Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: The Second Messiah by Glenn Meade

What if there was a second man who also claimed to be Jesus 2000 years ago? Could Jesus have been a victim of identity theft in ancient times? Glenn Meade’s fascinating thriller, The Second Messiah, explores this idea.

Archeologist Jack Cane finds a new Dead Sea Scroll during his dig in Qumran, Israel and with a quick translation of what can be seen from the fragile parchment there is reference to “Jesus the Messiah”. Some other writing that can be made out include puzzling information not associated with Jesus historically. Before further examinations or reports can be made a murder occurs and the scroll is stolen. Jack becomes the prime suspect. With numerous people after the priceless and religion shaking scroll, Jack must risk his life to find it, translate it, and save it from falling into the wrong hands or destruction.

At the same time, Rome’s Conclave of Cardinals has just selected a new Pope. Conflicted about deeds of the past, the charismatic John Becket decides that he will be opening the private vaults of the Catholic Church and make all documents, finances, and history public. There are various secrets and crimes involving the church that many would rather keep private instead of jeopardizing the faith of their followers. How can the new Pope be stopped?

This was a very fun read! Meade sets the story up well with the history of Jack’s parents and flawlessly moves from one location to the next. It was easy to follow the growth of each character and their relationships with one another. And unlike other books that have a lot of characters and locations, Meade kept things simple and there was no confusion on who was doing what or who was important to the plot. I also liked that Meade allows readers to make up their own minds on what he is presenting without degrading religion.

The shorter chapters make for a quick read though the book is over 450 pages. I say it is great for bed time reading or even time on the beach, but be warned -- once the exciting parts start to really pick up it is hard to put the book down. I should note that with all the mystery throughout the book I was able to predict several things that did happen such as identities of certain people and “who dunnit” before the answers actually came.

Overall this was a great book and now I’m interested in other works by this author.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An absence of sorts

Hey readers.

I haven't really been up for blogging lately. I've been super tired between waking up early to take Will to school and staying up late to be sure I get my workouts in and clean the house. It doesn't help that hubby and I haven't been on the same page (nothing to write home about though). Just one more test for him to take, just one more! Life moves on.

At least I've caught up reading the blogs I do follow.

Anyway, I've got stuff in my mind on what I want to write about as well as another book review... but that will have to wait until another time.

For now I just want to be lazy and watch some Dr. Quinn on DVD.



Friday, August 26, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

It's been awhile so this week I'm doing MilSpouse Friday Fill-In. Check out Wife of a Sailor to link up.

1. The first thing I think of when I get up in the morning is I don't want to get up!
2. Lately, I’ve been craving  chocolate because it's just that time of the month.
3. Whenever anyone says the word Oregon, it reminds me of my childhood because I truly view the time spent living in Oregon a highlight, playing with my little brother out in the country and raising frogs.
4. The happiest word I know is  yes, but only when it is said in answer to something I really, really want.
5. My spouse may hate it, but I absolutely love planning vacations we may never take just because I dream of doing it.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dance Magic

Thursday Song Link-Up! Go over to Goodnight Moon to link up.

Ever seen "Labyrinth"?? You know... crazy muppets, Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie (and those pants!)

Anyway, I often sing this song to my kiddos. It'll be some random outburst and I get them dancing around. While searching for the video I realized the little ones have probably never seen/heard the actual song performed before other than by yours truly. My little girl found the music fun and was clapping and dancing along.

Who doesn't laugh at this song?! And tell me you didn't dance or sing along with it!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of the First Days

As if you didn't know from my last post... today was Will's FIRST day of pre-school.

I got him there on time and we headed into the classroom. He met his teacher, the assistant, and other student. After hanging up his bag he went in and was ready for class. I tried to say good-bye and let him know I'd be back later but he didn't even turn around. Will was taking everything in and had no concerns about me.

Lana and I hurried off for a quick breakfast at home and then to PWOC.

When I picked up Will a couple hours later he was all smiles! His teacher said he did great and was even communicating with the assistant quite well. Right now there are only 2 kids in the class; Will and the other boy, but it will likely fill up over the school year. It seemed like he had a great time.

He is already looking forward to tomorrow.

And now I'll share my pics. I actually edited two of them because I felt it was best not to share the location of Will's class -- you know... internet weirdos and all.

ready for the first day

walking to class with his Transformers backpack

time to go in!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomorrow is only a day away

Tomorrow is the day... my little boy starts school!

I'm kind of sad, but more excited and happy for this new experience for him.

It seems not that long ago he was just an itty-bitty baby...

attempted passport photo... but it was so cute! About 2 weeks old.
I'm so proud of him and all the great hurdles he has already conquered! Keep moving forward!

so smiley!

