Saturday, September 30, 2006


Finished another book. A Separate Peace was an easy read and interesting enough to keep me reading. But, all the teenage angst in that book! I kept thinking, dude, for REAL? And the kind of details he remembered and how he described them. I'm like, dude, for REAL?

Then it occurs to me: no - not for real. It's fiction.

And the Deeper Meaning in this book? Let's just say that understanding Deeper Meaning has never been my strong suit.

But I liked it.

So there you have my review. I liked it. It was better than The Great Gatsby. I want to read it again and again.

8 down, 4 to go.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Let's just call this what it is

Back in July, when I took a trip to visit some blogging buddies, I packed a few books to bring with me. One of those books was Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by its Most Brilliant Teacher. On that trip, someone made some sort of comment about me being so smart and how they would never even pick up such a book, let alone be able to read it.

When I went to bed that first night (In Boomama's nicely appointed guest room - don't let her fool you, she keeps a lovely house) I thought I might get a little reading in. And I selected SEP from my pile.

I can't even imagine I got myself through five pages.

I put the book down, turned my attention to one of the magazines on the bedside table, and familiarized myself with all things Hollywood.

See, I was too frustrated to keep reading SEP. I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND IT!

Fast forward to this weekend. SEP, again, made the trip with me. I told the ladies I had about 35 more pages left in the book, and I really wanted to get it finished. Elisabeth said to me, "well that should only take about ten minutes."

Oh, my dear Elisabeth. No. No. No. No. NO!

S.T.R.U.G.G.L.I.N.G. through the next twenty pages, I put the book down after about a half hour of reading.

But, again, the ladies made comments about how smart I must be. How they could never read that stuff. One even went so far as to pick up the book and read a random sentence to the group. Much gasping followed because, OF COURSE, it made absolutely no sense.

I tried to tell them that I didn't understand a word of what I was reading. Kristy said "I've seen your reading list. You are very well read."


"Oh, I've seen the books you've read," she said.

And I'm thinking Five Star Families? That was completely lame!

But there is no convincing folks. You pick up a book like that and, regardless of your ability to understand what you are reading, people will think you are smart.

So I would just like to state, for the record, that THAT IS NOT WHY I AM READING. In fact, six pages from the end of the book, I almost put it down, never to pick it up again. I kept thinking about how ridiculous it was to keep running my eyes over those words when I wasn't understanding anything I read... I was even MOUTHING the words, and furrowing my brow... but I just didn't understand!

I fought the urge to quit. (And when I finished the book, I promptly threw it on the floor in disgust.) I did not finish it because I am so smart or hungry for knowledge. Let me tell you why I finished that book:


I am reading twleve books this year if it kills me.

(And it very nearly has...)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

THAT kind of weekend

Went to see Beth Moore this weekend. Not surprisingly, her message was delivered straight from God, and I walked away knowing Him in a fresh way. I feel as though I have seen a glimpse of how much He loves me - and how that impacts my life.

In the weeks leading up to this event, I have experienced several things that, had they happened a year ago, would have had me in tears for days. But, as I have taken these things before God, I realized that I wasn't crying about them. And I have been thanking him for it: that I don't cry as much as I used to.

In light of this, I found it appropriate that during the break between the two Saturday sessions of Beth's conference, I was weeping. And for the first time in a long time, it wasn't for me. For myself, I felt only joy. Joy over the fact that, no matter what happens, I have a God who loves me immeasurably, and will heal every hurt I ever experience.

And so I told God, again, how thankful I was that I wasn't crying for myself. And I told Him that I would willingly cry over others who are choosing not to experience His mighty power in their own lives.

And when I finished my prayer, all I could find myself saying was "Glory, to you, God."

Over. And over. And over.

The rest of the weekend was filled with things you might expect when six good friends who love the Lord get together WITHOUT THEIR CHILDREN.

There was a hot tub, a pool, laughter, coffee, a movie in the room, Chinese take-out, laughter, crying, late-night conversations, late-morning wake-ups, more laughter, prayer, weeping, encouragement. The list goes on.

