Sunday, January 31, 2010

Books Read to Anna in January

I took on the 100 Books a Month Challenge and have been keeping a record, at GoodReads, of all the books that I read to Anna this month.  I didn't record all the rereads, which were many.  Most of the books were from our book shelves this month, but there were a few library books mixed in there too.  We hit the 100 mark no trouble at all.

If you want to see what we read you can check out my Read to Anna shelf at Good Reads .  I was hoping that I could easily copy and paste a list of them into a post but it appears it's not going to be as easy as I thought so I will work on getting a list of the books included in this post over the next few days.

I really enjoyed this challenge and we will be starting a list for February tomorrow.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great time with family and friends!

That sums up my day today.  Lazer take with kids this afternoon and movie with girlfriend's tonight.  My six words for today - Great time with family and friends!

Post inspired by:

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Story Girl by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Inspired by three reading challenges.   - a Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge, a Canadian Authors Challenge and an E-Book Reading Challenge - I decided to read The Story Girl by Lucy Maud Montgomery through the ReadPrint site. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  I just love Montgomery's writing.  I had read her Anne stories as a teen and also read them to my children, but I hadn't read anything else by her.  When I came across the Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading challenge I decided to see what other books she had written and was thrilled to find a number of her books available through the ReadPrint site.  I did, however, wonder how much I would enjoy reading it online.  I needn't have worried.  I wasn't far into the first chapter before I was captivated by Montgomery's writing yet again.  I really should have taken note of some of the great sayings in the book, because there are many, but I didn't want to take the time out of my reading to record them.  I was too lost in the world Montgomery created in her writing. 

I would say I will be reading more books from the ReadPrint site.  The Reading Mode available on the site makes reading on line a real pleasure, at least for me, and there are so many great classics available on the site.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Preacher's Kid by Elmer W. Vaters

This book caught my attention when I was perusing the shelves of a used book store recently and I had to buy it.  After I had read it I mentioned it to my dad and wondered if he had read it.  Turns out he has a copy of the book that was given to him by the author.

The Preacher's Kid is an autobiography by Elmer W. Vaters, the son of one of the "founding fathers" of the Pentecostal denomination in Newfoundland and Labrador.  I was drawn to the book because I am a Newfoundlander and I was looking for books written by Newfoundlanders, but also because I was born and raised Pentecostal and I was interested in reading more about the history of the Pentecostal leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador.

My dad and Elmer Vaters had something in common - they were both preacher's kids.  From my reading of the book that seems to be about where the similarities end.  Well, let me rethink that.  I think they probably also have similar feelings about the disassembling of the denominational school boards a few years back.

I have mixed feelings about the book.  I don't think it is particularly well written and it was not at all what I expected.  I expected to read more about how his life was affected by the fact that he was a preacher's kid, and there is some of that there, but not as much as I expected.  I enjoyed the book for the glimpse of history in the book, especially about Joey Smallwood and about the school systems in Newfoundland and Labrador. It has sparked an interest in me to read more books that will give me first hand glimpses of our history.  It really is so much more interesting to read about history in books such as this rather than in text books.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hooked Mats of Newfoundland and Labrador: Beauty Born of Necessity

This is the my first book for the Art History Reading Challenge.  Hooked Mats of Newfoundland and Labrador: Beauty Born of Necessity was compiled by The Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador.  The book gives a bit of the history of mat hooking in Newfoundland and Labrador, but the bulk of the book is pictures of hooked mats, along with the stories behind the mats.  Some of the mats are quite beautiful and the book has stirred an interest in me to learn more about the craft.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Unashamed by Francine Rivers

"Rahab.  A woman with a past to whom God gave a future."  Taken from the back cover, this is what the book is about.  The front cover says it is a novella, and as such it is a quick read, but it is a packed read.  It is well worth the time it will take you to read it.  It gives a very clear picture of the mercy of God and gives a whole new appreciation of the story of the fall of Jericho.

Unashamed fits in the 2nd Reading Challenge, because Francine River is an author I really loved in the past and I wanted to read more by her.  It also fits the Biblical Fiction Challenge as it tells the story of Rahab from Joshua 2-6.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Breakfast - Egg in a Nest

A favorite at our house. Little one loves to help me make it.

Step 1:  Use a glass to cut a hole in a slice of bread.

Step 2: Put the breads slices and circles in a frying pan and break an egg into the middle of the hole.

Step3:  When the egg is almost cooked, flip the bread and egg over, and also the circles.

Step 4: Place a slice of cheese on top

Step 5: Place the circle on top of the cheese.

Step 6: When the underside is toasted it's ready to take out of the pan

Step 7: Place it on a plate and enjoy!

post inspired by this week's breakfast theme at
Cooking With Carla

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What can you do for Haiti?

It's funny how much more real it all becomes when you have a personal connection. Like everyone else, I've been taking in the news of the devastation in Haiti since the earthquake but it didn't really hit me with the same magnitude until I was pointed to this video and made aware that the speaker in the video was a former student of mine.

Reading personal reports from Vaden Earle's facebook page gives a whole different view of Haiti. Vaden is CEO and Co-founder of, a not-for-profit organization that was working in Haiti even before the earthquake. He urges his facebook friends that we have a responsibility to do something - something more than just sit and watch all the news reports. Vaden is in Haiti offering hands on help while his organization is collecting funds and making arrangements for more help - both immediate and future. Please take the time to watch the video and check out the website to see how you can help. If you are on facebook you can join's facebook page.

Thank-you Vaden, for being willing to do whatever you can. May we all follow your example.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Home Made bread turned out good!

I haven't made home made bread for quite a while.  My past attempts have not been that successful.  Today, however, was an exception.  I was making home made baked beans for supper and home made baked beans is just not the same without fresh home made bread, so I decided to give it a try.  It turned out great!  I made two loaves of bread and 24 rolls.  I didn't actually make it from scratch, however.  I used bread and roll mix. But still, I'm pretty proud of myself.  Sooo, my six words for today are:
Home Made bread turned out good!

post inspired by

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Amazing Talented Daughter

My oldest daughter, still in her teens, has amazing talent. She has a beautiful voice and she's taught her self to play guitar. I love it when the sounds of her singing and playing come drifting out of her room. She also is a very gifted writer. She has written the lyrics and music for a few songs, and they are really good. Just yesterday she showed me the first draft of an amazing poem she wrote the night before. She also has a great eye for photography and is working on developing that talent. Just this past week she finally made a facebook page to share some of her photography.

She's been going through some struggles lately wondering what the future holds for her. She's at that stage in life where everyone is asking her about her plans for the future. I have great confidence that if she will keep on the path she has been on and develop the skills God has given her, He will direct her paths as she keeps giving it all to Him. One day at a time the future will unfold. I'm excited to watch it happen.

A day late but inspired by

which I discovered it from CanadaGirl 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The joys of technology!

I am having computer issues yet again!  It is so frustrating!  My laptop, which is only just barely, not even quite, one year old is acting up again!  I have had so much trouble with it every since I had it that it makes me question whether I will ever buy another Toshiba again.  I'm trying to fix it, again, so we'll see how that goes.  Oh how I wish I knew all the ins and outs of computers and could find out what the trouble is and fix it once and for all.  This is driving me crazy!

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and post so as not to miss today, though it's not much of a post.  I had so many ideas for posts today, but they are wrapped up in a laptop that is not working at the moment.  I am using my children's desktop to write this post.  Hopefully I will manage to get the laptop running again quickly.

Oh the joys of technology!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I want to have more time in a day

I can't seem to find enough time in the day to do all that I need/want to do.  Mind you, if I were perfectly truthful, I'd have to admit that I waste a lot of my time and if I actually stuck to doing what I should be doing I'd have no trouble fitting it all in.  Sooooo, while I think I would like to have more time in a day I'd probably just end up wasting it away again.  Truth is I really need to prioritize and not get side tracked.  With that thought in mine I'll answer this week's question for the "I Want Wednesday meme".

"What do you want to change about yourself?"

