Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Books, books, books!

I know I should be posting about our Hawaii trip, but I'm still in denial that it is over so, I'm going to post about some books I've read lately.

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) -- this one was so good! I couldn't put it down -- though I HAD to because I was in Hawaii.... but after I tired myself out snorkeling with giant sea turtles, I'd sit in the beach chair and read while Dave was still out snorkeling. (OK, this is NOT about Hawaii -- that was just a teaser...) So, this book is teen fiction, but 'teen' in the sense that the Twilight books are for 'teens'. It is about a dystopia (negative utopia) where 24 teenagers are 'chosen' to compete in the annual Hunger Games -- and fight to the death. It is all televised LIVE -- just like American Idol, the 'nation' gets all into the games, the contestants become household names, etc. WARNING -- it ends with a cliffhanger and it is the first of a trilogy. Book 2 doesn't come out till September. I'm already counting down the days. FASCINATING read -- highly recommend it. (And I'm not sadistic). It is one of those books that I wish I hadn't read yet purely for the anticipation of still having a great book to read sitting on my desk -- (if that makes any sense at all)

The Boy in Striped Pajamas (John Boyne) -- I'm SURE I'm in the minority here, but I did not like this book. It was emotionally manipulative -- and I hate that. It had a great premise --- a 9 year old boy who moves to a country home with his family, his father is the new 'commandant' of Auschwitz. The boy is so naive, and it tells the whole story from him point of view. But, the ending was awful and made me feel so down and used. (I feel the same way about certain EFY experiences that are 'spiritually manipulative -- for a comparison). So, I can't recommend this one, but like I said earlier, I'm sure I'm in the minority here -- they even made a movie out of it -- and our book group is reading it. I'll have to keep quiet... (if you can't say anything nice.....)

These is my words (Nancy Turner) -- Another great one! The first of a trilogy (all published) based on true events of a girl/woman in frontier Arizona. It was such a fascinating read, all in journal format. The ending to the first one is a let down, but I've heard from reliable sources that book two and three are just as good. I just have to get over my disappointment from the ending of the first one to pick up the other ones. But, I'd definitely recommend this one. It will be like no other book you read! It is adventurous, amazing, funny, and sad all together.

The Fire of Faith (John H. Groberg) -- I've read this before, but we are reading it for our book group and I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. Of course, I'm reading it now as an adult, a mom, etc. so I was able to apply many of the lessons more. I'm looking forward to our discussion -- the author is even coming! :)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Bashares) -- This is right down the middle of the road. It is fun to read, good summer book, but not changing my life or anything. It's about what you'd expect if you've seen the movies. But, it's well-written and quite witty in parts -- and I can always appreciate a good turn of words.

The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) -- I'd give this 3 1/2 stars out of 5. -- Maybe 4. I enjoyed learning so much as I read. It went faster than I thought it would -- it is a long book. It is about a chinese farmer who just can't seem to learn the important life lessons for long enough to matter. It is the whole pride cycle of the Book of Mormon set in 1920s China. It's a classic and rightly so.

Well, there you have it: more of my opinion on random books that you ever wanted to know.

I'd love to hear about what books are on your "I wish I hadn't read them yet so I could read them again books"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Okay, I went to put something in Josh's room a few days ago, and this sign was taped to his door:
It reads: Josh's room. no parents allowed! Only kids! But no babys. no girls! 6 and older. If your (you're) a parent and want to come in you have to come in and clean the room.

I laughed so hard! We have started a daily chore chart and that day they had to clean their rooms. Nice try Josh. (Although, his logic was that earlier that week Teya and her friends had made a big mess in his room).

So, other Josh funnies: We were driving to soccer and it was pouring rain outside. Teya said she was thirsty. Josh said, "Can't you just drink the rain?" (imagine quenching your thirst like that).

As posted earlier, Josh finds happiness in going to bed with no underwear on. So, a few nights after that FHE, I went in to check on the kids before I went to bed. When I walked into Josh's room, by the dim glow of the night light, I saw a certain 'crack' that was not supposed to be visible. Yep, he had taken off his underwear! So, Dave and I bought him some boxers. He is very excited about them. According to his Primary teacher, he expressed said excitement to the whole class on Sunday, explaining, "They are so great, it feels like I'm not wearing any underwear!". Apparently he has convinced the other boys in his class to make the switch from briefs to boxers -- the whole conversation causing one girl to exclaim, "Excuse me! There are girls in the room!" His teacher was laughing too hard to control the situation.

