Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 31 . . .

I enjoy Halloween now slightly more than I did as a child and as a parent . . .in fact, Halloween is on my list of regrets and wish I could do overs . . . that I have made with regards to my children ... I would have more fun!  Of course I need to remember - the fun can only exist for about 10 years because then the "fun" turns into "mischief" and "please mom can I go trick or treating with my friends . . ." .   But I have enjoyed it with my granddaughter.  Decorating pumpkins, trips to the pumpkin patch, riding on a hay rack, riding a small train, pony rides, kettle corn, caramel apples and much more at our favorite little orchard in South Dakota.    Finding Christian variations to Halloween such as The Pumpkin Patch Parable - Fall Harvest in the Park - and a great time at a huge corn maze are some of my best memories.

I also enjoy Halloween now because I have deemed it "Official kick-off to the Holiday Season"!!  Maybe my sister Tami has the official honors of coming up with this declaration, but I agree!

This year Halloween falls on a Friday - and Hallmark - ohhhhh Hallmark  - is kicking off the holiday season with the first Christmas movies for 2014!  My friend Rebecca and I plan to have a cup of Christmas Tea and enjoy the show!

This year, for me, it also marks a new and unending challenge to take better care of me.  For my health and to enjoy the blessings I have been given I will once and for all - make changes that allow me to lose nearly 50 pounds.  I will exercise on a regular basis.  I will eat healthy food.   And most importantly I will put my focus on prayer and Bible study and growing my relationship with God.

Hope you have a spooktacular Halloween . . . and are ready to enjoy the next two months as we head into the holidays!!!

Check back soon to see what special activities I have planned for these two months . . . as I also reflect on the past year and begin to get my focus for 2015!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Holiday Ho Ho Ho Readathon - Holiday Fun!

Jennifer @ Bawdy Book Blog and Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer adore holiday themed books.   So grab your pile of holiday themed books and sign-up to join us November 6th to 11th for a holiday themed read-a-thon, filled with challenges, good cheer and maybe some Figgy pudding! The challenges will be festive and give you a chance to win some holiday cheer for yourself!  Join for one day, just the weekend or the entire event. Read as many holiday related books from your YA, NA and Adult collections as you can.  Participating in challenges, spreading the news, following hosts and reading will all earn you entries for the grand prize- a twenty dollar gift-card from B&N or Amazon to fill your stocking with!

It happens to me every six months - I am left with the doldrums after Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

and I begin to search the web for the next readathon of any kind.  I ran across this Ho Ho Ho
Holiday Readathon that begins November 6-11.  Five days to read Christmas themed books!

So - I jumped right on this - I'm looking at my calendar for that week and will keep the RAT in mind. I'm also planning a trip to the library in a few weeks to select my Christmas reads, but 

I can give you some inside information:  I will be reading a favorite of mine - The Best Christmas
Pageant Ever! and I'm setting out some of my kids's favorites and plan to reread some of them. 

Maybe I'll get creative and find some little ones to read to!!
Won't you find your holiday spirit and join us in the Holiday Ho Ho Ho Readathon?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mid-Event - 12 more hours to go!!

1. What are you reading right now?  Return to Me by Lynn Austin - Good!!

2. How many books have you read so far? None - but two magazine articles - some Bible scripture and 3 chapters of Return to Me.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?  I want to continue with my novel - I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I'm enjoying it!  

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?   Mostly self-made interruptions - of course the puppy - but she has been really good and spent a lot of outdoors time today.  So glad it was a beautiful day here in North Central Kansas.  I had to prepare to teach Preschool-2nd grade Sunday School class tomorrow - it required more time and supplies than I had dreamed . . . But I'm enjoying my day soooooo much that any part of the RAT I get to do is just a blessing!  I have enjoyed the challenges - and so now tonight I plan to stay up as long as I can and check out some of the blogs!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?   No surprises new today but I'm still like a little kid with the whole thing - and I will hate for it to end!

Here's to 12 more hours!  


One of the fun parts of the readathon is the mini-challenges so graciously provided by so many readers!

Kay @ Dead Book Darling is hosting this hour's challenge to show off your favorite, most valuable or most interesting books:  "The unique, signed or simply dear-to-your-heart editions that you’d grab if there were a fire."  

I went down stairs to take a picture of my Janette Oke collection of Christian pioneer stories called Women of the West series and discovered a surprise:

I read these back in the l980's and I was always transformed to the simpler ways of keeping house that our dear pioneer women lived through.  The Calling Of Emily Evans holds the spot of my favorite ever book.  

