Shhhh!

Today, I discovered a down-side to the internet. 🙁 I got to see an old friend this morning, one I haven’t seen in a long time. But I can’t say anything on Facebook because I don’t want to be the one who tells the world that she’s not home. Can’t really blog about it for the same reason. Of course, that doesn’t take away the enjoyment of the visit, but you know how it feels when you have something GREAT TO SHARE AND YOU WANT TO TELL EVERYONE!!! But you can’t…. Yeah, like that.

So I’m just going to go off in my private little corner (I still have a private corner?) and be happy all by myself. Hope you have a great day, too. 🙂

The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

The Final Summit:A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity is a follow-up to The Traveler’s Gift. This is my first Andy Andrews book, so I started this book not knowing any background or what to expect. Andrews does a great job of filling the reader in on pertinent facts from The Traveler’s Gift, so it’s not necessary to read that book first, although I do wish I had just because I dislike reading books out of order. In The Final Summit, David Ponder is called to a meeting with other Travelers to discuss the future of mankind. Their task is to determine what people must do individually and collectively to stop the downward spiral of our civilization. The answer is one two-word phrase.

The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity
I liked this book for several reasons. First, I love historical fiction and the premise of this book pulls historical figures from different time periods and tells their stories. So, while the fiction is that they wouldn’t all be sitting around having conversations with each other, the facts of their lives are true. Andrews even pulled some of the dialogue from actual things that the famous characters said or wrote.

This book is full of wisdom, inspiration, and humor. Also, this book is an easy read. Having small children, I don’t get to relax around water, but I bet this book would be a good beach or pool read. However, I wouldn’t recommend reading it once and sticking it on a shelf. This is a book that you’ll want to reread from time to time. That’s saying a lot, because I keep few books on my personal shelf and I rarely reread books.

This is not a book just for Christians. I say that because it is not blatantly preachy and I think anyone with enough sense to embrace the wisdom in this book will enjoy it, whether the reader is a Christian or not.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Playin’ With the Blog

I had a few minutes today between baking and cutting cheese into little cubes for Jeffrey’s Yay! It’s Summer! Party, so I thought I’d mess with some stuff on my blog that I’ve been meaning to get to.

I changed the template, which not only brings a little more color to the blog, but finally fixed the Popular Posts section so that you can actually see all the words. Yay! That’s been bugging me for a while.

I was getting tired of not being able to log into Google to comment on other blogs. Actually, I was already logged in, but when I tried to post using my Google ID, I’d get bumped to a log in screen. So I’d log in and get sent right back to the comment screen where my comment would be sitting there patiently waiting for me. But when I hit Submit, I’d get the log in screen again. After three or four tries, I finally gave up. When entering a contest, I would go the Name/URL route, which was annoying and frustrating. You can also adjust your privacy settings so that your computer accepts all third-party cookies – not a good plan. So I decided to check today to see if I had some kind of privacy setting turned on or something. Checking Blogger Help, I discovered that it’s not just me and there are no indications that Google/Blogger are working on it.

It’s an easy fix, though. If you’re using Blogger, and you don’t want to drive your readers crazy, you’ll need to make sure your comment settings are not set on “Embedded below post”. Either “Pop-up window” or “Full page” will allow users to comment with no problems. For some reason, I had one blog set on embedded below post and the other two on full page. So I fixed that.

Another tweak that I found but didn’t want to mess with today was numbering comments. If you hold giveaways on your blog, numbered posts are wonderful. Most of the posts I found pointed back to The Computery. So if you want numbered comments, give that a shot. I might get around to it… one day. Or just wait and hope Blogger eventually adds the feature.

Now I’m off to eat hamburgers and cookies and S’mores. Happy Summer!

Barbie and Boobs

As intriguing as the title sounds, if you are a male and related to me, you probably don’t want to read this post. In fact, if you are a male that I know personally, do us both a favor and skip this one. Trust me. There are some things that once known, can never be un-known. This is one of those “girl” things you don’t want to know. This is your last chance to turn and run away. You can come back tomorrow to a perfectly normal post.

First let me say that this is a personal rant and most people will not identify with it, nor will they care. If more people could identify with it, I wouldn’t have anything to complain about. Men won’t, for obvious reasons, and most women, well… keep reading.

