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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The American Patriot

God's Promises for the American Patriot is my newest book from booksneeze. This is a collection of Bible verses, historical facts, and quotes from the men and women who helped shape our country. Small and compact, this book would be a great gift to anyone who loves our country. It even has a page for someone to write "to, from, and date" on it.

Every turn of the page gives a new topic, with the political and historical facts and quotes on the left, and corresponding Bible verses on the right. Scattered throughout the book are extra little tidbits to help break up the flow. Included on many of the pages are pictures of the historical figures that are discussed.

In a time and country that has forgotten it's roots, this book helps reminds us of the morals and lessons that our founding fathers used to create this great nation.

Overall, I give this book five out of five stars. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a gift for a patriot, historian, soldier, or veteran. This book would also be good for anyone looking for Bible verses that talk about patriotism and love of country.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Claire twirled around, letting her new curls hit her face. At the same time, the loose fabric of her dress hit her legs, making her giggle from the sensations. The house was quiet, she was alone for the first time in months. This was the best day ever.

The hair started to slip, covering her face before finally falling off. The loss of her wig did not deter her movements, however, and Claire spread her arms out and pointed her toes as she twirled. If Annie had been here, Claire would be in bed--in that tight, restricting nightgown with a scarf tied snugly over her smooth head. If Caleb were here, the noise from the TV would be covering the silence and peace she now enjoyed. She laughed out loud, delighted in the fact that her plan had worked.

Annie thought the nurse was coming. Caleb thought Annie was staying this time. The nurses agency had been told that Caleb was going to stay with her. And somehow they all believed it. After Caleb left, kissing her forehead and telling her to behave for Annie, her toes had started to tingle. Then when Annie cursed the nurse for being late and the bus for being on time, the butterflies in her stomach had started dancing.

As soon as Claire heard the bus pull away from the stop, she called her new friend Tyler at the beauty parlor, dialed the local 24-hour pizza place, turned off the radio, and shoved the offending night gown under her bed. Opening the closet, she pulled out her favorite dress and pulled it over her head. Deciding not to overdo it, she quelled the desire to skip down the stairs and slowly made her way to the kitchen. The engine from the pizza delivery truck alerted her to its arrival, and she gave the driver a generous tip when he handed her the Hawaiian Delight. Before he could even pull out of the drive way, Tyler's car pulled up, and he came walking up the drive with suitcases. Claire heard him tell the pizza guy that there was something wrong with his car.

Claire decided that the dining room would be perfect--it hadn't been used since she got sick, no one would notice if things were out of place and the huge buffet had a mirror along the back of it. While the pizza grew cold, Tyler and Claire had their own little makeover session, hiding the Bald Claire. Before her eyes,she was transformed into Blond Beehive Claire, Gray Bun Claire, Brunette Pixie Claire, and a dozen other combinations. Finally, they agreed that Curly Redhead Claire was the perfect choice. In a fit of nostalgia, she also chose the Black Shoulder Length Claire, staring at the ghostly reflection that she had grown up with.

She kissed Tyler, practically shoving him out the door when she remembered her pizza. Turning the oven on, she warmed up the cheesy, greasy, gourmet meal, poured herself a glass of milk, and took her pills. Mouth watering, Claire made her spot at the kitchen table. Place mat, cup, knife, fork, spoon, napkin, and plate. Grinning at her extravagance, she put a piece of pizza on her plate, bowed her head, said a prayer, and devoured the ham and pineapple without even tasting it. The next piece she savored, closing her eyes as the sweetness of the ham mixed with the tartness of the sauce. A nugget of pineapple made her open her eyes in shock and delight, and a moan that only comes from taste buds filled the house. Halfway through the third piece her stomach rebelled, and Claire was reminded why Annie wouldn't let her eat pizza anymore.

She refused to let that ruin her day, however, and after cleaning herself and the kitchen of any evidence, she filled the bathtub with hot water, bubbles, oil, salts, and every bath additive she could find. The scents made her sneeze, but sinking into the tub made her feel better than she had in months.

Claire had no idea how long she soaked for, but when she got out, she was hungry again. Deciding to play it safe, she made herself some soup and toast. Looking out the kitchen window, she decided to eat on the back patio. The canned soup tasted the same, mild, bland, and watery. After the pizza, the toast reminded her of cardboard. The neighbor's cat enjoyed the soup, the woodpeckers carried the toast back to their nests, and Claire enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. When she started to feel drained, Claire made her way to the couch that had been her mother's, sank into the soft floral cushions, and drifted off.

