Thursday, January 26, 2012

Conversation Hearts

I was at the store the other day and saw the boxes of these fun candies. These are by far my favorite Valentine's Day candy. They're just so cute and fun.

Have you ever tried to write a story using these? When I was teaching, I gave each child a box of the hearts. Their assignment was to come up with 5 sentences using those hearts. Of course they got to eat them when they were done. Try it. Pick up a box of conversation hearts and try to write 5 sentences with them.

Here's an example I came up with earlier today.

"Ask me." "Say yes." "I Luv U." "U Go Grl." "Be mine."

Of course it's much more fun and creative to actually have the sentences make sense.

There's a wonderful children's book that I cannot remember the title of. It had all sorts of ideas for using these in the classroom. I'm fairly certain I have that book somewhere at my mom's along with most of my "candy math" books.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What I do while working on a project

I have a deadline. That's fairly typical of me. But I seriously have a deadline. That deadline is February 3. Why is that my deadline? I'm currently working on a baby blanket for a friend's baby shower. Her shower is on the 4th of February. So my deadline is to have it completely finished by Feb 3. So when I have a project like this to work on that has to be completed, I settle down in front of the TV and start a marathon of Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, NCIS, or a long movie like Anne of Green Gables. This time it was Stargate Atlantis. I have to pick something that I can have on for background noise but won't really draw me into the show/movie like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or as I recently found out Grease. Yesterday I wasn't feeling very well, so I stayed home from church. I have no idea how many Atlantis episodes I watched, probably most of season 2, but I finished making all of the squares for the blanket. I started sewing squares together during lunch at work today. I'm willing to sacrifice things that need to be done (housework, really pushing & working my Mary Kay business, etc) as well as things I like to do (cuddle my kitty, reading, playing on the computer, etc) to get the blanket finished. I've done it before and I can do it again. Sure, I'll probably end up lacking sleep, but in the end it'll be worth it. This blanket is one of my favorites that I've made. It's in shades of green with a dark green, light green, and a multi-shaded green. When it's done, it'll look sorta like camouflage. I can't wait to finish it and see the end result! I'm also glad that reruns are being aired right now as I can not pay attention to them. Cuddling the kitty. Well she has a mind of her own. She still jumps into my lap to cuddle while I'm working on the blanket.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My faith story

For the past, I don't know how long, my church has been encouraging us to write our personal faith stories. I finally finished mine. At least the abbreviated version of it. Here it is.

I grew up in a Christian home. When I was 6 years old, on Easter Sunday, I asked Jesus to come live inside my heart. I remember praying with my brother in the backseat of the truck with Mom while I was in the front with Daddy. I’m not saying my life’s been easy. It hasn’t been. When I was 11, Daddy died. Thankfully, I’ve had wonderful role models in my life who stepped in to fill the gap of being a dad to me. My brother went through cancer when he was in college. I’ve seen how God has always been there for me and my family through every little thing. My brother’s been cancer-free for over 15 years. All of the needs we had while growing up were met, sometimes before we asked or even really knew what was happening. The church family would frequently give my mom a check or an extra meal or something like that. As I grew up and went off to school, I had an open-door policy with the girls in my dorm. They knew that I could be called upon at any hour of the night and I’d come and pick them up if they were too drunk to drive or needed someone to listen to them without judging them. The girls knew I was different by the way that I lived my life.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thirteen Hallows - A Review

The Thirteen Hallows are power ancient artifacts that protect Britain from an invasion of the Demonkind. Each object has been entrusted into the care of a different person. When Sarah does a good deed by helping out one of the Hallowed Keepers, she suddenly finds herself deeply involved in an ancient race to save the world. Together with Owen, the nephew of the woman she was aiding, she flees London and races against time and centuries to Wales with the police blaming her for several brutal murders. Will the pair succeed in stopping the sinister Dark Man or will they become his next victims?

I checked this out from the library because I'd read other books by Michael Scott before and wanted to try this one out. I don't usually read thrillers, but this one was very gripping. I did enjoy reading it, though it's probably not going to make my read again list. It's a fast paced ride to the end. This is not a book suitable for children (usual fans of Scott's Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series) and probably not suited for most teens. It is a dark and violent tale.

My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Overall, I give this three and a half stars.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Things I'd wished I'd learned how to do

I was thinking today about things that have become a bit of a lost art. And things that both my grandmothers knew how to do that I wished I'd taken the time to learn and be taught.

1. Making Kolaches. My grandmother on my dad's side of the family was Czech and would always make kolaches from scratch. These were more like the cream-filled danishes of today, but they were so yummy. Sausage, poppy seed, peach, and cheese. I wish I'd learned to make them. Now, there's my grandmother's sister that's still alive that could probably teach me; I'd just have to ask her. And it might be worth it.

2. Quilting. Both my grandmothers always made beautiful quilts. They were light, but warm. I've got several still. But I'd wished I'd learned how. My sister-in-law has been teaching herself to quilt and she's made beautiful things as Christmas gifts this year.

3. Sewing. Once again, this is something that both my grandmothers did. While I can crochet, my sewing is limited to the sewing on of buttons and that's it.

4. Sugar cookies. My mom's mom made the BEST sugar cookies ever. And I have her recipe, but mine don't taste like hers. Even though I try. I've actually got all of my grandmother's recipes and hope to put them in cookbooks for all of us grandkids. It may take some time to decipher her spidery handwriting, but I think it can be done. I also think that while my brother and cousin David wouldn't really care for it, I know that all of my girl cousins would love it. Especially if I manage to include scanned pages of Grandma's recipes in her writing. Hmmm. That may have to become a project for the next year.

5. Crochet. True, I do know how to do this. But I learned in college from a girl who lived down the hall from me. And I love doing it. I have made several different blankets since I learned how. Here's one of them.

6. Letter writing. Think about it. It's totally a lost art. Email and cell phones make it so easy to keep in touch. I still have some of the letters that I received from various authors. And every time I get a box from my best friend or I send her one, there's a letter in it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

An overactive imagination

I have an overactive imagination. I freely admit it. 9 times out of 10, when I finish either a book or a movie, I make up my own stories for how the characters' lives turn out. I want to know the "what happens after the happily ever after?" And it's funny, but if I didn't like the way something ended, then I allow the characters to live on in my imagination the way that I want them to.

Have I ever written any of these things down? Yes, actually I have. I recently found some notebooks from when I was in 6th or 7th grade, where I had written fan fiction before I even knew it was fan fiction. There was a series of books I'd read during that time called the House of Winslow series by Gilbert Morris. Each book is dealing with the next generation in the family. One of the stories I found continued the story of a couple of the characters between the ending of "their" book and moving onto the one about their children. I've done that for years. Even now that fan fiction is so prevalent, I still do it. I've got one true fan fiction piece that has well over 20 or 30 chapters right now. Then the last book came out and 90% of what I wrote has been proven false by the book. Someday, I may go back and rewrite it to make it compatible to the last book, but who knows.

I've got files saved on my computer that have various bits and pieces of stories. One is a full-length novel. Most are just one or two paragraphs or pages of starts (or even middle) of stories. At times, I just want to bring those characters to life and tell their stories. But I never do.

Having an overactive imagination is a good thing as long as I don't let it interfere with reality. I've been known to use reading as an escape from reality. I found out in college that I needed the downtime that reading gives me. My first semester at school, I'd only brought 3 or 4 of my books with me so that I could actually devote time to my studies. I came home at Thanksgiving and read everything I could put my hands on. I learned then, that I needed to have my books with me. Or at least some of them. I'd heard one day last week in my voicemail a message from a sales director who recommended reading 1 book a month. I had to laugh. Because she'd obviously never met me. I typically read between 4-8 books a month. More at times.

I'm about to start on a journey of reading my Bible through in a year. I'm looking forward to it. And I'll be reading it in addition to my current stack of books. :)