About Me

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I have been a stay at home mom since Oct 31st 2006. My children started school in 2008, so I decided it was time for me to go back, too. I have been a full time student for over two years now, and it seems like I am learning about more than just my schoolwork.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Jesus Inquest

My latest book from booksneeze.com is called The Jesus Inquest, written by Charles Foster. If you decide to pick up this book, be prepared with your Bible, a dictionary, some bookmarks, and possibly Google. There are big words, lots of cross referencing, and some things you might want to do research on yourself.

Charles Foster delves into the historical accuracy regarding the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead of finding a knowledgeable atheist to debate with, he decides to research what others have said, and present the case against the Resurrection himself. Then, he turns around and presents the case for the Resurrection. Basically, Mr. Foster is talking to himself. I don't know if this is because he can't find anyone worth debating, or if he is scared to debate with an actual person, but it may have been more interesting if there had been another person to argue the other side. 

The way the author presents this debate is very interesting. He separates the Resurrection into eight chapters, and each chapter is divided into two: "X", the atheist in the debate, presents his side first, then "Y", the Christian, follows up with a rebuttal. Each argument is divided up into smaller sections of the overall theme of the chapter, so when you get around to "Y's" point of view, you may have to flip back to "X's" comment on that particular subject.

This outline means that "Y" is constantly trying to play catch-up to "X", and there is no deviation from this. Which can be quite tiring.

Besides flipping from one point of view to the other, you also have the footnotes to reference. All 632 of them...

Overall, I would recommend this book to someone interested in the historical and archeological aspects of the Bible, but from a faith perspective, it's not very enlightening. Umm, I'll say 3 out of 5 stars, and I probably won't recommend it to any of my friends, unless they are looking for something scientific. 

Monday, January 24, 2011


(I know, it was almost 2 weeks ago. Life has been busy, bear with me!)

I have visions of someone with a white sheet and slide projector in my living room. But, surprisingly, I did not take very many pictures this weekend. I have a few: our view from the hotel room, a couple of casino shots, but most of the weekend was spent at the Lodge in Bullhead City and the River walk. Our first night was spent in Bullhead City, practicing for the competition the following day. Well, Mike and his fellow officers practiced. I sat at the bar and drank really strong...Shirley Temples...all night long. Apparently the bartenders there had no idea of the proper grenadine to sprite ratio required to make a delicious ST.

After their practice was over, they all came back over to the bar and we hung out for a bit. Eventually, we all headed back across the border and walked around the casinos for a bit. I went up to bed, and realized just how much the casino owners don't want you in your room. No free wi-fi here. If I want to use my laptop upstairs in our room? $12 a day. Downstairs in Starbucks? Free. Except I'd already gotten my pj's on. So, no computer. I decided to turn on the tv, and the remote didn't work. GREAT. I was tired, so I just went to bed. Mike decided to stay downstairs for a bit, and I have no idea when he came back to the room, at least after midnight. Somehow he can survive off of 2 hours of sleep. I don't get it.

The next morning we were up bright and early, and back over in AZ. The officers got ready to compete, and while I waited for them to be done, I sat in our 'green room' and did homework. Two homework assignments later, they came out, very proud of themselves. Before we got the results, there was some free time before the banquet, so we wandered around Laughlin for a few hours. I don't know if it's just me, but once you've been in one casino, you've been in them all. I got bored really quick.

Finally, it was time to head back to the lodge. Our dinner choices were salmon or pork. I loaded up on allergy pills and got the stuffed pork, which was pretty good. Then we got to the important part. Four of our eight officers got Champion for their positions, Mike included! Yay!!! First and second place teams get to move on to the State competitions. We got 3rd place by two tenths of a point. So no state this year, and Mike's win seems a little bittersweet, but they did really good, and we've got next year.

Since this was our first time in a 'gambling town' and or even Nevada, Mike kept me up most of the night walking up and down the River Walk, stopping in all the casinos. We didn't get back to our hotel room until after 4 a.m. And even though I didn't have the kids, and I need at least 7 hours of sleep, my internal clock still woke me up at 8 a.m. Stupid clock. After checking out, we wandered up and down the river a bit more, then headed for home. Since we carpooled with a friend of ours, I got to sleep most of the way home.Which wasn't very comfortable.

The trip to Laughlin taught me a few things, some of which I knew already but needed reminding of. First, Mike can survive off of WAY less sleep than I. I still haven't caught up on it all. Next, I am not the gambling type, or the drinking type, or the partying type, at least not anymore. I would much rather curl up on the couch with the dogs, the kids, and a good book. Third, some people just turn into zombies as soon as they sit in front of a slot machine. I mean, I know there's Gamblers Anonymous, but wow. You could tell the ones that were there because they had to be there. No smiles, no fun, just push the button and hope for a jackpot. Finally, I miss my kids. It was nice to be away from reality for a few days, but once it was over, I was glad to be home.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sun Stand Still

I found another wonderful publisher doing the same thing booksneeze is. WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers has the same program: get a book for free, review it, post about it.

So here's my first book from them. Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. Mr. Furtick is the pastor at a church in Charlotte, NC. By page 23 of Steven's book, I was ready to put it down and go set the world on fire. But by page 50, I was just ready to put the book down.

This is a book based on one small prayer in the Bible, prayed by an Old Testament hero. Sound familiar? This type of writing would be appropriate for a short book or a pamphlet, but not a 200 page book. I found it very difficult to be engaged after a certain point.

As with many theological books, it offers a new perspective on the Bible, your faith, and your convictions, but honestly, I could not finish this book. And there are very few books that have that dubious honor. I understand that the author is doing incredible things in the name of God. I understand that his heart is in the right place, but I think he needs to brush up on his writing skills.

If I knew someone who needed a new outlook on life, who had never read one of these types of books before, I might recommend this book to them. But for the people who who have read book after book about changing their life just by praying this one prayer, I would say stay away. Or at the very least, read the first 30 pages, that's all you need.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Video Classes....

...are not about learning to shoot your own videos. They are regular classes, that are broadcast via closed circuit TV to all the campuses and centers of NPC. This way, one instructor can be in more than one place at a time. Something many people wish they could do. I suppose you could call him SuperTeacher!

One classroom is used for multiple classes throughout the day. So, my plan to get to school early to make sure I was in the right place was thrown out of whack when I walked into the empty classroom and heard someone talking about math. I backtracked, looked at the paper on the door, realized I was in the right spot, but I was just 15 minutes early.

So I sat down in a part of the classroom that was not visible to the camera, and waited for 6:30 to roll around. A few people came in, most of them in the wrong classroom. Finally, the time was right, and class started. Although there are at least 12 other classmates, only one other person shares the same room with me. I am glad I am not the only one, but it's still weird only having two people in the room.

My required English classes were/are 101 and 103 OR 109. I got them confused, and thought I had taken 103 previously. So, when the instructor said, " 101 is a prerequisite of this class, so if you have not taken 101, please go speak to an academic advisor." I panicked for a minute. But, once I got home and looked at my transcripts, I realized I was in the clear. Proceed as planned! This is technical writing, so it isn't about grammar and punctuation, but our teacher went over some basics with us tonight, as a refresher course.

After it was all over, being excited about having my first class over with, I headed home. Well, first I hit the gas station so that I would make it all the way home. You know that emotional rush you get when you help someone in need? A couple came up to me, said they were out of gas, needed to get home. My first instinct was to say no. But I prayed about it, and decided I needed to help. So, ten extra dollars later, they were on the road again and I am glad I could help. I hope they pay it forward.

So, that was day one of my 5th semester at NPC. I hope the rest of the semester goes just as well.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My New Schedule

I sat down and wrote everything out today. Ready for it? Here goes:
Sunday: Church. At least that's it.
Monday: Evening class. Not looking too bad.
Tuesday: Mid-morning class. Still ok.
Wednesday: Morning Bible Study. Afternoon class. Evening class. Going to be a long day, but still pretty good.
Thursday: Early release for the kids. Girl Scouts. Pretty easy day.
Friday: Every other week, clean the Community Center, go to the bank.
Saturday: Free day!!

Oh, wait. There's Lodge events, PTSO meetings, AND my internship this semester. The calendar next to my computer desk looks like a kindergartner took some crayons to it. Only I can discern what all the scribbles, lines, and random letters mean.

Instead of being overwhelmed, I am looking forward to this semester. I will be busy, but I will have wonderful rewards at the end. Eventually all this hard work will result in a diploma. My kids will have good experiences in all their activities, and I will meet new people. Something that we could not do if we were just sitting at home all day.

So, my posts might dwindle a bit, and my allotted time online shrink, but I will be working toward a goal. A very good goal, a very achievable goal. And it will be worth it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cleaning House

A few years ago, I watched this home decorating show. The family they were talking to called themselves 'minimalists.' Their home looked like a hotel room. Even the kid's room was spotless. Personal items were removed from sight at all times, except when they were in use.

I hated it. Who wants to live in a hotel? I like a home to look lived in. I like drawings on the fridge, toys on the floor (to a certain extent), books on a shelf, and the coffee table full of projects.

But, as I grow-in maturity, faith, and knowledge-I am finding myself getting tired of all the stuff in my home. I am downgrading. If I could get rid of it all, I would, but I have 3 other people to consider, so things don't disappear quite as fast as I would like.

I have decided that I hate excess. This is my new passion. Why do I have 3 curling irons, when I only use one. Why am I keeping this kitchen utensil when I have 5 others just like it. What's up with the books that I have never read, and probably won't ever crack open? (Yes, I am getting rid of some of my books!!) And just why do we have a vase full of bouncy balls??

When we moved into this home, we liked the area so much that we decided we didn't want to move ever again. Now, my husband is dreaming of a bigger home, so we have room for more stuff. I say get rid of stuff, then we'll have room! So that is what I am doing. Movies we don't watch, books I don't read, clothes that will never, honestly, be worn again. Nick-nacks that are pretty, but honestly just collect dust. Although I cannot bring myself to get rid of my frog figurines, I have given up some stuffed frogs, and I think I may get rid of some more. There's a few special things I will keep, but I am ready to give all this junk over to the thrift store.

If it were summer, I might have a yard sale, and normally, I would pack everything in boxes and wait for the thaw, but right now I just want it GONE. Out of my house, out of my possession. Gone. Mike is struggling with all of this, he likes his things. But slowly and surely I'll get him to see my way. :)