I want to get my priorities straight.  I want to stop getting sidetracked and stick to the really important things.  I want to get back on track in my sleeping/waking schedule.  I have been totally messed up in that regard for quite a while and it's wearing me out.  I want to feel energetic and revived again.  I want to get back on track with exercising again.  I know that will help with the energy and probably even the sleeping.  I want to change.  Now, how do I make that happen?

post inspired by the January 20th - 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sneaking in Under the Wire

So many times today I thought about the post for today, but that's as far as it got.  I really need to do a book review, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it, so here I sit trying to sneak a post in before midnight, just to say that I posted today.  How sad is that!  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stress fades with Praise!

holy experience

71. calmly reacting to computer troubles and being able to find solutions 
72. having like minded friends traveling the homeschooling road together 
73. oldest daughters creativity and confidence in making alterations to pieces of clothing
74. reading and discussing the Word with oldest daughter
75. oldest daughter's obvious attempts to try to be more helpful and obedient
76. being able to tidy room again after long time of having it too full to be tidied
77. wonderful break
78. time with daughter, son's girlfriend, and another friend
79. good music and good fun
80. knowing little one is well cared for and content while I'm away
81. husband making arrangements for trip
82. being able to turn to praying friends when trouble comes
83. being able to lay troubles at Jesus' feet and rest
84. safe travels for all
85. my wonderful dad 

I am amazed at how this simple act of remembering and listing things to be thankful for floods my heart with such peace!  It certainly has not been a perfect week.  There was a time of great distress this week, but it fades into the background as I give praise for the good this week.  What a blessing!

Ann explains The Thousand Gifts challenge - to start listing the gifts in the everyday and watch as your list grows...first to 1000...and then beyond...until it becomes an Endless Gifts Lists. Ann says that she tries to "add to the endless list of gifts every Monday... to begin the week with a heart spilling with gratitude!" I am following her example.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

70 Years Old

How is it possible that my dad is 70 years old?!  I'm finding that hard to take in.  To me he never ages.

As I've posted here before, my dad is my hero - always has been and always will be.

He is not a tall man in stature, but to me he's heads above everyone else.  Mom likes to tell a story about when I was quite young and we lived in an apartment that had a lower roof than most places.  Dad used to make a big deal out of the fact that he could touch the ceiling and apparently one time when we were out somewhere I was bragging about how my dad could touch the ceiling and I told him to show the people.  It was rather a humbling moment for him.  :)

He is not a perfect man, but in my mind he's as close as you can come.  I've watched him struggle with things about himself that he didn't like, but with God's help he conquered them.

I've said it before and I say it again, I think the most important thing Dad did was to provide me with an earthly example of my Heavenly Father - a Father who's love is unending, but that also has standards to be reached for.

I thank my Heavenly Father for the earthly father he provided me with and I thank Him for the 70 years He's blessed my Dad with.  I'm praying He blesses Him with many more.

No internet, but great overnight trip

Yesterday I missed posting for the first day since 2010.  I went on a road trip with the girls - my oldest daughter, my oldest son's girlfriend, and another girl that is a friend of both girls.  We had a great time!  The only bummer was that the hotel we stayed at didn't have internet available for guests and I couldn't find a connection to use. I was bummed about that, but what a great time we had!  We thoroughly enjoyed the concert we went to see and my daughter got some great pictures.  I love spending time with the girls.  I was planning to so a six word post about the good times and the concert but the plan changed slightly when I couldn't post.  I'm a day late in posting but my six words for yesterday are "No internet, but great overnight trip!"  :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Great Cooking Blog

My friend Carla is a wonderful cook - actually I think she's wonder woman because she's a great scrapbooker, cake decorator, teacher, mother, wife, friend, etc. too.  :)

Carla started a cooking blog a couple of years ago but last year the blog kind of fell by the way side.  She revived it this year, however, and has a couple of neat features already that I thought I'd share.

She's started a 52 weeks of cakes theme for 2010 .  Every week she's going to try to remember to post cakes that she has decorated for people that week.  You can also check out some of her decorated cakes from past years.  I'm telling ya, she's good.  She even has a daughter that is following in her mother's footsteps.

She's also starting a Make It Monday Blog Carnival.  Each Monday she's going to post a recipe theme and include a MckLinky in the post for everyone to share their recipes that fit the theme.  The first carnival is coming up this Monday so be sure to check in and participate.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

8 Things that Caught My Eye Online This Week

1. The Daily Meme has Photo challenges - I'm trying to get my daughter motivated to take up some of them.  Haven't had any luck so far.  Teenagers!  :)

2. I took great encouragement from Ann's post The Real Secret to Happy Homemaking .  Here are the snippets from it that spoke to me, but please go read the whole thing - "Homemaking is about making a home --- and a home is a safe place, a refuge, a place to be real and alive and truest true...Homemaking is not about making perfection...A perfect home may not at all be a neat as a pin home." -

3. US President's Reading Project - I found out about this through Robin's Book Week Two post and I thought it was a great idea, however, as I am Canadian, I am considering posing my own Canadian Prime Ministers Reading Project. You may see something about that soon.  Please let me know if you'd be interested in such a thing

4. Loved this Sunday's Get Real With God post at Totally Tots.  Here's a quote: "children are the best mirrors. It never fails. If they are going through some behavior issue or attitude problem it doesn’t take long to realize that I am the ultimate cause of this."  Ouch.  I have found that to be so true.