A life-size Barbie may have huge breasts and an unnaturally small waist, but none of that bothered me as a kid. It’s a toy, so why would it? But as I got older and continued to wait (and wait and wait) to have enough to fill out a bra, I started getting a little insecure. Because that’s what teen girls do.

I bought the smallest bras I could find and I still didn’t fill them out. Can you say frustrating? Then I had two kids. I’m probably the only woman on the planet to give birth to two kids and end up with a smaller chest than before I had kids. Now, I’m 35 and in good shape, and I’m actually at a point in my life where I’m comfortable and happy with my body. But these days, my problem isn’t Barbie or what the boys think. It’s finding a stupid shirt that will fit. That’s it. That’s my complaint. I’m a smart, confident, grown woman, and I have to shop in the Junior department to find tops that fit – and most of those are still too big. The cuts are just way too low. Or the armholes are too big. Problems that I assume larger-chested women don’t have because I see other women (and teenage girls) buying those shirts that I can’t wear. I’ve tried the Petite department, too. That doesn’t help, either.

I’ve seen the stick-thin fashion models. They don’t have boobs, either. So why can’t someone make attractive clothes for those of us who are not as gifted as everyone else? I hate shopping because I have to try on 10-15 tops to find one that fits.

Don’t even get me started on bras.

Happy Father’s Day!

I’ve been writing this post in my head since Mother’s Day. I only planned my Mother’s Day post in a day or two and most of it was written on the spot. My dad is so laid-back, that even though I have always been a total “Daddy’s girl” and I completely adore him, I wasn’t sure I could put anything into words. After weeks of planning, I’m still not sure I can.

What I learned from my Daddy:

People are not good or bad because of the color of their skin or how much money they have. You judge a person by their actions, not by what they look like.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff. My dad is the most laid-back person I know. I’ve never seen him mad. He has his convictions, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t get mad about stuff. I wish I could master that.

Real dads don’t stop loving their kids even if they disappoint you or made decisions you don’t agree with. Oh, he’s never told me I’ve disappointed him. He’s never even acted like it. But I bet I have. But I still know that he’s always there when I need him, no questions asked.

Dads take care of their families. My dad has always been such a hard worker. He’s worked nights for most of my life, because when you have a family to feed, you work when you can. Or you can complain about not being able to get a job, when sometimes what you really mean is that you can’t find a job you’re willing to do. Daddy never did that. He worked hard and he came home tired, but he always got up and went back the next day.

How to fix stuff. Or get a big hammer if said stuff isn’t cooperating. We fixed stuff and built stuff and I even had my own toolbox and tools. Somewhere along the way, I became the assembler in the house. I put together at least one push-mower, and a variety of other items that I can’t really remember. Now that I’m grown and have my own family, I’m still the assembler. It’s fun. Most of the time.

If you’re doing your best, that’s all you can do. Don’t compare yourself with others or let someone put you down. In school, I made mostly As & Bs. Once I brought home a C in Science. I was in 4th grade, I think. My parents were proud of my grades, but they never put pressure on me. I was so worried when I brought home that report card. Daddy just asked me if I had done my best. Honestly, I don’t even remember if the answer was “yes” or “no”. All I remember is that as long as I was doing my best, nothing else mattered.

Even Superman has a weakness. I have adored my Daddy since before I can remember. Mama tells a story about me running to the front door when it was time for him to come home from work – way before I could read a clock. I love my Mama, but I’m a “Daddy’s girl”. When I was in my early twenties, my parents had a motorcycle wreck. They were going pretty slowly, preparing to make a turn, and they were both wearing helmets, but they had been taken to the hospital and needed me to come pick them up. It was upsetting to see them wheel Mama out with her leg in a brace, but when Daddy walked in with his arm in a sling, I started bawling. Not because I love Mama any less, but because Daddy’s aren’t supposed to get hurt. He was my Superman. Then a year and a half ago, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and I had another Superman moment. Daddy went through surgery and chemo and radiation and was declared cancer-free, only to find out a few days later that he had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. So he did it again (well, not the surgery). He’s cancer-free now, but even through all that crap, he was still my Superman.

I love you, Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.

Taking a Sick Day

I’ve been in bed sick all day, so I’m “calling in sick” today. I haven’t even turned on the computer today. That doesn’t happen often. 😉

I’ll be back tomorrow with a Father’s Day post. In the meantime, there’s a new way to follow this blog. I now have a Facebook fan page, mostly because I wanted to snag the username before someone else did. You can use the Like button in the box on the right or go to www.facebook.com/livinglearninglovinglife.