Sometimes I wish y'all were neighbors, or something. Because sometimes, sharing the stuff of life just requires personal conversation. Writing, or at least MY writing, just doesn't suffice. I guess you will just have to be satisfied with knowing that God is working on me.

And I am convinced, more than ever, that He is good.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


So, here's what I am thinking about, in no particular order:

1. The fact that I use the words "so," "and," and "but" far FAR too often on this blog. And most often at the beginning of a sentence. But you know what? I don't care. So what to you think of that?

2. I am going to the Beth Moore conference in West Virginia this weekend. And, as much as I love Beth Moore, what I am really looking forward to is hanging out with the five friends who will be with me. I am bringing my concordance and my Bible dictionary - not because of the tremendous Biblical truths that Beth will likely reveal - but because hanging out with these six women always, ALWAYS turns into discussion about scripture and how it applies to our lives. They rock. I am so not kidding about the concordance/dictionary thing.

3. It comforts me to know this: Romans 8:26-27

4. I have a goal-ish type of thing in the back of my mind that I am too afraid to call a goal because then I will have to actually work at it if I want to meet it. So, my sorta goal is to do something that sounds like "Sue's fate." And I would want to accomplish "Sue's fate" to the tune of about sixteen "hounds." And I would want to do this, perhaps, by "Rovember" fifteenth.

5. My last post has me curious why everyone (okay, like, three people) are so excited about me reading fiction. Like reading fiction somehow puts me on the path to all that is good and right in life. I have this feeling that people think there is something wrong with me because I don't like it so much. I mean, I KNOW there is something WRONG with me, but is the fiction really to blame?

6. Thinking, THINKING about reading the Bible in 90 days some time after the holidays. Wondering if anyone would be interested in joining me.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

You all knew I'm immature, right?

Well, if you are one of my faithful readers, you know that Paul (unintentionally) issued a challenge to me at the beginning of the year. And I'm all "I'll show HIM!"

I've read six books so far this year. This is great for me, but being that it's the ninth month of the year, I am a bit behind. Currently, I am in the middle of Six Easy Pieces, Every Man's Battle, Don't Waste Your Life, and Tesla (there are links to these books in my sidebar if you want more information.) I envision myself finishing the first three, but I think the Tesla book might be a dud. No matter, really, I've come to accept the fact that the list of books I haven't finished will always be longer than the list of books I have.

I think I can finish the other three relatively soon. And I have just started another book. Boomama encouraged me to read it after I left a comment on Toni's blog. I was sharing about how I loved A Separate Peace when I read it in the ninth grade, but didn't remember what it was about. (And how I think that is weird. Don't you think that is weird?)

Well. The Mama de Boo, who knows a thing or two about literature, told me she thought the last paragraph in ASP was so, um, great. (Of course, she used much more descriptive and mature words.) It got me so intrigued, that I decided to read it again. All for the last paragraph. I figure if I can fight the urge to flip to the last page and read the last paragraph, then I will be assured of reading the entire book... because I know something good is coming.

And this is important because the book is, after all, fiction. And y'all know I don't do fiction. (Of course Boomama has me wanting to read To Kill a Mockingbird again too, so who knows what may come of my fiction reading...)

Anyway, I went to the library last night and looked up A Separate Peace. Imagine my shock and horror when I realized it was shelved in the "Teen lit" section. I don't know why I was surprised, I read it in the ninth grade, for goodness sake. But still, it's not like a feeling of pride washes over you when you realize the only fiction that is going to hold your attention is geared toward people who say things like "r u goin 2nite?" and " ttyl."

Yeah. So you can just imagine how I felt when, not even into the second chapter, I came across a word that I didn't know.

Overflowing with pride, I am.

But I'm 50 pages in. (I read them all in one day. GASP!!!) So, there's no turning back now.

And, no, I am not telling you what the word was, so don't even ask.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Turtle Watch

I love this picture. (Can you see the little spots sticking up out of the water? Them's turtles.)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Oh, you're gonna love this....