5. 12 Tips for New Bloggers - Though written specifically for book bloggers there are some good tips for all bloggers - Get into a rhythm of regular posting; Read and comment on other blogs;  Ask questions in your posts; and answer questions posed by your readers in the comments; Always link to blog posts that you mention; If you get nasty comments or spam comments, ignore/delete. Do not respond; Enjoy blogging.  I discovered the 12 Tips from Phylis's new book blog, Windy Ridge Books.

6. I'm considering adding the Library Loot to my list of memes to participate in.  I like the idea of sharing great finds from the library and learning about what others have discovered in their local libraries.

7. 6 Steps To Effective Self Learning  Love this post!  My favorite point is point #4 Anytime is learning time.  If we could only get that into our heads!  And a favorite quote: "Let constant learning be a major part of your life-style".  Found out about the 6 steps through a Self Learning post at An Unschooling Life.

8. Booking Through Thursday - another meme that I will likely use as fodder for my blogging.  Every week a question having to do with reading is posed.  Today's question is: Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?  My answer is most definitely yes! I read everything - the front and back covers, the inside flaps, the forewards and introductions, the reviews, the appendixes - everything!  I know, I'm sick  :)

post inspired by
Join 8-Things

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How do you Shape Your Brand (Witness/Testimony)

Last weekend while participating in the Bloggiesta I read something that I haven't been able to get out of my mind. It was all about the importance of your Brand in the blogging world, but I couldn't get over how much of it also related to the importance of your Christian witness in the world.

As part of her bloggiesta Mini-Challenge about favicons and gravatars, Trish quoted from a ProBlogger post about How to Shape Your Blogs Brand and I had to go check out the whole post.  I hope ProBlogger doesn't mind but I've written my own adaption to the post to show where my mind has been.  I do encourage you to go check out the original post.  Most of these words are from that post, but I've edited them slightly.

1. A Brand (Witness/Testimony) will emerge whether you want it to or not

People begin to develop perceptions about you and what you stand for as they listen to what you say, as they look at what you wear, as they see what's important to you, as they observe how you interact with them and others – all of this contributes to how they perceive and describe you – your brand (witness/testimony).

2. You Can Shape Your Brand (Witness/Testimony)

People will form their own ideas about who you are and what you stand for – but you do have some ability to help them come to these conclusions.

How do you Shape Your Brand (Witness/Testimony)

1. Identify what You want to be Known For

2. Be what you want to be known for…… Consistently

Every time you do anything keep the witness you’re attempting to grow in mind. Everything you write, everything you say, everything you do either has the potential to build and shape your witness or conversely to hurt it.

Build relationships with people and influence their perceptions.  It is very easy to rush into conversations about you with guns blazing to ‘defend’ yourself and ‘fix’ peoples erroneous views about you – however this kind of attitude can actually do more harm than good.  Listen and reflect on what people are saying before you respond.  You’ll not only gain the respect of others but hopefully learn a thing or two about yourself and your witness that will help you improve it.  Don’t get sucked into letting what others say about you determine how you view you or determine your self worth.  Learn to know when to take it on board and learn to know when to let it go and move on.

Such wise, wise words.  Thank-you, ProBlogger.  I know you were talking about something totally different than what I ended up thinking about, but I learned much from your post, for both the blogging world and my Christian witness.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Dangerous Voyage by Gilbert Morris

The Dangerous Voyage, by Gilbert Morris, is book #1 in The Time Navigators fiction series, written especially for preteens (ages 11-14). In the series Danny and Dixie travel back in time and experience "unforgettable moments in history". In The Dangerous Voyage they are transported back to 1620 in England and they explore the Mayflower.

