Lilypie - Pregnancy

Sunday, 6 July 2014

busy work

Hello, friends and neighbors!

Just wanted to say a few words about my new hobby - reading! Now, before all my relatives start laughing, let me say that while I USED to read all the time, I got out of the habit for quite a while. But in the last few months, I have rediscovered the joy of reading, thanks in large part to my "new" phone (got it in December) and Kindle for Android, by Amazon. In case you don't know, Amazon sells Kindles as a stand-alone tablet-type device, but they also provide free Kindle programs for computers and all types of smart phones. Beyond this, they offer a multitude of books for free on the Kindle platform.  Many of the free books are titles that are aged out of the copyright system and are public domain - you can also get these on a few other platforms both online and by "apps." But many other books are offered on Amazon for free for a single day/days/week in order to boost "sales" of said book and make it more noticeable to the general public. I do feel obliged to mention that Kindle works great on my phone, but often hangs up on my PC.

So anyway, I wanted to write a review of several of the books individually, but realizing that won't happen, I thought it would be nice to at least mention some of them.

Just finished The Memoirs of a Prague Executioner by Josef Svatek. Maybe I should have said that my tastes have become more eclectic of late. :) This is "A historical novel based on actual events" set in the mid 1500s to early 1600s and gives a bit of history and insight into how society worked in that place and time. It was a little gruesome in places, but not gratuitously so, and I enjoyed the overall idea of the book (dignity and justice were strong themes).

Veggies NOT Included by Christine Lee. A story/guide to losing weight by counting calories rather than sticking to any particular format. Ms. Lee lost 130 lbs while eating fast food and ice cream nearly every day.

The Man at the Door by Elizabeth Carr. This was an engaging but unbelievable story supposedly set in Europe at the time of Napoleon, but coming across as fantasy rather than historical fiction. There was a strong theme of overcoming abuse, and choosing what to believe about yourself rather than accepting what others say about you.

Prism by Rachel Moschell. The story left a few gaps, and went from fiction to fantastic at the end, but I enjoyed it for a light read and wouldn't mind seeing the sequel.  About a group of missionaries in Bolivia and a group of "We're not terrorists" guys-who-blow-things-up-to-restore-justice-in-the-world based in Pakistan, and how their lives crossed and were changed forever by a miracle and intervention from a secretive peaceful organization. 

The Planner by Alexandria Swann. A modern-day dystopian novel. This one agitated me a bit because all these terrible things were happening, and the main characters just took it all in stride. Towards the end of the book the lights started coming on for them, and the stage was set for the next book.

Foreclosed by Traci Hilton. This was supposed to be a mystery in the guise of "If Legally Blond had been about a realtor." Not so much. The plot wasn't near as mysterious as the behavior of the characters (not like real people at all).

City of God by R.S. Ingermanson. Some guys build a time machine and send an unsuspecting girl back to Jerusalem, A.D. 57. They both follow, and one of them is a bad guy! shrug. I really don't have a feeling about this one way or the other.

Prophet by R. J. Larson. Fantasy, Old Testamentish, about a girl called to represent God to her people. I liked it mostly, as the story was engaging and the characters interesting, if not entirely believable. The horse was cute and would make for a good movie. 

Asylum Harbor by Traci Hohenstein. A detective is called to investigate a girl gone missing from a cruise ship and uncovers a drug ring. Not a lot to it - fairly light and predictable. 

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. This was interesting. Written 1864-66, parts were very dull and parts were quite insightful. The author died before finishing it, and it still came to 800 pages. A quote I shared on Facebook, because it puts well my own opinion on arguments: "I like everybody to have an opinion of their own; only when my opinions are based on thought and experience, which few people have had equal opportunities of acquiring, I think it is but proper deference in others to allow themselves to be convinced." :) I did find it rather hard to believe that a formerly healthy young woman would become so upset by a friend's death that she would be sent to her sick bed for most of a year, and everyone around her would be accepting if not supportive. 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself by Harriet Jacobs. Wow. Eye-opening for anybody who tries to think that slavery was somehow an acceptable way of life. 

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Another long one, also with bits of insight and bits that I just skimmed over. I could have done without Anna herself, but enjoyed some of the other characters. I enjoyed the glimpses of Russian life and the looks at human nature that were offered.   

