Sunday, December 30, 2012

Verse of the Week

As I go through my week I want to be reminded of where I need to be, and where I need to be headed.  This weekly verse is my way of looking in that direction.

"I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditation on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious -- the best not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."  Philippians 4:8 (The Message)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: Fall of Giants (Ken Follett)

This is one of those books that I picked up because I liked the way it looked.  Usually when I like the way a book looks I like the way it feels in my hands, this one was no different.  I can't help myself, I love the feel of a book in my hand, the weight of it, the feel of the cover as I run my hand over it, then as I open it the feel of the pages as I flip through it; and as with every book I have to put my nose in between the pages to smell it.  If you are at the library most books have a smell all their own, most of them I love, some of them just smell bad, but most of them I can just picture the last person reading that particular book.  I can't help myself, I love the feel and smell of a book.  And this one was no exception, it just felt good in my hand and it smelled too good to put down.  It has been a long time since I have found a book that I couldn't put down, I didn't even know what this book was about.  It was on sale, it was obviously meant to be, for Pete's sake I hadn't even been looking for a book to read.

I actually started reading it just because I wanted to feel it in my hand.  It took me a bit to get into the story, or should I say stories...

Amazon's description of this book:
"Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins, as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. 

A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits.…An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House.… A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy.…And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution.

From the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families—and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again.…"

I have never read a book set in this time period before that was based on fact.  I have read plenty set during WWII, but WWI has actually always been kind of a mystery to me.  Never really sure what it was all about, I know we covered it in History class in school but fairly certain there wasn't a lot of time spent on it.  
This book, written in the form of fiction but based on fact and real people, was hard to put down once I got into it.  Very well written, the stories blended together in a way that made me wonder how much was actually fiction and how much was nonfiction.  

SIDENOTE: One of the stories was written about a man in the 3rd Infantry Division (based here at Fort Stewart) and how 3ID became known as "The Rock of the Marne".  

All-in-all I loved the book, looked forward to turning each page to see what would happen next, found myself cheering for some of the characters and dreading others.  
I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a good historical fiction book, or even just someone who wants a good-read!  I will be checking out the next book in the trilogy Winter of the World and looking for the same flow of words and story.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Favorite Part of the Day

This is the time of day I look forward to everyday, the time of day where the day hasn't really begun and yet it is on it's way.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I love walking into my pantry in the middle of winter and seeing all the pretty rows of jars full of food.  Have loved it since I started canning.  I love knowing that when I go to the grocery store in the middle of winter I can say to myself, "hmm? I don't need that, I already have it on my shelf!"  But I can't see all those pretty rows of jars full of things or say these things to myself while at the store if I don't actually have them!  This of course requires work.  
Putting up food is not hard, it's just time consuming and requires a bit of forethought and preparation but once you get into the swing of it and get a good rhythm going things seem to just roll along and before you know it you are pulling those jars out of the water and listening for that oh so satisfying pop as the seal actually seals itself to the top of the jar.  It's at that point you know that all your work was worth it!  
(Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it)

Gardening this year was a bust, I started too late, had soil that wasn't the greatest, squirrels that would not leave my growing veggies alone and aphids that ate my poor green beans like they were at a Sunday buffet.  
I think part of my problem is I recently come from a growing season of 4 months and have moved into a growing season of 8 months.  I am thinking 8 MONTHS?  This has to be the easiest thing out there!  Oh, 8 months may seem like an easy season but it has it's challenges, just like the 4 month season, just different problems all together.  
For example, here I don't need a sheet to keep the light frost off in the beginning and end of the season, however I do need to water what feels like constantly.  The heat wears that soil out and along with it the roots of the plants.  I'm thinking next year the garden will require a drip system of some sort I can put on a timer and have it go off about 3 times a day.  We will see, I may have to adjust that accordingly, but what new challenge isn't without it's trials and experiments?  
Another problem?  I could not find dirt that was readily available to me here.  I of course live on a military base where they frown upon you digging your whole back yard up to plant veggies!  I don't know why, it seems perfectly logical to me, but oh well, the Rooster is very adept at making me garden beds, he's made a plethora of them for me before, he is quite handy in that area.  But the dirt!! It was a problem.  I could not find compost anywhere unless I wanted to pay big money for it (you would think it were gold or something down here).  I finally found some at a store that said "garden soil, for fruits and vegetables"  NOT GOOD FOR MY VEGGIES!!!!  I got plants to grow, just no veggies.  Nice big beautiful leaves, no vegetable on the bottom.  I am looking into the reasoning behind this, will have to ask Grandpa, he is kind of an expert in these areas!  Maybe do some research online, after-all, it is right here at my fingertips.
I do think I have found a solution to this problem for next year though.  I am simply going to start composting and  making my out soil.  I know, I live on a military base right?  I have an idea that I think just might work though.  More on that later.  This of course also involves the handy work of the Rooster (don't tell him I know but I really think he actually enjoys these kinds of things, even though he sometimes rolls his eyes at me and has some smart comment about it, secretly I know he enjoys it as much as I do!)