I found this book on my book shelf last week and decided to re-read it because it fit the requirements for a couple of reading challenges I am participating in - the First in a Series Challenge and also the Young Readers Challenge

I remember buying the book for my children to read after I had read many of the books in Morris' House of Winslow series.  I really enjoyed Winslow's writing and was thrilled to check out his writing for children. Also, as a homeschooling mother, I was always looking to squeeze all the learning I could out of a book and the fact that these books had an historical element to them made them more appealing.

If you are interested in seeing the books in each series you can check out Gilbert Morris' page on Fantastic Fiction. I think that both of these series can be used as additional reading for pleasure in an American history learning unit, the Time Navigator series for younger readers and the House of Winslow series for older readers. Children could be encouraged to record mentions of historical events and people and use this as jump of points for further study. While reading the book this time around I was wondering how it compared to the first book in the House of Winslow series and I wished I had it on my shelves to do the comparing.

I am not a fan of the whole sci-fiction travel in time concept, but I do see how it can be fun for children and it can help them to see things from a different perspective.

I already quoted one passage for the book in my Admit You Need Him post and I'd like to end with another one:
"Are you sure you want the truth?" Dixie asked. "Or do you just want to prove what you already have decided to believe?"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Recalling some, but missing much

holy experience

61.  friends to share a meal with
62.  safe travels for family
63.  quick healing of oldest daughter's knuckle
64.  books to encourage
65.  learning new things
66.  oldest daughter keeping youngest occupied so I could rest and recover from illness
67.  challenging messages from God's word
68.  little one adjusting to her own room
69.  enjoying the results of little one's imagination
70.  memories packed with decorations

I am going on memory at the moment because I spent most of last week recovering from a bug and then I had computer troubles.  I missed making my daily jots as they occurred.  I know there were many more blessings than what I have recorded and though I didn't get to record them all, I did treasure them more because I was more aware of them than I would have been before taking up the challenge.

Ann explains The Thousand Gifts challenge - to start listing the gifts in the everyday and watch as your list grows...first to 1000...and then beyond...until it becomes an Endless Gifts Lists. Ann says that she tries to "add to the endless list of gifts every Monday... to begin the week with a heart spilling with gratitude!" I am following her example.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Admit You Need Him

" can we ask God for anything? We certainly haven't been on good terms with Him."

"Well, I don't know much about God, but I don't think it works quite like that. He doesn't hold out on us until we're good. He just wants us to admit that He's the only one who can help us. Then if we pray..."

A quote from a conversation between Dixie and Danny in The Dangerous Voyage by Gilbert Morris

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Learning lots at the bloggiesta festivities!

Here's my six words for today:
Learning lots at the bloggiesta festivities!

Now to expand on those six words  :)

I decided to skim the mini challenges - old and new - and I got sucked in!

Here are the Old Challenges that caught my eye:
Clean Up Your Feedreader - got rid of feeds that hadn't been updated for over a year, got rid of some that I never really read anymore, got rid of some tags - down to 110 subscriptions, 13 tags.  I know that still sounds like a lot and I may do more cleaning yet, we'll see.

Google Alert Challenge - Never heard of Google Alert before and didn't find the link provided with the challenge all that helpful so went searching for info.   I found a good explanation and instructions on how to Set Up Google Alert Yourself and set one up for my blog address and my blog title.

Elevator Pitch - didn't know what an elevator pitch was but up on reading what it was and trying to work on one I realized that I already have a really short one, at 29 words, in my banner.

Favicons and Gravatars - I had heard bout a favicon before but didn't know how to make one or install it on my blog so I decided to give it a try.  I had much trouble but also had much help from Trish and Jill.  I finally figured out how to do it from How to Add a Favicon in Blogger.  In case you don't know what a favicon is, check out the little icon in the URL box by my blog URL.  Notice that it's no longer the bright orange blogger favicon.  I created my own little J's favicon.  Isn't it cool!?  I didn't do the Gravatar part of the challenge

Anchors Aweigh -  I learned about the importance of using more descriptive anchor words for links.  I'm trying to do better at that. 

Grade Your Blog  - I did a website grader and only scored 57%!  Boy, do I need to do some work.  One of the things I need to do is include ALT text for images.  I never do that.  Another is to add meta tags.  I tried, and tried to do that yesterday but never did succeed.  I kept getting an error message when trying to save it.  Sure wish I knew what was wrong

And the new challenges that appealed to me:

Cheat Sheet - I was sort of already doing this with sticky notes on my igoogle page for daily blog posting ideas, but I like the idea of making a master cheat sheet for blogging codes.