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Proverbs 24:14


Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend in Review -- now I'm tired!

Okay, I'm having issues.

For the life of me I CANNOT figure out how to reply to those of you lovely readers who leave me comments. I read every comment I receive and nerly every time I want to say something back --- but how in the heck do I do it?! Any of you other bloggy savvy readers let me know!

Moving on...

I had a pretty good weekend. Hubby passed his second SOS test (YAY) so he took a few days off from studying for his next SOS test as well as the GRE. In, sort of, celebration we went out to Tucano's for dinner. It was a plus that I had my birthday meal postcard so my food was free!

Afterwards, to help walk off the lethergy that comes with all that yummy food we wandered around Target. I found THIS BOOK "The Night Before Preschool" and just had to buy it. I've been talking with Will more and more about starting preschool. He went with me to enroll, but the classroom wasn't ready so we couldn't go look at it or meet his teacher. Just a few more days until it all begins.

Recently I heard rave reviews about a girl on base who does babysitting so we asked her over to meet and get to know her a bit. She seems like a good girl with her head on straight. In the future there's a good chance we'll be calling her. It's always good to have a list of available babysitters 'cause sometimes people have lives and can't watch the little ones.

Other things we did this weekend was spend a bit of time at Explora. William was not listening well so we did not stay very long. I'm so glad we have that membership pass because then I don't feel guilty if we're only there for an hour.

The base was also having "Doggie Palooza" at the nearby field. The kids and I (with Maya) mozied on over to check it out. We spent most of our time looking at the shelter dogs available for adoption. Maya hid in the bottom of the double stroller the WHOLE time. Lana would yell "daaaaa, daaaaaa!" and point at every dog present. Since most people brought their dogs with them there was a lot of pointing and Lana made quite a racket. William was upset that he could not get in the kennels or fenced area housing the rescue dogs and few kittens. I had them bring out a few young dogs that I was eyeing but decided against a puppy.

Then a woman brought over a beautiful large black dog about the size of a Golden Retriever. I think it was a shepherd mix or something. He had long, wavy hair, was well-mannered, about 5 years old, and came from a family with small children. He didn't care that Lana basically bear hugged him around he neck and then tried to ride him like a horse. Will also came over and hugged on him. I thought really hard about filling out some papers and bringing him home but thought Ryan might not be too happy (though later I found he wouldn't have been as mad as I thought). I debated on doubling our vet bills, having a dog that sheds in the house, buying more dog food, and big dog poop to pick up. I decided against it.

After time in the bouncy castle we headed back home.


In a recent post I shared a ton of videos and pictures of the kids. Well, after the last several days I felt there were a few more I wanted to share.

Lana demands to wear the riding belt when Will goes to Hippotherapy so at our last session after all the sessions were done they allowed Lana to go for a few circles on Beamer.

She really enjoyed it and I think she's going to start demanding rides from here on out.

All dressed for church -- I got a little bow in her hair! I was so excited! It didn't last long though since she would just pull it out and hand it to me. She attended church sans bow.
This was the kids right before bed time. And yes, they are listening to Michel Jackson... Will had chosen the music.

This is one of the circles Lana rode for.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My song for the week

Thursday! Song Link Up with Goodnight Moon.

This time I'm taking things slow and going with Il Divo's version of "Hallelujah" (Alelujah) written by Leonard Cohen and made popular with the cover done by Jeff Buckley.

Regardless of what language it is sung in this is a beautiful song! I'm an Il Divo fan and find those men's voices so soothing and relaxing and heavenly at times. I'd love to go to a concert to see them, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Charlotte Church and Michael Buble. It'd sell out waaaay to fast though.

If you know nothing of Il Divo, they are 4 guys from 4 different countries: Switzerland, France, United States and Spain. The group was organized and founded by, none other than, Simon Cowell. All are extremely talented.

Hope you like this version. Oh, and also check out their version of Amazing Grace!


The Little Ones

I figured it was time to do another post full of photos and videos of the kids. So that's what I'll do.

First, though, I want to share that today I enrolled my oldest in Pre-school. It was a happy yet sad day for me. As long as the new classrooms get approval he will be starting in about a week. He's a whole 3 years old, but it's starting! Before I know it he'll be off to high school, driving, having girlfriends and then leaving for college.

But right now he's still my little boy!

And another little tid-bit I wanted to share: TriCare has APPROVED that William continue Occupational Therapy through Hippotherapy! I'm so happy he gets to keep up with the horse riding because he loves it and I see great improvement. We also don't have to change his time slot unless we want to. By the time he gets out of school we can *hopefully* make it out to Edgewood in time for his session. I'm still thinking of changing it though because with therapy on Fridays it makes it difficult to have longer vacation weekends with that commitment.