The tadpoles are strange. I've thought this from the start. Seemed like the wrong time of year for them. They're also extremely small. Much smaller than the few I'd ever seen. And with teeny tiny antennae that have developed in the last day or two.

So I did some research (finally.) And it appears that this is what I have been feeding and giving fresh water to all this time.

Paul kept saying that's what they were, but I didn't think the things could SWIM!

This would be funny, except that Lainee is C.R.U.S.H.E.D.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I stink at writing titles

I love 2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

I started off my first week of homeschooling by getting up before the kids to read a little in the Bible, and to prayerfully commit my day to him. (Why I needed homeschooling to start doing this, I don't know. And how Bethany figured it out and started getting up before ME, is an even bigger mystery. But I digress...)

I have been praying nonetheless, and one of my most consistent prayers over these last two weeks is that God would remind me to be patient. I didn't ask him to give me patience, because he has already given me everything I need for godliness. I simply asked him to remind me to choose it; to use what he has already given me.

This evening, I found myself talking with a friend from church who is also a homeschooler. We shared about our struggles as moms, wives, teachers, etc. One thing we both had in common was pretty consistent failure to show patience and gentleness to our kids. We were discussing how this has been hurtful to our children, and how God is bringing change to those areas of our lives.

I had to chuckle to myself, because it seems like any time someone learns that you are homeschooling, they immediately say something about how patient you must be, or that they would never have the patience to teach their own children.

If only they could have heard our conversation.

I am not a patient person. And by that, I mean that I regularly choose NOT to be patient. That is why I have been praying so much these last two weeks: because I knew my patience was going to be tried.

And it was.

But, you know what? God really did remind to be patient. He really, really did. For that, I praise Him, because without it I think these last two weeks could have gone badly.

So, I am wondering about you: is there a characteristic or gift (that you are willing to admit) that God has already given you, but you don't choose to use?

Thursday, September 07, 2006


So, I started Beth Moore's Daniel study today. Good night nurse, this is going to be a good one. Her first video could not have been more up my alley in regard to the things that have been on my heart for some time now - how our culture is a modern day Babylon.

Go, Beth. Go.

And, for those of you who are wondering about it: the video production, the set, the book cover... even Beth's clothes. Well, the girl's gone... how do I say it... Edgy, perhaps?

In other news, I was excited when "she" walked in this morning to join us for the study. I don't know if she will be with us every Thursday, or if she will return to her normal Wednesday night class. However, after the study, she pulled me aside and said, "do you remember what you asked me a while back?" (And I'm thinking, do I remember, I was wondering if YOU remembered!) But I replied with a simple, "yes."

And she said, "are you still interested in that?"

And I said, "Yes." (Again, refraining from speaking what I was actually thinking.)

And she said, "I think God has released me to do that. I'd like to talk with you about it soon."

And I commenced jumping, flailing, and "woot-wooting."

So thanks to all of you who prayed.

And now, I fear, I will likely be taking leave of you for a while. With the Daniel study under way and the Hebrews study for my Sunday school class, as well as wanting to make time to spend with "her," I will likely not have much time for blogging in the near future. If I do, I don't promise anything deep. I can't compose a deep post quickly.

So you will probably have to settle for tadpole updates.

And they are doing fine, by the way.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I have 10 tadpoles

on my kitchen counter. In a little container.

They are so tiny, you almost can't see them. So, there is a good chance that these are not tadpoles at all.

I tried to look up some stuff about "raising" tadpoles before we went out last night to buy them some food. But there was a bit too much information, and I am not sure I really learned anything.

Anyone got any tips on tadpole maintenance they'd like to pass along?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Because others often say it so much better than I can...

I thought I'd post to something that really spoke to me. Seems to hit on a lot of my current thoughts. You can find it at Maureen's blog. She has no permalink for her post, but look for the one dated August 15, 2006.

I don't know who wrote that. Her "chewable vitamin" posts are usually quotes from someone else. But it is still very good.

So go read it already.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Does this only happen at my house?

