Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kid Stories

I thought about starting an anonymous blog just for the purpose of telling stories about my kids without anyone knowing who I was or who they were. But for now, I won't do that. They did some hilarious stuff, though.

Once we were on a nature hike and one of my kids stopped dead and said, "Shhhh. I think I hear nature."

Another time, one of the kids was grounded to the bedroom and some of the others thought they would tie sheets, towels, sweaters, and t-shirts together and make a ladder to climb up through the window and sneak in to play with the prisoner. It didn't work.

The first time we left the kids by themselves they were all 11 to 13 years old. We gave them very specific instructions and dire warnings if they misbehaved while we were gone. When we got home, they met us at the door with a perfectly spotless house. One of them ushered us to the couch while another announced that they had something to tell us. This was not good. The spokesperson started off by saying, "The first thing we want you to know is that we learned a lot this evening......" It's a long story and though it included broken windows and bandages, no one was dead.

We had forks stuck on cheeks, broken bones, tears, weeping, wailing, and even some gnashing of teeth but today they are all presumed grown and no one has any permanent injuries.

I guess it worked out.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are You Well Read?

I saw this list over at The Jungle Hut and thought it was really interesting. The BBC has reportedly named these the top 100 books a well-read person will have read, but estimated most people have only read about 6 of them.

Best I can tell, I've read 46 of them. This gives me a good list for the next year to work on.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare--(I've read MOST of them!)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Dostoyevsky is weird)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Not all of them, but a lot of them)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

How many have you read?

Country Girl

You Are Country

You'll take natural beauty and quiet over the hustle and bustle of the city.

You can appreciate the simple things in life, and it doesn't take much for you to feel content.

While you appreciate the many opportunities of the city, you see them as too much of a good thing.

You love living a peaceful life. It's important that you can hear yourself think.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

He is mindful of me

It was one of those mornings. I have a long list of to-do's this morning before I go to work. My little Beau was being somewhat less than cooperative. My daughter is sick so I was driving Beau to preschool. He started crying because he dropped his milk, so I pulled to the side of the road to help him. I was playing his "happy morning" CD in the car and have you ever noticed how annoying happy music is when you aren't?

I handed Beau his milk and got back in the car and just as I was about to throw it back into reverse, I glanced up at the sky and the clouds caught my eye. They were just beautiful this morning. My grumpy heart was pricked with the verse:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psalm 8:3-4
God is mindful of me!
The God who made the heavens and hung the stars in space, He is mindful of me.
The God who paints the clouds and causes the rain to quench the thirsty earth, He is mindful of me.

Suddenly, my morning was much brighter. If the laundry didn't get folded or the living room didn't get vacuumed, it was okay. God is mindful of me. What else can matter?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Simple Woman Daybook, February 23, 2009

FOR TODAY February 23...

Outside My Window... It's bright and sunny but still cold. (That particular fact is getting old.)

I am thinking... I still need my umph back. In the meantime, I'm trying to fake umph.

I am thankful for... my sweet Hero.

From the kitchen... simply spaghetti for dinner tonight.

I am wearing... my pajamas, still! Yikes!

I am creating... two afghans, one for a baby girl, one for a baby boy.

I am going... to work, that's about it.

I am reading... my Bible, a book on writing memoirs, and a collection of Stephen King's short stories.

I am hoping... to get my umph back.

I am hearing... TV.

Around the house... We are doing a few more fix-up projects and I hope this week to finish the ceiling in my bedroom.

One of my favorite things... newly turned soil in the garden.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… I'm reworking my schedule so I can get more accomplished.

Here is picture thought I am sharing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I haven't got any. Since I graduated in December, I just go to work and do the basic stuff at home. I could use the excuse that I'm decompressing after 4 years of school, but if that were the case its been long enough to decompress into oblivion.

I finally made a list of things I need to accomplish and I have written some on paper. I need to start typing. I got a new book and started reading it just to try to regain some of my umph. Oh, and I got several books on writing. When I was taking a World Memoirs class, we read excerpts from Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir edited by William Zinnser. I bought the book and I'm on my third reread. My primary writing project right now is a memoir of my mother and I want to avoid some of the pitfalls that have surrounded recent memoirs.

Today I have a cold. It seems like it's going around. But it's time to get over it and get to work.

“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 9, 2001

We stood in a courtroom in Missouri and our final two children became legally ours. Amanda was 14 and Peggy was 9. All of our children are particularly special because they were born in our hearts.

They are each special and precious and so different from one another. Our was a busy, crazy house as you can guess any house with six kids would be. We had our share of hurts and tears, but more than our share of love and laughter.

In the courtroom
(No amount of Photoshopping could hide my closed eyes!)

McDonalds after court (Wendy is behind the camera.)

Happy Adoption Day, Peggy and Amanda! I love you!

Friday, February 6, 2009

When I was almost 7

I had a condition that required several surgeries and inpatient tests. For one of those surgeries, I entered the hospital on December 26, the day after Christmas. That way I wouldn't miss school. So my Christmas present checked into the hospital with me: Baby Tippie Toes and her tricycle!!!

I haven't even seen a picture of Baby Tippie Toes for decades until I Googled her today and once again, I felt the same wonder that my six-year-old self felt.

Aren't memories amazing?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Exept for the "Organized" thing...

You Were an Achieving Kid

When you were a kid, people often remarked on how mature you seemed. You acted quite adult.

You excelled at school, and you actually enjoyed it to a large extent. No one had to ask you to do your homework.

As a kid, you were probably a bit picky. You liked structure, schedules, and organization.

You had trouble being friends with regular kids. You probably were only friends with other serious children.

Yeah, I wasn't real organized but I liked school, I made good grades and the grown ups called me "mature."