Total Pageviews

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Book Review: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I checked out The Hunger Games in mid-January for my one book per month Kindle library check out thinking it would be fine.  I could read one book in January, one in February, one in March and be good.  WRONG!!!  It was so riveting that I could not put them down and was thankful our library had a copy.  So, I was able to finish the trilogy with no need to wait in between books. 

Writing a review about these books is difficult, because I don't want to give anything away in case you read them for yourself.  The series is a trilogy, and I was concerned it would be a case of one great book and those following would be a bit of a disappointment.  That is not the case.  I would consider this one story that just happens to be broken up into three books.  There is no real way to read one part without the rest.

There is a romantic triangle in this trilogy, but there is also action and politics.  Without giving too much away, the story centers on the 12 districts each sending a boy and girl to the Hunger Games.  This is a case of 24 enter the games and only one victor at the end.  There is a lot of death and violence, but enough character development that you can overlook some of what could be considered "acts of war."  I have never been a big fan of politics in general, but the politics in this trilogy intrigued me and had me questioning what my response would be in a similar situation. 

I don't usually like to watch movies based on books I've read, but I am excited for The Hunger Games movie.  Maybe it is because I had seen the movie trailer before I read the books. I had already seen the actors/actresses.  So, as I read the books, those are the people I pictured in my mind.  We'll just have to see if the movie is as riveting as the books.  I know there will be a lot of action, but there  should also be enough of a dramatic story line to keep me intrigued. 

Read these books for yourself and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Let It Snow

The past few days have been spent looking at the forecast and trying to plan accordingly.  I've heard it's always better to be proactive than reactive.  I've spent a lot of time thinking about whether watching the weather is worrying or not.  I'm thinking, NOT.  It definitely could be, if I just sat in my house and fretted about what was coming and did nothing about it.  However, since I looked at the forecast this time, I was able to plan ahead and get done what needed to get done, so I can just stay in my house for the next few hours, days, whatever needs be.

I checked the weather so I knew the storm wasn't coming until after my scheduled piano field trip, so that could happen as planned with no worries.  I checked the weather this morning and saw no snow was predicted to arrive until afternoon.  So, I was able to work out and shop without worries.  I now have groceries and other items to keep us through the storm.  There is nothing I need to leave my house for the next couple of days now (except picking the kiddos up from school).  It is time to prepare for snuggling with my family and letting the weather do whatever it wants.    I pray those travelling for work or pleasure will be safe, but I will not worry. 

"Don't fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."  Philippians 4:6-7 (Message)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why Do Adults Worry About Their Weight?

I was asked by my daughter why weight is so important to adults.  First, I’m not sure it’s weight exactly, but more how and what we eat. Weight is just the easiest thing to pinpoint. We can see if our clothes are getting too tight. We cannot see if our blood work is getting dangerous. This is a dangerous topic when you have a tween, because you want them to eat healthy, but not obsess about weight. It’s hard to explain why she can eat more of certain things than I can. We did discuss how your body changes as you get older and necessary eating habits need to be changed as well.

Is this really true, or have we just been programmed this way? Yes, your body changes as you get older, but do we need to change eating habits? What would happen if we started healthy eating habits from birth? I know part of the answer to that. School lunches would need a major overhaul or we would need to start packing lunches everyday. I know for my family, it would not work to make any drastic changes. They would surely notice. I have had a year or so to do research on eating since my first scary test results. I would not say I am an expert, but I have made some changes around here. One of the first things I learned is that the fewer the ingredients, the better. I am taking control of what my family consumes by knowing what ingredients are in each dish. Of course, in order to do this, we have had to prioritize eating at home and cooking our own meals most days. Snacks mostly consist of fresh fruits and vegetables (good thing my kiddos like them).  We try to shop on the outside edges of the stores to get fresh and frozen fruits, veggies, & meats and Dairy products.  We eat processed foods and prepacked foods as little as possible.  We also love to "eat the rainbow" around here.  The kids like trying new fruits and vegetables in the whole rainbow of colors. I am far from perfect in what I eat, but I am trying to provide healthy meals for my family.

Another way we can teach why eating right is important is that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we need to care for the temple. "Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit?  Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you.  God owns the whole works.  So let people see God in and through your body." (I Corinthians 6:19-20, Message)  If we don’t take care of the temple, we may not be physically able to do the tasks God has for us to do. In my case, if I do not take care of my temple, I may need to spend the money on a new, wider wheelchair than use it for a ministry task. God provides us with one body for this life on Earth and we have the responsibility to take care of it.

