Monday, June 29, 2009

I will be away

I forgot to say that I'm away for this week.  Posting may be sporadic at at best!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I need a good, efficient pet hair removal device for furniture.  Lint rollers work well, but I seem to go through a lot of them with the amount of fur Willow is currently shedding.  Any ideas?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Thursday's Silliness, Blissfully Domestic.  As much as I hate the purposefully bad English on these pictures, they really make me laugh.  Check them all out!

Follow That Map, 5 Minutes for Books.  I love maps.  This book looks so great that I'm tempted to buy it for my kid... who isn't born yet...  These girls are great!  I found a perfect template set for making a digital scrapbooking baby book this week.  It's exactly what I wanted!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Almost over!

Today's blog post is going to be short, sweet, and exciting. Well, at least exciting to me!

I am so grateful that this month is almost over!  This Sunday I will be flying down to SLC to meet Derek in Provo for a mini family reunion, and then we'll come back home together!  Hooray!

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a creature that's meant to be solitary.  I miss my husband too much.  Even with daily phone calls!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - All Tucked In!

To say Derek and I weren't prepared for our first day of work in Korea would be an understatement.  When Mr. Kim picked us up from our apartment that first Monday morning, we had no idea he was going to take us to work!  We thought we were going to go to the bank or something like that.

And for anybody who knows me, you know I'm a planner.  So this big surprise was quite unsettling for me.  Once we got to the English academy (ETS), we had a mini-conference with our boss and the other foreign teachers.  We learned that we would have absolutely no training!  We would be able to observe one class before teaching a full day.  Yikes!

So needless to say, I was a little flustered.  After the mini-conference I walked down the hall from ETS to use the bathroom.  About the time I was exiting the bathroom many of the students were arriving.  I was trying to put on a brave face and smile and wave at them because that's what they were all doing to me.

Just after I came back in ETS, so did one of the other foreign teachers.  She quickly tapped me on my shoulder and whispered, "Your skirt is caught in the back of your underwear!" 

Oh man!  I was wearing one of those full-ish, tiered skirts, and I had thought I checked for that problem before leaving the bathroom stall.  How embarrassing!  "Thank you!" I whispered back as I quickly fixed the problem.

Flustered didn't even begin to describe how I was feeling at that point!  What a way to start my first day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I love my husband!!

Derek and I were talking on the phone this afternoon, and I asked him about how his bathroom job was going (he's remodeling my grandparents' bathroom down in Arizona). He was telling me something about tile, or mud, or something tile related.  I think I had asked him a series of I'm-clueless-about-what-you're-talking-about questions until finally I understood. 

Once I finally figured out what he was talking about, I think I must have said something like, "Well, I'm obviously not a tile layer, but I do like being married to one!" Or something like that.

And Derek said, "And you do a good job at that!"

Isn't he cute?!  It was exactly what I needed to hear.

Top Ten Tuesday - List of Gratefuls

I'm sort of having a pity part for myself today.  And yesterday, and probably all week!  Whenever my husband and I are apart for a significant amount of time, I always tend to flip out irrationally during the first and last few days.  We're on the home stretch now.  We'll be back together on Sunday!

So to fight this week's blues, today's Top 10 List is...

The Top 10 Blessings I Am Grateful For

  1. I've had minimal discomfort during this pregnancy.  I had zero morning sickness, and so far the aches and pains of a growing baby have been minimal!  I am really grateful for this blessing because I am such a wuss!

  2. I am grateful for my cat.  She's just the right balance of lap cat and stay far away from me cat.  Plus she's cute and playful.  Really entertaining!

  3. I'm grateful that Derek's got work right now.  It really stinks that he's far away and I wasn't able to go with him, but I am glad that he's able to earn money for us.  There are a lot of people who aren't as lucky.

  4. Air conditioning and ceiling fans are a huge blessing!  Like I said before, I am a wuss.  I don't handle extreme temperatures very well, especially hot weather.  And I hate to sweat.

  5. I am grateful for a healthy body and a sound mind.  Taking care of my mom has really reinforced this.  There sure seems like a lot of little things to complain about, but this experience of caregiving has really taught me that I really don't have anything to complain about!

