Thursday, September 25, 2008

Biblically Literate - A Bell for Adano and 1John

This post is written in 4 parts.
1. General thought on why the club?
2. General thoughts on bible reading
3. 1John
4. A Bell for Adano

I love to read...I have been reading much.

It dawned on me that I should be reading more of my Bible seeing how I am reading many novels.
It was then that I stumbled across Semicolon's Biblically Literate Book Club.
Take a look at Semicolon's post for the schedule. Hope you join in.

I have decided that I am going to write out my thoughts in regards to the bible - even as simple as part of the scripture that stands out to me without comment. I am not a theologian by any means - haha. I actually am intimated to discuss biblical things as I do not read deeply and wonder many times how someone came across a meaning in a passage. This has prevented me many times from truly reading the Bible as I have felt that I needed to "study" the bible. "Studying" the Bible implies to me that I am reaching deep into the passages and gaining incredible insight. Ugh... to much pressure and too little time.

No more. I am going to read my Bible as I read a novel and gain from it what the Lord intends for me to gain at the time. I will not try to be a scholar or a 'good' Christian who understands as I am a good Christian but many times do not understand. That is OK.

I am simply going to read. Our Lord Our God will take care of the rest!

1 John

1 John 1:5
"God is light; in him there is no darkness at all"

Profound...think on that one...I am!

1 John 1:8
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"

1 John 2:28
"And now, dear children, continue in him so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming."

There was a commentary discussing heresies which I found in Bible chapter 4 - Life Application. I found this commentary to be tremendously important.
- Before you accept what religious teachers say about any topic listen carefully to what they believe about Jesus! This is sooo important to know and keep in mind.
Goodness, we should even realize what an author of news article, books, etc bent in life is as that affects their viewpoint.

Chapter 1 -3, overall, spoke to me that....
God - Christ is our light, we will shine if we follow. If we lead ourselves in a life of sin then darkness is upon us. Yet, Christ being our light can help us to shine forth through His forgiveness of our sins as we recognize and repent our failings. Ultimately, without Christ, without our recognition, acceptance and love for Christ we can do nothing but what is dark.

1John 4:21
"And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother"

1John 5:13
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

1John 5:14
We can have confidence in God for ..."if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
1John 5:15
"if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him."
These verses are about God's will not my will!!! This I must keep in mind. I must be aligned with God's wants for me. This is not easy... it takes faith, commitment, humility, constant reminding myself, staying in my walk with the Lord.


A Bell for Adano
by John Heresy

“An Italian-American major in World War II wins the love and admiration of the local townspeople when he searches for a replacement for the 700 year-old town bell that had been melted down for bullets by the fascists.”

The writing is well done but even with that I could not finish the book. I found the subject matter not where my mind is at this moment of time. Not that story is uninteresting because I actually do find the story interesting. I just have found that I am not in the "mood" to read about relations of a town with an occupying force (US).

I may go back and read this book in the future when my mind is in the "mood" for the story.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Broken Ankle - Updated Sept.23rd

