Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Merchant of Venice

This Shakespeare play is my 9th classic in my Back to the Classics Challenge for 2016. This play is for the category A classic which includes the name of a place in the title.

This play was definitely in the comedy section of my Shakespeare Anthology, however I did not find it very comedic. I suppose for the time period it probably was, but I didn't get it. In fact it was in this weird realm between comedy and tragedy. I don't think anyone actually died if I remember correctly, but there was a lot of sinister plotting to kill people, in particular the merchant of Venice for whom the play is named.

There was certainly some witty banter in the play and a level of cleverness in the end to help resolve a horrible predicament, which I believe is what put it in the comedy genre. But a lot of the situations throughout the play were minor tragedies in a sense. It was interesting to see how the characters weaved together. I also appreciated the riddle given to the suitors of Portia to solve in order to marry her. So there were elements that I liked, but this was not my favorite play of Shakespeare's. Maybe I will read it again and appreciate it more, but it will likely be awhile.

3 Stars for this Shakespeare play.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Purloined Letter

This classic by Edgar Allan Poe was my 8th in the Back to the Classics Challenge I'm participating in this year. This was my 19th Century Classic.

I normally really enjoy Poe, even though he is a dark writer. However this was so tame for him that I found myself not enjoying it. In fact I'm not really sure what the point of the story was aside from a small game of cat and mouse. The other point may be that an average person is better at detective work than detectives. I really don't know.

The positive notes are that it was well written and did have some interesting arguments about psychology and life that were thought provoking.

I really don't have much else to say about this short story because it was bland on the whole, at least to me.

Maybe 2.5 stars for this one.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Product Spotlight #10

The Cleaning Paste (p. 18) from Norwex is the magic eraser that lasts forever. It comes in a solid block and it only takes a little bit to do the job. Used with the Scrubby Corner Cloth (p.7), tough stains and stuck on grime become easy to remove! My stove had a LOT of burnt on debris. Cleaning Paste, Scrubby Corner Cloth and a couple minutes of elbow grease cleaned it off and made it look almost new!

Cleaning Paste is also excellent at using to polish and protect many types of surfaces, such as chrome, porcelain and stainless steel. (Should not be used on Brushed stainless steel.) With the holidays near by you may be bringing out your silver to use for parties and events. Use Cleaning Paste to shine it right up, ready to serve with confidence that there is nothing toxic on your serving pieces.

Shown here with an Envirocloth and Window Cloth, the difference is evident.

We love the Cleaning Paste in our house as it has removed spots from all kinds of surfaces, and when you have 7 kids that's very important! Since you only need a little to get a good clean, it is much more cost effective than similar products to do the same job. This is also extremely important when you have a big family. It's a win all around!

How could you use cleaning paste in your house?

Please Contact me with any questions
Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Consultant
Catalog (p. 7 & 18)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Old Man and The Sea

This book was my 7th for the Back to the Classics Challenge I'm doing this year. The Old Man and The Sea is for the 20th Century Classic category. (I am going to tell an overview of the story so if you don't what to know how the story turns out don't read the middle paragraph.)

I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. It was an easy read and I was able to read it in one day, but it was very odd. There are so many angles I could look at for evaluating this book. The writing was clear.

The story was an interesting look at the fishing culture in Cuba as it followed a man who had had a long run of "bad luck" and unable to catch any fish. He was determined that today would be his day to break his bad run and he would catch a fish. He ends up catching a huge marlin but cannot get the fish into is small boat. It takes him on a long 2 day ride out to sea until he is finally able to catch it and latch it to his boat. On the way home the fish ends up eaten by sharks and so he has nothing but a skeleton to show for his effort.

On the one hand it was a good look at determination and hard work. On the other it seems ridiculous for the man to hold on for so long to this fish instead of attempting to catch another, especially since he caught something small to eat during this adventure. I just don't know what to think about it.

I can't say I'd recommend it but can't say I wouldn't either. I'd like someone else to read it just to talk it through with me because it was so weird.

I don't even know how to rate it. I'll say 2 stars, but really I just don't know.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Murder Is Announced

I read A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie for my 6th book in the Back to the Classics Challenge this year. This one is for the category, a classic by a woman author.

