Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nature 102: We're Getting Downright Worldly Now

Well, we've done it again. We crossed the border into Canada last Saturday. And thank goodness we crossed back. More on that later.

Two Fridays ago we were invited (along with some other couples) to one of the pastor's homes for finger foods and a meet-and-greet. This is the church we've been attending since the second week we arrived in Michigan, and the only one we've attended for that matter. We happened to be the only couple that either answered the phone or was able to come, so our kids ended up getting invited too, and we ended up having homemade pizza instead.

After we ate, we ended up in their den. This room had pictures, books, and tons of other bird watching paraphernalia. These people are serious about their birds. We like to watch birds, but we are only amateurs. We're hang-up-bird-feeder-and-see-what-comes kind of people. We saw pileated woodpeckers in our woods behind our house in Virginia and considered that a big deal (which it was for most ordinary people).

The pastor and his wife (they have no children) were going bird watching at a hawk tower at Holiday Beach Conservation Area the next week and invited us to go along (this was this last Saturday). This area is one of the main migratory paths for raptors (birds of prey) and other birds. They expected us to go home before they did and were surprised we hung with them all day. Caboose was ready to go earlier than everyone else, but he always is.

The first thing we did when we got there was go up to the hawk tower. People were naming the different hawks they were seeing in the air, and these birds were way up there, and I'm thinking that I'm way out of my league and I'm never going to get the hang of this. But by the time the day was over, I figured out how to watch wing flapping patterns and such to help identify the different hawks.

During the course of the day they bring different song birds up and release them from the tower. The first time they brought three different ones up: the yellow-breasted chat, the grey-cheeked thrush, and the Swainson's thrush. Caboose got to release the grey-cheeked thrush. Here are the pictures of those birds:

Yellow-breasted chat

Swainson's thrush (left) and grey-cheeked thrush (right)

Caboose releasing the grey-cheeked thrush

Next we went down to watch them band and release three hawks, two red tailed hawks and one sharp shinned hawk. We adopted one of the red tailed hawks. Hubby said it was to help get Chatty and me back into good graces with the raptors after watching one eat a precious junco on our back porch in Virginia. Well, actually we didn't watch it physically eat it, but we saw the catch and kill and blood and stuff that made us unhappy. Those little juncos are so cute.

Here's the hawk that is not ours; it's a little bigger and was probably a female based on that. It's also a juvenile, just like ours, because the tail wasn't actually red yet (on the side you can't see).

Here's our bird. Isn't he handsome?
Chatty is extremely unhappy that I am posting this picture
and can't crop her out. She said she was cold and that is
the explanation for the look on her face.

Our bird is even a little unhappy.

Here's a group shot right before I launched him.

I was the family holder of the bird because there was no way that any of those kids was going to be happy if another one got to hold the bird and they didn't. So Hubby decided it would be me. It went back to that whole junco thing. When I launched that bird, I launched it like a bowling ball but I kept going up into the air. It wasn't a very good picture so I'm not putting it on here.

I don't know if you can see it in the picture where I said the bird was unhappy, but he has a hole in his tongue. It's so he can breathe while he's swallowing his dinner whole.

Guess what's in the Pringles' can? A sharp shinned hawk. A female one at that, because they put the smaller males in tomato cans.

Here she is out of the can.

We went back up to the hawk tower after adopting our hawk and releasing it. They brought up a couple more birds to release: a ruby throated hummingbird and a bay breasted warbler.

Ruby throated hummingbird
Bay breasted warbler

While we were on the tower this second time we saw immature and adult bald eagles in flight, and two adults sitting out in a dead tree in the middle of this marshy area. It was absolutely cool. At one point while I had the binoculars, there were two immature eagles that were playing with each other and got hooked up together and started spiraling down towards the ground for a good ten to fifteen seconds. I've never seen anything like it, and probably never will again.

We wandered around some trails and by the roadside after that and spotted some songbirds, a woodpecker, and some other neat birds we hadn't seen before. It was a lot of fun. The pastor and his wife had some great binoculars we got to use which helped a lot. Plus a little laser pointer that I think I'm going to have to get. I can find lots of other uses for that I think.

