That Darned Proverbs 31 Woman

February 28, 2007 Categories: Faith | 13 Comments  

We’ve been studying our role as wives this year during ladies’ Bible study, and last week we came to…gulp…the Proverbs 31 woman. You know the one, the woman who makes us all want to crawl in bed with a bar of chocolate and pull the covers over our head. Or is it just me? Am I the only one who finds this passage in Scripture completely overwhelming and intimidating?

Our leader asked us to look at this Scripture in the Amplified Bible, as well as our usual translations, and make a list of the characteristics that we see in this woman. Not the things she does – because, really, how many of us are getting up in the morning to organize our maids? Some of what she did was very different than what we do today – but the characteristics she exemplifies can be applied no matter what century or culture we live in.

So I took about thirty minutes, and here’s the list I came up with:

~She is morally excellent, righteous, chaste, and beneficial to her husband.
~She has merit.
~She is capable.
~She is worthy of her husband’s confidence and reliance upon her.
~She enriches her husband’s life.
~She does not hinder, delay, or hamper her husband in any way.
~She gives her husband assistance and support.
~She improves, relieves, rescues, benfits, promotes, and serves her husband.
~She is busy.
~She arranges things.
~She is intentional and makes plans.
~She is industrious, skillful, diligent, and full of energy.
~She is strong, frugal, and has great resources.
~She is compassionate and generous.
~She is confident.
~She is careful and observant.
~She is worthy, honored, and esteemed.
~She is full of wisdom and kindness.
~She fears the Lord.

Whew! I need to go lay down – this woman exhausts me. Unfortunately, this assignment left me discouraged and ashamed. I fall so short of this ideal. And so I went to Bible study feeling deflated and a little apprehensive of what I would hear.

But before we got to the discussion time, I led worship. And this is one of the songs I had chosen for this morning:

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound!
Amazing love, now flowing down
From hands and feet that were nailed to a tree,
As grace flows down and covers me.

It covers me.
It covers me.
It covers me…
And covers me.

Words and music by David E. Bell, Louie Giglio, & Rod Padgett

I am not always morally excellent and righteous…but He covers me.

I am not a consistent support and benefit to my husband…but He covers me.

I am not always diligent and busy and capable and confident and compassionate and frugal and generous and wise and kind and…

He covers me.

And because He covers me, I won’t crawl into bed with a chocolate bar and give up. I will keep clinging to Him and allow Him to make me more like that list. Will I be perfect? Not in this life. Can I do better? Not on my own. But He covers me.

Read Alouds – February 2007

Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

Egermeier’s Bible Story Book: A Complete Narration from Genesis to Revelation for Young and Old by Elsie E. Egermeier
Favorite Poems Old and New selected by Helen Ferris
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
The Dragon’s Eye: The Dragonology Chronicles, Volume 1 by Dugald A. Steer
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
The Story of Salt by Mark Kurlanksy & S. D. Schindler
Owen & Mzee: The True Story Of A Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, & Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Breathing by Anita Ganeri
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
Max and Ruby’s First Greek Myth: Pandora’s Box by Rosemary Wells
The King and the Three Thieves: A Persian Tale by Kristen Balouch
Bones by Stephen Krensky
How Do We Move? by Carol Ballard

Spring Reading Challenge

February 26, 2007 Categories: Books | 7 Comments  

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Since I didn’t completely fail at the Winter Reading Challenge, I’m going to go ahead and post a goal list for the Spring Reading Challenge, hosted by Seasonal Soundings.

I’m still hoping to have Redemption by Leon Uris finished before the end of the month (yes, I know that’s only two days away) – but if I don’t, finishing that will be tops on my spring list. I would have it finished by now, but I received two books in the mail that I need to read and review, and….well, you know how it goes.

Here are my in-progress books that I resolve to have finished by the end of May:

~The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson
~Take Joy: The Writers Guide To Loving The Craft by Jane Yolen
~Super Mom Saves the World by Melanie Lynne Hauser
~Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson
~My Own Two Feet: A Memoir by Beverly Cleary
~Eragon by Christopher Paolini (reading aloud to the kids)

Here are the other books off my List and off my shelves that I will read:

~To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian by Stephen Ambrose
~The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1957-1982
~Writers on Writing, Volume II: More Collected Essays from The New York Times
~An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
~A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

I’m sure I’ll also listen to a few audiobooks during the next three months, but the titles depend on what the library has available. I’ll hopefully finish a few more off of my shelves, too, but I want to leave room for impulse items from the library and loans from friends.

If you’re interested in doing some intentional reading this spring, click on over to Seasonal Soundings and leave a comment with a link to your list.

Music Meme

February 24, 2007 Categories: Memes & Quizzes , Music | 5 Comments  

Favorite Song From Childhood: Grandma’s Feather Bed by John Denver.

Favorite High School Dance Song: I grew up in a small, logging town, and I remember vividly dancing to Fishin’ in the Dark by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard. Slow songs: Eternal Flame by The Bangles and Lost in Your Eyes by Debbie Gibson. Cheesy, I know.

Senior Class Song: So sad, but I have no idea!

Song That Makes You Think of College: Orinocco Flow (Sail Away) by Enya. I have a very vivid memory of driving down a highway along the Snake River near Pullman with an old boyfriend, windows rolled down, and that song blaring. It was dusk – and the sky was that cerulean blue with the clouds almost black. Beautiful. Also, anything by Pearl Jam or Toad the Wet Sprocket. Plus, I had a (different) boyfriend who was several years older than me and introduced me to a bunch of great music that I had missed, like Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and others. Not really my era, but still makes me think of that time.

Favorite Rock & Roll Song: November Rain – Guns ‘n’ Roses

Favorite Disco Song: We like the Bee Gees at our house, so probably Nighs on Broadway.

Favorite Country Western Song: I listen to Country music all the time, so there are a ton of them, but for one that really embodies the genre, probably Boot, Scootin’ Boogie.

Favorite Pop Song: I can’t really think of one.

Favorite All Time Love Song: Faithfully and Open Arms by Journey, and our wedding song: Go There With You by Steven Curtis Chapman

Favorite Break Up Song: I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt.

Favorite Slow Dance Song: In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel.

Song That Always Makes You Cry: I Hope You Dance by Leann Womack

Songs About Your Kids: I sang these two songs aloud to each of my kids when they were babies: For Sentimental Reasons and L-O-V-E – the Natalie Cole versions, if you’re interested.

Song That Reminds You Of Your Husband: Still the One by Shania Twain. I normally can’t stand her music, but that song embodies so much of our story. Also The Great Adventure by Steven Curtis Chapman. Not a love song, but that album was one of the first things we had in common. He loaned me his copy and we both mentioned that Go There With You (see answer on “Favorite All-Time Love Song) would make a perfect wedding song. And it did.

Favorite Christmas Song: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Favorite Gospel/Praise Song: Indescribable by Chris Tomlin

Favorite Ringtone on Cellphone: My friend Michelle has Hava Nagila on her phone and it gets stuck in my head every time I’m at her house and the phone rings, but I honestly can’t think of any others.

Found this at Rocks in My Dryer. Let me know if you sing along.

Links for Friday

February 23, 2007 Categories: Books , Faith , Funnies , Kid Stuff , Movies , News | 5 Comments  

It’s evening, but still Friday, so I’m not too late, right? We had a good day: I talked to my sister Andrea for an hour and a half this morning, then we did some school – mostly reading, ran some errands, baked pumpkin muffins, and then Michelle and her boys came over for a few hours.

The boys have their first belt promotion test for Tae Kwon Do tomorrow, so we will be spending the entire afternoon at the dojang. I am excited for them – they have been working really hard. And Natalie has decided to quit ballet and join her brothers at TKD, so that eliminates one of our commitments on “crazy Wednesdays”. I’ll miss seeing my parents every Wednesday, but I’ll just have to find another time to drive down to Chewelah during the week.

Since everyone seems to be done with this flu-ish stuff, we’re going to visit a new church on Sunday. I’ve been there twice already and I really like it – I’m hoping the rest of the family feels the same way. Sunday night I’ll head to Mom and Dad’s for dinner and to watch the Oscars.

I have a few links to share, and for some reason, three of them are snarky posts about the state of the Church. I’m not in a snarky mood myself, honestly, but I couldn’t resist sharing them and waiting for the comments. ;)

~This guy’s blog makes me laugh and makes me think. I think Tonia was the one who pointed him out. Check out Mmm….Sacrilicious… and The Seven Habitrails of Highly Effective Churches.

~Think Christian posted this video.

~I can’t wait to see Amazing Grace: The Story of William Wilberforce. Click the link to watch a trailer.

~This video tickled me to pieces.

~This news article belongs in the “Well, duh!” files.

~Cindy at Dominion Family opened a can of worms with this post about books we’re supposed to love, but can’t stand. People are coming out of the closet against all sorts of books: Elsie Dinsmore, Mitford, A Tale of Two Cities, Stepping Heavenward, Narnia, Lord of the Rings – it’s crazy confession time! I don’t feel so bad about hating Gilead and The Poisonwood Bible anymore!

That’s all for this week – what are your plans for the weekend?