But all in all, I can't say this gardening season was all bad - it was definitely a learning season and I got zero produce, but I am looking forward to next growing season with anticipation and new things to try. I have 2 years to get this gardening things down here in Georgia.  Suppose I can do it?
And for this year?  All I can say is thank heavens we have a Farmer's Market!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uncle Jeff

And yes, this took great coordination and skill!  I thought they pulled it off nicely (even though West kept having to think with this tongue)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

House Guests

So we have a couple of little green things that I would say are living in our carport.  I see them almost every day and they don't really seem to be afraid of us, however they do seem to be afraid of the camera.  I can't ever seem to get a picture of them, I will see them, watch them to see if they are going to sit there and hang around for a bit or if they are just passing by, saying hi, and going about their business.  I have grabbed my camera so many times to try to get a picture of them to come out 30 seconds later and they be gone, and totally gone too, nowhere to be seen or found.
Then yesterday I went to get something out of my car and there he was!  This thing that has been eluding me for weeks now was right there, I almost grabbed ahold of him.  I will admit I kind of jumped and maybe gave a small shriek, but I happened to have my camera within reach and SNAP! I got him!  Isn't he cute?  He is the tiniest little thing and so bright.  I don't know what kind of frog he is but I'm glad to have him around!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Going with the flow...

We went to Jacksonville, Florida a couple weekends ago.  We didn't go to celebrate the holiday (which holiday was it again?)  We had a plan, we were going to go do this, then we wanted to do this, then we were going to eat there, and then we were going to see if we couldn't do this, and, and, and...

We learned a valuable lesson, sometimes it's better to just go with the flow, sometimes what we think we want or need to do isn't what is really in store for us at all, sometimes we need to step back and let the day just roll.

We ended up at this beautiful beach on Mayport Naval Base, and it was by shear chance.  Our day could not have been better or more fun.
(If you'll notice neither of the kids even have swimming suits)

Friday, August 10, 2012

For Grandma

We heard you fell, we heard it hurt a lot!  We wanted you to know that we know how you feel!

And, Grandma!!

We love you!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


We had a visitor at our house the other day!

It's amazing what one 4-legged little creature can do to a 5 and 6 year old!!
Oh! and did I mention the 32 year old as well?!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Soft Boiled Eggs

The Rooster has discovered soft boiled eggs over homemade toast ... We seem to be eating it for breakfast, lunch, and snacks!  Now all I need to do is find someone who sells locals eggs that don't cost $5.  I'd get a couple of chickens of  my own for eggs but I think that might be against Post Regulations.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A New Construction Site

Here's what we started with!
We needed something a little more substantial, something that wasn't also part of the decoration!
The Rooster cutting and measuring and drilling

and painting

Even the Three Ladies thought it looked like loads of fun!

I have always believed all children need three things to grow:
  • Water
  • Sun
  • Dirt
My children have always gotten plenty of all three ... until we moved into this house.  Since we live on a military instillation and housing is pretty particular about the way things are when you move out I have had a hard time letting West dig like he loves to do.

West needed somewhere to move dirt!