Then  . . .  as I passed by the "children's book shelf" I thought Oh My - - - that's where some of my real favs are!!!

Key to the Treasure was the first book I ever received in my childhood book club that mom let me join. A new book every month or so.  Always loved The Bobbsye Twins, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys as a young girl - read them all with my BFF Dee back then.  The 1960's.  Key to the Treasure was the first book I ever bought.

The next book goes back to my childhood really - The Real Mother Goose - - - we three girls had this book and I'm not sure if this is that book or if I bought one for my own kids - - - I believe that this belongs to my kids.  My kids did not appreciate this book the way that I did . . . I poured over page after page of nursery rhymes . . . was enthralled with them!  Kids now days don't do nursery rhymes do they??

The Curious Little Kitten was my daughter Casey's favorite read to me book - - - I still remember without peaking today that the little kitten tried and tried to get over the fence in her back yard - - - and when she eventually did - - - a big dog was on the other side!  The Animals Christmas Eve and Big Birds Red Book were my favorites to read to the kids.  And lastly, Benji, The Fastest Dog in the West was my son Todd's favorite book to check out at the library.  In fact, we would return it . . . look through all the books . . . and he would recheck out Benji every time.  Must have had a nice librarian who understood boys and their dogs!

This was a fun challenge - sometimes I regret not spending more time reading to my kids - but when I reflect at the four shelf book case full of kids's books - and especially going right to these favorites - I'm reminded - hey I didn't do so bad!!

Happy Reading of YOUR old favs!


Into hour #2 of the Dewey's 24 hour Readathon and the challenge is:

Do you prefer coffee or tea when snuggled up reading?

Coffee for me please - black - and in a Christmas mug!

That's my second cup and it's time for breakfast as well!

Enjoy the readathon friends!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is on . . .

One of my four favorite days of the year!!!   Spring Readathon - Christmas Eve - New Year's Eve - and today - Fall Readathon!  

I love to read the warm up posts and see how different readers prepare for the big weekend of reading fun!  I especially like to compare notes with my sister Tami at Just One More Thing who introduced me to the readathon a couple years back.  

I enjoy spending the week before the RAT doing a little extra housework and laundry so I can be guilt-free on Saturday at 7 a.m.   

I also made a trip to the grocery store to pick up some healthy snacks and some items to prepare some meals the easy way - - - I have a roast with vegetables planned for Sunday - - - and some chicken to roast today for lunch.  The hubs will be working and may not make it home for lunch so I can always resort to mac and cheese as well.  Another option I chose is to put together an oriental coleslaw salad and call it good!     Snacks consist of apples with peanut butter or sugar free caramel - - - or plain to share with our new puppy as a snack!  I also have a cucumber and some dip if I choose and bananas and some mixed fruit as well.   So - - - food - - - check.

My reading choices are all contained in this picture - 

My sister and I have a book club - and she has chosen Return to Me as our October book - so that is my main focus for the day.  The book is written by Lynn Austin.   It is a different read for both of us - an old testament true story put in novel form - I can't wait to start!  As you can see - I have my Bible ready for early morning devotions and prayer time.  And - I hesitated to add these magazines to my reading list because I wasn't sure it was part of the "rules" for RAT . . . but I'm risking it . . . I  actually "borrowed" these from my drs. offiice - - - while visiting there this week I found good articles in each one and decided to see if they were up for loan.  Time magazine and a guide to taking back your kitchen . . . Agingcare.com talks about caregivers and Alzheimer's Disease . . . Real Simple Magazine has 76 greatest organizing tips of all time, Halloween DIY ideas and 18 easy fall meals . . . and WebMD just looked like a good resource on health, beauty, fitness, and family.    Please feel free to reprimand me if mags are not appropriate reading material for the RAT!  :)

Next preparation item was to find a charger for the Ipad that I am writing this post on right now!  It seems that grams left her charger in the motel room last weekend - - - so after a few phone calls and a rather impatient wait at the local phone store I was set!  

Lastly, and most interesting, is that I will be reading with a puppy in the house.  This will prove to be a challenge I'm afraid.   Hubs is having a busy season at work and so can't relieve me of my duties with the new doggie - but the weather looks promising and the fenced in back yard looks inviting - so Libby will spend some quality time outdoors with her big brother Roy.  

Well 7 hours still start time so I will get this post ready to go at 7 a.m. and I will see you all back for coffee and some great fun with books and challenges and snacks and . . . 

How did you plan for the RAT?

                       Roy and Libby