  6. I am grateful that my cat's puke is easy to clean up.  I'm not grateful that she does puke, but when she does, it's an easy clean-up which is good because she always chooses the carpet (why not the linoleum silly cat?), and this carpet belongs to my dad. 

  7. My flowers are growing and beautiful!  I planted Moss Roses again this year, and they are doing great!  The tiny starts are filling out and the blossoms are gorgeous.  It's so pleasant to see them every day.

  8. Good books are a real blessing in my life.  I've learned quite a bit of what I know from reading.  And reading is a great way to "escape reality."  At least for a little while.

  9. I'm grateful for alarm clocks.  A simple thing, but I would never wake up on time.  A friend of mine once told me that everyone has an internal alarm clock, and that if you look at the time before you go to bed, think seriously about what time you want to wake up in the morning, and then really believe it, you will wake up at that time!  I could do all of the steps except the last one, really believe it.  I was always too worried about over sleeping.

  10. I have the best friends!  One of my friends is going through an especially hard time right now.  She's been out of town helping take care of her sister who just passed away this morning.  I really wish I could be doing something for her right now, but she's too far away at the moment.  I guess praying will have to work for now.   Would you all pray for her, too?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Obama signs bill

I don't agree with everything Obama's doing these days, but this sounds like something that's been a long time coming!  It's about time!

Obama signs bill putting tobacco products under FDA oversight -

Posted using ShareThis

Monday Morning Musings -

Funny how these always end up being posted in the afternoon! :D

I went to the library today and picked up a few books.  The one that I'm most excited about is on freezer dinners.  The title is something like, Don't Worry Dinner's in the Freezer.  Or something like that.  After looking through it, I'll probably have a ton of prep work before freezing, but will have tons of dinners ready and much less work when it comes time to actually cook it!  Hooray!

And I've started reading a book about Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson.  It's excellent.  Definitely not an easy read, but very enjoyable!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

This video is really special to me because I feel like in a lot of ways, my dad is the same as the father in this video.

And I love, love, love, love, LOVE this video! It so made me cry when it talked about the sacrifice the man made for his wife.

And check out this article about President Obama and his thoughts on Fatherhood in America. I'm glad he's making a stand on this!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Somethings - My Mom

I'm one of my mom's primary caregivers.  And therefore, a lot of people ask how my mom is doing.  I have a really hard time answering that question.  My mom has MS, or Multiple Sclerosis.  It's a horrible, nasty disease that affects everyone differently.  So even people who have had some experience with the disease often have misconceptions about my mom's condition.

The only way to really know how she's doing is to spend some time with her.  And even better, an extended period of time with her.  But that's not possible for all the people who are genuinely concerned for my mom.  They have lives, too.

Consequently, I give most everyone a simple answer.  I honestly tell them she's not doing great.  Some days are minimally better than others, but her overall condition is not so good.  Her mental condition is going way down hill which is difficult to watch, but in some ways has made taking care of her a bit easier.  And believe me, that is the simple version!

In an effort to share with you a large portion of my life, and to answer the question of, "how is your mom?" I'm going to share an experience I had with her just this morning.  I feel it's okay to share.  It's too embarrassing and it accurately illustrates what it's like interacting with my mom.


Johna's here.  She's our wonderful cleaning lady who comes once a month.  Currently she's cleaning my parent's room.  A few minutes ago, she popped her head into my room and said, "I think your mom has a question."  So I walked in there to see what it was.

My mom was holding a white t-shirt and as I got closer to her she MS whispered, "I want to put this on."  I told her that was fine, but she had to wait until Toby got here to give her a bath (Toby is her CNA who comes to bathe her three times a week).  She would change her shirt for her.

"What time will Toby get here?" She asked.

"I'm not sure, not for a couple more hours though."  I answered.

"I want to wear it now." She said.

Oh great, I thought to myself.  It's going to be one of those arguments again.  The ones in which I can't win.  The ones I can't/won't give in on and she gets pissed at me. "No, I'm sorry.  You have to wait until Toby gets here.  I can't put it on you by myself and Dad's at work so he can't help either."

"Yes you can.  You can do it." She replied.