Amanda

Sent from my Palm Pixi on AT&T;

“I Know That.”

I know I just blogged about Bennett a couple of days ago, but this blog is also my “baby book” and he says so much cute stuff I don’t want to lose it. Plus, it’s my blog and I can write what I want. Neener neener neener. 😛

Some things he’s started saying all the time:

“You aggravating me.” This has apparently taken the place of “You ‘noy me.” I don’t think he really knows what it means, though, because the person being addressed is usually just sitting there being harmless.

“Dat’s good enough for me.” I have no idea where he got this, but he says it all the time. At least he uses it correctly… most of the time.

“Dat not very nice!” When someone does something he feels is… not nice. He usually says this to other kids on the playground, although he has said it to me once or twice.

“Here you go.” He says this when handing someone something. And if he’s helping unload the dishwasher, he says it every time he hands me a dish.

“I know that.” This just started. At least there’s no eye-rolling involved. He just calmly states, “I know that,” when you tell him something. No, it’s not usually something he already knew, but apparently that doesn’t matter.

“What kind?” This has taken the place of “Why?”
I’m making lemonade. “What kind of lemonade?”
“What’s for supper?”
“Shepherd’s pie.”
“What kind of shepherd’s pie?” As far as he knows, there is only one kind of lemonade and one kind of shepard’s pie, so I’m not sure he’s asking what he really thinks he’s asking. Maybe one of us will figure it out soon. In the meantime, he asks about everything.

He’s recently become very concerned that we’re going go off and leave him or Jeffrey home alone. One morning, we were leaving to take Jeffrey to VBS and Jeffrey wasn’t at the door yet. Bennett went crazy. “Don’t leave Jeppy here by heself!” Hadn’t really planned to, but I’m glad you’re looking out for your brother. Separation anxiety by proxy?

He won’t say “cold”. When he first started talking, he wouldn’t use words for anything he had a sound for. Dogs, cats, trains, horses, fire trucks, frogs, etc. He uses all the words now, but he never says cold. He says “brrr”. “It’s brrr outside.” “The water is brrr.” “Is my food brrr yet?”

If you know me or have read my blog before, you know that I mostly talk to my kids like they’re short adults. I try to keep things on a level they can understand without completely dumbing everything down for them. (It’s easier to do it than to explain it.) I can’t help it, really. It’s all I know. I’m an only child and that’s the way my parents talked to me. I’ve always hated all those stupid-cute names for the penis. (I can only imagine what kind of search terms will show up in my stats for this post.) So the first time Jeffrey called it something else, I said, “No, it’s a penis.” And that’s what he’s always called it. But we don’t really sit around having conversations about penises, so it was surprising when out of nowhere the other day, Bennett started using the word in just about every other sentence. Using it correctly, but for no real reason. He just did it for a couple of days, but it was kind of weird.

We had a similar incident with “Coca-Cola”. I don’t let the kids have Coke, but Jeffrey knows what it is, and he’s had a couple, but I don’t know that Bennett really knows what it is. And I certainly don’t know where he heard “Coca-Cola”. Everyone in this house is from the south. We say, “Coke”. I don’t know when he would have heard it on TV. He mostly watches DVDs and even the TV channels he watches don’t have soda commercials. Another mystery. I’ll have to watch that kid.

One liners:
“I’m almost done in just a minute.”
He walked up to me yesterday and said, out of the blue, “Mama, you not stupid.” Good to know, but I have no clue what brought that on.
After I replaced the batteries in Sheriff Woody, “Thanks! You’re a good fixer.” (From Bennett, not Sheriff Woody)

One night he chose pretzels as his snack. After he had eaten all the pretzels, he told me he’d changed his mind and he wanted applesauce instead.

This morning, he told me that there was a bug in my hand. As in inside my hand. I kept asking why it was in there, but instead of answering he kept adding more stuff. I ended up with “A bug, a worm, and a caterpillar. And an ant and a ladybug” in there. I never did find out how they got in there or why they were there.

This isn’t cute, but I did get some insight on the potty situation the other day. He told me he had to go, so we went. When we got in there, he said, “I poop in the potty. It will hurt.” Nothing I could say would convince him that it doesn’t hurt. I tried telling that all of us do it and it doesn’t hurt. His response? “I know that.”