I tell you, life is never dull with Josh. In addition to being honest and funny, he is so sweet. Dave recently bought him his own Book of Mormon. After reading his school-assigned reading each night, he reads from the BofM as well. Just tonight, long after we thought he was asleep, he came down and said, "Mom, I just wanted you to know that I just read your favorite part of The Book of Mormon -- the "I will go and do" scripture." He is so full of love and the most tender-hearted kid you could ever meet.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Okay, this will be the last time I mention my non-ability to sleep. Cause I'm getting really sick of it -- so I can imagine you are. So, if you don't want to read all about it, just scroll down to the bottom, and make a comment like "I'm so sorry and I hope you feel better" and I will be none the wiser!

But, since this is my 'journal', I feel the need to record this era in my life, so if you do care to read about it, here it goes: I can't sleep. I have 'restless leg syndrome' or RLS. I know it sounds like a joke syndrome. I've had it since my early 20's, though, and there is NOTHING funny about not being able to sleep. I think I have a pretty bad case of it.

I went to my family doctor and he wanted to give me this medicine that they give people with Parkinson's to help with the shaking. I was on this years ago and the side effects were bad, so I stopped. So, I didn't want to repeat that. He did some blood work and found out I have pretty bad anemia. So, I started taking iron.

Next doctor. I went to this natural medicine clinic up in Scottsdale. My brother had gone there a while back and they did this fancy test with your blood to test for everything that is wrong with you and really 'try to get at the root of the problem' instead of just throwing pills at you. Trouble was, they don't take insurance. But, I was pretty desperate, so I paid the $350 doctor visit fee. It wasn't until my appointment was almost through that I realized they weren't going to take and test my blood. I asked about it, as that was the reason I went in the first place, and he said, "Oh, we don't do that anymore. We are in a legal battle with the FDA and those tests are now only for certain cancer patients". I sure wish I had known that before I drove all the way out there and paid all that money to hear him tell me he had no idea how to treat RLS and that maybe minerals were the answer. At one point he said, "Have you ever been bitten by a tic? Maybe you have lyme's disease." He asked me the various symptoms, of which I had none, and then said, "Well, even though you aren't symptomatic, I'd suggest you get this test for lyme's disease just to rule it out". (the test cost $400). Ummmm... no. But, I did start taking more minerals.

The next day I went to see an "RLS" specialist that Dave had found via the always perfect and informative internet. After one particularly tough night a few weeks ago (on this actual night, I took a shower in my sleep! I've heard of sleep-walking, sleep-eating, but sleep-showering???? That has got to be a first!), anyway, Dave looked up RLS and cross-referenced the specialists with our insurance and got me an appointment in down town Phoenix. So, he went with me, and after waiting 1 hour and 15 minutes for the doctor (no exaggeration), she came in and asked what we were there for. I explained I had "RLS" and she didn't know what it was! Dave explained how we had found her practice on the internet and that she was listed as a specialist. She laughed and said she had never heard of that website and had no idea why she would be considered a specialist, since she was an internist that dealt mainly with kidney disorders! At least she was nice and tried to help how she could, although she just wanted to prescribe the exact same medicine my original family doctor wanted me on. (the one I reacted to badly).

So, I've decided that the sheer volume of my abhorrence of doctor appointments is going to be enough to heal me! I actually have slept the last three nights -- which is a record! So, maybe it is working! (that, or the iron and minerals were truly the answer!).

Alright, so done with the sleeping saga. I promise no more blogging about it! So, here is a fun Teya quote to end with.

We were driving in the car and Josh said, "Today I learned about fractions in school". So I said,

"How many halves in a whole?"
Josh: "Two"
Jennie: "How many quarters in a whole?"
Josh: "Four"
Teya: "How many squirrels in a hole?"

(she just wanted to be part of the fun! Isn't that a smart comment? what brilliant kids!:))
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