a select few who actually read this blog...I thought I would journal some thoughts. Today was my first day back at home since before the state mandated testing took place last week. Oh my days at home during the week, how I've missed you!! :) Here's the part I really want to blog about. I was checking out school websites last night. I'm working part time this year in the Bentonville school district. I was given a 1 year contract--period. There is no guarantee that I'll be hired back next year part or full time. I knew that when I accepted the position. Anyway...I've been browsing a couple of school webites--Gentry and Siloam Springs. When much to my suprise and excitement Siloam has a position open for a middle school math teacher. Here's where the sunbeams shine down on me from heaven! :) So this morning I called the middle school to see about taking a resume to the principal. They suggested I come this afternoon. After dropping Drew and Mel off to be with my niece I took in my resume. I was so glad to meet the principal! We kind of had a mini-interview right there in the entry area of the school office. She informed me that there were going to possibly be 2 math positions available--Yay! My little mini-interview went great--I thought. She let me know that she was putting together her applicant pool this afternoon, and I should get a call before the end of this week to have an interview next week! BONUS! I'm trying to control my excitement because there's always the possibility of not being hired there, let alone score an interview. But I can't help it!!!

Let me add that I have enjoyed being at Bentonville, and if I am to work there again next year (hopefully full-time) that is fine with me. I have NOTHING against that school. BUT if I can be hired by Siloam Springs or Gentry, if a position comes open, that would be even better. Mostly because they are not far from home. My commute to Bville is about an hour--ugh! IF I am fortunate enough to be able to work at Siloam the transition should be pretty easy. Siloam uses a similar math program that Bentonville does--EXTRA BONUS! I really like that program, and am looking forward to doing an even better job at it next year!

Okay, I'm sure if you are reading this you are glad that I don't teach English--ME TOO! But it's my blog, and I can type any way I want to. :) So you can imagine my new prayer request. Lord, you have taken care of me so well since before I was born. I know You will continue to do so. If this is part of Your will for me, I pray You will continue to allow everything to fall into place as it should. My biggest fear is to be out of Your will. You know the plans You have for me. I trust You with all of it! Amen!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Naomi is 7 today!!

OMG! Two posts within a week has got to be a new record for me! :) But I had to make sure that I posted about Naomi turning 7 today! I can hardly believe it!!! I've put up a Happy Birthday banner and some decorations for her to come home to this afternoon. Andy, Drew, Mel, and I are going to have lunch with her at school. This evening we're going to eat at La Huerta's so they can sing to her and put the big sombrero on her head! LOL! Her party will be this Saturday, and she chose a baseball theme since this is the first year she is playing t-ball.

Naomi, you still enjoy all things girly. It is fun to watch you grow up. Most of the time you want to do/have what your big sister, Anne, does. There are also times when you are trying to figure out what you like. I love that you are your own fashionista. You are doing so well in school. Your daddy and I are so proud. I get a kick out of the fact that your teeth are taking FOREVER to come in! I remember when you were so frustrated that Anne was loosing teeth, but you weren't. Now if your not careful I'm going to have to start blending your food so you can sip it through a straw. :) Keep paving your own way. God created you the way that you are, and I'm excited that we can celebrate that especially today! I love you!

This first picture was taken at the sitters. I'm not sure what age, maybe 2 or 3. The second one was taken at age 5. You were checking out the twirl factor of the dress. The last one was taken just a few days ago. You are growing into such a beautiful young lady.

Happy 7th Birthday, Naomi! We love you VERY MUCH!
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Most Recent pics!

Here's the latest pics of our kiddos! Anne and Naomi made lego creations. I think Anne's was some sort of car--very elaborate. Naomi's was a jet pack. The pic of Melanie is from today. While the rest of us were upstairs she was downstairs in our master bathroom checking out everything under my sink. Don't worry--she did not injest or even open any of the meds. The main thing she got into was my makeup! I couldn't resist the Kodak moment. :) The pic of Drew was when he was 8 months. He is now 9 months. Is still trying to figure out the crawling thing. He loves running around in his walker on the wood floors down stairs. Will try to update more later. This will have to do for now! :)

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Friday, January 29, 2010

I've Been So Bad...

...at blogging. I tell you. I feel like I was just in survival mode this past semester. I think to some extent I'll remain in survival mode until Drew is a little more independent. :) I thought having a third child turned our world upside down, but it's actually the fourth!!! :) Whew! There's a lot of days I'm not sure if I'm coming or going. :) Sometimes I still can't believe that we have FOUR!!!! Okay enough of that. I'll try to post some updated pics, and hopefully it won't take me over two months to do it.

I have to share that the Monday after Christmas we left our corner of Northwest AR, and headed to Enid, OK, to spend a few days with awesome friends of ours--the Edwards'. They also have 4 children, who are relatively close in age to our four. Their oldest is about 9 months older than our oldest, and their youngest is 5 days older than our youngest. Can I just say that, "WE HAD A BLAST!" with them. I do have to be honest, though, I wasn't sure how it was going to go with 8 children in the house, but I was greatly surprised. We even extended our trip a couple of days longer than originally planned.

