Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. What's your favorite time of day? Why? Typically I love the evenings when everyone else has gone to bed and it's just me still up. It's quiet and peaceful. However, I started getting up super early in the morning to head to the gym before my day begins with kiddos. I wouldn't want to get crazy and say 4:30am is my favorite time of day, but it is just as quiet and peaceful. 

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house? I'm actually pretty good on all of these things. I don't actually own a waffle iron though so I guess I should pick that.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy? That's a loaded question! Unfortunately, I can get quite grouchy quite often for no reason. Just ask my hubby. He'll tell you the truth of that statement! If I'm really grouchy, it's a combination of a few things including lack of sleep and a busy schedule. I'm working on that though. A low blood sugar also makes me super grouchy. I just need to eat to fix that one though.

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see? Last year my hubby and I took a week long vacation to Canada for our 20th wedding anniversary. We started in Quebec City, took an an afternoon in Montreal, time in Toronto and we ended our week at Niagara Falls. It was fantastic. We both agree that Quebec City was our favorite and we'd love to go back some day.

I'd love to go to PEI and Halifax. I love Anne of Green Gables.

Anniversary dinner in the 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower in Toronto

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite? Pizza but it wasn't a favorite until I was about 10. And yes, I still do like it! In fact, I had pizza for lunch just today.

6. Do you cry easily? Yes and no. I seem to tear up more easily but I rarely have a good breakdown crying session. 

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it? I actually have! This is early for me as I don't typically start until November and I've even been known to wait until December. This year I have most of the gifts already bought for my younger nieces and nephews. I am heading out shopping at the end of the month and will probably get some things for my immediate family. I have a few miscellaneous things for my boys but not anything big yet. I like that by doing it early I'm able to be more thoughtful in my gift buying.

8. Insert your own random thought here. I contribute to another blog called Dear Daughter. It's a "Titus 2" blog set up to help encourage younger woman. I'm really enjoying writing articles for it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

{DVD Review} A Long Way Off by Word Films

A Long Way Off is a modern retelling of the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32. The parable shares the story of two sons. One insists on taking his inheritance from his father early and going off to live the life he wants, turning his back on his family. The second son stays at home and continues to help his father. The first son ends up squandering all of his money and soon finds himself working for a farmer and eyeing the pig slops since he was so hungry. It's at that point that he decides to go home and at least work for his father for free. His father is so happy to see him he throws a party. The son who stayed home becomes jealous of all his father is doing for the son who has returned. His father tells him that all he has withheld nothing from him but that they must celebrate since the prodigal son had been dead and is now alive.

This movie does an excellent job retelling the parable set in modern times. The lead character, Jake, works on the family farm. He is tired of following his father's rules and working with his brother, Seth, so he asks his father for his inheritance early so that he can try life on his own terms. Surprisingly his father agrees to his terms and Jake heads to the city. He soon finds himself living a life full of what he thinks he wants - a high rise condo, a nice car, expensive watches, and money just rolling in from investments.

However, the bottom drops out of his world when the investments he made fail. He soon finds himself on the wrong side of a local mobster and running for his life. He is now eating of trash cans and sleeping on the streets. He is challenged to return to the home he has and he does so, not thinking he will have a good reception. Just like the story in the Bible says though, his father is thrilled to see him.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I think it would be an excellent family night movie and could start some great discussion with your family. You can see a trailer of the movie below.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Do you manage your own money or do you have a financial planner who helps in some way? Do those kinds of conversations stress you out? A lot or a little? Both? We had a small business so that is managed by an account, but I take care of our personal finances. I am not a math person so dealing with money completely stresses me out.

2. The second week of October is Pet Peeve Week. Off the top of your head, share TWO of your current pet peeves. People who don't know how to drive (tailgate, cutting off people, rolling through stop signs, etc.). People who are late.

3. What is one thing you'd like to learn right now, this very week if you could? How to speak a foreign language fluently. I have some French but I'd love to be completely fluent in a language.

4. How concerned are you about the recent health related news concerning Ebola? How about Enterovirus D68? At this point, not very. While I have Type 1 diabetes, which makes me more susceptible to illness, overall I'm in excellent health and rarely get sick. My children are very healthy as well and do not have any respiratory issues. While I'm definitely keeping an eye on the situation, I'm not overly concerned at the moment.