Watching what you eat does not mean obsessing with what you eat, depriving yourself, or focusing too much on food. This is not healthy or a good way to minister either. We should not make food our idol.  Our focus should be on God and not on our food--counting calories, hoarding food, hiding treats, etc.

What great tips for eating healthy do you have?
How do you manage the with kiddos (especially a tween or teen girl)?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Here We Go Again

I am a little frustrated this morning. My headache is back. Only this time it’s a bit different. It did not wake me up in the middle of the night, I had it before I even went to bed. It did make sleeping difficult, but I managed to get some sleep on and off all night. And, it’s still there. Stinkin' headache!!! I am totally going to make a doctor appointment today to see if there is anything they can do. And, I am going to go see Dr. Matt tomorrow instead of waiting until next month.

I’m frustrated because I got so used to feeling OK most of the time, that I could manage how to function through life. I would get tired and have to take a nap, but other than that, I was getting a lot done. When my headache arrived, I had just tried to teach our daughter how to do counted cross-stitch. Well, I had only imagined I could start doing that again. Two stitches later and my head was killing me. I was quite disappointed. I finally get my hands to working enough that I thought I could begin cross-stitching again. I loved it!! Well, that is not going to happen. :(

I also get frustrated because I think I’m getting better or at least stabilizing and figuring out how to live life. Then, something like this slams me. The headaches are bad enough that they cause life to stop. I don’t feel like I can plan much of anything because I’m not sure when a headache will hit. One I considered a fluke, especially since the MRI was fine. Now, however, I don’t know when to expect it to hit and am afraid to schedule anything for fear of having to cancel or not be able to do it. This is slightly on the annoying side to say the least. The fact is, I will not allow this to stop me from living my life. I will continue to do what is on my schedule--just in pain. That ought to be fun for everyone. :)  What good will it do me to take to my bed anyway? I'm hurting no matter where I am so I might as well try to be productive.

Update:  I saw the doc and am being treated for an infection in the sinus cavity behind my right ear and an ear infection.  Plus, I'm getting an appointment set up to see a neurologist.  Maybe I'll finally feel better and can get the answers I need.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Kansas!

Happy 151st Birthday Kansas!!!

What a day to celebrate!  We didn't do all that much today, but couldn't let the day go by unrecognized.   I wore a sunflower/wheat corsage to church which brought a lot of questions and more than one opportunity to explain the reason.  What better reason to celebrate than the birthday of this great state.  We also has ice cream to help celebrate this afternoon.  (It couldn't have anything to do with seeing deer.  :))

But, the best news is finishing our blog to book about all our Kansas adventures last year.  What an amazing way to help immortalize a moment in time.  We should forever be able to revisit the book about our journeys and relive the experience of the past year.

Our celebration of Kansas Day really started yesterday, January 28.  We attended the Kansas Day Celebration at Sternberg Museum in Hays.  They had an area all set up to learn about Kansas symbols and the kiddos each got to enter a coloring page of a Kansas symbol in their coloring contest.  This would have been a great place to learn about Kansas symbols and a great place to start our adventures.  I was pleased that the kiddos already know all of the symbols and can spout from memory information about our great state. We got to see a tiger salamander and ornate box turtle live and in person.  My favorite part was getting to hear the recording of the meadowlark.  I absolutely love that call and it is unmistakable.  More than once on our adventures we have heard the call, stopped in our tracks, and began searching for the meadowlark.  There is no other sound like it in the world.  I was impressed that even I learned something. The sunflower is not one flower, but hundreds or thousands in each bloom.  Each petal and seed is considered a flower.  I have sunflowers all over my home, but never knew that.   That just goes to prove, there is always something new to learn, no matter how familiar something seems.

Our Kansas adventures are not over.  We may have finished 150+ things in one year, but we are not done exploring.  Every time we leave our house, we are exploring the world around us.  We had heard there had been snowy owl sitings around Kansas.  Of course, we had been looking and hoping to see one.  Well, last night, Eric spotted one.  So, we stopped and enjoyed the beauty of God's creation.  The kiddos even named it Hedwig.  :)  Hopefully, we will never lose our sense of adventure.

Happy Birthday Kansas!