Footers and Copyright - I did not have a footer or copyright on my blog at all but this challenge had me searching to find out how to add it.  I found a website that finally helped me figure out how to add a copyright notice to my blog.  You have to scroll down to the bottom to actually see the copyright notice.  
Labels and tags - I had actually already started trying to be more consistent in adding labels to my posts.  I still forget sometimes but I'm trying to stay on top of fixing it when I forget.
Backing Up Your Blog - I had never thought about doing it before but it's done now, thanks to this challenge.  I can't believe it was so easy to do!
Dead Links - I hate dead links, but they are kind of inevitable. I do, however, think it is important to fix them when you become aware of them.  I tried testing my blog for dead links but got really frustrated with trying to read the results.  I may try again later.  I'd love it if people would leave a comment when they found a dead link, because then I would find out about it and fix it.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Care to join the "Bloggiesta" this weekend?

What's a Bloggiesta, you ask?

Natasha says "In short, it’s a blogging marathon.  An opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing." She is hosting a bloggiesta this weekend, starting today. Find out all the details here about what it is, how to play, who can play, prizes, etc.  

I heard about this on Robin's 52 Weeks Blog.  I am definitely going to be checking out the info and mini challenges, which you can read about here.  It sounds like a great way to pick up some blogging tips and help improve your blog, no matter what type of blog it is.

Let me know if you decide to join the celebrations, and what you thought about it after the fact, if you decide to join in the fun.  

Thursday, January 07, 2010

8 Things Online that Caught My Eye

1. 2010 Mathematics Game - found this from Let's Play Math.   Not sure if we'll actually do anything with it or not but we might try.  It's a challenge to use the digits in the year 2010 and the operations +, -, x, ÷, ^ (raised to a power), sqrt (square root), and ! (factorial), along with grouping symbols, to write expressions for the counting numbers 1 through 100.  Check out the site for more details.

2. Money making saving goals for 2010 - While I don't see myself doing a lot of the things that she does, I like the idea of setting money making/saving goals for the year.  Not sure if I'll actually do it or not, but I like the idea.  :)

3. Online Game of Sudoku Playing Board - Love this!  My dad has been hooked by Sudoku for a while now and I had tried it but couldn't quite get in to it.  Love playing it through this online playing board, however.  I'm still only at the easy level of play but I've played many games since finding this site last week.

4. 52 Self Portraits a Year - I found this by googling after reading Alex's 52 Fridays of Self Portraits post.  I love the idea and have challenged my oldest daughter to give it a try. I think I'll do it for my little one too.  Through my googling I also discovered the 52 Weeks group which has the same basic idea but is a little more creative.

5. Handmade Ornaments for Christmas 2010 - Found out about this flicker group through Alex's Handmade Ornaments for Christmas 2010 post.  The idea is to pledge to make one ornament a month.  I love the idea.  Not sure if I'll actually do it but I will be watching to see what everyone else is creating.

6. Project 365: How to Take a Picture a Day and See Your Life a Whole New Way - found this page from Molytail 365 .  I actually took up the challenge to take a picture a day in late April last year.  I missed a few days but didn't do too bad. I'm in the process of putting my 2009 Project 365 pictures into a set on Flickr so that I can make a slide show of them. I'm doing the 365 Project again this year and have a 2010 album started at Picasa for it.  I actually have a gadget showing the 2010 album in the sidebar of my blog.  I've already missed one day but that's okay.  I found a Project365 group on flickr.  I may end up switching my album to Flickr - we'll see.

7. GoodReads - found this site when I went looking for an online place to record books I'm reading with my little one.  You can create your own bookshelves to record whatever books you want.  I have a shelf to record books I've read to my little one and also some shelves to record books I read for challenges I've joined.  I have a gadget on my blog showing the books I've read to my little one and I'm thinking about adding gadgets for the other challenges too.

8. The Daily Meme - Need inspiration for blogs posts?  Check out the Daily Meme.  It give links to all kinds of ideas

post inspired by

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Returning to Holiness by Dr. Gregory Frizzel

Finished my first book for 2010.  Well, I've actually read 23 different books to my 4 year old so far this year but this is the first book that I read just to me. If you want to see the books I've read to my little one check out my "read to Anna" bookshelf gadget from GoodReads at the bottom of the right hand column of my blog.