The sound of the kids across the street woke her, and she saw the sinking sun squeeze out the last few rays. When she stood up, Claire realized that the phone hadn't rung at all. No one called to check up on her--she understood that Caleb and Annie had needed this break as much as she had. Standing in the living room, Claire decided she was lonely. Knowing there was only two people who wouldn't tell on her, she made some phone calls, put on her Curly Redhead Claire, crept out the back door into the alley way, and met the cab driver two houses down.

The looks on Marty and Eva's faces were a combination of worry and elation. Marty's hug made her laugh, and Eva's hands on her face made her cry. They talked for hours: gardens, grand babies, life, art, and memories; avoiding hospitals, doctors, and the 'C' word. Eva made dinner--a homemade stew that tasted nothing like the canned broth Claire was used to--and fresh bread that melted in her mouth. Not only was it delicious, but she kept it down. After Claire helped with the dishes, Eva gave her a jar of stew and they drove her home. She made them promise to say they had come to see her when Annie asked about the stew, and they swore to keep her secret.

Claire climbed the stairs and stood in front of her closet. Not wanting the day to end,before she took off her dress she remembered the day and twirled.

Finally, Claire hung up her dress, hid the wigs in her sock drawer, pulled the nightgown from underneath the bed, took her pills, and crawled into bed, a small smile on her lips.

The next morning Annie complained about the nurses car leaving an oil stain on the front drive, scolded Claire for the mess in the bath tub, called and thanked Eva for the visit and the stew, and turned the radio back on. Caleb slammed the front door when he came over, shooed the birds out of the back yard, and kept sniffing the air in the kitchen, claiming he smelled pineapple.

Amid the chaos, Claire thought of her Independence day--and smiled. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reading with a Friend

I'm a little more than halfway through my newest book from Waterbrook Multnomah, but already I know exactly how I feel about it, and I have to share. :)

When the Hurt Runs Deep is written by Kay Arthur. This is a book on "Healing and Hope for Life's Desperate Moments". What I like about this book is that the author actually talks to you, not at you or over you. She shares words of encouragement from her own personal experiences, from others experiences, and from the Bible that I know would help many people through dark times.

In quite a few of my reviews I tell you to grab your Bible and a highlighter and start marking important parts of the book. This time, the AUTHOR tells you to mark up your book. "Write in the margins" she says. Circle the important words, highlight the ones that touch your heart.

There are a total of 18 chapters in this book, but each one is short and to the point. Scattered throughout the book (with a complete list at the end) are Healing Truths; little quotes that are meant to bring home the point the author is trying to make. Mrs. Arthur also includes multiple Bible stories that tell of someone overcoming hurt and desperation.

The back of the book should definitely not be ignored. The final Post Script includes some titles for additional reading, the Practical Helps are full of advice for people struggling with deep pain and scars. Also, the Study Guide (individual or small group) helps the reader to explore deeper the healing process and Bible stories that Mrs. Arthur uses in the chapter.

Not only would I recommend this book to a friend, but I would BUY this book as a gift for many people. It seemed like every turn of the page brought to mind someone who would benefit from the words within. In fact, I would have to give this book a 10 out of 5 stars (not a typo!).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Know Your Enemies

Ok, so "enemies" is a bit too strong of a word, but if you've ever had a debate with someone who doubts God, my latest book from booksneeze.com is definitely a help.

Why God Won't Go Away is written by Alister McGrath. Mr. (Prof.?) McGrath is a former atheist, who has a special interest in dialoging and critiquing popular atheist authors and proponents of the "New Atheism" movement.

This book is divided into three parts. Part one, titled What is the New Atheism gives information on some background and four major players of the movement. There are reviews of a few of these four authors books. It also touches briefly on the definition of atheism.

Engaging the New Atheism is part two, and it is divided into three sections. Each section touches briefly on the arguments that modern atheists give against religion. The author offers rebuttals to these arguments and also gives some more critiques on atheist books. 

The third part, Where does the New Atheism go from Here?, tells the reader what is going on now in the movement, and what the future holds for the members of this movement.

At the back of the book, the author offers titles for Further Reading, an Index, and Notes that correlate to the chapters.

Before you start reading this book, be sure to have a highlighter or pen to make notes. Mr. McGrath does his research, and has many informed arguments for the reasons people give to not believe in God.

Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, and I would recommend it for the library of anyone who debates about God.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Financial Aid

It's no secret that I would not be in school if it weren't for the Pell Grants I have been getting. They have given me the means to buy books, register for classes, and buy the supplies I need.

I am forever grateful to whoever funds the Pell Grants, I don't know if it's taxpayers, or special funding, or whatever. But it can be quite frustrating trying to get everything organized and being patient while everything is being processed.

That being said, I turned my information in back in MARCH, and I am still waiting to hear back from the school. Classes start in a little over a month. I don't know if I will get into the classes I need to this semester. I guess I am learning patience this summer.