A few others were started, but either the Kindle conversion was too poor or they failed to hold my interest. And I've read a few books in real life, but I'm tired of typing now.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Daniel grows up

At times I wish I were as good as Wil about keeping records, but I'm not. So here's a little catch-up on Daniel.
He talks quite a bit now, and has learned most of our names. Riah has been perfect for a long time, but Naysha evolved. It was Nana for several months, then went to See-saw, to Shesha, to Haysha. At long last he has called Taryn (he did just refuse to say anything for her) Taytan (which is the same way Naysha used to pronounce it). Ella is sometimes correct but usually Lella (yes, he has his ls down). Cedwryck took him a while to attempt, but he says something like Geh-gick. Elijah is Juh-juh. The funny one is William, whom he persists in calling "Johnny" that sounds like nonny. We are told that one time - ONE time - the children were playing some make-believe and William's character was called Johnny.

He now says Gam as well as Papa when he thinks of them.

He often says two words together, and the boys work at getting whole sentences out of him (one word at a time). Some words are usually repeated, like "sideside" for outside and "bitebite" when he wants to eat.

He has begun asking "why." This isn't so much a want-to-know as it is another way to disagree with a command, which he does frequently. His frequent disagreements seem to stem from his complete disconnect of actions and consequences.

He still doesn't like to eat much. He'll eat a bowl of oatmeal in the mornings, but only if I feed it to him. He'll sneak a fruit every chance he gets, and asks for (graham) crackers a lot. Mostly he enjoys sugar and simple carbs, with just a touch of peanut butter and cheese. No meat, and very few veges. He now asks for "geek" instead of ee-eee when he wants a drink (or a trip into the kitchen to look in the snack cabinet for graham crackers).

Daniel loves to go outside where he drives the riding lawnmower or pushes Tonka trucks around. He enjoys the trampoline when someone will watch him. Of course, he's not worried about safety, but he wants people to appreciate his moves and will call someone by name and say "look!"

He will occasionally look at books, but prefers the iPad. He will play with his toys if someone sits on the floor with him, and likes to ride "horsey" by climbing on someone's back, or just back up and run and jump into my arms.

He has noticed that when I want Bob's attention, I will call "Bob," and so he does this sometimes, too, though in most situations he says "Daddy." He is a good mimicker and several of his ways are simply that - he says "Fine!" when he doesn't want to agree, wipes his hands and face on a napkin, and blows his nose.

Recently he has correctly answered the query "Are you sure?"  Every other child will repeat the negative they have been declaring, but Daniel will say "yes" he is sure that he doesn't want something.

Today he went swimming for the first time. We were at the river where there is a large flat area with an inch of water, and then it quickly drops down to my waist depth. He gladly splashed around in the shallow spot for a long time, but would occasionally inch closer to the deep water. At one point he thought Elijah was having too much fun in his floaty, and asked about it. So I talked Elijah into letting Daniel try, and when he got into the floaty I just walked him out into the water. He really enjoyed it! We went over to the other children, and he showed them how he could stick his toes up out of the water, and repeatedly said a word that sounded like "raining" but I guess was "swimming." It didn't take long to wear him out, though, and he would just float there very still and quiet until it was time to go.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Day 6

After breakfast and packing out of the hotel we let the children run at a park for a few minutes before heading out to my cousin-in-law's parents' house. The cousin and wife weren't there, but their two girls were waiting for us. Their grandma was baking a coffee cake, and kindly entertained Bob and I while the children went exploring outside. After we all had cake and lemonade we took the girls into town.

We went out to Mansfield to the Laura Ingalls Wilder house, which was nice, but not as "magical" as I had once imagined it would be. The children enjoyed seeing items that were mentioned in the books (which the older ones have read), and playing outside with their cousins.

Then back to Ava where we grabbed a burger at McDonald's and then went to the drugstore for ice cream. This place ought to be famous, if it's not. They sell ice cream cones at 5 cents per scoop, in a dozen flavors, with a smile. After the dessert we took the cousins back home, and headed home ourselves. It was about 2 1/2 hours from there, driving through Branson.

We pulled into Huntsville at 6pm, and my allergies immediately flared up. Supper at Pizza Hut and then home to air out the house and go to our very own beds.
 Children play at Wilder house.
 Wilder's retirement home, built by Rose after she sold her first book.
The rock house wasn't open when we got there, so I got a few pictures through the windows.

Day 5

Sorry for leaving us suspended in time and space...

This was kind of a boring day, but nice. We went to downtown Metropolis to see the giant Superman statue and the Superman museum store (we didn't pay to go into the museum). Then across a bit of Illinois and across the Ohio and Mississippi rivers into Missouri.