This book, Returning to Holiness by Dr. Gregory Frizzel, counts as my first read for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and also for the Christian Non-Fiction Challenge.  I've been fighting a bug and haven't made it out to the library yet so I've been raiding my own shelves.  I picked this book up a while back and didn't get around to reading it until now.

Dr. Frizzel stresses the importance of living a holy life and provides guidelines to encourage the reader to begin a journey towards holiness.  He suggests 7 different types of sin - Sins of Thought, Sins of Attitude, Sins of Speech, Sins of Relationships, Sins of Commission, Sins of Omission, and Sins of Self-Rule and Self-Reliance -  that must be looked at to take this journey.  He gives scripture verses that address many different aspects of each type of sin.

I have mixed feeling about the book.  It is a good topic and it has some good stuff in it.  I found parts of it very challenging and I will be revisiting it.  Having said that, however, I do not feel it is well written or well presented.  I found many typos, especially in the last part of the book.  I was also frustrated by the margins and spacing of the type - in other words it wasn't eye appealing.  I do, however, like all the scriptures that are quoted in the book and will be working on committing many of them to memory so that I can better live the holy life God calls me to live.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Finding treasures on my bookshelf

I haven't managed to make it to the library yet, I'm fighting a bug of some sort, so I've been revisiting my own bookshelves and finding some treasures.  One such book is The Counting Book by John Peter.
This is an interactive book that introduces children to the concept of addition.  It was published in 1957 and has a very unique design.  The inside front cover tells you to cut each page into three strips.  The children then turn the strips to match the pictures and form addition equations.  My four year old loves playing with this.

Though I'm a day late this post was inspired by 

Monday, January 04, 2010

So much to be thankful for!

holy experience

...adding to the list is so easy and really does brighten the darkest of days

31. short visit with uncle and family
32. eldest son arriving safe and sound
33. a fun contest
34. watching youngest and oldest love one another
35. sister and husband arriving safe and sound
36. listening to oldest make sounds of enjoyment first at the smells and than at the taste of my cooking
37. listening to son and daughter play guitars and sing and praise the Lord together
38. hearing the laughter and chatter of their together time
39. watching son's friend become more comfortable with the family
40. mother, father, and "brother of the heart" arriving
41. fun times with family
42. bringing the New Year in together
43. cooking for family
44. dishwasher working!
45. son getting safely back to his present home
46. son and friend arriving safely at her house
47. good weather for everyone's travels
48. having friends to share burdens
49. praying father
50. fun loving mother
51. sister and husband getting back to their home safe and sound
52. the wonders of technology that allow me to "sit in" on a church service many miles away
53. table cloth that I like
54. sharing books with little one
55. finding out how much a cousin enjoyed her time with us
56. invitations to visit over the holidays
57. time with friends
58. listening to a sweet voice sing her own creations
59. knowing oldest daughter turns to God for comfort
60. being able to lay it all at God's feet

Ann explains The Thousand Gifts challenge - to start listing the gifts in the everyday and watch as your list grows...first to 1000...and then beyond...until it becomes an Endless Gifts Lists.  Ann says that she tries to "add to the endless list of gifts every Monday... to begin the week with a heart spilling with gratitude!" I am following her example.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

My Reflections on Question #1

While Reflecting on the Old and Preparing for the New I posed 6 questions for myself.  Here are my ponderings on question #1

Was my relationship with God what it should have been this past year?

There is definite room for improvement but there were things that I did that were good for my relationship with God.

Daily Bible Reading

I was pretty faithful to my daily devotions.  I set my homepage to the chronological reading plan at and I committed to doing the daily Bible reading before doing anything else on the computer.  I was faithful to that but was unfaithful when I had computer problems.  I probably missed less than 20 or so readings the entire year.

For a few years now I have made it a goal to read through the Bible in a year.  I've used a number of different methods to help me do this and I've done fairly well.

Recently I've come across even more online Bible reading helps:
ESV Bible Reading Plans
For the Love of God
One Year Bible Blog
Bible Read Through
Blogging Thru the Bible in 90 Days

This year I've started doing the default Bible Reading plan through Bible Read Through but I don't feel totally settled into it yet and may change to one of the others.  The Bible in 90 Days challenge is tempting but I don't want to take on more than I can handle.  In reality, though, it shouldn't be any big deal to spend an hour a day reading my Bible.  Thing is, I'd like more time to actually study the Bible too, so we'll have to see.  I've still made a commitment to do nothing on the computer until my Bible reading is done.  It is priority number one.