"No.  Mom.  I can't..."  I said, trying to sound serious and final.  Her present physical condition leaves her basically a quadriplegic.  She has some movement in her legs, a bit more in her arms and hands, but not enough to make a difference when you're trying to move her around.  And since I'm pregnant, that makes it basically impossible to change her clothes by myself.

"Rachel.  You can do it.  Just pull this one off of me and put this one on."  She replied in the same serious and final tone.

"No Mom, I really can't.  I'm being honest about this.  I can't do it by myself so you'll have to wait until Toby gets here."

At this point, she gave up, closed her eyes and turned away with a pouty child look on her face.  And as immature, frustrating, or insulting as that gesture is, I'm grateful for it every time!


The most frustrating thing about situations like this is that they aren't cut and dry.  She's not just trying to be a brat about things.  She really, honestly feels like they are important because in her reality they are.  So I feel horrible about refusing to do these weird things that seem so off the wall to us.

However, at the same time, the things she asks us to do are so off the wall and usually there's no need to do them.  Like changing her shirt.  Not necessary at all.  And with my mom being bed bound, it's a huge job just to change her shirt!  So why do it?  Because in her reality she has to wear a white t-shirt for her salvation?  No.  That's not what's real so we don't do those things for her.

Still, we try to walk the line of pleasing her and keeping our sanity.  For example, when she's sure her water is contaminated and won't drink it.  I'll pour it out and get her some more.  It's not a big deal, or hard to do, so why not do it and make her that much more comfortable and happy.

Could you imagine how horrifying it would be to know you're water is contaminated with some deadly disease and the people who supposedly love you and take care of all your needs because you can't do them yourself tell you that they won't get you clean water?

I try to.  It makes taking care of her just a little bit easier.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Leftover Pictures

Derek and our new Cornhole game
The most heavenly snack I've had in a long time!
Raspberries and chocolate chips.  Yum!

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Tile Board Crafts, Scribbit.  I needed this tutorial when I tried to make some of these a couple of years ago.  Mine ended up having a TON of bubbles and I didn't get all the resin out of the "grout lines."  But my husband was very gracious and didn't complain when I gave them to him!

This is hilarious!  There is no way I could ever move that fast!!!

June 19, 1986, Modern Molly Mormon. Reading stories like this makes the drunk driving problem much more personal.  I'm MADD!!!

Rachel's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Morning!

Okay, so it hasn't been quite that bad, but it is now only 10:17 in the morning, and I got up at 9:30!

So here's how it went...

I woke up this morning hearing my dad in the kitchen.  I wondered what time it was because lately I've been waking up just before my alarm goes off.  So I looked at my alarm clock and it was blinking 2:11!  Still thinking it might be around 8:30 or so, I looked at the wall clock we have hanging in our room.  It said 9:30.  Ahh!  I'm supposed to be up, dressed, and available to help my mom at 9:00!  So I jumped out of bed and headed towards the shower.

When I got to the bathroom, I noticed a HUGE puddle of cat urine.  My cat's urine.  My perfectly behaved cats urine!  And the worst part was it was surrounding the littler box!  Not in it, all the way around it!  Why?!  WHY?!  But then I looked in the box, and it was in need of a change, so I kicked myself.  By changing the box yesterday, I could have avoided the mess!  So once I got the mess under control, I took my shower and got dressed and ready.

Then I went to get some gloves and a trash bag to do the real dirty work.  It's not too bad cleaning the littler box.  We use Feline Pine so the solid waste is flushable, but there is something rather disgusting about dumping out a bunch of moist sawdust.  Especially when it flies in your face!

And I needed some assistance.  With all the pee locked in the sawdust, the litter box becomes at least twice as heavy as when it's clean, so I needed my dad to dump the box while I held the bag.  I walked over to his office (home office, it's literally just 10 steps away from everything in the house), and just as I was about to say, "Dad, would you help me for a minute..."  I noticed a little pile of kitten puke on the floor, just inside the door.  Darn!  Well at least this little pile was easy to clean up this time. 

He came and helped me (THANKS DAD!!!), and once I got the box rinsed out, dried and refilled, I knew I needed to clean up the floor a little better.  So I put the rugs in the washing machine, got down on my hands and knees, and started cleaning the floor.  Once I got all that done and the box back in it's place, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought that I could just get on with the morning!

