How to Write

September 30, 2005 Categories: Books , Writing | 1 Comment  

“This is the most helpful book the beginning writer can buy….Superb!”
William Safire, The New York Times

The book mentioned in the above quote is How to Write by Herbert E. Meyer and Jill M. Meyer. As a beginning writer, I will definitely be reading this book. I’ve been given a free e-book copy to review for Mind and Media. However, the authors are offering this e-book for only $1.99 through their web site. If you’re an aspiring writer, or teaching your children to write, you should check this book out. At that price (less than a trip to Starbucks), what do you have to lose? Click on the graphic to go to their web site where you can read an excerpt and more reviews. I’ll be posting my review when I’m finished reading it — and it should be extremely well-written!

I needed this

September 28, 2005 Categories: Faith | Comments Off  

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…(Zechariah 4:10, NLT)

We step out in faith. We read the Word and we see an area in our lives, in our hearts, that needs changed. Seeing the problem doesn’t make it go away in an instant. Some habits or feelings have been part of our makeup for years, and it will take time to break them. But as we take those small first steps, the Lord rejoices because He sees the beginning of the work.

Great post today from Robin Lee Hatcher at Write Thinking.

Fear

September 27, 2005 Categories: All About Me , Faith | Comments Off  

I’m afraid to be thin. I need my excuses for not living the dreams You have placed in me.

I’m afraid of being hungry. What if You aren’t enough? That sounds like blasphemy, but it’s honest. If I stop feeding my pain, I’ll have to feel it. What if You’re not faithful? What if the pain goes on and on?

I’m afraid to cry because I’m afraid I’ll never stop.

I’m afraid to let anyone know how unhappy I am like this. I’m afraid they’ll hate me for choosing to get fat. I’m afraid to be real.

I’m afraid to stay this way. I want to run with my children. I want them to be proud of me. I want them to know they can do anything in You. How will they ever know that when I wear my own failure like a layer of insulation? It protects me. Nothing goes very deep; nothing gets through.

I’m afraid to try again. I’ve failed and failed and failed. I’ve given up. I’m afraid that one more failure will destroy me.

It’s up to You.

Retreat thoughts

Categories: Faith , This and That | Comments Off  

– If you tell 10 women they should bring snacks for between meals and before bed in case they get hungry, expect them to bring bags and bags of chocolate.

– There are few things more fun (or funny!) than listening to women tell how they met their husband.

– The best blessing you can give a mom is a chance to eat every meal all weekend long without having to get up before she’s done eating — or before she’s even taken a bite!

– The second best blessing is not having to clean up after said meals.

– Laughing long and hard is great exercise for the stomach.

– Friends that you can be real with are an awesome gift from God.

– If planning a retreat, don’t schedule every minute. Our retreat committee didn’t, and I was so grateful for lots of time to visit and rest and be alone and write.

– There is something about being away from home and distractions that allows God to minister to us and tell us things we need to hear.

– I can’t wait ’til next year!

Review of “In the Beginning There Were No Diapers”

September 26, 2005 Categories: Books , Kid Stuff , Reviews | Comments Off  

(In the Beginning There Were No Diapers was provided to me free of charge by Mind and Media, who received it from the publisher for the purpose of being reviewed.)

“I wasn’t prepared to enjoy watching Paul play T-ball. I suspected the games would be slow and tedious. But when T-ball ended, I missed the unpredictable, fast action that only five-year-old boys can bring. Where else do you see unassisted triple plays in back-to-back innings and players who have the fine-tuned teamwork of a litter of puppies? What other sport’s athletes not only play for the love of the game but also for the snack at the end? When I missed a game, Paul beamed as he told me he got two hits but had even more exciting news. “Dad!” he said, licking his lips. “We each got our own pack of Oreos!” If professional baseball owners were smart, they’d sign T-ball players to lifetime contracts. The players would sign on the dotted line for peanuts — especially if they were chocolate covered….

T-ball players do get distracted at times. During one game, a player pointed toward center field as he took the plate. At first it appeared he was imitating Babe Ruth, showing the fans where he was going to hit a home run. Then I heard the sound of the ice cream truck passing by. The entire team turned and started walking — as if in a trance — toward the truck. All, except for the second baseman who was writing his name in the dirt, and the first baseman who was trying to catch a butterfly, and the right fielder who was practicing his somersaults.”

When I read that passage from In the Beginning There Were No Diapers by Tim Bete, my husband asked, “Is he from around here?” Actually, Mr. Bete lives in Ohio, but some things — like T-ball — about parenting are just universal. Mr. Bete has written about these “universals”, and done it with humor and grace.

From a pyramid scheme for rewarding children who successfully use the potty to a young girl’s description of pet heaven, this book had me laughing and shaking my head. It is amazing that you can add unique children to unique parents and still get the same results. For example, I give you Mr. Bete’s list of parenting anxieties:

– “The Our-kids-haven’t-eaten-anything-but-grilled-cheese-sandwiches-in-three-weeks anxiety”

– “The If-I-have-to-read-The-Cat-in-the-Hat-again-I’ll-scream anxiety”

– “The There-was-a-ladybug-on-the-floor-a-minute-ago-but-now-it’s-gone-and-the-baby-is-chewing-something anxiety”

– “The I-can-hear-the-Talking-Barbie’s-voice-but-it-sounds-like-it’s-coming-from-underwater-and-I-just-heard-the-toilet-flush anxiety”

I don’t know about you, but I can relate to all of these, or at least some variation of the same.

Not only did this book make me laugh and remind me of some of the stages we’ve successfully passed (whew!) with our children, it also reminded me what a miracle our children are and how amazing it is that God has trusted us to raise them.

Home

September 25, 2005 Categories: All About Me , This and That | Comments Off  

I’m home. The weekend was wonderful, and I am completely exhausted. Something about sleeping in a cabin with 9 other women who also love to talk is not conducive to good sleep. I’ll post more tomorrow. Off to catch up on reading all of your blogs!

I’m off!

September 23, 2005 Categories: All About Me | Comments Off  

I’m leaving in a little over an hour and heading to Women’s Retreat. We’re staying at a lovely camp and the weather forecast is still promising wonderful days. I realize I haven’t posted much of substance this week. Hopefully I will come home with lots of renewed creativity and fun stuff to share. Have a wonderful weekend!

Two more days…

September 21, 2005 Categories: All About Me | Comments Off  

until I leave for Women’s Retreat. Two-and-a-half days and two nights away from home. Visiting and laughing with three of my best friends. Five meals that I didn’t have to cook and won’t have to clean up after. Quiet time to read my Bible next to a beautiful lake. Adult conversation. A weather forecast that’s in the high 60s and low 70s all weekend. I can’t wait.

Six years ago

September 18, 2005 Categories: Kid Stuff | Comments Off  

Six years ago God gave us a gift. We named him Jonathan Nathanael. Both of these names mean gift of God.

Happy Birthday, Jonathan! Mommy loves you and is so proud of you.

Secrets

September 17, 2005 Categories: This and That | Comments Off  

I’ve been keeping a secret for the last couple of months. And since I’m the kind of gal who can’t buy Christmas presents too early because I’ll end up giving them and then have to buy more, I think I’ve done pretty good.

I have been planning a surprise party for Kevin’s 40th. I couldn’t post about it, because he occasionally reads my blog. So I haven’t said a word. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get him to the church without knowing something was up. But I was still pretty happy with myself for managing to keep it from him that long.

We went to dinner at a local restaurant at 5:00. My past experience has been that it takes at least a half hour to be served. All our friends were going to arrive at the church at 6:15, and I was going to (somehow) get Kevin there by 6:30.

Well, our food arrived very quickly. We ate and visited and after we were finished, Kevin said, “Well, are you ready to go?” I looked at my watch and it was only 5:45. So I said no and we visited some more and then again at 6:15, Kevin’s ready to go. Normally we would sit and visit no problem, but since the kids woke both of us up at 4:30 and we hadn’t been able to go back to sleep, we were both extremely tired, and the longer we sat there the more we were passing yawns back and forth.

When I again said I didn’t want to go yet, he figured out something was up. So I ‘fessed up. And even though I didn’t manage to get him there in a state of obliviousness, I could tell by his smile he was pretty pleased that I’d gone to all the trouble. And when we got to the church and there were about 20 adults there (and oodles of children), he was pretty surprised.

It was a good evening. I’m exhausted, though. We had to clean up afterward, as we’re having a lasagna dinner at the church tonight. I still need to go over and vacuum the foyer and hallway sometime this morning. But it was worth it.