I believe that daily Bible reading is vital if you want to grow in God.  I've been encouraging my kids in that for years.  You don't have to read the Bible through in a year.  Start small and work up.  One thing I did for my kids was I made them a Bible Reading Chart to tuck into their Bibles.  On it was listed all the chapters of the Bible and I suggested that they mark of each chapter as they read it and work their way through the Bible no matter how long it took them to do so.  It seems daunting at the beginning but slow and steady gets you through and it feels good to have tangible evidence of what you have read.

I'd like to encourage all readers, Don't Forget The Most Important Book.

Bible Memorization

I wanted to work on Bible memorization and had great plans, but I didn't follow through on them.  I need to do better this year.  I found the Scripture Memory System a couple of years ago and have made an attempt at using it but haven't been faithful.  I really want to give it another try.  I'd love to find an online tool to use but haven't found one that fits me yet.


While there have been many times in the past year that I had great prayer times, brought on by tough circumstances, I could have, and should have, been much more consistent in my prayer life.  I do fine with praying about things throughout the day but I don't do well with focused intentional prayer time.  I need to work on that.

Yesterday I decided to start a prayer journal document to help me be more focused and intentional with my praying.  I've started prayer journals before but they've died out quickly.  I'm thinking doing it on the computer may help me be more consistent, but we'll see.  Basically all I'm doing so far is taking time when it strikes me to write whatever I happen to be praying for at the time.

One thing that I did work on more last year was praying scripture.  I really found that to be helpful and powerful.  I am hoping to do more of that in my prayer journal this year and I may share more here.

So, that's my ponderings on question #1.  My relationship with God wasn't too bad this past year.  I made some conscious efforts to improve it, and it definitely helped, but there is also definite more for improvement, and I will be working on improving it this year.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Keep Christ in every single day

My friend Tom had something on his status on facebook a few days back and I asked his permission to use it in a blog post.  Here's what he had to say:
"Keeping Christ in Christmas is the easy part. Allowing him to live through us during the other 364 days of the year? That's the challenge! If I were so accused, would there be enough evidence to warrant a conviction? "So it is true of the child born in Bethlehem. He does not live in men's hearts only one day of the year, but in all the days of the year" - Ghost of Christmas present, A Christmas Carol."
It really struck me when I read it.  We make such a big fuss about Keeping Christ in Christmas, but we really should be concerned about letting him shine through us every single day.  Thanks for the reminder, Tom.  I'm going to try to keep that thought in the forefront this year.

Keep Christ in every single day.

post inspired by Tom's status and by

Friday, January 01, 2010

My 2010 Word and Verse of the Year - Wholeheartedly, Col. 3:23

A couple of years ago I came across the idea of picking a word or phrase as inspiration for the year.  I'm thinking it may have been from Ali Edwards One Little Word idea.  She says "I began a tradition of chosing one word for myself each January - a word that I can focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life." I liked the idea and enjoyed reading about other people's "word of the year", but I didn't really pick one for myself.

Last year I tried to pick a word but I didn't really settle on one.  I was thinking along the line of purposely, purposeful, etc. I tried to find a verse to go with my word but couldn't settle on a verse either.  I wanted to try to be more purposeful in what I did. Even though I didn't really settle on a word the idea was there often and I found it did help me to be more focused.  I didn't always succeed but I was more successful than I would have been if I hadn't thought about it at all.

This year I have decided on a word.  My word is wholeheartedly.  I really need to work on my attitude, especially when it comes to many of my responsibilities.  I want to work "wholeheartedly" at what I do instead of just doing things half-heartedly.

My Word for the Year was actually inspired by a verse that I have decided to make my Verse for the Year - Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people." ISV  I like how this page shows how the verse is translated in different versions of the Bible.  I especially like the Douay-Rheims Bible "do it from the heart" and the Weymouth New Testament "let your hearts be in your work".

So, that's my goal for the year - to let my heart be in my work and do things from my heart.

Do you have a Word for the Year?  I'd love to hear about it.  By the way - Happy New Year!