Sunday, November 29, 2009

I've been approved...again!

So, if you've been following this little blog here you are aware that I'm a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishers (who just happen to publish one of my favorite authors: Ted Dekker). Well, you also know that I LOVE Mark Batterson's blog and books. I read "Wild Goose Chase" roughly 5 times cover to cover. But I referred to it much more often than that (I actually had to put it away because I was reading it more than my bible!).

Anyway, the point of this post is to let you know that I've been approved by Mark Batterson's publisher to get an advanced copy of his new book "Primal". Ya'll I can't really explain to you how crazy excited I am about this! You see, Dekker is my favorite fiction author but Batterson is probably my favorite non-fiction author.

My review of "Primal" will be coming around December 15! Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday 101

Prepare the night before....

Make sure phone's are charged and laid out.
What's in the ziploc bag? - Coupons, list of coupons, list of what items were at what store, list of who to buy for.
Put cash and cards in a ziploc bag OR your handy dandy Vera Bradley card holder.
How to organize the coupon list.

The outfit: This is THE Black Friday vest. It has ZIPPER POCKETS! No purses. Put ziploc bag, phone and Vera card holder in pockets. It's close to you. You don't have to worry about anyone grabbing your purse.
Wearing a fleece vest is smart because the stores are often hot and crowded.
A scarf is good because it can be removed if it gets too hot.


Light weight jacket and scarf. Keeps you warm at 4 AM. Can be left in the car later.

Have coffee maker set.
Set out travel coffee mugs.

An oversized bag to help hold purchases. (Thanks to Miki for my early Christmas gift)

And finally - Having your own shopping cart is PRICELESS (can be purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond)! We've had to wait and fight for shopping carts to hold our stuff. Not anymore! It holds the items you want to buy as well as carrying bags of purchased items! You WANT to have one of these.

Be sure to take Starbuck's breaks!!!
A post from the trenches with iPhone pictures will hopefully come later this weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The schedule

Here's the schedule for Thanksgiving Day. We look at the cooking time for each casserole and work backwards from when we are eating lunch. This is how we do it.

7:00 Take casseroles out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
Get the paper and pull the sales papers out in a seperate stack.

9:00 - Bread and Tea

10:00 Corn Casserole and Broccoli Casserole

10:30 Sweet Potato Casserole and 3 cheese potatoes

11:15 Stuffing and Gravy

11:20 Swiss Bacon Dip

11:50 Cranberry Sauce

12:00 LUNCH

It's the day before Thanksgiving....

So here' s the update on the festivities:

Monday: Arrived at my sister's house. Made the Thanksgiving menu and grocery list. Went to Sam's and bought pizza for dinner. Sis and I bought new amazingly comfortable PJ's which we have been wearing as much as possible!

Tuesday: Grocery shopping. Massages. Lunch at Outback. Dropped my brother in laws Mustang off to get serviced (yep, I got to drive the Mustang!). Nap. Made dinner for the family (oven fried chicken, 4 cheese mac-n-cheese, squash).

Today's plan: Breakfast at Cracker Barrel (it's tradition). Pick up a few last minute grocery items. Mix the casseroles. Make a time line for tomorrow (we always work backward from when we want the food on the table. I'll share the list with you once we get it done.) Make a list of wrapping supplies we need to purchase. Pick up Jon's car and drop off my sister's car for oil change. Do last minute cleaning (because there are 2 kids and a husband who live here with my sister. What was once clean is now not so much!).

Oh yeah. Here's the menu:
Ribs, Nana's roast, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, 3 cheese mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, rolls, swiss bacon dip (for an appetizer), pumpkin toffee cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter ice cream pie...we're debating on dressing and gravy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's almost my favorite week of the year!

Thanksgiving week is by far my favorite week of the year! My sister and I have this Thanksgiving thing down to a science. Check out our schedule here.To view last years pics click here. I'm going to try to enlist my wonderful niece to document the week in pictures for the blog. Stay tuned....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Book Review: Green by Ted Dekker

Green is Ted Dekker's lastest addition to The Circle Series. It is "Book Zero:The Beginning and The End". We were introduced to Thomas of Hunter, the man who lives between two worlds, in Black, Red, and White. Thomas finds himself fighting evil in his darkest form. His son, Samuel, has turned his back on his father and gathers the dark forces to wage war. Thomas is heartbroken and desperate to find his way back to our reality to save them all.

This is most definitely the darkest of the The Circle novels. Just when you think Dekkers mind couldn't possibly take us in to lower depths of evil he does just that. This book is not for the faint of heart. Evil is ugly, dark, and dirty. Dekker doesn't gloss over that fact. He doesn't soften the edges of the darkness.

Dekker includes characters from the other circle books as well as from The Paradise Novels. But don't worry if you haven't read these other books. The reader is provided with enough of the character's story to understand their place. If you have read the other books then you simply know the characters back story. Think of it as watching the "True Hollywood Story" of a movie star. You can appreciate the star and understand their role without watching their biography.

I have to say that this is not my favorite book from Dekker. I usually read his books in a few days. It took me longer to read this one. There are parts that are riveting and fast paced. Other parts were slow and somewhat boring.However, once I got to the middle of the book I was hooked and enjoyed the story until the end. And the end does not disappoint!

You can order your copy of Green here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

1st grade quote of the day...

Student: "You have to be a parent to know where Santa lives."

Me: Yes, but teachers get his e-mail address so we don't have to know his home address.

Student: Oooohhhh!

In other news: Book review for "Green" by Ted Dekker coming soon! I'm determined to finish it this weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tales from 1st grade: Guess that word...continued

The day after I posted "guess that word" I had my students write a page for a class book. Our character word this week is "Thankfulness" and it's November. So, they were to complete the sentence, "I am thankful for....".

Well, imagine how hard it was for me to hold it together as I read this story over a students shoulder. I've learned not to jump to conclusions and ask the student to read their story to me.

This is the interpretation:
"I am thankful for this Earth and my parents and this school and all of my family."

So I used some "magic tape" (white out tape) to fix this innocent little blunder without the student even noticing. Now the class book is rated G!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tales from 1st grade: Guess that word

Spelling word: hen
1st grader definition: it's on the end of your arm (hand)

You might be an elementary school teacher if you have leaned to read the following without student interpretation: (taken from actual student writings)

pardey - party
druthr - brother (reversal of b/d is extremely common)
uthere - other
poot - put
kuzn - cousin
utey - auntie
i lik to pway wit mi fin - I like to play with my friend
the shaplen is wet os I shud weyt - The trampoline is wet so I should wait
awt - out
chakalid - chocolate