"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, April 26, 2012

You Are My Obsession

So I finally got a dog. Hooray! *doing the happy dance*

And as much as I love this dog, I think she might just love me more. Maybe a little too much. Seriously.

While it's so very sweet that she is always within three feet of me, she's very little and quiet so she frequently gets stepped on. I'm not used to having a shadow! None of the kiddos ever followed me around like this (unless I was trying to use the bathroom by myself). This devoted behavior has taken some getting used to.

Also, I have my designated spot on the couch and have no qualms about asking people to move (think Sheldon on "Big Bang Theory"). Whenever I sit down, she's right there with me, trying to wiggle her way onto my lap before my computer makes it there first. And even then, she will rest her head on the touch pad until she's gotten enough scratches under her ears. She's content to press up against my leg and doze while I check Facebook conduct important online research. But when I get up, she is following, attempting to press her cold nose against any exposed skin as I walk. And she likes to lick my toes.

But lately, she's taken her obsession to a whole new level of crazy. Since she has to compete with the kids and the Man for my attention, she's decided that sitting next to me is no longer acceptable. Now, she insists on planting her fuzzy bum directly on my chest. I don't know about the majority of you, but I'd rather not smell like eau de canine buttikus. So I will gently scoot her tush to one side. Sometimes she's fine with that and will sit quietly, pressing as much of her belly against me as possible. Other times, like when there's a kid already sitting there, she scampers back on to my lap and seats herself on my bosoms. Not acceptable. Again, I will tenderly - but perhaps a little more firmly - adjust her position. And around and around we'll go until a) I stand up b) the offending child moves to another location or c) she gets all pouty.

Awww, poor baby. So pouty at the other end of the couch.

But seriously…no dog butts in my face, mmkay?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Music Monday: Missing

I like very vocal songs that tell powerful stories. I don't like screaming guitar solos and singers who feel the need to yell everything. And when I'm feeling all moody, I put on a playlist of my really sad songs. Like this one:

There isn't an official music video but I really liked the images in this one. Such a soul-rendingly sad song and Amy Lee's voice just adds that extra knife in your heart.

Try not to cry. Go eat some chocolate and you'll feel better. Or go check out the other songs featured! You might something a little more cheery.

So do you miss me?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Monster Hunter Vendetta

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I recently went to a writing conference where I got to meet/see again some of my favorite authors, hear their words of advice, and then hang out with them. Brandon Sanderson, Larry Correia, Brandon Mull, LL Modesitt Jr., Track Hickman, Bree Despain, J. Scott Savage. To say it was awesome would be too much of an understatement. Larry Correia spoke on writing action. He's an avid…uh…well, let's say "weapons enthusiast." As a former owner of a gun shop, he knows his way around an armory and makes good use of that knowledge in his books. I don't know much about guns any more but I was still enthralled by his take on urban fantasy and thoroughly enjoyed his Monster Hunter International. Even with putting the second in the series immediately on my wishlist, plenty of time passed before I finally had the book in hand.

Owen Pitt used to be just an average accountant. Then his boss turned into a werewolf and attacked him. That's when Monster Hunter International recruited him to help collect government bounties on the things that go bump in the night. The first portion of his new career nearly got him killed several times, but he survived while making an enemy of a powerful being. It's just his luck that this bad guy has plenty of toadies looking to curry favor by taking out Owen. Just another day at the office.

Here's the teaser
"If you were to die, she'd get by fine. She's a Shackleford. On the other hand, if you lost her, you'd fall apart, and for some reason, she's taken a shine to you. So that alone will keep her around. She's stubborn like that."
- pg 96, Monster Hunter Vendetta by Larry Correia

What are you reading?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Homeowner's Policy

Shortly after we moved into our house, the local waste disposable company invested in a new truck. This one has a big ol' claw that grabs the cans and dumps them. The driver doesn't need to leave the vehicle.

However, this was a new process and the worker assigned to our route was still working out some of the bugs.

His first time picking up our trash can, he crushed it.

The can wasn't a total loss. The back was cracked in several places but it still held together. For a while. The sections of plastic started breaking off. It took a couple years, but eventually the entire back of the trash can was missing. When the stray cats started feasting on our garbage, it was time to take things seriously.

This isn't just your typical patch job. Oh no. Nothing but the best for our trash can. Three layers of card board wrapped the back. Then a whole lotta duck tape. Seriously. See that? That can wasn't losing any more trash. Not on my watch. Surely this fix was going to last forever! Or at least until we moved out of the house.

One month later...

Duck tape just isn't what it used to be.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: The Art of Zombie Warfare

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give away too much. You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

For years now, I've kinda had a thing for zombies. I read the books, watch the movies, and record the tv shows. The Boy even got a How To Speak Zombie book for Christmas, complete with push-button examples. So when I saw The Art of Zombie Warfare on the discount rack, I picked it up. It's the kind of book that I'll read once, chuckle plenty, and then pass on to some other fan of the walking undead.