The update is towards the bottom of this post

Thursday - August 21,2008
at about 2025 Benjamin attempted a skateboard move that he does most frequently. This move caused him great pain upon landing. At about 2025 Benjamin landed incorrectly which caused him to hit his head and black out. He woke within seconds to see that he dislocated his right ankle and had immense pain. Ben's friend called, "Mrs. Reynolds. This is Mike K. (he said his last name). Ben just broke his ankle and we are taking him to the hospital." I asked, "Where are you?" He replied, "Milwaukee" I then said, "Bring him home and we will take him to our hospital." You may ask, why? Well, I am thinking...broken ankle, lots of pain (did not know about the unconsciousness at this moment)... ER treatment, Ortho follow-up, ease of consistency of plan, and the big old though...will insurance pay if he is not in a network hospital? Did not know where a network hospital is in Milwaukee. Plus...he really is not that far from us. Ben called us a couple of times to make sure that he should make the trip. I insisted. I know, very mean and cold-hearted but honestly the medical bills raking up in my mind was tremendous and I did not want to be mean I just wanted them to drive. I then get a call, "Mrs Reynolds. Ben feels numb and like he is going pass out." I ask, "Where are you?" He tells me the location and "We are at a gas station to get water for Ben." I say, "Ok" The need for water makes sense...drink and to put on face to keep him from passing out. I am starting to freak out a bit. Am I making the right decision??? Robert is not home to bounce that off on him. He is grocery shopping without a phone. Crap!!! Ben's friend continues.... "Mrs Reynolds, he is in a lot of pain and he did hit his head." Oh my... DOUBLE CRAP!!! I say, "get him home". A few minutes later, Ben calls to tell me about his pain and to ask if they can drive him directly to Highland Park Hospital so that he does not have to move into another car. I say ok. Call when he is closer to home and then we will leave and meet him there. I feel a bit better after talking to Ben because...he is awake... he can talk well. I call my parents and ask for Mom to come to the home to watch the kids. She says she will leave and be at my home shortly. I pace and pace waiting for Robert. Randie (Ben's girlfriend) calls and says, "Mrs. Reynolds, Ben just called and wants me to go with you to the hospital." I say, "Sure, come right over." Hey, if she will give him comfort, great. She is a wonderful girl. I did have Randie call Ben several times to make sure he was continuing to do all right... not passing out, no more numbness and tingling and what not. Her doing that helped my emotions. Thanks Randie.

Fast forward, it is now about 2200 and we are at the hospital. The boys pulled in just shortly before us. Ben is at the check - in desk in a wheelchair supporting his leg. His right ankle is facing outward while his leg is straight. He is in pain. "Please, get him a cart to lay on. He cannot support his leg in this wheelchair." They tell me that they are working on that. I ask a couple more times. They get him a cart and into a room fairly quickly. Ben does not want anyone to touch his leg without asking and moving slowly. The RN and doctor comply. Fortunately, a Ortho doctor is there in the ER. He takes a look and says, "You will need surgery, most probably. First, your ankle needs to be put back into place (I think he used the words... ankle needs to be reduced - same thing) and we have to wait for the swelling to come down and for your ankle to recovery a bit from being put back into place." This leads us to... being put into a bigger room. IV started. X-Ray taken. Fentanly 100mg (I think) given. Propofol given. Ben starts to get loopy. We leave the room and the team does their work to put Ben's ankle back into the proper position. Another X-Ray done. Ben is awake and feeling much better. I think the Fentanyl is still working. He goes for a CT scan of his head. All is well with his head. Thank God. He becomes uncomfortable. The pain has intensified. Dilaudid is given. Vicodin 1 tab is given. Discharge instructions are given - to me as Ben is not thinking well. We leave the ER at about 0130. Randie is still with us. She was a great asset for Ben. She really does help to calm him. She stays overnight as I do not want her to drive her car home that late plus we are all very tired. Her parents are aware.

The above picture was taken while they were starting the IV and getting ready for the procedure - before X-ray and meds were given.

For a close up of his ankle ... take a look at the following link...
This picture will show his leg straight while his ankle is rotated facing outward.

Friday - August 22, 2008.
The Vicodin 2 tabs every 6 hours with Motrin 800 mg every 6 hours is not working. Ben is in a lot of pain. The babies are going nutty for me. I am starting to go a little nutty. My mom is over to help. She does her best but I am stressed. I called his Ortho (appt. is set for Monday). His PA calls back and orders him Norco which can be taken every 4 hours. Continue with the Motrin and continue to elevate his leg and ice it. The ice part is difficult because it does not stay on, the slight pressure of the ice hurts his and he does not feel the coolness through the temp. cast that was put on in the ER. Randie comes over. I think...good, she will provide some comfort, converstation and I can do a few things. Wrong. He needs help with readjusting and what not. He is in pain. We finally are able to start the Norco around 1830. It helps.