Ready for Spring

February 22, 2007 Categories: Kid Stuff | 5 Comments  

I thought I was the only one suffering from the winter blahs, but this morning Josiah (5yo) ran into the living room, looked out the window, and burst into tears. I was in the kitchen and came in to ask him what was wrong.

“It’s snowing!” he wailed. “I miss the grass!”

Winter Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

February 20, 2007 Categories: Books | 9 Comments  

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When I joined the Winter Reading Challenge, my goal was to finish these in progress books:

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
Redemption by Leon Uris
Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour
The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson
Proverbs and Sayings of Ireland Edited by Sean Gaffney & Seamus Cashman
Bibliotopia: Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts And Curiosities Compiled by Steven Gilbar

I know February isn’t officially over, but here’s how I did:

Finished
Reading Like a Writer
Education of a Wandering Man
Proverbs and Sayings of Ireland
Bibliotopia: Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts And Curiosities

Still Reading
Redemption
The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson

I am about 2/3 of the way through Redemption and it has finally grabbed me, so I fully expect to have it finished before the end of the month. The Emily Dickinson poems will probably take another month or so. I’m enjoying them – but some of them are fairly obscure and hard to understand. (Maybe it’s just me.) Still, I will push on.

I also wanted to read five books off of the top portion of this list, the top portion being books that I own and have been waiting on my shelves – some for a long time!

The only book that qualifies for this portion of the challenge is Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston, which I hated. I truly intended to read more books off my shelves, but… Here, let me explain.

At the beginning of the year, Michelle and I were talking about how much she loves Chekhov’s short stories and then we both read Reading Like a Writer in which the author truly gushes over Chekhov. So Michelle loaned me her copy of The Duel, which I devoured. One book read, not on my list – or my shelves.

After reading The Thirteenth Tale, I wanted very much to read Jane Eyre. I started reading it through DailyLit, but got tired of pushing the “send next fragment immediately” button several times a day, so Michelle loaned me her copy. One more book read, not on my list – or my shelves.

I saw a preview for the movie version of The Children of Men, knew I wanted to see it, but wanted to read the book first, so I checked out the library’s copy. Another book read, not on my list – or my shelves.

When I returned Children of Men to the library, I wandered over to the “New Books” shelves, “just to browse.” Knowing that we were leaving for the weekend and I would have lots of time to read, I checked out Famous Writers School. (Which wasn’t very good, by the way.) Yet one more book read that wasn’t on my list or my shelves.

When we were away on our weekend, we made our mandatory two-hour trip to Barnes & Noble, and I picked up a copy of The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction. Another book read…. You know the drill.

So, did I meet my challenge? No. But, honestly, I did better than I thought! For some reason I had it in my head that my goal had been 18 books off of my to-be-read shelves. 18! So when I saw that I had actually been wise and made a much more reachable goal, I was pretty pleased with myself. Next up will be the Spring Reading Challenge – I’ll post more details as Janie does. And my goal will probably be to stay out of the library, stop borrowing books, and stop shopping for books!

Read to Me 2007

February 19, 2007 Categories: Books , Homeschooling , Kid Stuff | 5 Comments  

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Jennifer at Snapshot is sponsoring Read to Me 2007, a challenge for those of us who love books and children.

“Read to Me 2007 is a mission to encourage reading to children. Most of us know that reading to children is a good thing. Most of us are busy. Most of us are selfish with our time (alright, I won’t saddle you with that, but I will admit that I am selfish with my time). Goals are important to me, and accountability is important to me, too. So, I’m going to set some goals for reading to my children and I’m going to invite you to do the same.”

I’ve been much better about keeping our read-aloud time consistent this (school) year than last, but I still see some areas needing improvement. One is to do more picture books – now that Natalie and Noah are loving to listen to longer books like Inkheart and Eragon, I’ve neglected Jonathan and Josiah some since they aren’t quite ready to sit still for those. We also do very little reading aloud on the weekends, and I want to change that.

So here are my goals:

~At least two picture books a day for Jonathan and Josiah.

~Read aloud for 30 to 45 minutes on either Saturday or Sunday.

Not grand goals, I know, but since we already have a daily read-aloud time, these are the areas we need to work on.

If you want to participate, you can find complete details here, and join by Mr. Linky here.

Be sure and leave me a comment to let me know if you decide to participate!

Mr. Right Meme

February 17, 2007 Categories: Memes & Quizzes | 6 Comments  

Found this meme at Everyday Mommy‘s place.

His age: 41

How tall is he: 5’5″ – same as me

How long have you been together (married): Married twelve years on March 31, 2007…together for six months before we got married.

