Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Books I've recently read - short reviews

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This book was helpful in understanding what went on in the south during the 1960s, when black women were maids for white women. The maids did all the cleaning, cooking, and raising children. It's hard to imagine what any of the white women did, aside from being selfish and getting their hair done and doing things for the league they were involved with. The story focuses on a white women who has a desire to write about the things the maids deal with as black women in that time - how they are treated and how they live.

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
Pope Joan may or may not be an actual historical figure. There is some evidence to proove she existed and fooled everyone into believing she was a man who became pope. The Catholic Church has covered up and deny any evidence about it because it is shameful and embarassing. It was a very interesting novel. Joan's character was strong and very intelligent. I loved reading about her theological discoveries, her challenges and the debates she courageously spoke and thought about. Since the novel takes place during the 800s, there is some mention of the Viking attacks and brutality toward women, but I believe the author really took it easy on the readers.

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Amazing book on how two totally separate lives come together through the power of God and how God can take those two lives and change them for Him. All through the obedience of one humble woman.

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon
This is my second time reading this book. It has been at least 5 years since I last read it. The story is of a pastor's proposition to his church for any member that is willing to live for a full year basing every decision on following Christ's example and always asking "What would Jesus do?" when faced with a decision. Among the members of the church that agreed to take on the pledge were some of the most prominent men and women in their town. They had to sacrifice many things, jobs, families, securities, but it brought the people of the church closer together and saved many men and women from the slums. It's amazing to think how easily we live our Christian lives, without ever taking up our cross and following His example. This is a very practical book for thinking about what it really means to be a Christian.

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Lots of good information in here about living as a "locavore". Barbara, the author, decided to leave the fast pace of Tuscon where food and even water is shipped in, to rural Virginia where they could grow or raise everything they ate for an entire year. Anything they didn't have growing on their small farm, they bought locally at farmer's markets. It's an amazing journal of the year they lived and makes it very compelling to start thinking more seriously about buying and eating things grown and raised locally.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Extremely thought provoking. The author talks about reasons why some people are more successful than others, either because of birth month, because of genius, because of 10,000 hours of study, etc. He talks about why Korean airplanes crashed more frequently than other airlines based on societal differences. It's very interesting in terms of raising kids and how to help them be successful.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday!

It has been a joy watching you become a little 3 year old boy. I love hearing your cute little sing-song voice and listening to you stumble over sentences as you try to explain what's going on in that little brain of yours. I predict you to be either a sports commentator or a singer. It's fun to hear you give a play-by-play of what you're doing or what I'm doing, and I love that you always ask me what I'm doing. I'm waiting for the constant "why's" but in the meantime, I can deal with "what are you doing that for?" instead.

Your singing is awesome. I love how you get favorite songs that you ask to listen to over and over again. If I don't sing them quite right while practicing guitar you ask to have it on the ipod instead or you stop me and make sure I sing the melody correctly. I love hearing you sing to yourself in your bed or at the park or wherever the song pops into your head.

I am so thankful you are through with potty training. That was not a fun stage, but it didn't take you long until you got it. You were out of diapers by the end of the summer! Fantastic!

I love hearing you laugh. Love reading with you. Love seeing you learning and playing on the computer. I love that you can throw a Frisbee better than me. I love kicking a soccer ball around with you. Love teaching you to hit a tennis ball and I'm excited to play tennis with you one day! I love that you're not really interested in movies or TV and that you'd much rather pull up a chair to help me in the kitchen. I love that you help me with laundry and that I can check my email while you move the load from the washer to the dryer. You're a big helper with the vacuum and even with cleaning the bathrooms. Keep that up!

I love seeing you with your friends and with your friend's little baby sisters. One day you'll be a great big brother. You are loving and gentle with babies. If only you could learn that with the cat! It's fun seeing you talk and play with the cat like he's your sibling. I just hope the cat's limp is nothing serious. :)

I love you little man. I am so thankful for you.

Hope you had a great 3rd birthday!


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Downhere's Christmas Album

Downhere is a rock group that formed at my college, Briercrest Bible College in Saskatchewan, Canada and I'm excited that their Christmas album is released today. It sounds pretty cool. I love Christmas music and I'm excited for their new songs and for the old classic songs that they have updated to make fresh. They always have awesome harmonies and theologically sound lyrics. Check it out!