Coming back through customs was a bit of an adventure. Chatty has a name that we shorten. For some reason the border crossing agent asked both girls their names. She gave her name we call her. Hubby and I didn't even catch on, and we hadn't given the "talk" about names since we went to Niagara Falls a few weeks ago. Somehow the border crossing agent missed her birth certificate, or didn't catch her name, because it's obvious what it is. It's not like we call her Frankie and her name is Christine. He was chatting with us for four or five minutes, he asked her her middle name, but then there was an immediate switch to something else so it never got answered. Finally I said her shortened name in comment to something, and he said, "You don't have a Chat here." I said, "It's short for Chatty. It's one of the matching birth certificates you have in your hand. They are twins." He said, "My granddaughter's name is Chatty." We got to leave pretty quickly after that. Somehow we raised a red flag, he missed something, who knows? But I'm pretty sure the people behind us in line weren't too happy.

I'm also thinking that we need to get passports for those cute little troublemakers that ride in the back seats with us pretty soon.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"I Didn't Know Being A Civilian Was Going To Be Such A Pain In The Socks"

We specifically went sock shopping after church two Sunday's ago when Hubby had a pair of khaki pants on. He wears khaki pants almost every single day. Most of them did not match the socks he had, so we figured if we matched the pants he had on we'd be doing good.

Today he came home from work and these are the pants and socks he had on. I told him maybe he needed to start picking out his khakis and socks the day before when he gets home from work and the sun is out. He told the kids that way Mom would be awake too (he leaves at about 5:30 for work because he's on a flex schedule).

Hubby came downstairs with this collection of khaki socks to see what would have matched these khaki pants, his favorite. You see how disgusting they all look. Some are almost putrid in real life next to these pants.

When Hubby made the comment "I didn't know being a civilian was going to be such a pain in the socks," I knew it was a blog post in the making, and we high-tailed it for the camera.

The funniest part is that Sparky's socks actually match her shirt today. She's the one with a sports knee-sock fetish. All colors, prints, rainbow ~ you name it. But do they ever match the rest of what she has on? Usually not. Does she care? Usually not. Was she proud of the fact that she matched today and her dad didn't? You betcha.


Mari over at My Little Corner of the World gave me this award a couple of weeks ago.

Permio al Esfuerzo Personal is translated to mean Prize to the Personal Effort, and of course there are some rules that go with it.

1. Mention the blog that gave it to you.
2. Comment on their blog to let them know you've posted your award.
3. Publish these rules.
4. Share 6 values that are important to you
5. Share 6 things you do not support.
6. Grant the prize to 6 people.

Six values that are important to me:
1. God
2. My Husband
3. My Family
4. Honesty
5. Integrity
6. Respect

Six things I do not support:
1. Abortion
2. Abuse
3. Lying
4. Evolution
5. False Doctrine
6. Disobedience

Six people I'd like to give this award to:
1. Lora at My Blessed Life
2. Heather at Kicking It In Crazyville
3. Reese at Kicking It In Crazyville
4. Betsy at My Five Men
5. Nancy at Chocolate Ink
6. Jennifer at It's a Bubble Bath Day.

Thank you, Mari. And thanks to all you other girls for having wonderful values!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Look What I Won!

I got this cookbook in the mail this week. I won it from The Queen B. I personally think she is one of the funniest bloggers out there. When my kids see that I'm on her blog they'll ask me, "What did the Queen blog about today?" I especially love to read about the antics of her cats. They remind me of the two Hubby and I had before kids. Ours were named Cherokee and Theodore, and oddly enough, looked remarkably like her two cats. Thankfully though, they were not nearly as mischievous.

The title of this cookbook alone sounds wonderful. With Buddy's 12th birthday and a fun-filled Saturday I will post about soon, I haven't had time to do more than flip the pages yet. I'm hoping to get to it tonight after church.

The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. Do you think that spaghetti pictured on the front has chocolate in it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Know & Tell Friday: Animal Edition

It's time for the next installment of Know & Tell Friday over here at my blog while Heather & Reese are kickin' back over at Kicking It In Crazyville. Just in case anybody wondered, the girls had prior knowledge of all four weeks' worth of questions I'd be posting over here, so hopefully you'll enjoy them as much as they thought you would. We're going with the Animal Edition this week, and we've run the gamut of the animal population with these questions. Have fun!