We have been needing to replace the window dressings on the big living room window for a long time. What we had there were the plastic vertical blinds that came with the house. I am not a fan of vertical blinds, particularly plastic ones. But, I am even less a fan of expensive replacements for window treatments.

But, the kids had broken off so many of those blinds that, when fully closed, they only covered the outer two-thirds of the window. So, it really was time to do something about this. And, having gone to a friend's house the other night, I decided that I liked her idea for window coverings because a) it looked nice, and b) it was much cheaper than what I had in mind.

So, last night after dinner, I shuffled off to Big Lots where I found exactly what I was looking for (I also found my son standing in the middle of an aisle with a puddle of urine around his feet, but that is another story entirely.) After Big Lots we all made a quick stop at a store where their drapery hardware was on sale, and we had everything we needed.

Or so we thought.

This morning I began taking the hardware from the vertical blinds off the wall. There were four brackets, each of which, when removed from the wall, left a) a mark on the wall where the paint underneath was a different color, and b) two screw holes.

So, I needed spackle to fill the holes. I searched around for the spackle, but couldn't find it. When Paul got home he informed me that it had dried up and he'd thrown it out.

SO...I told Paul that I needed to go to the store to get spackle and a small can of paint. He said, "buy a gallon of paint."

This comment launched us into a discussion which included, but was not limited to: a) how, if we were going to buy paint, we might as well buy the big can (which is a better deal) and use the rest to repaint the entire living room, b) how, if we did repaint the living room, I didn't want to paint it white, thankyouverymuch, c) how we could use the extra paint on the trim, d) that the trim needs to be replaced and do we really want to repaint it or just get new trim, e) whether the pre-painted trim they sell at the home store is really pre-painted or just pre-primed, f) how the new front door we're thinking of buying plays into the decorating scheme.

These are all very necessary topics of discussion when you are about to hang curtains. Very. Necessary.

After this conversation, I looked at my husband, and I said, "I need you to give me direction." He instructed me to buy spackle and a small can of paint (If this sounds exactly like what I had originally planned, then you are right. But let's give him some credit. He was not, after all, aware that I didn't want to repaint the living room white.)

So off I went to pick up my purchases at ridiculously-overpriced-small-town-hardware-store, because HAVE MERCY ;) I thought I would have my curtains hung twenty minutes ago, and I was not about to spend the next twenty minutes driving to the H0me Dep0t.

When I came home, I quickly patched up all eight screw holes (and stored the spackle upside down, as per the tip from the guy at the hardware store, so that it wouldn't dry up as quickly.) And I painted over the ugly spots.

And I got one curtain on the rod so I could figure out how high to mount the rod so as to avoid hemming the curtains.

And I broke the little glass knob off the end of the rod.

And I measured for the brackets.

And we hung the brackets. (And I will spare you having to read the entire subset of drill bit/anchor/screw/stud location craziness that ensued at this point.)

And I glued the knob back together.

And I tried to put the other curtains on the rod.

And I realized that I put the first one of four on backward, even thought I was SPECIFICALLY TRYING NOT TO DO THAT VERY THING!

And I rehung the curtains on the rod.

And I went to screw the broken knob back on the rod and found that the screw end had disappeared somewhere inside the rod.

And I spent a few minutes consulting with Paul about how we could fix it.

And I finally got the screw out and the knob on.

And the curtains hung.

And got the dust from the new holes we drilled all vacuumed up.

And got Bethany down for her nap, an hour late.

And then I decided that we really DID need those holdbacks that I THOUGHT about buying last night, but decided not to.

So I went to the store and purchased the holdbacks while today was still Saturday, because they won't be on sale next week.

And then we went to a friend's house for dinner, (yes, it was DINNER TIME when I got done with this ridiculousness) so I didn't get the holdbacks mounted.

And all I can think is...

...GOOD NIGHT NURSE ;) how do I always succeed at making things so much more difficult than they really need to be?

But, if hanging those holdbacks is anywhere near the ordeal that the curtains were, I PROMISE, I won't post about it.