5. Garfield, Nemo, or Tigger-your favorite orange cartoon character? I'm going to have to go with Tigger although I do love all three of these characters!

6. I'm going to see Gone Girl with my neighborhood book club this week. So often books made into film are disappointing. What's a book turned film you thought was well done, in that the casting was 'like you pictured' when you read the book, and the film plot remained mostly true to the book plot? That's a tough one as I don't generally like books turned into film. Although, I would say the first Harry Potter movie was well done and I thought they did an excellent job of casting in those movies.

7. What is one story your family always tells about you? Seriously? I'm not sure I'm ready to air that type of thing on my blog. :-)

8. Insert your own random thought here. I absolutely love fall! I just wish it wasn't so close to winter arriving here in the Maine woods!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Ladies Retreat

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the fall Ladies Retreat hosted by our church. We've only been attending Fayette Baptist Church faithfully for the last nine  months. It took us quite a bit of time to settle in to a new church when we moved two years ago. FBC is starting to feel like home. 

The Ladies Retreat theme was One Thousand Gifts based on the book of the same title by Ann Voskamp. I hadn't realized that Ann had come out with a video study based on the book. There are five sessions to the video study. Each are about 25 minutes long. We would watch a segment and then broke in to small groups to discuss using questions from the study guide that can be purchased separately. 

I have to admit that I have owned the book since it was first released in 2010. I had to search a bit but found it tucked away in a draw of my nightstand. I had barely even made it past page 10 in the book. I've also been a follower of Ann's blog - A Holy Experience - for many years and we even used her geography curriculum in our homeschool (A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth and A Child's Geography: Explore the Holy Land).

I was originally suppose to be out of state this past weekend and was a bit bummed I was going to miss the retreat. However, my plans ended up changing due to some schedule conflicts so I was able to attend the retreat. I'm so glad I was able to go. I really needed the time away to recharge and refocus. 

We created gratitude journals during the day on Saturday. These are altered composition books. I used to do this quite often in the heyday of scrapbooking and had forgotten just how much I enjoy doing crafts like this. 

I'm now using my new blessings journal to record three things that bless me every day. I encourage you all to keep a similar record - online or on paper. When we focus on all the good things we have rather than the negative things, our focus begins to change to seeing all the positive things we have in our lives. Oftentimes I think we tend to focus on all we don't have, all the things that are wrong, all the difficulties we face rather than all the small ways that God blesses us everyday. My goal is to focus more on those small blessings every day so that my focus is turned upward rather than inward.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fun Fine Arts

Many homeschoolers seem to worry about how to get in some electives including fine arts. We've had a lot of fun over the years doing just that. One of my favorite ways is to attend the school shows at Waterville Opera House.

We've been attending these shows for at least the last five years. In all that time we've had only a very few that weren't all that great. Overall, the shows are fun and give children a chance to see live theater performances geared for them.

The first performance being offered this year was The Lightening Thief based on the book of the same name by Rick Riordan. My oldest son has read the whole series so I asked him his thoughts on the play. He wasn't impressed. Apparently, the stage production was based more on the movie (which I have seen) than the book.

I thought the play was rather campy, but fun. TheaterWorks USA are the ones that typically put on the shows. They have a small troupe of actors do the production so they play multiple rolls. For instance, in The Lightening Thief one actress played the Fury, Percy's Mom, two different half-blood campers, and the Oracle. In fact, the only actor that played one roll was the lead actor who played Percy Jackson.

Every one we've seen done by TheaterWorks USA is also a musical. I think that's fun. The favorite part for my boys in this play, though, was when they had rolls of TP on rollers powered by leaf blowers. This was the "water" that Percy could control since he was the son of Poseidon and a human woman.

The price of tickets for the shows are also extremely reasonable at only $3 a ticket for most shows. A local theater will be putting on a production of MacBeth last this month and those tickets are only $1 for the students. Unfortunately, my schedule isn't going to allow us to attend that show. They do a really good job with these performances too so I'm bummed we need to miss it.