. What dog do you most resemble?

I pick the Coton de Tulear, primarily for the appearance in hair type. I was going to go with the Afghan Hound, but since I'm a super shorty, and the Afghan Hound isn't, I went with a smaller dog.

On the TerrificPets dot com website where I found this picture, here's some of the information I got on the Coton de Tulear:

"The Coton de Tulear is different from most breeds of dogs in that the cotton, dry textured coat is more like hair than it is like a traditional dog fur. This makes the coat appear very fluffy and light, almost tussled in appearance. This dog has a wonderful, lively and intelligent personality that makes them ideal for any type of home or family situation. Training the Coton de Tulear is a very pleasant experience although they are occasionally a bit headstrong and stubborn. They are quick to learn both good and bad habits and will find many endearing little things to do when they think they may be in trouble."

Sounds like I picked the right dog.

2. What is your favorite zoo animal?

Hands down, the giraffe. Every single one of my kids and Hubby could even answer that question for me. I don't know if somewhere along the way I did some subliminal "I'm short, I like the tallest animal" thing, but I just love that animal.

3. What zoo animal reminds you most of yourself?

Well, I'm thinking the giraffe is obviously not going to be the answer. And although I need to lose some weight, it's not the hippo, rhino, or elephant. I'm a loud-mouth. My voice carries really well, especially when I want it to. I used to get shushed all the time when I was growing up, and Hubby still shushes me sometimes when I think I'm talking soft and I'm not. So I'll go with the lion, because their roar is loud and you can hear it throughout the zoo. Although if you happen to be at the zoo when the Galapagos turtles are mating you can hear them throughout at least half of the zoo, too. True story. Philadelphia zoo. The kids still think they were spitting on each other. Um-hmm. And they're going to read this. I'm going to have some 'splaining to do.

4. Do you have any pets? If so, how many, what kind, and what are their names? If not, would you like one?

We have one cat whose name is Peka. We got him at PetSmart in May, 2003, a few months before Hubby left for Kuwait. He was about a year old when we got him. His name was Topeka, like in Kansas, and Caboose could only say "Peka" or "uh-Peka," so we shortened it to just Peka. We all liked it better anyway because it seemed to fit him without completely changing it, and four kids were never going to agree on a name I would like. Especially when one of them was only three and his world revolved around different Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Peka likes to drink water from the sink in a Dixie cup. Fresh.

5. Have you ever ridden a horse?

I rode a horse a few times when I was in fourth grade with my best friend. She was really into horses, so we went out to a local horse stable and went on a trail ride, just the two of us with the leader person. When I was leaving the house I made a conscious decision to go back in my room and grab a baseball cap (the non-hat head girl). That turned out to be angels watching over me.

When we were going back up the gravel hill to the stables, the other two were leading the way and started their horses into a gallop or something, and my horse followed. There was a turn in the gravel trail, and as my horse and I made the turn my saddle started sliding off towards the down side of the hill. My right foot, which was also on the down side of the hill, was stuck in the stirrup. It came out about when my baseball cap bill hit the ground. I wore glasses then too, and they didn't hit the ground only because my bill hit first. They slipped off somehow in the first bounce, and then my right eyebrow hit the ground. I still have a scar in my right eyebrow and the hair won't grow there, so it makes the shape of my eyebrow a little funny. It could have been so much worse than it was if I hadn't had that hat on. I think the stable people were afraid we would sue, so they told us we could come back out and have a free trail ride another day. So we did, because apparently we were fearless and so were our parents. Or crazy. Yes, Mom, I said that. Did you remember about that?

6. Have you ever milked a cow?

My Great-Uncle Bill had a farm in Missouri, and I know he had milk cows, and I know I used to spend time out there with him and my Great-Aunt Ola, and I know he had unpasteurized milk in his refrigerator that we had to drink when we were there, and I know I thought that was gross, and I know he used to tell me not to stick my fingers under his garage door when it was cracked open just a little bit and his guard dogs were inside or I would get bitten, and I know he bandaged me up when I disobeyed and stuck my fingers under his garage door and one of his mean dogs bit my finger, but I don't remember if I ever actually milked one of his cows.

7. Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Several answers from my kids:

Only the wool should shrink, not the whole sheep, because the whole sheep isn't made out of wool.

Because sheep aren't jackets.

I say, "How do you know they don't."

Spoiler alert: I sort of cheated and did a google search, so if this is accurate information, this could actually be why:

"When the wool is on a sheep, it's full of oil, and this oil is replaced by the skin of the sheep if it washes off. Once the wool is cut off and washed, the oil is gone and no longer repels water."

Mr. Linky gave me a little problem last week, but hopefully he'll show up when I hit the publish button. If he doesn't, I'll do like last week and add him in his own special post. Maybe that's what he wanted all along? Or if he just never shows up, leave your link in the comments so we can find you. Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Our Little Buddy turned 12! He was born on September 24, 1996, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I never stopped sweating for the last four months of pregnancy.

No, seriously. You know in the movie Father of the Bride 2 where Steve Martin's character is bundled up for winter in L.A. and covering up in bed like he's frigid, and Diane Keaton's character is throwing the covers off herself like crazy? That was just about us. I had the ceiling fan on high, which was directly above our bed, a rotating fan on the nightstand rotating up and down my body, and then a smaller little fan sitting on things in my open nightstand drawer pointing directly onto me. Hubby would beg me to get in bed and block the air because he was freezing even all covered up in the middle of summer. I slept with no covers and was still sweating. Louisiana and pregnancy in the summertime is brutal.

I was determined to find Buddy's first scrapbook in the garage downstairs yesterday because we kept out all the picture albums when we were putting things in storage. I found every single box labeled with completed albums except for the one with his in it. I looked through that garage three different times. I'm assuming it accidentally got put in the storage unit. But I'm super bummed because I wanted to scan and post a few pictures here with his birthday post.

Buddy's birth was fairly uneventful after his sister's premature births. I don't want to give away their story, so I'll kind of leave it at that. They induced me three days early with him because I was retaining so much fluid, although it wasn't doing anything to my blood pressure or causing any other problems (I gained 70 pounds ~ eek!). The doctor also didn't want him to get any bigger because I was very close to an elective c-section based on the ultrasound weights.

My mom and stepdad came from Arkansas to stay with the girls, who were still two years old, while we were at the hospital having Buddy. They got my iv's all hooked up, and the doctor broke my water right around lunch time. After that I had an almost constant contraction for 20 minutes straight. When the nurse came in and asked me how I was, I told her I wasn't doing so good in a voice that was kind of monotone just trying to keep it together. She looked at my paper, which Hubby had looked at and told me would just start to dip before it went right back up, and said she'd go call the doctor. See, the last time they checked me I was only dilated to three, and if I remember right you had to be a four before you got your epidural. I guess my paper looked bad, because they never even checked me again and next thing I knew Mr. Anesthesiologist Guy was my new best friend giving me my epidural.

I was fully dilated and ready to push around 6 p.m. I pushed for about an hour and made a little progress. I pushed for another half hour and the doctor thought he had even gone back up a little. They knew from the first hour his head was big, so she said it was time for a c-section. The nurse had to push him back up through the birth canal while the doctor pulled him out. Buddy was born at 8:22 at 8 lbs. 14 oz. and the bad mom in me can't remember his length without that silly scrapbook, but I think it was 19 or 20 inches. Hubby and I were amazed at the little barrel-chested boy we had. Now we're just amazed at the size hat we have to buy him!

Our baseball lovin' boy wanted to go sit in the front row at a Tigers' game this year for his birthday. New best friend Stub Hub helped us out. You see, the front row people don't have to go sit down after the teams get done warming up. They get to stay down there and hang out until the teams come back out. He wanted to do that. He usually gets something baseball related for his birthday. Last year it was a Kirby Puckett one-of-one card, the year before that it was an Albert Pujols autograph card, and he had his birthday party at Busch Stadium one year, a Fredbird Birthday Bash.

Since we don't have our pictures developed yet from the Tigers' game, I decided to post some pictures from Buddy's all-star little league games in July. He's playing his favorite position, catcher, and we bought a cd with the rights to these pictures so I'm allowed to post them and print them as I wish.

