Monday, December 31, 2007

Unintentional Goal Met for 2007

I didn't start off the year of 2007 making any resolutions. I never keep them, so what is the point? I tend to make goals, so I guess I'm actually making resolutions, but with a different name.

I will post some of my goals for 2008 sometime this week. But I made some very positive changes this year, and they weren't even really a goal when the year started.

I have had a feeling for many years that I wanted to be eating differently, and I wanted my family to be eating differently. I played around with whole foods, but that just didn't seem to be quite it. It was a beginning, but didn't really get to the heart of what I was after.

For the last couple of years, we have purchased our honey from a guy that sells at our farmer's market. We were out of honey in the middle of May, so we went to the farmer's market to get some. While we were there, I stopped by a booth and got some information on a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). When I got home I went online and did some research, and everything started to click. In addition to eating more whole foods, I wanted us to eat more locally grown foods, and foods in their proper season. I wanted to preserve foods during their freshest season in order to eat more of a variety year-round.

So we joined the CSA and the rest has been wonderful. We are eating many more vegetables, some I had never cooked or eaten before this. I am consciously reading labels and getting away from foods with additives, especially High Fructose Corn Syrup. I recently read IN DEFENSE OF FOOD by Michael Pollan, and am even looking at labels for added soy products now as well.

We used to drink a ton of diet coke, and now we drink none. We drink lovely water, tea, coffee, and organic milk.

It has been an extremely positive step for us, one that I hope to keep with and improve during the coming year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Movies Watched in 2007

Here are the movies we watched--most of them are DVDs we got from the library or from Netflix. A couple we actually went to the theater to see :) Ratings are from 1 (horrible) to 5 (fantastic) scale

1. Lady in the Water (3)
2. The Shaggy D.A. (4)
3. Invincible (4)
4. Little Miss Sunshine (3)
5. The Night Listener (3)
6. The Waltons, Season 1 (5)
7. The Illusionist (4)
8. A Scanner Darkly (2)
9. World Trade Center (3)
10. U2 Vertigo 2005 Live (5)
11. Gridiron Gang (3)
12. Flushed Away (4)
13. Zoom (3)
14. All the King's Men (3)
15. Jimmy Buffet: Live at Wrigley Field (4)
16. Casino Royale (4)
17. Flyboys (4)
18. Facing the Giants (5)
19. House Season 2 (5)
20. Happy Feet (3)
21. Eragon (3)
22. The Guardian (3)
23. The Holiday (3)
24. In Search of the Castaways (4)
25. St. Elsewhere Season 1 (4)
26. Mee-Shee The Water Giant (4)
27. The Pursuit of Happyness (4)
28. Thr3e (3)
29. Dreamgirls (4)
30. Deja Vu (4)
31. Durango Kids (3)
32. Catch and Release (2)
33. Arthur and the Invisibles (3)
34. The Departed (4)
35. Alex Rider:Operation Stormbreaker (3)
36. Kidnapped the complete series (5)
37. The Last Sin Eater (4)
38. Hot Lead and Cold Feet (4)
39. Fingersmith (2)
40. Ghost Rider (3)
41. Stranger than Fiction (4)
42. Bridge to Terabithia (4)
43. Plain Truth (3)
44. The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit (3)
45. The Astronaut Farmer (3)
46. See Jane Date (3)
47. Premonition (2)
48. Perfume:The Story of a Murderer (2) (I didn't like the book either)
49. 5 Children and It (3)
50. Keeping the Promise (3)
51. Pan's Labyrinth (4--more like 4 1/2)
52. The Ultimate Gift (4)
53. The Queen (4)
54. The Final Homecoming (2)
55. The Champagne Club (1--couldn't even finish)
56. Wild Hogs (4)
57. Unaccompanied Minors (3)
58. The Sopranos season 6 part 1 (5)
59. Laura (4)
60. Fracture (4)
61. Snowball Express (4)
62. We are Marshall (5)
63. Shooter (3)
64. Evan Almighty (3)
65. Next (3)
66. Zodiac (3)
67. Mr. Brooks (3)
68. Summer Magic (3)
69. Amazing Grace (4)
70. Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End (3)
71. Shrek the Third (3)
72. Enchanted (4)
73. Talladega Nights (3)
74. Mr. Bean's Holiday (4)
75. The TV Set (3)
76. Deck the Halls (3)
77. Georgia Rule (4)
78. 1408 (3)
79. Anne of Green Gables (4)
80. Flight 29 Down Vol 1 and 2 (4)
81. National Treasure Book of Secrets (4)
82. Ocean's 13 (3)
83. Maxed Out (3)
84. Underdog (3)
85. Hairspray (4)
86. Ratatouille (5)
87. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (4)
88. The Invisible (3)
89. Reign Over Me (5)
90. Surf's Up (3)
91. Are We Done Yet? (3)
92. Firehouse Dog (3)
93. The Number 23 (3)
94. Miss Potter (3)
95. Perfect Stranger (3)
96. Meet the Robinsons (5)
97. Idiocracy (2)
98. The Prestige (3)
99. Hollywoodland (3)
100. Becoming Jane (3)
101. One Night with the King (4)
102. The Second Chance (4)
103. Transformers (4)
104. TMNT (3)
105. Blades of Glory (3)
106. Knocked Up (4)
107. Epic Movie (1)
108. Music and Lyrics (3)
109. Dinner with Friends (3)
110. The North Avenue Irregulars (3)
111. The Last Mimzy (2)

I will add more if I think of them. I need to start keeping a movie journal like I do a book journal.