But that was not to be because all over the counter and the last homemade cherry turnover, were a bunch of sugar ants!  I quickly put the dish in the sink, and turned to get some paper towels.  But the paper towels weren't open yet and I had a little trouble getting the first sheet or two off.  I ended up tearing off a big chunk from one side.  Then I started pounding.  Then I noticed that they were under the rice cooker and mixer too.  So I got out the spray and sprayed them to smithereens!

And then I still had the dish with the turnover and all the ants to deal with.  So I took off the plastic wrap, wrapped it around the turnover, ran outside and threw it away in the big trash can.  Then I drowned the ants in hot water, washed the dish, and then put it in the dishwasher!

Then I ate a mini-muffin.  And I felt better! :D

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - Hurricane Fran

I grew up in North Carolina.  Or at least I claim to.  I moved there when I was 10 years old and then officially moved away when I was 20 years old.  I count those as my "formative years."  So therefore I became who I am in North Carolina.

One of the hazards of living in North Carolina (and most of the South East area) is the hurricane season that comes every year.  It starts in the latter half of Summer and lasts until mid-Fall.  We were lucky in that we lived about 3 hours from the coast, so when a hurricane did come through, by the time it came to us it was usually just A LOT of rain.

Except for one year, 1996, Hurricane Fran.  That was the hurricane that passed directly over our house.  Wikipedia says that by the time it got to Raleigh--which was right next door to my hometown--it had weakened to a tropical storm.  Tropical storm my elbow!  Rain was coming in our house!

I just happened to be watching the news the afternoon before the storm.  My mom was out of town visiting her parents in Arizona and my dad was still at work.  So I was at home alone.  I heard the report of the hurricane's probable arrival that night.  The newscaster suggested that everyone should stock up on batteries and other emergency essentials.  Being the paranoid pre-teen, I immediately called my dad and told him what I had learned.  He assured me that we would be fine and that the hurricane probably would pass right over us with little or no damage.

He was wrong.  Later that evening, the winds picked up and were freaking the two of us kids out.  I was afraid of sleeping upstairs because of all the storm horror stories I had heard and seen on TV where the roof is ripped off, or a tree falls on the roof, so we jumped in bed with Dad and once we got to sleep, we slept the entire night!  Nothing woke us up!

But my dad was getting a little worried about the house and decided to check on things.  He went downstairs and found that the carpet in the bay window of our front room completely soaked!  The wind was blowing so hard that the rain was falling horizontally, pounding into the brick on the front side of our house, seeping through, dripping down the inside of the wall, and leaking out in the carpet!

He right away, he tore back the carpet and pad and, with towels and a bucket, started mopping up the water that was quickly pooling on the bare floor.    He said he was at it for about three hours and then everything suddenly stopped.  For about 20 minutes everything was completely quiet.  No rain and no wind.  And then all of a sudden the rain and wind started again, but from the opposite direction!

I think he eventually fell asleep on the couch downstairs to keep an eye on things and make sure there were no more leaks.

As I remember, we were out of power and school for about a week.  Being out of school was nice, but being out of power wasn't.  Fran hit in early September.  That's still summer in North Carolina, and it is so humid!  Plus we had at least three days of rain!  I remember my dad complaining about taking a shower and then ten minutes later be just as gross and sweaty as before!  It was so true!

We thought of a number of different ways to deal with the heat and humidity and no power.  One way was to go to a fast food place.  Most stores and restaurants had at least minimal power back by the third day.  We would get in the car, enjoy the AC while we drove and then got nice cold drinks at the drive through.

Another, slightly odder thing we did was lay on my waterbed.  Since the power was out, the heater for my waterbed obviously didn't work.  We took all the sheets and blankets off and just layed down directly on the mattress.  It was surprisingly cool.

The most painful thing about the power being out at our house was that five houses down, they had power after just a couple days!  We could see their lights from our windows!  We had a different power company who bought power from their power company, so we were the last on the list to get power back.

And I remember very distinctly when the power came back on.  My brother and I were playing a game on the floor in the living room when we heard this strange whirring sound.  I asked him what it was and he said, I think that sounds like the heater.  The heater?!  We both realized at the same time that it wasn't the heater.  It was the air conditioner!  We ran in the kitchen to see if any of our appliances were back on.  I have never been so happy to see the lit up numbers on a microwave!  We did a little happy dance and then ran to tell my dad.

We remain convinced that the eye of Hurricane Fran passed directly over our house no matter what Wikipedia says!

images courtesy of

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Dreams

Here are the top ten weirdest dreams I've been having lately.  I think they have something to do with me being pregnant...

  1. Derek also being pregnant.  But the weirdest part (as if a man being pregnant isn't weird enough) for me in that dream was that he got pregnant after me, had the baby before me, and had a c-section and was such a wuss about it!

  2. Other friends (female) being pregnant when they actually aren't.  Not too weird, but I just don't usually dream about people in detail like that.

  3. Saying a "bad" word in front of a bunch of children in church.  And the word wasn't even that bad!  But "fart" sure got an extreme reaction from all the kids and other adults who were passing by in the hall in my dreams

  4. My alarm was actually a chipmunk maniacally laughing at me.  Not the alarm clock, just the alarm sound.  And in my defense, even while awake it does sound a little bit like that.

  5. I was an aspiring pro chef.  My business partner got in to trouble somehow by cooking something wrong for a celebrity client and there was some chance of legal action and even jail!  Since I was her business partner, I was in danger too so I asked Rachel Ray for help.

  6. My cat turned into a white Persian cat (which isn't too far of a stretch, she does have long hair).  And she learned how to open doors to get outside and run away.  I had to keep an eye on her 24/7 so she wouldn't get lost.

  7. Derek, Bucky Katt, Willow, and I went to Space Camp--which was run by BYU--in space.  They also had a swim team that my friends tried to get me to sign up for.  There were only two problems with that.  I didn't swim very well at all, and I was 5 months pregnant (both also true in real life).  My friend tried to refill Willow's litter box with ten inches of grass instead of litter, and then my mom started having some issues at home so Derek, Bucky and I decided to fly home.  We bought one-way tickets from space to home.  Once we got home, we worried about the price of airplane tickets back to in space Space Camp and then decided that it wasn't worth it anyways...

  8. I was friends with the Fantastic 4, except they weren't the original Fantastic 4, they were Dr. House and his team.  And I was like Peter Petrelli who could mimic the powers of people around me.  I saved Dr. House because I knew the radiation that gave them their powers would come again.  But not in the kitchen.  So I took him in there just before the radiation came.

  9. Derek was fighting for my honor against the evil Nephites and the Decepticons. 

  10. Metal detectors.  Something to do with metal detectors.  I'm not sure what.  All I know is that I woke up thinking, "Using a metal detector is legal!  They had the advantage earlier, so now I can use one."  I have absolutely no idea what I was looking for or who "they" were.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Morning Musings -

Can I just say two words?  Guitar Hero!  I got the full band set Saturday afternoon and my dad and I spent the evening jamming!  Well, not the entire evening, but it was a significant amount of time for us.  We never seem to be able to sit down and do something for more than 30 minutes at the most. 

And you know the best part?  My dad loved it!  I was a bit worried that he wouldn't really enjoy it because he's never been that into listening to music, especially Guitar Hero music!  But I think it was a hit!  He kept saying, "I think I know why you guys like this game so much!" and "I need to play that again so I can get it right," and "I like that song!  It's got a really good beat!"

I also worked on a special surprise for Derek.  Nothing big of course, but special if I do say so myself.  So Derek, get excited!

And here's another picture of my cat.  This time she's doing her hotdog pose.  She does this quite often.  Doesn't she look like a furry hotdog?  Sorry for the image quality.  Anytime I try to get my camera out, she moves.  This is a web cam pic.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Old Churches of Korea's Catholic Heartland, The Marmot's Hole. Most people don't know that Korea has the second largest percentage of Christians in Asia (second to the Philippines, of course), and even though the percentage is relatively small, it's still significant.  This post has pictures of churches in Korea.  I thought it was interesting to see how they combined Christianity with traditional Korean culture.  Very beautiful!

Top Ten Tuesday: Baby Love, it's gravy baby!  This is my new shopping list.  I love to hear what other moms think is a good buy.  I hate how magazines and catalogs tell you what you "should" buy.  Very irritating! These are hilarious!  Definitely going in my Google Reader!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Cell Phones, family plans, and the "In" Network

This week I am especially thankful for cell phones, and more importantly, family plans and the "in" network.  Derek's out of town, and I suddenly feel the need to talk to him every hour or so.  I usually hold back though, that's a little overkill.  But hey, I'm pregnant.  I'll blame it on the very real and very raging hormones!

But it is so nice to know that if I need to, I can call Derek any time of the day and I don't have to worry about how long we talk because we're on a family plan.  Unlimited minutes!  Hooray!

As any of you who have been far away from your spouses know, phone calls make all the difference!  It's made this time that we're apart at least bearable! 

The only thing I like better than being able to call my Derek, is when my Derek calls me!  It makes me feel special and loved.  Funny how the little things make such a big difference!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - I'll take size 20,045

I'm a really nervous language learner.  I think it's interesting and worthwhile to study and learn another language, but I'm really afraid to talk to anyone in the new language.  Especially native speakers.   Consequently, while we lived in Korea, I only made a couple of HUGE mistakes because I rarely ever tried Korean conversation with actual Koreans.

The huge mistake I'm thinking of this time really wasn't all that bad.   I didn't say anything rude, inappropriate, or offensive just something really, really funny.

Derek and I were at a bowling alley near our apartment.  It was owned and operated by the mother of one of my students, so we got a great discount whenever the owner was there (Thats how Korea works.  It's all about who you know!).  It must have been one of the first times we had gone because the owner was there and she was asking us our shoe size, and believe me, after hearing my answer, I don't think she will EVER forget my shoe size.  She probably still thinks about what the funny foreigner said every now and then and laughs.

I had just learned how to say my Korean shoe size in Korean.  I think it's a pretty big accomplishment because Korean shoe sizes aren't like American or even European shoe sizes.  Koreans measure by the millimeter.  The millimeter!  That means that I had to learn how to say two-hundred-forty-five instead of something simple like seven.

So needless to say, I was really excited and nervous to use this new "phrase" out in the real world.  Unfortunately, I also had just learned the vocabulary for Korean money.  I'll tell you why that knowledge is related in a minute.

So the owner asks us our shoe sizes.  Derek tells her his size perfectly.  She turns to me and asked me.  I proudly said, "이만사십오 (yi-man-sah-ship-o)."  She--and Derek for that matter, great support he was that day--immediately started laughing.  It wasn't mean spirited, but still embarassing!  And I wondered--like you are probably right now--why it was so funny; I was pretty sure I said the numbers correctly!

Then Derek turned to me and told me what I had actually said.  이만사십오 means 20,045!  What I should have said was very similar, 이백사십오 (Yi-baek-sah-ship-o).  I had used a ten thousand counter instead of a hundred counter!  Imagine a foot that was 20,045 millimeters long!  That's about 65 feet!  No wonder it was so humorous!

The most pathetic thing was I really did know the difference!  The reason why I made such a dramatic mistake was because I used the ten thousand counter with money every day.  20,045 won is approximately $20.04.

Sadly, that was not the only embarassing thing I did at that bowling alley.  I also threw my bowling ball behind me for the first and hopefully only time in my life.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Books

This list idea is probably not very original, but I love to read them on others' blogs.  I'm always looking for something new.

Top 10 Books for This Week
  1. Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas.  I love memoirs!  They're all the info of a biography with the ease of reading of a novel.  This one, and it's sequel (#2) are written by an Iranian woman who basically grew up in California.

  2. Laughing Without an Accent, Firoozeh Dumas.  I just started this one last night... at 2am.  Not a good idea!  It was so hard to stop reading, but I knew I had to!

  3. The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield.  Even though this book was WAY different from any other book I've ever read (it was like ghost story meets mystery), I enjoyed every minute of it.  It was also full of fun quotes on reading.

  4. In the Land of Invisible Women, Qanta A. Ahmed.  Another memoir that I LOVE!!!  This book is written by a American educated, Pakistani-British female doctor who goes to work in Saudi Arabia.  I loved it because she wrote honestly about life in Saudi Arabia as a "western" woman.  Very unbiased, and very positive!

  5. A Train to Potevka, Mike Ramsdell.  My in-laws gave me a copy of this book in March and I started reading it right away.  I got about halfway through, but then inconveniently left it at their house!  I have no idea how that happened because I have a very specific memory of putting it in the car.   Oh well, I can start again.  Thanks again Mom and Dad C for the book!

  6. The Sister, Poppy Adams.  I also started reading this book last night at 2am.  I was just beginning to get sucked in so I knew I needed to put it down so I could sleep.  I'm excited to read again today!

  7. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster.  My 6th grade class read a play out loud in class that was based on this novel.  Why English teachers think we need to read plays aloud goes way over my head.  It's just boring!  But nevertheless I was really into the story so I went and found the book.  I think it's written for kids, but I still love it.  It speaks to the ESL teacher in me, and it's fun to read!

  8. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  I've started this book twice... and haven't been able to get past the first few chapters.  It's not light reading, and that's what I'm into at the moment.  But I'll pick it up again.  I loved Tolstoy, so I'm hoping that someday I'll love Dostoyevsky!
  9. What to Expect When You're Expecting, Eisenberg, Murkoff, and Hathaway.  My friend Tanya lent me this book way back in February.  I hope it's still okay for me to have it! :D  It's been a great resource for me especially since I've had almost zero exposure to pregnancy.  I know nothing about it, but I'm learning more everyday! Thanks Tanya!

  10. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.  This book is always on my list whether or not I'm actually reading it, which I'm currently not.  I love it because as I read it, I feel really smart and like I'm dipping into a guilty pleasure book at the same time!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday Musings

So I pretty much forgot to post today.  I thought about it briefly a couple of times, but didn't do much about it. 

I was lucky enough to do something fun and spontaneous this weekend.  I wouldn't say I'm not usually a spontaneous person, because I can be.  But usually, my spontaneity involves going to Wal-mart at 11pm, or eating cookies for breakfast.  This weekend was different.  On Thursday afternoon, I decided that I would drive down to Provo on Friday afternoon to surprise Derek.  And it was perfect.  It was great to see Derek, and it was great to have a min-vacation.  I wish I could do it again next weekend, but that would just be pathetic! 

I'm trying to think of things to do in the evenings while Derek's gone.  I can keep busy during the days, but at about 5:30 or 6:00, I run out of ideas.  Most of the things I've thought of I decided against because I want to do them with him.  Even the girly things.  Not that I do a whole lot of those anyways.  And he doesn't always do them with me, but he'll sit by me and do something manly.

So, any ideas?  And Derek, I know you read my blog.  You'd better start leaving comments!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

On Being Normal, Suzie's Big Adventure. I love Suzie's description as a woman of living in Saudi Arabia.  I especially appreciated her thoughts on feeling "normal."  I felt that way--probably not to the same degree though--in Korea.  There were days I just wanted to feel normal!

Introducing Booksmart 2.0 & Our New 12x12 Large Square, Blurberati Blog.  I am SO EXCITED for this new release of Booksmart!  I haven't been able to use it yet (I'm in the process of installing it), but it sounds like the answer to all my requests for blurb books.  I published a book earlier this year through blurb and was entirely impressed!  I can't wait to use 2.0!!!

So, Just How Big is Africa?, Scarlett Lion: Liberia. I love geography, especially maps. Therefore, I love this post!

Cat Tales a Bath in Japan, Japan Probe.  These videos almost make me want to get a Sphynx cat.  But then they're just creepy looking.  But this one is so funny!

I tried to get airplane tickets from the Yang Yang airport. It didn't work. I don't understand why Korea has 14 airports when the country is approximately the size of Illinois! To get from the very northern area of South Korea, to the southern most is only about a 7 hour bus ride, and from the eastern area to the western area it's only about 3! No need for domestic airplanes!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Interlibrary Loan

Today I am grateful for the interlibrary loan system that the libraries in this area participate in.  Just earlier this week, I put four books on my list and yesterday all of them were at the library!!!

This is especially nice for me because our local library is a bit small and doesn't have that great of a selection of books.  I was just talking to a friend of mine yesterday about how we are never able to just walk in and find a good book.

But with the interlibrary loan system, I can look up the books online, request them, wait a while (sometimes a longer while than others), and then they are at my library.  Awesome!

Here are the current books I've got checked out so far...

images from