This next series of four pictures is a play in progress. It was a force play at the plate because the bases were loaded. The runner was called out.

This boy loves his baseball! And we love him! Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Michigan Is A Pricing State

I've had some issues with green Wal-Mart stickers since I've moved to Michigan. Add to that the addition of white Wal-Mart stickers which I've not been privy to before moving here. Then I found stickers on items at Target, and the grocery stores...there is no end to the craziness.

Of course I couldn't let well enough alone. The other day I was at Wal-Mart ~ the one closest to the house we will soon be living in. It happens to be a Supercenter. Hubby and I were there without the children, and we were next in line. I told him, "I'm going to ask." He said, "I'm waiting for you outside." I said, "No, you're not. I won't embarrass you."

See, we'd had long conversations, mostly one-sided on my part, about how I was going to have to check this whole thing out. It had to be a conspiracy or something. The Nancy Drew in me was on the case! Because why had I lived in all these other states for over ten years with no green Wal-Mart stickers? States I visit don't have green Wal-Mart stickers. What was the deal? And when I spoke those few words to Hubby, he knew exactly what I meant I was going to do.

So we get to the cashier lady, she's scanning and bagging our items, and I ask her why they have green stickers on everything. I completely ignore the fact that some things have white stickers so as not to confuse the issue. Her comment? "Doesn't every Wal-Mart?" "Not outside of Michigan for over the past ten years." She's rather shocked. She obviously realized that I had come from some parallel universe. No satisfaction guaranteed at that Wal-Mart.

(Oh, and did you know Canada Wal-Marts still have layaway? I know that since we drove through and went in one on the way home from Niagara Falls recently. I had to ask, of course. The girl told me they are trying to get rid of it. She was surprised that we already didn't have it in the U.S. Wal-Marts anymore.)

A few days later I'm at the piddly Wal-Mart close to the apartment we are living in until the house is completed. I call it piddly because it's the kind with a few aisles of food right up by the check-out lines. And they don't have two-gallon Ziploc bags. Who doesn't have those? Well, other than the Target down the road where I had to go next to try and find them. The little bitty commissary at Selfridge has them, but Wal-Mart and Target don't. Go figure.

Okay, back to piddly Wal-Mart. I'm in the electronics department and I have to check out back there because I have something that came from one of the cases. Cashier girl back there is very nice and we're talking, and then I think, "I'm gonna ask her." So I did. That was the right thing to do! She tells me that they have to put stickers on everything because Michigan is a pricing state, and if they have more than a certain percentage of items without stickers when they get audited, they get hefty fines. She goes on to further tell me that even though items come in to electronics pre-priced, they have to put their own sticker on anyway.

But here was the kicker...the white stickers are supposed to be used for produce items and things that are in the cold cases. The white stickers are stickier. I told nice cashier girl that that must have been why I had such a stinkin' hard time getting the residue off the side of the glass storage container I bought a week ago with the white sticker on it.

All that said, somebody needs to train somebody better, and here's the evidence, the first one from a few weeks ago, and the last two from the day I learned all about the stickers from nice cashier girl:

I also learned something else if you can believe it. Because of this law, it is the cashiers' responsibility to catch any discrepancies between the sticker prices and what is scanned. So if the scanned price rings up higher than the sticker price and the cashier doesn't catch it, and you don't tell the cashier, you can go to customer service (always an exciting option) and get the difference back plus $5.00. Now customer service is not usually my cup of tea unless I absolutely have to go there, but next time something rings up wrong, I'm not alerting the cashier, because I just want to check this out myself. If the kids aren't with me, it's a Starbucks venti White Chocolate Mocha, and if they are, I can bribe them all with a cone at McDonald's for standing through any customer service line.

At least reading my blog will provide you will lots of useless trivia you will probably never need to know.

