Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Books, Books and More Books!

Well, I did it! Way back in December of last year, I told you about a challenge that Karl Rove and then President Bush had regarding how many books each had read during the year.

I challenged myself to read twenty-four books. It seemed a reasonable goal. I homeschool my children, I have other pursuits-politics is just one, and I felt like two books a month was going to be a stretch.
Surprise! Or not I suppose; I know I am a fast reader, but really, I read 33 books! I had no idea I could read that many, and still provide a hot meal for my family on a regular basis! I’ve read two just since Christmas; Ok, so one was like eating cotton candy and I read it in less than 12 hours, but I DID read it!

I thought I would read mostly nonfiction, that is my “preferred” genre, but I surprised myself.
I read a wide variety of books, including “The Hobbit” that I read for the very first time, and “The Screwtape Letters”, both of which I enjoyed very much. I read two from Michael Crichton, and two from Shannon Hale; Hale being the cotton candy type, Crichton being more of the “makes you wonder” kind of book.

I read a series from the LDS market: “The Brothers.” The series of six books is by Chris Stewart and starts out in the Preexistence, moves to the days after a nuclear attack on Washington D.C.; very interesting series.
Book 6(or is it seven?) in my favorite series “Outlander” came out in September, and while usually the world stops when Diana Gabaldon’s books come out, not so this time. I had a much harder time with this one; I’m still anxious for the next one however.

I read a couple of books with a spiritual message or theme, one about the women in the Scriptures, and one about Moroni, an ancient prophet from the Book of Mormon. Both recommended. I also read “The Life of our Lord” by Charles Dickens; a lovely little book.

I will admit a few failures-well, not failures so much as “ugh! I am going to finish these if they kill me” kind of books, and I really WILL finish them, but they were not terribly engaging, and while mostly interesting, I did move on to other things; they do still have the bookmarks in them though, making finishing them easier to do!

I have numerous books on my “shelf”, waiting their turn. I’ve also just started Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” which I received for Christmas, and am quite excited to read. I’m on chapter four and I love it already. I’m also reading “The Real George Washington” which I am enjoying immensely; we need more heroes like him.

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be listing what’s on my shelf, and taking down the “Books read in 2009”, so if you’re interested in any of the titles, you can find them on the sidebar for now.

I also challenged those of you who were reading this blog last year to do the same. Did you? I’d love to know what you read, what you liked, and what you put down. Care to share?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well, the stockings are empty, the packages opened; it will be a few hours until Grandpa arrives, and there is calm in the air. Books are being read, movies are being watched, and I have a few minutes to wish you all a Merry Christmas before I have to get busy in the kitchen in earnest.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Whatever your political leanings, this is the one time of the year when, hopefully, we can put aside our differences, pull up a seat, and have a lovely day.

May your day be "Merry and Bright", and if you are lucky enough to have a White Christmas, all the better!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hate Mongers

Today brings news that the far left is attacking Mrs. Lieberman-Joe Lieberman's wife. Why you ask? Well it seems that Mr. Lieberman is opposing government run health care, and Mrs. Lieberman is the carrot to rein old Joe in.

Mrs. Lieberman is the global ambassador for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation. I have no idea what her duties and responsibilities are, but that's not really the point.

For at least a generation, we, as women, have been told we don't need a man to complete us; we don't need to be defined by a man, we can stand on our own two feet and be independent; successful in our own right. Here we have a woman doing just that, and they want to tack her on to her husband’s coat tails in order to smear her.
I thought we didn’t need a man to complete us? I thought we were good to stand alone and be counted.

The hypocrisy of the left is staggering. Mrs. Lieberman has NOTHING to do with her husband’s job; nor he with hers. Why this good, successful woman should be excoriated because of her husband’s politics is beyond me.

The left is even calling in the big guns-Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris-both homosexuals, to join in the fight to get Mrs. Lieberman canned. This is an odd tactic. Does their being homosexuals make them better judges of character? Do they know something we don’t about ambassadorships?

What we see here is nothing more than liberal hypocrisy. It makes as much sense to smear Mrs. Lieberman for her husband’s voting record, as it does to blame Sean Hannity for Nancy Pelosi being a runner up for Time Magazines “Person of the Year” award.

People, liberals: call somebody, write somebody. Call off the attack dogs; the hate mongers. This good, sweet woman should be off limits, as should be any spouse or child of a politician or celebrity.

She doesn’t deserve to be attacked, and you all know it.

The Sky Isn’t Falling—Yet

The world is a crazy place right now. We have an out of control government, spending like drunken sailors on shore leave; we have communists and genuine radicals running said government, making decisions that are at once, equally outrageous and unconstitutional; we have unemployment numbers that are staggering despite seasonal improvements; our liberties and freedoms are under assault at every turn. We should be, and are rightly so, horrified. Yet through it all, we have hope. Not the kind of hope that Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America” (his words, not mine) imagined, but real hope.

Whatever your Christian denomination, this season is a season of hope; the promise of a brighter day. We know our Savior lives; He was born to rescue us, His children, from our lost and fallen state. We also have the promise of scripture that the wars and rumors of wars are not a surprise to Him; that these, the Last Days, have been accounted for, prophesied of long before our country and our very way of life came under attack.

In this season of giving, we also need to think about renewal. We need to renew our efforts in behalf of our country. We need to step to higher ground, get out of our comfort zones, and fight for our freedoms.

December 15, marks the 218 anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. TWO HUNDRED EIGHTEEN YEARS! The Bill of Rights has withstood assault after assault, and now, today, December 15, 2009 it’s nearly unrecognizable; the Constitution specifies three federal crimes: piracy, counterfeiting and treason. Just three, yet the current administration would make it a crime for you to not buy health insurance.

I recently challenged a liberal friend of ours to read the Constitution and check everything coming out of Washington against it; he’d find very little that will hold up to Constitutional scrutiny. Since he has yet to report back, my best guess is he blew off my valid challenge.
So I challenge you. Read the Constitution; read the Bill of Rights. Know what legacy was given to us, and make the effort to do what it will take to put this country back on its Constitutional footings.

These are perilous times no doubt, but we have hope. My worldview is that our Constitution is a divinely inspired document; that the Founding Fathers were raised up specifically for their task; a country with a divine document as its firm charter will not be smitten by the hands of men. The Lord knows our plight, and will come to our aid if we prove worthy.

So, while the sky isn’t falling just yet, we must be prepared to stand firm and strong against the buffeting winds.

For today, our common motto is “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men,” yet the adversary never sleeps. Be watchful this Christmas season, sleep with one eye open; try to have a Merry Christmas, to relax a bit, but use this season of rest and hope and love to fortify yourselves for the coming battles; they will be intense.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Spelling Software

My friend Ritsumei, also a homeschool mom, has a give away on her blog for some spelling software that looks pretty cool. I thought some one else might be interested too.
I am wondering if it will help my not so good older speller.
Check it out:

Visit Baby Steps
SpellQuizzer software works with any spelling program, whether homeschool or public. Click to enter Ritsumei's giveaway on Baby Steps for a chance to win SpellQuizzer!