In Southeastern Mo we ate at a Chinese buffet for lunch, and it was good! Each dish had its own flavor! Sorry for getting excited, but the Chinese places here are all just kind of blah.

(I'm working without my notes, as they are in the other room and it hurts to walk)

 We stopped at another small town where the very first Stars and Stripes newspaper was printed (during the Civil War). They had a nice museum there with lots more stuff than I'd expected. Also in town was a city park with playground, frisbee golf, and a few re-located log cabins.

Then on to Ava, where we stayed at yet another Super 8. Those things are everywhere!
 Bridge over Ohio River.
 Girls at the park with covered bridge and log cabin.
All 8 on the playground. Daniel loved the big slide and was up and down it the whole time.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Day 4

I don't mean to lose interest or details, but I am starting another trip today (just me, Daniel, and the girls this time).

Friday we packed up, had another yucky breakfast, and went to Big Bone Lick State Park, not far from our hotel, but the stupid map on the hotel computer told us to go way around through town instead of straight over toward the park. Anyway, they have a 4G signal in town, so I was able to figure out how to get back on track with just a 15 minute detour.

The park was nice enough, and we saw the bison herd from a distance and some fossils. There were statues outside, and a ranger giving a talk to a homeschool group about hunting methods (we were told by the shop keeper that he was out calling the bison, but she was wrong). The children weren't terribly interested, Bob's knee hurt, and it was getting warm, so we didn't stay too long.

We went south toward Lexington, and then west toward Peducah. We did take a side trip to Lincoln's birthplace, but because of poor signage we missed the "boyhood home" that was on the way. Just as well though, because the main park closed at 4:45 and we just made it at 4. Got some exercise, learned a little, and back in the car.

We had supper at Hardee's, which had a $1 menu and made lots of fries for the "large" size. Quite a change from the ones around here. Made it to our hotel in Metropolis, Illinois at 8pm. I picked this one on purpose because it has an indoor pool, and the children have been wild to swim since the trip started. On unloading the van we noticed the boys had been into things we told them to leave alone, and Bob was inclined to forego the swimming, but I convinced him otherwise. We had the pool to ourselves, and stayed about 1 1/2 hours. Daniel got in for a few minutes, but then stayed out, just reaching over to splash in the water.

We had adjoining rooms, despite having just booked that morning, so that was nice. Bob and I started out in bed together, but when Daniel woke up at 1:30 I was rocking him back to sleep when Riah got up and used the bathroom. I heard him was his hands, but never saw him get back in his bed (I was in the boys' room at that time). Once I got Daniel back to sleep I used my phone as a light and went looking. Riah had climbed into my bed! So I slept in his spot next to Cedwryck. As soon as I sat down on the bed I could feel a difference. Turns out that 3 of our 4 beds were dreamy soft, and the one that Bob and I got stuck with was hard and spring-ful. Always check the beds! Anyway, I got good rest after that and Bob woke up tired and sore.

Also, the one hotel with a pool was also the one without a laundry room. Figure that. I squeezed the swim clothes out as best I could and let them drip overnight, but they were still pretty wet in the morning.

pictures day 4

 I include this to show off my camera. No flash inside, so I set to auto, no flash. It took this at f4.8_1/30sec_ISO2500.
 All the people at the Lincoln memorial.
Ella relaxes at the Sinking Spring.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

day 3

This is the day that I took the most notes on, and the main aim of our trip. But it is easily summed up.
Having complained about the hotel already, I will just say that the breakfast was sad, and the woman at the front desk, who identified herself as the assistant manager, was the one I'd yelled at out the window earlier. Staff made us wait while they took the elevator up.

We went to the Creation Museum about 10, and it was bigger and nicer than I expected. We left for lunch (Wendy's) and then came back to see the rest of it, as well as a couple of films and a live show. After the show there was a mini book store open to show attendants, and we shopped there awhile. Then we borrowed a wheelchair for Bob and went out to see the large gardens and the petting zoo. It was a long, hot walk. When we were done outside we cooled off for a minute in the lobby and then shopped in the main bookstore until closing at 6.

We had supper at the mall, split between Schlotzky's, Chinese, Japanese, and McDonald's. We had trouble with the interstate again (same deal with the on-ramps going north as going south), but made it back to the hotel in time to watch the video we'd bought and do some packing and planning for the next day.

This night I put my foot down and Ella slept on the futon on the floor, Taryn and Naysha in one bed, and Daniel and I in the other. That worked out much better, and I didn't even hear the airplanes take off, even though the windows are just a single pane of glass thick.