And all because Michigan is a pricing state.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall Into Reading 2008

It's time to kick off Fall Into Reading 2008 with Katrina at Callapidder Days. I have what looks like a rather ambitious goal when you put it all down on paper, or a blog post as the case may be, but I read a lot in my spare time, and I usually have a fiction book in my hands as I'm falling asleep at night. The school books I read as I'm homeschooling my kids are not really optional and I have to whip through them pretty quickly, and I usually have the most trouble with the non-fiction. It's primarily getting started with them. When it's time to start a new book, I'll usually pick up a fiction book instead of a non-fiction book. That's where one of my biggest problems with procrastination occurs...I'll put off picking up the non-fiction thinking I'll get that one next time, and so on, and so on. But once I start a non-fiction, I will tend to get on a roll and read several back-to-back. Here are my lists for this fall:


1. The Mysterious Benedict Society
by Trenton Lee Stewart. I saw this book recommended by multiple people on 5 Minutes for Books: What's On Your Nightstand last month. It was read by moms and kids alike, and it looked like something my 14-year-old twin girls might like. It's hard to find something "exciting" that is still modest enough for them to read. They read the book and now it's my turn.
2. The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun. This is the next book in the series for me to read, and since I have to read them in order, obviously this is the next one I will read. I mix them up by reading other books by other authors in between.
3. Murder, She Wrote: A Palette for Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain. This is also the next book in the series for me to read in order. I also alternate these and just read one every once in a while. It makes me enjoy them more.
4. The Beginning by Catherine Coulter. This includes The Cove and The Maze, the first two books in her FBI series. I found this at Sam's Club super cheap, and I'm all about cheap books. I like mysteries, and I can't tell for sure if this qualifies as mystery or just thriller from the back cover, but it sounded pretty good, especially for the price. I checked it out on Amazon when I got home, and there are now 12 books in the series, so they must be good to somebody.
5. Double Jeopardy by Catherine Coulter. This includes The Target and The Edge, the third and fourth books in the FBI series. Same reasoning as behind the last one. I figured if I liked The Beginning I'd want this, and if I didn't I was out less than ten bucks.
6. Yukon Quest by Tracie Peterson. This includes Treasures of the North, Ashes and Ice, and Rivers of Gold. It's a 3-in-1 book I got from CBD (Christian Book Distributors) over a year ago on clearance for under ten dollars. I love good bargains, and my mom recommended this particular series of Tracie Peterson's to me, as well as a few others.
7. The O'Malley Chronicles Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Dee Henderson. These two 3-in-1 books include all six of the O'Malley books written, except for the prequel, which I just finished a couple of weeks ago. They were recommended to me by my cousin, and I found them on clearance also at CBD for under ten dollars each.
8. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. I found this at Sam's Club when I bought the Coulter books. It looks good, and doesn't appear to be something that would make me uncomfortable to read (I don't like to read about you-know-what or a lot of bad words), plus to harp on the same thing, it was inexpensive. To top it off, it got me out of my box. I can sure get in a rut with my reading, and I can be happy there, but I'm trying to stretch my wings. This is my right wing. My left one is #9.
9. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Same basic concept as #8.


1. The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. I've had this book for a year or so. I think I started it on a trip and then didn't ever pick it up when I got home. I really want to read this book and finish it. I've only heard good things about it.
2. Five Little Questions That Reveal the Life God Designed for You by Dannah Gresh. I've enjoyed some of Dannah's other books and I'm looking forward to reading this book. It may serve double duty as an extra devotional.
3. Living Simply by Joanne Heim. I've seen this recommended somewhere, but I don't remember where. Heim says that finding simplicity is a means to finding a better quality of life.
4. The Consolation of Imperfection: Learning to Appreciate Life's Limitations by Donald McCullough. I saw this book reviewed by someone on What's On Your Nightstand and I was interested. I found it on CBD highly discounted. The excerpt from the back cover reads: "Sometimes we hate to admit it, but there are limitations in life...Despite our greatest efforts, there are things we cannot change. Instead of resenting life's limits, Donald McCullough suggests that we view them as personalized details of a unique, divinely created portrait. While not making light of painful situations, he offers affirming reflections on the hidden gifts of embracing life's limits."
5. Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman. I love what he writes, and right now I could use this book.
6. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jery Bridges. One of the foreign missionaries our church supports was visiting a couple of weeks ago, and when he was speaking to our class he mentioned this book. I was interested enough to check it out when I got home. I think this is going to be an excellent book, and probably very convicting too.


