Monday, May 21, 2012

Proud mama moment: Piano recital

On Sunday David had his first piano recital and Julie had her third piano recital (same recital, Julie's just done it before).  To say I'm proud of them in an understatement.  Here are video's of their performances.  In case you are wondering, that is me playing a duet with David.  And it was me that made the mistake, not David :).

And here is Julie...

Thanks, Mrs. Christy for teaching them well this year!  We look forward to more recitals in the future.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

April Reading List

I'm reading 24 books this year.  Want to join me?  See the whole list here.

Time for April's reading list reviews.

My fiction book this month was Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers and my nonfiction book was Love Life for Every Married Couple by Ed Wheat.

In this book based loosely on the lives of her mother and grandmother, Rivers follows the life of Marta and her daughter Hildemara.  Marta starts her life out with an abusive father in a small town in Switzerland at the turn of the 20th century.  He believes that her life is worth nothing more than being a servant in someone else's household.  Marta lives to prove him wrong.  Her aspirations take her to England and then on to Canada where she meets and marries Niclas.  After moving to California and starting their family, the story shifts from Marta's life to that of her oldest daughter, Hildemara.

Marta has always pushed Hildemara, trying to get her to achieve the things that Marta never had the chance to.  What Marta sees as pushing and guiding, Hildemara feels as nonacceptance.  Can she ever live up to her mother's expectations?  Will Marta and Hildemara be at odds forever?

Francine Rivers describes this book as a saga in her introduction.  That is a very accurate description.  While the book was OK, it was incredibly long.  Rivers could have easily made this into two books - one about Marta and one about Hildemara.  There were parts that kind of dragged on and I found myself wanting to skip ahead.

I also thought the end was kind of underwhelming.  It just kind of ended abruptly.  I know there is a sequel but I was a little disappointed, after reading 500 pages, that there wasn't a better ending.

My vote - Francine Rivers has so many other good books, read some of them instead.

Physician Ed Wheat teaches about love, real love, Bible-based love in this book.  He explains the five different forms of love and how we can love our spouse using each of these forms of love.  Are you trying to save your marriage alone?  He addresses that in here too.  Dr. Wheat answers honest questions about love in marriage and how you can have the love life in your marriage that you have always dreamed about.

This was an incredible book.  I loved reading about the different types of love.  I have heard about them in the past but had forgotten a lot of it.  I also really liked the practical advice Dr. Wheat gives about how to put each type of love into practice.  My only complaint was that I was reading a really old version of the book (I bought it used).  It was published in 1980, when I was 2 year old.  He talks about cassette tape players and supercomputers that fill up a room, which kind of made me laugh when I was reading.  The book has since been revised and updated and republished in 1997.  It would probably be a good idea to buy the newer version of the book (unless of course, you want a good laugh at the old technology).

My vote - essential reading for any married folks.

Coming up in May: On Every Side by Karen Kingsbury and The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie OMartian

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Building Robots

I broke my New Year's resolution.

I didn't publish a blog post last week.

But to my defense, this is the end of year sprint - field trips to chaperone, teacher luncheons to throw, award ceremonies to plan...
It's never-ending!
At least until school is out next week, then it ends...abruptly.

Nevertheless, since there is no blogging police out there to make sure I post when I say I'm going to, I'm just going to forgive myself and go on.

One of the end of the year events David has been looking forward to is creating a robot for school.  Way back at the end of last year (kindergarten year), I took David to visit the first grade classrooms and teachers.  Just to get him used to that pod.  He walked into one classroom and his mouth dropped open.  There were homemade robots on all the counters.  Since that day, he has wanted the "robot teacher."  Well, he got the robot teacher and she has been great!  (Teacher of the year more years than I can count).  He waited all year and finally, he got to make his robot.  Now keep in mind, these are robots made out of milk cartons, aluminum foil and other household "junk."  David was a little mislead and, at first, thought we were going to make a robot that cooked and cleaned for me.  As nice as that would have been...I'm imagining it right now, ahhh...OK, moment over...we quickly steered him back into a realistic idea for this robot.

Now I only need my kids to create a real robot, one that does cook and clean.  Not only will we be millionaires, but I won't have to come up with dinner ideas every night.