Like Murder on the Orient Express, this book was an excellent read! I loved this book and did not want to put it down. I loved the writing style that was easy to read but still stretched  me in learning new words. The story line was so intricate and involved but was still easy to follow in the end and so interesting. At the end I had myself thinking wow, did I even see that coming? The answer was just a little, but I still wouldn't have guessed that it was that involved. I was shocked when it all came out, and I love mysteries like that! I also appreciated that it wasn't too creepy even though there was good suspense.

I highly recommend this book, just like the other I read. I am very much looking forward to reading more of Agatha Christie's books.

5 Star for this great classic!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Blessings

September was a full and busy month with many blessing even in the chaos. Here is a glimpse of the blessings for our family this month.

  1. Feeling more normal
  2. Enjoying time with the kids
  3. Sholtes bringing dinner
  4. Reading
  5. Making a plan for getting Malachi's weight back up
  6. Lunch date with Jim
  7. Having a pump
  8. Fun girls night painting with Becca, Dee Dee and Angie
  9. Roger fixing several of our electrical issues
  10. Creative side coming out
  11. Working fans and lights
  12. "American Bible Challenge"
  13. Lots of hugs and kisses
  14. Ifeoma bringing snacks
  15. Making a big to-do list
  16. Great sermon on ministry and prayer
  17. Taking family pictures
  18. Pizza from Kate
  19. Enjoying family time
  20. Getting more milk out
  21. Singing with the kids
  22. Kids wanting to learn more about the Bible
  23. Extra sleep
  24. Time to read and pray
  25. Malachi gaining weight
  26. Parents getting here safely
  27. Yummy lunch date with Jim
  28. Good cg discussion
  29. Writing blog posts
  30. Reuben turning 5!
  31. Blueberry pound cake with blueberry drizzle
  32. Reuben enjoying his light sword
  33. IHOP with the family
  34. Kids playing well together
  35. Getting new contacts
  36. Meeting Riley
  37. Girls afternoon
  38. Panera
  39. Manicure and Pedicure
  40. Getting my hair done
  41. Seeing Courtney
  42. Seeing family
  43. Fun rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  44. Older boys helping my parents
  45. Malachi sleeping 7 hours!
  46. Celebrating Ryan and Becca's marriage
  47. Kids doing well in the ceremony
  48. Good family pictures
  49. Sara helping us at the wedding
  50. Dancing
  51. Good food 
  52. Cookies
  53. Berry Twist Banana Split
  54. Snuggling with Malachi
  55. Starting the school year with the kids
  56. Mom working with Nehemiah and Sam
  57. Getting almost everything done with housework by myself
  58. Courtney bringing food
  59. Kids singing and working hard
  60. Family treat at Comfy Cow
  61. 2 days without TV!
  62. Kids excited about CG
  63. Chick-fil-A
  64. Making it through a VERY HARD DAY
  65. Nehemiah standing up on his own
  66. Member meeting
  67. Alison and Althea helping with the kids
  68. How God is growing Sojourn and our neighborhood
  69. Nehemiah and Malachi growing a lot
  70. Good OT and nutrition visits
  71. Bakes Ziti
  72. 3 days without TV!
  73. First day of co-op going well and Jim able to go with us
  74. Free dinner
  75. Nehemiah helping Malachi with his pacifier
  76. Making organization plans
  77. Ordering announcements
  78. Ordering baby calendar
  79. Great sermon on reconciliation
  80. Hearing from Daniel and Jamaal
  81. Playing the dance game
  82. Connecting with Jim
  83. Costco
  84. Jim meeting with Nathan
  85. Encouragement
  86. Tackling the online world after 3 weeks away
  87. Errands as a family
  88. Gifted a weekend in Chicago in March!
  89. Reevaluating life
  90. Sam saying Bible verses
  91. Feeling more peace
  92. Grace with deal with a bad situation
  93. Ryan and Becca watching the kids
  94. Plans for including kids in CG
  95. Catching up with Shannon
  96. Errands with Gabriel
  97. Seeing Ryan and Becca's wedding pictures!
  98. Surviving
  99. Uploading pictures
  100. Stealing moments with Malachi
  101. Malachi turning 1 month!
  102. Posting birth story
  103. Eating lunch with Tara
  104. Meeting new people
  105. Lots of free food
  106. Getting upstairs rearranged and beginning to clean
  107. Kids helping
  108. A week with almost no TV!
  109. Good sermon on the miraculous
  110. Book Club continuing
  111. Getting announcements
  112. Fellowship
  113. Jim meeting with Paul
  114. Curry on the stove
  115. Getting a prescription with out an appointment!
  116. Doing well with school time
  117. Dinner at CG
  118. Sam feeding Malachi
  119. Catching up with friends
  120. Washing my hair
  121. Gyros
  122. Working on plans for next 2 months
  123. Cleaning out email
  124. Talking to Britney
  125. Lunchables
  126. Getting to know people
  127. Arby's
  128. Really talking and working through something with Jim
  129. Seeing God moving and working
  130. Salvation

September Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- Definitely a lot of praying this month!
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- working on getting back into this
  • Memorize verses with the kids - working on this during school time
  • Have extended prayer times 4 times during the year- Jim has had 3 and I have had 3
  • Read Christian books (Jim- 1 (not school related), Emmie- 3)- 1 for me so far and started "Mission of Motherhood" 
  • Pray together daily- YES! 
  • Go out for a date once a week- Due to a LOT of family activity this did not happen, but we did get 2 and some good time at home
  • Go on a night away once this yearYes! We were able to get away for 2 whole days for our Anniversary! Big thanks to Becca, Shannon, Julianne, Victor and Ariana who made this possible for us! It was wonderful
  • Read 3 books together this year (read one day a week)Crossing this off because it's not going to happen. Maybe next year when we're forced to for School of Missions
  • Discuss plan weekly on Saturday afternoon- Did not happen 
  • Spend 15 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- Got closer to that at the end of the month, still working on good time management with kids
  • Special Outing Alone twice during the year with each child- Reuben got a date with Daddy!
  • Family fun activity once a month- Playing the Dance Game as a family.We had a lot of fun!
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- No writing this month, but I am mostly caught up
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- Got things moved around and organized a little better so I might actually get some work done on this before the end of the year!
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- Honestly we need to make a NEW schedule
  • Keep up with my calendar- A little better this month, but have a long way to go
  • Being fully present when with my family- Still struggling, but getting better as we get more normalized
  • Try 12 new recipes this year- (9) Jim made a delicious blueberry pound cake with blueberry drizzle for Reuben's birthday! So GOOD! I have a great cook and baker for a hubby!
  • No TV 2 days a week (watching)- We actually accomplished this a couple times this month! With school work to do we're getting back into a good reading and activity routine. Still have work to do in this area but it's getting easier.
  • Begin gardening in the springAnother that just did not happen and isn't going to, but that's OK!
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- I finished "The Purloined Letter" this month and made a significant dint in "Don Quixote"
  • Jim read one fiction book- Yes! He finished "Eragon", Eldest", and "Brisingr"
  • Journal 5 days a week- Not this month, but slowly getting there again
  • Jim Journal 3 days a week- Yes
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing- No work on this
  • Book Club once a month- Yes! Thankful I was able to attend the last at Bre's house
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- I fell down on  meeting this month again! Sad that it happened, but hopefully in October
  • Blog 1-2 days a week- Yes! 
  • Mild Exercise twice a week- Nope, hope to get back into this this month
  • Maintain weight until birthThis did not happen, so I have extra work to do now
  • Lose weight after giving birth- Have lost a little, but stagnated right now. Hopefully with getting to 6 weeks postpartum I can start to exercise and it will help
September was a blur! Adjusting to a new baby, celebrating Reuben's birthday, Becca getting married and moving out, Jim starting back to work, starting school with the kids and trying to find the new normal for our family has kept us busy. It's been nice finding time to read more and watching TV less as well as learning to talk more with Jim and the kids. I feel like we have grown a lot this month as a family. There is still a lot to figure out and we'll never stop learning, but in the last couple of days it seems like there might be a light for this season. The next couple of months are going to be very busy as well, but hopefully we'll find peace in Jesus and a hint of stability as we seek to do those things God has called us to at this time.

How was your September?