1. Mocha on the Mount by Sandra Glahn. I got this from Hubby for Mother's Day and didn't start it until this last month. I need to finish it up.
2. The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. This was recommended by Lora and I think this is going to be a valuable devotional for me. From the back cover: "No calling is greater, nobler, or more fulfilling than that of motherhood. Every day, as we nurture our children, mothers influence eternal destiny as no one else can. Tragically, today's culture minimizes the vital importance of a mother's role. By catching a vision of God's original design and allowing it to shape your life, you can rediscover the joy and fulfillment that can be found in the strategic role to which God in all his wisdom has called you, for a purpose far greater than you can ever imagine."


1. Aladdin and Other Tales from the Arabian Nights retold by N.J. Dawood.
2. Stories of Beowulf by H. E. Marshall.
3. The Story of Europe by H. E. Marshall.
4. Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall.
5. Robin Hood compiled by Neil Philip.
6. Canterbury Tales translated by Barbara Cohen.
7. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli.
8. Men of Iron by Ernie Howard Pyle.
8. Various 'You Wouldn't Want to be a....." books dealing primarily in the medieval time frame.

There are other books that we read for history selections in conjunction with these that are a chapter at a time for overview or are small books for some specific topic. I didn't list everything; just some of the longer books, literature readings for the oldest three kids, and then the bigger non-fiction history books that I will sit down and read straight through to get a good overview of what we'll be covering, even though the kids might read it over nine to eighteen weeks (some of those books have about 500 pages in them).

No pictures of my stack; it would be too big because of those hefty 3-in-1 books, and honestly I'm just a little too lazy to go to the trouble. I was not too lazy though to put a link for each book so you could take a look if one of them sounded like something you might like. Be sure to check out everyone else's list too at the link at the top of my post. I know it will help me try and get out of my "reading box," and it might help you too. At the very least it can give you some ideas on books you might like to read later.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who's Your Tiger?

That is the Detroit Tigers motto, or catch phrase. You see it when you go to their web page plastered all over the background wallpaper. Personally, I think it's a little strange. But if I'm going to pick, here's my choice:

Magglio Ordonez

Picked primarily for the reason that he has fluffy hair like mine. I don't have any other affiliation to any other Tiger player at this point. At least he can carry off a baseball cap. I cannot do that. I do not have a hat head. I have a very large head. It's my crown that causes most of the problem. I would have to wear larger than a 7 5/8 inch hat, and I know that because it's the largest one we have in our house, or apartment as the case would be, and it belongs not to Hubby, but to Buddy, who inherited my crown. We'll just call it a halo while we are digressing.

Hubby had a chance to go to a day game in August soon after we got here as part of his work. I let Sparky go with him instead of me because they were playing the Blue Jays. Not normally a team anyone would probably choose to go see, but since Sparky's favorite player is David Eckstein, the former shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals (also World Series MVP against the Tigers), I suggested that she go.

These are some pictures from that day:

A big leafy ball player

Isn't this ride cute?

You'll see how much better our seats were in a later game (when the fountains aren't going off) comparing it to this picture.

Stub Hub dot com is now our new best friend, at least until the Tigers are doing better. Hubby decided to take me and the boys to a game a couple of weeks ago, and we got field level seats, 22nd row, on the third base side, which were normally $32 tickets, for $3.94 each. They didn't have all those huge Ticketmaster charges and convenience fees, and no extra fee for printing them out from our computer. Just a simple 10 percent of the ticket price plus tax, so for about $22, all four of us sat in great seats. Compare the view I was telling you about, and it's without my zoom lens:

Buddy, Caboose, and I in front of that big Tiger. Maybe he should be my Tiger.

They have tigers all over the outside of the stadium. The baseballs that are in the tigers' mouths light up at night.

They play "Eye of the Tiger" and light up these tigers' eyes green and show it on the big stadium screen.

It was very strange for me to be in a stadium other than Busch Stadium where the Cardinals play and know that it's going to be my "home" stadium. Ironic that the St. Louis Cardinals (our favorite team) first World Series win in 24 years (in 2006) was against the Tigers.

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