Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#TuesdayTen: There's No Such Thing as a Stupid Question!

Did you know that today is Ask a Stupid Question Day? Wait?! Is that a stupid question? I know I've heard over and over again that there's no such thing as a stupid question, but I don't completely believe that to be true! Last year, in honor of this holiday, I actually made a list of 10 stupid questions my kids ask me on a fairly regular basis.

This year, in honor of this holiday, typically celebrated on the last day of September, we thought it would be fun to answer some completely random questions. Lisa found a list of 100 questions and I asked my facebook followers to give me 10 random numbers. So here are my answers to the random questions selected for me by the internet!

#22: Would you ever consider living abroad?
I cannot think of any reason that I would ever be given the opportunity to live abroad, but if that somehow happened, I would definitely consider it for a short term. I love being near to my family and friends, but I think it can be so valuable to have different types of experiences, especially for the kids. My parents actually met abroad (in Afghanistan) and spent time overseas, both before and after marriage.
My parents, circa 1966/67

#36: Do you really know all the words to your National Anthem?
I sure as heck better! My high school choir teacher would be pretty mad at me if I didn't remember them! We sang it at various football games and community events while I was in high school and I've sung it in the crowd at many events since then. I even try to throw in a little alto harmony every once in a while.

#11: When did you last laugh?
My last belly laughing incident was Saturday night. The boys  were in the bathtub playing and having a good time. One of them would say something and then they would both crack up. I was smiling just listening to all the fun they were having and then...
Ben: <softly> Bubby! I just peed in the bathtub!
Henry: <shouting> MOMMY! I'm ready to get out now!!

I had tears in my eyes by the time I got to the bathroom!!

#55: Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school?
I have never attended a school that required a uniform. However, in middle school and high school I was so cool that I wore jeans, a turtle neck, and a knit sweater every day in the cool weather and jean shorts and a t-shirt every day in the warmer months. It was pretty much my own personal uniform.

#83: What are your best characteristics?
I am a nice person. I am generous with my time and talents (I don't have much money to be generous with). I am friendly and tend to get along with most people. 

#9: Did you dream last night?
We cleaned the garage out completely yesterday (Sunday), so as I write this on Monday, I can say with confidence that  I did not dream last night. I was too exhausted. I did sleep really well, though!

#28: Type of music you dislike the most?
I like most kinds of music. Or rather, I'll listen to most types. I don't particularly enjoy hip hop or death metal, but that's mostly the lyrics and subject matter and not the actual musical qualities.

#16: What is the last film you saw?
We got a BOGO Redbox two weeks ago and so I got one movie for the kids (I honestly don't recall the name of it) and I got Mom's Night Out for me. Ken and I watched it and thought it was a pretty good movie. 

#82: What are your best physical features?
Geez, I already had to say nice things about my personality, now I have to say nice things about my physical features?!  I'm stumped! (And I'm not fishing for compliment!) Ken thinks I have a nice butt! :)

#10: Do you remember your dreams?
I think I usually remember my dreams. Some more vividly than others, obviously. I have a few recurring dreams that I remember better than the one hit wonders.  I frequently have a dream about wandering through an empty house and looking in the closets only to discover an entrance to a hidden room or area of the house.  Nothing especially interesting happens in that dream, but I wander endlessly through rooms. 

Bonus question: This came in after I had already started writing, but I'll answer it anyway!
#13: What is on the walls of the room you are in?
I'm at work right now, so in front of me the upper half of the wall is mainly windows and the bottom half is cabinets and drawers. To my right, there is nothing but a white wall and some more cabinets. Behind me is a window and some shelves, as well as a display of Duke Dog through the ages from a JMU Homecoming project a few years ago. To my left, there is a window to the next room, but the blinds are always down so I can't see through it.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Almost Perfect {Book Review}

Are you a mystery fan? I am! I love a good whodunnit. I've never been very good at solving them before the author ties things up neatly, but I still enjoy the suspense and following along as the story unfolds. That's the reason I was excited to read and review Almost Perfect by Orly Krauss-Winer.

A man is found dead in his ex-lover's burned out car. His family, friends and colleagues are distraught and baffled as to why someone would have killed him. The investigation immediately finds a hitch: the family wants the body buried immediately and refuses an autopsy. They claim religious reasons (the story is set in Israel) and they are granted their wishes.

As the inquiry into his death moves along the story takes many twists and turns as three women, all connected to the victim in some way, are forced to examine their relationships to each other and others involved in the case. The police detective is working on a promotion and knows full well that a successful arrest in this case will solidify his chances. And of course, we discover that the victim isn't exactly the person everyone had thought he was. In the end, the loose ends are all tied together neatly and the guilty party is brought to justice.

My thoughts? I had a hard time getting in to this book. It's possible that I wasn't in the mood for a mystery. I haven't had a good stretch of time to sit and read lately, so I had to read this one in bits in pieces. It never really hooked me in such a way that I was willing to stay up into the wee hours of the morning reading. Also, because it is set in Israel with Israeli names, places, and customs, my frame of reference for the story was off.

I think the storyline was well thought out and put together nicely. For the most part, the twists and turns made sense without being predictable. The delivery, though, just didn't pull me in for some reason.

If you'd like to try it out, Almost Perfect: is available on Amazon (aff. link) for $3.99 for the Kindle version. 

What have you been reading lately?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Because

Five Minute Friday has a new home! Come check it out and join in on the free-writing fun!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...

Five minutes on because...


Why? Because I said so!

Why? Because that's what happens.

Why? I don't know!

We've outgrown the toddler stage with it's endless supply of "why" questions, but I still here it pretty often around my house. I have curious, ready to learn children and that's a great thing, but it does get annoying on occasion!

The questions used to be fairly easy. They could either be answered easily or brushed off. Questions like, "Why is the sky blue?" can be satisfied with "Because that's how God made it!" Where questions like, "Why do I have to go to bed?" require something more obvious like, "Because it's bed time."

As my kids have gotten older, the questions have gotten more difficult. "Why can't I wear these shorts?" "Why does so-and-so not want to talk to me at school?" "Why are those bad people hurting kids in Iraq?"


I don't have all those answers. I can't explain everything the way they expect me to be able to. Many of these things I don't understand myself.

I hope we can all take comfort in the master plan. Even if we don't have answers, we can ask for faith. We can at least be aware that He is in control of it all.

And then I want to ask, Why are there 16 pictures of Ben's pants on my phone!?



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mayan Mysteries Game {Review}

Every once in a while I share my iPad with my kids. We've come across some fun games that we are able to play as a family and they enjoy sitting down together to try out a new game and spend time together. One such game is Mayan Mysteries from Dig-It! Games. This interactive game allows players to become archaeologists and explore an ancient Mayan site on the trail of a relic thief. 

Each level of the game starts with a few comic book illustrations helping to create the back story. Then there are different tasks to complete, like filling in maps, completing puzzles, and taking quizzes. Each task is designed to help you learn more about the ancient Mayan culture.  The game developer says that the information included in the game is aligned to the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies and Common Core Standards for Language Arts and Mathematics. 

My kids really enjoyed playing this game! It was challenging enough that they really had to pay attention to the clues and study the maps before moving on to the next section. They enjoyed identifying different artifacts and excavating new ones. This was a game they played nicely together because Frances read the text and Henry was very good at picking up on clues. 

The game is interactive and interesting enough to hold the attention of kids, while also being entertaining and educational. If you have a child interested in history, geography, archaeology, or ancient cultures, I suggest trying out this game. Visit the website for more information!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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