Reign Over Me

Yesterday, we watched the movie Reign Over Me. I have had so many emotions flowing around in my brain since it finished, I struggle even now to put them into words.

I read the reviews on Netflix and Amazon both, and they are quite mixed. People are either blown away by the movie or think it's frenetic and uneven.

After pondering it...I think that if a person has experienced a gut-wrenching grief in their life, then that person will find Reign Over Me incredibly realistic, moving, and heartfelt. Otherwise, I think a person would have difficulty identifying with the characters.

Adam Sandler plays a man who lost his wife and three daughters on September 11. His college roommate, played by Don Cheadle, runs into him on the streets and the two reconnect. Adam's character is very odd. He doesn't remember (or pretends not to remember) certain parts of his past. He refuses to talk about anything involving his family. He goes nuts if anyone brings it up. Everyone in his life, including Cheadle after a time, think he needs therapy, needs help, needs to be fixed.

Again, this is an immensely moving movie to me, because having experienced a raw sort of grief like this character, I can identify with wanting to close that part of your life off and not wanting to deal with it or remember any of it.

We talked about this movie (and cried some more) for an hour after it was over. I think it's so real and the writing is phenomenal.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Laced With Grace Giveaway

Details of this wonderful package from Laced With Grace

The package will include a Women of Faith study Bible (NIV/Hardcover); Lisa Whelchel’s Bible study tool for busy moms; a coffee mug from “Mugs of Truth“; the DVD “The Nativity Story“; the book “Love and Respect“; and a music CD by Becky Knight, who just released her first CD.

I encourage everyone to go visit and enter! If you have not read Love and should! I place it up there as one of the top books about marriage and making your relationship work.

Friday, December 28, 2007

No Credit for Christmas

For the first time---ever---this year we did not use credit cards to pay for Christmas gifts. I know beyond a doubt that no one felt like they missed out on any gifts, in fact our kids made out like bandits.

Remembering back to October when we went to see Dave Ramsey, got on a budget, and cut up our credit cards. We didn't know it would be quite so difficult, since Christmas was just around the corner. But we saved where we could, spent all extra money on gifts, and were very creative with shopping and gift giving in general.

Let me say, it feels so incredibly good to leave the month of December and not be dreading the January bills. And we didn't even use LeeRoy's Christmas bonus to buy gifts like we usually do also...because he didn't even know if he was getting one until the week before Christmas.

We are just celebrating here, because we are on an incredible journey to get out of debt and stay there.

New Year, New Goals

The new year is quickly approaching. I have been thinking a lot about my goals for the new year, and am excited to post them as I work them out. 2007 has been an interesting up and down year for me in many different ways, especially with family issues that aren't resolved yet.

I look forward to sharing my goals and to getting some accountability for following through with them each month.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Children's Reviews Posted Today

When My Mother Was Eleven-Foot-Four

The Legend of St. Nicholas

Free Polly Pocket at Walgreens!

Here's a great deal I got today at Walgreens.

I got a Polly Pocket Activity Pad, hanging up in the toy section. It is regular priced at $4.99. Print out this coupon for $5.00 off and you make a penny on the deal! I got one today but I printed out another coupon and am going back tomorrow.

Excellent stocking stuffer!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

2008 TBR Challenge

Here are the books from my TBR Piles that I plan to read in 2008--one per month.

1. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
2. The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue by Barbara Samuel
3. Blinded by Travis Thrasher
4. Miss Invisible by Laura Jensen Walker
5. Practically Perfect in Every Way by Jennifer Niesslein
6. Love, Greg and Lauren by Greg Manning
7. A Seahorse in the Thames by Susan Meissner
8. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
9. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
10. The Ultimate Reality Show by Clay Jacobsen
11. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
12. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

And for Extra Credit:
1. Chat Room by Linda Hall
2. Eyes of Elisha by Brandilyn Collins
3. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
4. The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne
5. Cookooff by Amy Sutherland
6. Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer
7. Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
8. Inside My Heart by Robin McGraw
9. Strange but True by John Searles

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Review

High School Musical 2

This is a totally cute seven year old LOVES it...she cannot quit dancing and singing along.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cookie Exchange

So, I am going to not one, but two cookie exchanges this year. I am just itching to make a cookie that everyone will want to eat!

At the second exchange, they have a "contest" where people taste a sample of each cookie and vote on their favorites to win a prize. I went to this exchange last year and was totally ignorant of the voting and how stiff the competition was. This year I have vowed to make something delicious.

I want to know...does anyone have anything tried and true that they would be willing to share? I have things that my family loves, but that doesn't mean they are great for a cookie exchange.

November Reads

161. Your Chariot Awaits by Lorena McCourtney C+
162. Wild Child, Waiting Mom by Wendi Hayden English and Karilee Hayden B
163. The Will of Wisteria by Denise Hildreth B+
164. Chasing Destiny by Eric Jerome Dickey D+
165. Someday by Karen Kingsbury B-
166. My Soul to Keep by Melanie Wells C+
167. Finding Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn B-
168. Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate B-
169. The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen B-
170. Payback by Melody Carlson B
171. Sisters, Ink by Rebeca Seitz C+
172. Fallen by Matthew Raley C+
173. Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck B
174. Picket Fence Promises by Kathryn Springer B
175. Blue Heart Blessed by Susan Meissner B+

16. Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill B-
17. Hide by Lisa Gardner B
18. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson B