Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Sinners' Garden by William Sirls

When I read reviews for The Sinners' Garden by William Sirls, I was excited to see how many people said they were hooked in the prologue. When I started reading the book, I was too. Unfortunately, I got "unhooked" somewhere along the way and ended up skimming through the second half.

The story begins with Andy Kemp and his mother and the abuse they suffered at the hand of Andy's father. The result of the abuse are the scars that Andy wears on his face as well in his soul.

Andy's mother struggles to reconnect with her son, along with the help of her brother, Rip. Andy begins hearing messages through his broken iPod. A "Summer Santa" begins breaking in and leaving unexpected gifts. A garden of wildflowers appears suddenly. All these things in the summary drew me to choose this book to review and, initially, kept me interested. I can't put my finger on exactly why I lost interest. There were several mysteries in the story, but I guess I almost felt as though the author gave too many hints so that I had solved the mysteries well before the end of the book. The twists and turns weren't "twisty" enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.

I can't say this book wasn't good. It just wasn't great. I would probably pick up another book by William Sirls if it was sitting nearby, but I don't know that I would hunt it down.

This book was provided to me by Booksneeze in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Caught Between

I feel like I need to start by saying I know I'm blessed. I'm not whining, though it might sound like it to some. I don't want to change a thing. Okay, maybe I would like to change a few things, but I'm ultimately content. But I'm also caught between.

I'm caught between, "The days are flying by!" and "Really? It's only 10 am?"
I'm caught between, "Someone else please start lactating so I can just go away for a day!" and "It's my baby! You can't have her!"
I'm caught between, "I am so privileged to stay home with my children!" and "I'm not mad at you. I'm just so jealous that you get to go to work today."
I'm caught between, "These are the best days of my life!" and "My life is passing me by."

I don't need a pep talk about how I'm doing the most important job in the world. I believe that wholeheartedly. I had a moment not long ago where I clearly heard God tell me that nursing my babies, in every sense of the word, was sacred and holy, and that Word forever did away with the, "Does what I'm doing matter?" questions. I'm just talking about "I want a coffee and a quiet car ride and an unrushed trip to the grocery store and a clean house for at least five minutes."

But the funny thing is, I don't want that. It's like there are two of me. I want my children in the car with me, even if half of them are crying and the other half are making crazy noises because all the crying makes them feel like they're coming out of their skin (I so get that, kids.) I want to know that they're waiting for me to get back, even when that means I've got the cart on two wheels, flying through the grocery store trying to get back before they've made a lunch out of marshmallows and chips. I want the noise and the chaos and the neediness, even when it makes me want to scream, "Everybody just calm the hell down!!!" One of me loves every single thing about my life. The other one of me wants to hide in the closet sometimes. Only, I know they'd just find me and think we were playing a fun game. And then I would sit there and cry and laugh at the same time. Caught between.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Problem Solved

Thanks to you who let me know you couldn't view the videos. They're public now. I'm learning as I go!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I'm Not Cut Out for Competition

One of the reasons we wanted to live in this neighborhood was for all the activities for families. Last Saturday there was a race for the kids put on by Run4ACause. I'm pretty sure it's an annual race, and if so, my boys will want to run it annually. They are hooked. I, on the other hand, have some toughening up to do. I do not like the thought of my children working really hard and suffering disappointment. Life, I know, but like I said, I've got to work up some thicker skin before we put them in really competitive activities.

Susanna rooting her brothers on.
Judah's big finish. 
(Please close your ears to the shrill voice in the background. It was my nerves.)
 He got first place in the 4 year old boys group.
 They each won a coffee mug. They were thrilled and have already had several rounds of hot chocolate.
Luke and Eli waiting for their turn.
Their big finish. They both got 3rd in their age groups.
(The shrill voice in the background has gone up about two octaves. It's almost unbearable. You may want to turn your volume down.)
I'm so proud of my boys. They didn't quit when they were behind and really winded. And they weren't nearly as nervous as their mama.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas 2013

Our Christmas present opening, in it's entirety. Long, but so much fun.

 BB's??? Yes!
Eli opening it...
Luke and Eli jumping up and down...
Luke dancing...
And the whole thing live.
Judah's turn.

Wrapping paper flying...
Luke's jersey. I'm bending over in this picture to find Eli's so I can slow the mad scramble on Eli's part to rip through every present left until he found his. 
My favorite quote of the day is when Eli found his FSU jersey, "I'm on fire!!!!" So sad I missed getting that on video.

I have to tell the story about the jersey. Kris found Luke's jersey about a month ago, but it was the only one they had at Target. We never could find one for Eli, but we thought it would be okay. The week before Christmas Eli was wearing his friend's jersey that he left at our house. When I told him he couldn't wear it to school, with tears in his eyes, he said, "Well, will you at least get me a jersey for Christmas?" 
Oh Poo.
I texted Kris in a hurry that we needed to find this kid a jersey, any jersey for Christmas or it would ruin his day. Kris, in his daddy wisdom said that it must be an FSU jersey. I started my mad search that morning, only to be told by every store I could think of that they were out. Except for Sports Authority. I could get one there for $55. Um, no thanks. I called Kris to tell him this, and as I was talking, the thought floated through my mind, "You didn't call the Port Orange Target." I called every other Target around, but I didn't call the Port Orange one because we never go there. In my mind, it's hours away. But I am learning that the Holy Spirit loves to save me from drama, so I mentioned that I could still call the Port Orange Target. Kris said, "Oh yea, that's only a few minutes from my office. I could run over there during lunch if they have one." My sense of direction is lacking, to say the least.
I called, and the fella helping me said, "Well, I only have one FSU jersey left. It's a size 6/7." Eli's size. He held it at the front desk and Kris went to snag it during his lunch break. It was exactly like the one he had bought for Luke. Except it was Eli's size.
God, you love us so well.
I got to tell Eli this story Christmas morning, and his response was, "Well, it's a good thing you listened to the Holy Spirit!"
Yes, it is. It always is.

Judah's favorite.

It seems as though most of our gifts are either on wheels or weapons. I'm sure we should stop and question the wisdom of these purchases, but if we did we would think, "We have three boys. What the heck else are we supposed to get them?!"