How long did you know each other before you got together?: We knew each other as friends for about six months.

What physical features attracted you to him first?: His smile.

Eye color: Brown

Hair color: Dark brown, with some salt and pepper.

Hair style: Buzzed on top to prevent the whole combover thing, very short everywhere else. We call it the Costanza. ;)

Normal Outfit: Jeans and button-up shirt at work, jeans and t-shirt or sweatshirt at home.

How did you meet: Church singles group.

How serious is it?: Umm, we’re married, so pretty serious.

Are you “in love”: Yep – most days. ;) Of course I love him all the time, but those fluttery, emotional “in-love” feelings are fickle, right?

Do your parents like him: Yes.

Do his parents like you: Yep.

Do you trust him: Completely.

Would you share a toothbrush with him?: No…that’s just gross.

Would he let you wear his pants?: He would if I could fit into them.

Do you have a shirt of his that you sleep in?: Nope.

Do you like the way he smells?: Yes. He has a naturally sweet smell to his skin. (Two of the kids have it, too.) He doesn’t wear cologne, and even when he gets all sweaty, he doesn’t have that body odor smell. God knew I have a very sensitive nose!

Can you picture having kids with him?: Not any additional, but we’ll keep the four we already have.

What bothers you the most about him?: His snoring.

Does he have a temper?: Yes, but he’s working on it.

Are you happy to be with him?: Yes, very much so.

Does he embarrass you in public?: A few times in home group, when his strong doctrinal opinions came out, but most of the time, no.

Does he smoke or do drugs?: His vice is chewing tobacco – he’s been trying to quit since, well, forever.

Does he have any piercings?: Ha, ha, ha. No.

Any tattoos?: No.

Does he have any scars that you know of?: From hernia surgery and having part of his colon removed due to Crohn’s disease. I have more, though – two c-sections and a gall bladder removal.

Is he a Party dude or Stay at home?: Stay at home.

Is he Outgoing or Shy?: In-between. He hates crowds, but he likes small get-togethers with people we already know and are comfortable with.

Does he love his mama?: Yes, but they don’t always get along.

Would he hang out with you and YOUR friends?: Yes, and be very frustrated that he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. It’s happened.

Sing?: With the radio.

If you decide to dish about the man in your life, let me know!

Review of Hollywoodland

February 16, 2007 Categories: Movies , Reviews | 1 Comment  

(Hollywoodland was provided to me by Special Ops Media for the purpose of review.)

Hollywoodland tells the story of one of Hollywood’s most notorious unsolved mysteries: the death of The Adventures of Superman star George Reeves. Reeves is an actor in old-time Hollywood, back when the studios controlled everything from their players’ salaries to their choice of spouse. Reeves has everything an old-time movie star needs: looks, charisma, a great voice. He’s only lacking a career. He takes a part in the television show Superman, thinking that no one will ever see it. Movie studios and those who worked in film are in denial and believe that television has no future. When Superman makes him a household name – and unhirable for any other movie roles, Reeves sinks into depression.

Throw in the fact that he is a “kept” man, and he has every reason to be disgusted with his life. He is stuck in an affair with older woman Toni Mannix, wife of a MGM honcho who also has a mistress on the side and is fine with his wife’s dalliances – as long as no one breaks her heart, which Reeves does when he leaves her for a younger actress.

One night after singing a song for his guests at a small party at his home, Reeves says “Good night” and heads up to his bedroom. A shot is heard. Did he kill himself? Did Mannix have him “offed?” Or did his new fiance, who is disgusted with the fact that he has become a “has-been”, murder him in a rage?

Louis Simo, a private detective whose career is in the dump, takes the case when he hears that Reeves mother believes he was murdered. The police have quickly called his death a suicide and closed the case – but was the studio involved in a cover-up?

There are so many questions surrounding this true story – and not many answers. The p.i. storyline is fictional, and was the perfect way to tell Reeves’ story. As a murder mystery, this moving is somewhat unsatisfying. But as a character piece, it is perfect. Diane Lane is terrific as Toni Mannix, and Ben Affleck is astounding. I’ve always liked him, but I honestly doubted whether I could “see” him in this role. He became George Reeves. Bob Hoskins is cold and menacing as Mannix.

The best part of the picture, in my opinion, is watching the transformation in Louis Simo, the private detective – brilliantly played by Adrien Brody. He begins to see his own failures and life through real eyes while he is investigating Reeves’ death. The ending is satisfying because of the changes that he has undergone.

See this movie for the acting, if not for the intriguing mystery. I’m still thinking about it and wondering if we will every know what truly happened.

Hollywoodland is rated R for extremely strong language and a brief sexual situation that contains no nudity.