Here's the teaser:
"Slow-moving zombies don't think about how much faster the battle would go if they could sprint up to their enemies and start eating them right away. They realize that a battle is like an exquisite ten-course banquet -- something to be drawn out and savored for as long as possible."
- pg 199, "The Art of Zombie Warfare" by Scott Kenemore
What are you reading?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Resurrection Cookies

Just helping you get ready to celebrate Easter!

Resurrection Cookies

Before you begin, gather together the following:
  • 1 cup pecan halves (not pieces)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (but keep the bottle handy)
  • 3 eggs whites
  • salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Plastic baggie
  • Rolling pin or meat tenderizer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer
  • Tape (I use masking tape because it's easiest to remove)
  • Scriptures
You will also need to preheat the oven to 300 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with waxed or parchment paper.

Pull the kids in close and open your scriptures.
  • Place the nuts in the plastic baggie, making sure to seal it tight. Either read or have the kids read John 19:1-3. Using the rolling pin or meat tenderizer, have them hit the nuts to break them into pieces to illustrate how Jesus was beaten by the soldiers. Set the nuts aside.
  • Let the kids smell the vinegar in the bottle. Does that smell like it would taste good? As you pour one teaspoon into a large mixing bowl, have someone read John 19:28-29. When Jesus was thirsty, the soldiers gave him vinegar instead of water to drink.
  • Eggs represent life. Add the egg whites as someone reads John 10:10-11. Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. Crucifixion might need to be explained in terms your kids can understand
  • Give each person a sprinkle of salt in their hand and let them taste it. Shake a little into the bowl. Read Luke 23:27. This salt represents the salty tears of Jesus' friends and followers and also the tears we cry over our own sins. Explain that a lament is a great sadness and crying.
  • Take a look at the ingredients in the bowl (vinegar, eggs, salt). It's not a very tasty combination, is it? Now let everyone have a taste of the sugar. ReadJohn 3:16 and Psalm 34:8. Pour the cup of sugar into the bowl. There's a lot more sugar/love in there than any bitterness. Explain that this very sad thing happened because of love for us, from Heavenly Father and Christ.
  • Using the mixer, start beating on high speed. Point out that the mixture is white, the color of purity. Read Isaiah 1:18. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are able to be cleansed of our sins. (This is the part where things can get derailed...it takes about 15 minutes to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and your kids are going to get bored. Talk about Jesus but once their attention is gone, send them to go get ready for bed or have a coloring page for them while you work.)
  • Once you've got the stiff peaks, fold in the nuts. Scoop up some and drop it on the prepared pan. Read Matthew 27:57-60. These mounds represent the rocky tomb where Christ's body was laid to rest.
  • Place the cookies in the oven. Turn the oven off. Read Matthew 27:65-66. Let every have a piece of tape to help seal the tomb. Christ's tomb was sealed and guards were set outside it.
  • But where are the cookies? You might get some sad faces; after all, there was talk of treats. Read John 16:20, 22. Christ's followers despaired when he died on the cross but he had told them there would be reason to be joyful soon enough. You might need to have a back-up treat handy...I usually just let my kids lick the beaters. Be sure to close with a prayer if this is your FHE.
  • This is the end for tonight! The cookies remain in the sealed oven overnight.
  • The next morning, gather everyone at the "sealed tomb." Show them that the tape is still in place. Remove it and them pull out the cookie sheet. Have the cookies changed? Give one to each child and then read Matthew 28:1-9 as they eat the cookies. Just like the rocky tomb, the cookies are hollow and empty. His disciples were just as amazed to find that the tomb was empty. Jesus was no longer there because he had been resurrected.

* This is pretty much a re-post. This time of year, I get a lot of requests for this recipe!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mothering Moments: Avoiding Night Terrors

If you, as the mother, have an overactive imagination, then chances are, your darling daughter has inherited that same trait. And along with it, your love for books, particularly those that involve the supernatural. So your current research project on local ghost stories will not go unnoticed. As you are reading through a website that details several of these local alleged hauntings in places where your daughter has visited before, you might not object when she snuggles up and reads with you. However, as soon as her father mentions bedtime approaching, you might suddenly remember that your darling daughter is a lot like you, and therefore frequently has nightmares inspired by the scary stuff in books, or things from school…or websites about ghosts. Now you're starting to feel foolish, like that time when you were a teenager babysitting a five-year-old and you let her watch "The Howling" with you. That didn't have a positive outcome.

So you open a new tab and do a quick search for "cute hamster pictures." After giggling over a few sites, you even click over to LOL cats and snort chuckle over more silly animals. Then she happily skips off to bed.

The next morning, when she tells you about the weird dream she had where ghost hamsters kept trying to climb the ladder into her bed, then you have only yourself to blame.

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