Saturday - August 23, 2008.
I am at work. Ben is in a lot of pain. Norco every 4 hours and Motrin 800mg every 6 hours. My mom goes over to my house to help. She is alot of help to Ben. At about 1630, I receive several calls from Ben...several in a row. He is in soooo much pain that he is crying. My co-workers say "go home" "gives us your patients" Bless their souls. Thanks Lani for initating me to go home. I arrive home to find him in incrediable pain. There is not any one position that feels good. I call his Ortho again. The PA calls and explains again about the swelling. She talks to Ben so that he can describe the pain. She says that he is describing the pain where a break is... I think the fibula. She talks about his ligaments at his ankle being stretched and I think one is torn. I do not know...I cannot wait for Monday to talk to the Doctor to find out exactly the entire extent of Ben's injury and the plan... She tells to elevate to allow the swelling to come into his body - to leave the leg. Man oh man...he is in pain. We do as she says. She calls back a bit later to check on him and suggest Benadryl on top the of the meds to help him sleep a bit and to help some the burning feeling. We give it to him. Ben does fall asleep until about 2200 and that is after much Norco and Benadryl enough Meds thoroughout the day that would make you and I take several naps. He awakes about every 2 hours. Time for Norco, Time for Motrin, Time for Benadryl. He awakes on his own because the pain starts back in when the meds start to wear off. I help him reposition, I rub his arm, mostly I am there for comfort. I feel so for this boy.

Sunday - August 24, 2008
He is currently resting - Thank God. I am home from work - he thanked me for staying home. I pray today will better and tomorrow will bring us some answers and a plan. I hope I do not have to miss work this coming week but am thinking that is a real possiblity. Ugh...need to speak to my managers.

Please keep Ben in your prayers for ... pain control, good prognosis, good treatment plan, quick recovery (6-8 weeks versus longer). Oh yes, he is suppose to start College tomorrow. Please pray that we can work out his classes with his teachers and that he does not fall behind and so that he does not have to drop and loose out on a semester - please pray about that.

Friday - August 29, 2008
One week later...

This past Monday Benjamin went to the doctor's office. His orthopedic was great.
He is a good orthopedic (this was told to me from one who works with him in OR) has a good manner about him plus he may have saved Ben from undergoing surgery. How? Well, during the visit, Dr. Neault manipulated Ben's ankle back into position (again). It was pretty painful for Benjamin. While repositioning, the team took x-rays - sort of like an Ultrasound but only it is x-rays which are taken like a photo (snap) and seen on a screen (not devolped onto film). These x-rays were taken several times to check positioning. Once Dr. Neault was satisfied a permnant cast was put on. However, before they were to valve the cast a regular x-ray was taken. This x-ray showed great positioning. Dr. Neault said that if Ben's ankle stays in place for a minimum of 2 weeks then surgery will not be necassary. Hopefully, we pray, his ankle will not shift. Oh yeah, once the position was confirmed, the cast was cut down each side to make room for swelling. An ace bandage is wrapped around the cast to keep the sides together.

So, how is Benjamin doing?
Well, he has pain every day but the pain has become better. Less medication is taken. Thankfully! He is weak and does not have much energy to go further than the bathroom. He really needs to move more but we are bit fearfull of loosing the ankle position.

He is bored, he is tired, he has a hard time concentrating (meds at work), he is becoming a bit down...depressed. He has his Xbox hooked up. He has internet and tv. He does not have constant companionship because the little ones demand so much of us. He needs help setting things up, moving things, getting cleaned up, etc. His girlfriend, Randie, visits every day. That brightens him up.

He was suppose to start college at CLC this past Monday. Well, he cannot attend classes for at least 2 weeks total. Goodness, that is way too much time to miss a college class. He dropped his courses. We thought that maybe he could keep up with his Algebra class as notes, assignments are posted on the internet. However, with his mood, grogginess and inability to really concentrate is preventing from this work. Algebra was dropped last night. He was able to pick up two late start classes (end of Sept and early Oct start times) which is good. I really did not want him to miss out a whole semester. He was psyched to start college. He managed to pick up his macroeconomic and photography course. We thought about looking for 2 more late start classes but it was decided that 2 classes for him at this point in life is good. We do not know exactly when he will be able to move around on his own (not cast) and if physical therapy will be in order (this may entail therapy twice a week). His plan is to take 2 summer courses next summer.

Ok...I am so glad that for now, he is stable and on his road to being fully healed. I pray that he will be able to avoid surgery.

September 23, 2008 - 4 1/2 weeks later...

Benjamin was able to avoid surgery! Hooray! His ankle stayed in place for the 2 weeks. Yes!

How is he now?
Benji is starting to get around a bit more. His girlfriend will pick him up so that they can go over to her house and a friend's house. He has gone over to my brother's home. Mostly, he will go to places where he knows he can elevate his ankle and where he can leave if he is getting uncomfortable.

He cannot tolerate standing for long periods at a time because his toes turn purple...a deep purple which cause Ben discomfort.

He is only taking Motrin. Yes!

Tonight he started college! Yippee!! His first class. I am so glad for him as he was looking forward to starting this chapter in his life.
He cannot drive yet so he must be driven back and forth to school.

Still not working as he cannot bear weight on his ankle plus he is not driving.

What is next?
He goes back to the doctor the 2nd of October for a check. I am not certain if the cast is coming off or not.

Once the cast is off, he probably will not be able to bear weight on that ankle right away.
He will need physical therapy. How much therapy? I am not certain.

When will he be able to start driving?
I am not certain.

Snowboarding this winter?
Ummm...No! The doctor wrote a note for us to send to Wilmot as he bought a pass for the winter season. A refund will be given. Thank God!

Overall...Benjamin is doing well. I am very thankful that this acute situation in Ben's life will pass.

Benjamin with his cast that was valved for swelling. An ace bandage was used to keep the cast sides from falling off. August 24, 2008

Resting in bed. This has been where he has spent 95% of his time since the accident.
August 29, 2008

Benjamin on his way to being healed.
Notice that his toes have turned purple.
September 22, 2008

I will update this post....

Apple Bake

Earlier in the month we went apple picking with our family. We picked many apples and well...we have eaten many apples.

Yesterday (9-22-08) I decided to go ahead and bake the last remaining apples with Grace and Isaiah.

e Bake - taken from Family Fun October 2008 edition

Brown sugar

Heat oven to 350 deg

In a saucepan, stir together 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons butter, pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to make a syrup.

Core and peel the top third of apples (about 4- we did more). Place them in a baking pan, fill them with raisins and walnuts (we did not have walnuts on hand), then pour the syrup over them.

Bake the apples for 40 minutes.
Serve them warm - topped with ice cream.

Isaiah and Grace had a blast trying to help me core the apples and then add the raisins into the core. They also, of coarse, had great fun stirring the 'syrup'.

The girls (Evie, Elizabeth and Elliana)had a wonderful after school treat while Ben enjoyed his mid-day treat.

These apples were very yummy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Mixing Colors in a Bag

Mixing Colors in a Bag

September 2008 Activity

Yesterday (9-22-08) we found ourselves do a mix of things which included trying our hand at mixing colors.

Before we did our mixing, I read the book White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker.

The children enjoyed this book. With that said, Grace's attention was held much better than Isaiah's.

After our reading we went to mixing.
I followed the directions found at Chasing Cheerios blog - Mixing Colors in a bag.

Isaiah enjoyed the first few mixes...the grabbing, squeezing, seeing the color.

Grace also greatly enjoyed this activity. She stayed with the activity much longer than Isaiah. I needed to keep pulling him back into the "game" so to speak.

This month's concentration was about Isaiah grasping his colors. He is doing a good job as I feel that he can now consistently choose the color that is requested. M&M's does wonders for teaching!

Color mixing is another thing. I do not think either child truly understood that combining two different colors can make a different color. Regardless, it was an activity that gave wonderful exposure.

Kid's Choice - A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Kid's Choice is about the books that my children have chosen to read which I have taken interest in reading as well. Actually, this is for me to have an idea of what is going into my child's head. The perfect world would lend me to reading their choice before they do but ummm... the world is not perfect, I am not perfect and I do not always have the time to complete a task before their interest wanes thus they read before I do.

A Crooked kind of perfect by Linda Urban

Elizabeth's book choice for the month of September.

Elizabeth says that this book is good - "It is the kind of book I like to read." She enjoyed the main character - Zoe who is a 10 year old. She felt Zoe did not belong which she feels is sort of like herself. She described this thought with the kind of socks she likes to wear whereas the other kids in Elizabeth's class like much different shorter type of socks. That is the most she would 'review' the book for me.