Now I don't want Alanna to feel left out in this post so I should share she is a crazy little eater, eating practically everything. She loves fruits and veggies and lunch meat. It is a pleasure to have a child that does not give me war at meal times.

She is also really into climbing now. I accidently left the door open to our closet office and when I came through the hall I found her and her brother on top of the table slamming the keyboard and screens (yes screens with a plural "s"-- we have dual monitors). I discovered that little girl climbed onto the chair and then onto the table. Later on I found her standing on the seat of Will's tricycle trying to push the buttons on the BlueRay player. Such a fun age I tall ya!

Okay, enough with that now for the pics and videos!

Will posing in his bright green Old Navy swimming outfit.

a big accomplishment this summer was him jumping in the kiddie pool on his own and holding his breath

the kids and I on my birthday

Alanna enjoying that ice cream cake! Notice that she totally feeds herself with a spoon now.

Lana playing at Hoots

Will with his O.T. Chelle on the big slide at Hoots

Lana on the big slide

he totally conquered that wall -- repeatedly!

Swinging -- and conradictory to her facial expression she loved it

Will likes the infant swings because he can go higher on them

At the petroglyphs

at the top of the petroglyphs

Daddy reading to Lana. She loves books.

suckers after Hippotherapy

more suckers after Hippotherapy

"do I really want to go down the slide...??"

tricycle riding champion!

Playing in the fountains at ABQ Uptown

and they had a towel and change of clothes in the car

The awesome-ness of this video is that about a year ago Will was basically mute. He has improved so much! Since this video was taken we have added frog, bird, dog, and working on pig. Recently he's been repeating the alphabet more clearly and is working on counting 1-10 but those sounds are very difficult for him.

This is also a great video to show Will's progress. About a month prior he could not pedal his tricycle. Now he can go very well, even uphill if it isn't too steep! During this video we were actually on a driveway entrance of our street so he had to work a bit.

Both of the kids have a blast playing in this little tent. One day for lunch they even had a picnic inside it in the middle of the living room.

A short video of the kids playing in the fountain at ABQ Uptown. It was a hot day and most kids had already started school so we went there with the intention of this free fun... even brought a towel and change of clothes.

Now if you've made it to the end of this post... thank you. I know it was incredibly long!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: George Washington Carver by John Perry

Before reading this book the amount of information I knew about George Washington Carver was that he came from slaves, was well educated, and was a major advocate for peanuts. After reading John Perry’s George Washington Carver from the Christian Encounters Series, I can honestly say I did learn a lot more about this unique man.

George Washington Carver was the son of a slave woman and sickly from birth. After he was rescued from a kidnapping and his mother was never found, his white owners took him and his brother into their home and raised them as their own. Since George was physically unable to do tough farm labor he relished in learning and was fascinated with science and the natural world.

Carver moved around as he got older in order to get a good education. He took on several different jobs and lived humbly to pay his expenses. Despite discrimination and a lack of resources, Carver succeeded. He went to college and obtained his graduate degree. Soon after he was sought out by Booker T. Washington to teach at the newly opened school just for black students; Tuskegee Institute. Carver accepted the position.

It is at Tuskegee that Carver taught students and performed his unorthodox experiments. He had his run-ins with the faculty on what he felt he should be doing, what he deserved, and he felt underappreciated often. Over the decades he created lasting relationships with those he came in contact with and became a favorite and inspiring man among the students.

Eventually Carver became a public figure, speaking for farmers and the government on the benefits to certain crops. He also toured with speeches and taught different methods to increase crops in addition to the numerous uses of peanuts and sweet potatoes. Even though other opportunities and higher pay were offered, Carver stayed at Tuskegee. Through his humility and obvious knowledge he opened the minds of many to what a black person was capable of.

This book was a fairly quick read since the chapters are short. Unfortunately, I found much of the information repetitive and it really slowed down the pace of the book. To be honest, some parts were boring though there were some interesting facts on the man. It is hard to imagine the grace such a brilliant man had when encountering all the racism of the south… especially with the prestige his name carried in the country during his later years.

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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's in the Cabinet Part 2

See Part 1 HERE.

Ummm... William... what did you just put in the cabinet?

Is the dog in there again?

Yup, she sure is and she doesn't look to thrilled... but... what else is in there?!

Oh! Hi Lana... I see you're enjoying yourself!

...and apparently the jailer is too.

The benefits of being the older child, I guess.

NOTE: everybody was under supervision and there was no harm done to child or animal. In fact, both crawled in there themselves and were upset when the doors were opened.