As we welcomed in the new year together I started immediately reflecting on resolutions I wanted to make for my new year. I don't normally make resolutions because I usually break them. So, I usually figure, what's the use. I have really had a desire to make this year a better one for me and our family. The key ingredient is going to be DISCIPLINE, and not the spanking kind we give to our children. :) So, I have made some real efforts in that department. Before too long I hope that most areas of my life will show some sort of discipline. I'd like my house to be clean a little more consistently so that I'm not embarrassed if someone drops by. I want to lose about 50 lbs--or more--this year. I don't want to always feel so behind in my job. And more importantly I want to have a better relationship with our heavenly Father, and be more diligent in tithing this year. All of these are going to take DISCIPLINE. It has been a slow start, but I'm gradually adding more discipline to the mix. As in the movie, "What About Bob," I'm taking baby steps. :)

Okay, enough about me...on to the fam! I'm sitting here at the kitchen table typing and looking out the window at the ice covering everything. So far no snow, but plenty of ICE! I absolutely love our windows, and always enjoy the view out to my backyard and beyond.

Okay, onto the family, for real this time. :) We are going to enjoy a snow/ice day together. Andy isn't going to try to go in to work till later. We've seen some cars travelling on the roads, but not many.

Anne is doing really well at school. She made all A's and B's this past semester, and loves to read and do word searches. She is well behaved at school also, but at home likes to be Mom #2 as far as rules go and making sure Naomi and Melanie aren't getting into her stuff. :) She is me through and through. Heaven help her! :)

Naomi is also making leaps and bounds in improvements this year as well. She is repeating Kindergarten this year, and I'm so proud of the strides she is making. At the beginning of the year the teacher was really having an issue with Naomi trying to "teach" the class. Then Mrs. Edwards found out that a high-functioning autistic boy responded well to Naomi. So, now Naomi sits at the same table as this student. Whenever he begins to have a melt down or feels "stuck" she redirects him and he responds to her! She is called the Autistic Whisperer by her teacher--too cute! Naomi is more prone to getting into trouble--of all kinds. :) She is also the polar opposite of me, I think. A lot of times I just throw up my hands because I'm not sure what to do with her! :) Except, love her, of course, with all that I can. She plays with Melanie quite a bit. They both have good imaginations.

Melanie is almost potty trained!!! We've been really working hard at it these past couple of weeks. Since she has two older sisters she knows what to do and how to, it's just getting her to actually do it! :) She is tons of fun, and mommy's little helper. She's talking so much more and more plainly all the time. She can be the comedianne of the bunch, which is typical of the 3rd child, I guess. She wants to do things like her big sisters. She calls Anne by her name, but has a difficult time saying Naomi. So Naomi is "Sissy" to her. She has no problem saying "Andrew." She also loves to play with dolls! She's going to be such a good mommy someday!

And Andrew, our little Prince Charming. He has stolen this mommy's heart and run away with it, I think. Andy warned me about my bond with Drew being different than with the girls. He was right, and I'm not afraid to admit it! :) Maybe when some girl has turned his head enough to cause him to marry her I can start a 12 step program of my own. :) I think he's going to be phlegmatic (laid back) like his daddy. He can roll over from tummy to back, but really doesn't have a desire to do so. :) He sits up really well, though. He says, "gu," and "dada." He also loves to put things in his mouth. Lately he has been really sick. I just took him to the doctor the other day and he has an ear infection in his right ear and bronchitis. So is on antibiotics for the ear and a nebulizer for the bronchitis. Last night I felt a tooth poking through on bottom so I'm hoping relief for him is in sight. I'm not sure how long he is, but he now weighs 21 lbs!! Just a cutie!!!!

The ice has now turned to snow!! Can I just say again how much I love my view. It's not awe inspiring, but it's mine. :)

Andy continues to be busy at work. He was promoted last year, and I'm ever so proud of him. He's also an awesome daddy. He tries to make sure he plays with the kids in the evening. He is very helpful to me where Drew and Mel are concerned. If I've had to get up in the middle of the night with Drew, then he makes sure the girls leave me along when they get up in the morning so I can get a little more sleep. Of course this only works out if it's the weekend and not during the work week. :) I don't always give him enough credit, but he definitely deserves it.

Our house for the most part is done. We still have some closet organization to do and furniture to buy to fill it up with, but it's ours. This time last year we were still living in the two bedrooms--ugh! Actually during last year's ice storm we were at mom and dad's. Thankfully their power didn't go out. Ours did, but only for a couple of days. I warned my mom yesterday that if our power went out and theirs didn't that we were coming over! :)

As for me...I'm teaching part time at Washington Junior High in Bentonville. I love being part time because then I get the best of both worlds. I've discovered that I don't make a great full time stay at home mom, but do great part time. I've always felt that teaching is my calling by God. I love it, and the kids that I get to teach every year. Bentonville is one of the top--if not the top school in AR. I'm sure my Bentonville collegues will quickly let me know. :) I'm torn as far as what to do next year. If my principal were to offer me a full time position there next year I would gladly take it, but I would also love to work back at Gentry since my girls are there. I just keep it as a matter of prayer. God knows what's best. He's got me through this far. I have learned where jobs are concerned that it's best to let Him take the lead--not me! So much more going on in my head, but I'll give it a rest for now. I'd apologize for this post being so lengthy, but it's been long overdue so forget it. :)

Love to the extreme few of you who read this!