This is a simple book that follows a girl through a brief period of time in her life. It is an enjoyable easy read. While being enjoyable, this book brings home the truth that not all children fit in the crowd and that is OK. Actually, it may be better than OK because you when march to your own beat you can be better off than following the crowd. I loved how this young girl loves her dad and appreciates him. I love how she accepted a boy into her life even when she first felt he was intruding into her relationship with her father.

I truly enjoyed this book.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Book List...ones read and ones to read (updated 9-22)

I have done a lot of reading this summer. A lot!

I am going to keep a personal list of all the books that I have read.
On this list, I will asterisk those books that I liked and circle the asterisk of those that I loved.

A friend mentioned to me that either herself or her friend (cannot remember which) would use a bookmark to write the name of each book she had just finished reading. This bookmark served as her running list of read books. I thought, "very cool." I truly like that idea. My personal list would travel along with me during each book reading. I am going to use this idea and further it by dating when I read the book and placing an asterisk next to a book that I liked. If I loved the book then a circled asterisk will be placed next to the title.

To go beyond the book list thought, I am going to keep a list here on my blog of the books I have read and ones that I want to read.

My list will be as follows:
1) Books to read will be in plain text
2) Books read will be in green text (good reads)
3) Books I liked will be in red text (very good, enjoyable read - would recommend)
4) Books I loved will be in purple text (very good, enjoyable read,may even re-read and most certainly recommend)
5) Books attempted to read or an opinion that would not recommend said book . This will be in bold text(reason for not finishing will be put into parenthesis)

Deanna's Book list ... ones read and ones to read

The Bible - an ongoing process... A process that I must be more consistent with so I am going to utilize The One Year Bible to help me keep going. I am going to start this up (again) tomorrow Sept. 2, 2008.

Ok... Isaiah threw from our bedroom window my One Year Bible into our pool. It is now an item in the garbage. of plans for a bit. I am going to read a book of the bible/month.

A. 1 John - Sept. 2008
B. 1 Samuel 24-31
C. 2 John and 3 John


1. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck (Fall 2007)
2. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (Summer 2008)
3. The Twilight - Stephenie Meyer (June 2008)
4. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer (June 2008)
5. Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer (June 2008)
6. Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer (August 2008)
7. The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd (July 2008)
8. Dragonhaven - Robin McKinley (July 2008)
9. Enchantment - Orson Scott Card (August 2008)
10. Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer (August 2008)
11. Cry, The Beloved Country - Alan Paton (August 2008)
12. Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (August 2008)
13. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen (June 2008)
14. Artemis Fowl book 2: The Arctic Incident - Eoin Colfer
15. Artemis Fowl book 3: The Eternity Code - Eoin Colfer
16. Artemis Fowl book 4: The Opal Deception - Eoin Colfer
17. Artemis Fowl book 5: The Lost Colony - Eoin Colfer
18. Artemis Fowl book 6: The Time Paradox - Eoin Colfer
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (Sept 2008)
21. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë (Oct 2008)
22. The Last Sin Eater - Francine Rivers
23. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart
24. Just Jane - Nancy Moser
25. Mandy - Julie Andrews Edwards
26. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham
27. Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
28. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (Oct 2008) (see my book review)
29. The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien (2001)
30. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers -
J. R. R. Tolkien
31. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - J. R. R. Tolkien
32. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (Dec.2008)
33. Alice in wonderland - Lewis Carroll (Dec.2008)
34. The Host - Stephenie Meyer
35. Mystic and Rider - Sharon Shinn
36. Beauty: a retelling of the story of Beauty & the Beast - Robin McKinley
37. A Bell for Adano - John Hersey (Sept. 2008 - started reading the book through chapter 5. I could not finish as I was not into the subject matter. The story is not bad - my mood is just not correct for this book. Especially since I just finished a month long journey into Pride and Prejudice.)
38. An Assembly Such as this; a novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, gentleman - Pamela Aidan
(Sept 2008)
39. Duty and Desire; a novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, gentleman - Pamela Aidan (Sept 2008)
40. These Three Remain; a novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, gentleman - Pamela Aidan (Sept 2008)
41. So brave, young, and handsome - Leif Enger (Oct 2008)
42. Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel (July 2008 - I did not like the characters, the plot line and the ending was awful. The only thing that I did like was the recipes and how they mixed into the chapters otherwise...forget this book)
43. Arabella - Wendy Orr
44. Mailing May - Michael O. Tunnell
45. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith (Nov 2008)
46. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (Dec.2008)
47. Wives and Daughters - Elizabeth Gaskell
48. Mozart's Sister - Nancy Moser
49. Creed without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers - Laura K. Simmons
50. A Crooked Kind of Perfect - Linda Urban(Sept. 2008)
(would recommend for a 10 -11 year old girl)

51. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
52. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
53. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
54. The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale (Oct 2008)
55. Oddest of All - Bruce Coville
56. The Heretic Queen - Michelle Moran
57. The Girl Who Could Fly - Victoria Forrester
58. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
(Oct 2008)
59.  Flipped - Wendelin Van Draanen (Nov. 2008)
60. Cricket In Times Square - George Selden (Nov. 2008)
61. Poppy - Avi (Dec.2008)
62. Loves Starts with Elle - Rachel Hauck (Dec. 2008)

There are more books ( I know!) to be added to my list. I will come back to update and clean up (links).

If you have any book suggestions to be added to my list, please leave a comment with your suggestion. Thanks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Elizabeth is now 11 - Her Golden Birthday!

September 11th is a day of joy for our family. It is the day that our 3rd child was born! She came into this world with determination and speed. She conducts herself with determination and speed.

Elizabeth Diana - Our sweet, determined, quick, energetic, kind, caring, compassionate, dependable, loving, intelligent, beautiful girl.

Elizabeth shows much kindness and patience with Isaiah and Grace. She is a great sister and friend to Evie and Elliana. She is a great friend to her best-friend Alyssa.

We celebrated Elizabeth's birthday by having family over for dinner and pie. We are happy that this year my brother Doane's family (Racheli, Naomi and David) was able to be there.

Elizabeth is a blessing to us all. She is a gift from God. She is much loved by us!

Oh! Where was Ben? He was upstairs in his room nursing his broken ankle. Benjamin cannot tolerate standing for long periods at a time. He also needs space to elevate his ankle. He was a bit grumpy though...

Saturday With Stella - Giveaway!!

While browsing through several book blogs I happened across A Patchwork of Books.
I really love children literature and so I find this blog intriguing.

A Patchwork of Books is giving away a copy of Saturday with Stella. This is a non-fiction adult book. This book sounds very interesting and will put it on my "To Read List". Thanks for the book review Patchwork of Books.

To read the review and learn how to win a copy of this book - hop over to the post: Saturdays with Stella...and a Giveaway!!

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pride and Prejudice - The Movie

I have challenged myself to read 5 books and then to watch at least 2 movie adaptations out of the list of books I have read. This challenge is called: Lit Flicks Challenge

I read and reviewed Pride and Prejudice and last week I watched two movie versions of the book.
Why did I watch two versions? Because, I wanted to see the difference in how the movies were made. I wanted to see if I would like at least one version. There are differences and I did like one of the versions.

Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley released in 2005

The best part of the movie was the beauty. The beauty of the actors and the beauty of costume and scenery. I did not have high hopes for this movie as the last few movies I watched that were made from books left me disappointed. Not only that, this movie lasts about 129 minutes thus limiting it capabilities of fully revealing the nature of the book.

Considering the time constraints (129 minutes), I think the movie did a fair job showing the important scenes of the book. I question, would I have understood the earnest feelings of Elizabeth and the time she lived in if I had not already read the book? I am not certain. Would I have understood the manners and civility that was expected if I had not already read the book? I am not certain. Those two areas are where I think the movie lacks depth. Those two areas are critical in my opinion.

The thing that bothered me the most was some of the inconsistencies between civility and manners that were expected in Elizabeth's life and as to how it was played out in the movie. At times, I think the movie forgot it was not set in the 21st century with 21st century manners.

For instance, Elizabeth loves to walk. She loved walking on the grounds of Rosings where she was staying with her cousin. Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth a letter while Elizabeth is walking on the grounds of Rosings. Whereas, in the movie, he delivers the letter in the home - early in the morning. That is very forward and inappropriate. She was alone and did not look like she was dressed for the day. Simple difference of setting but a huge difference in the expectation of a man's interaction with a woman - huge difference in virtue.

There were a few other scenes that were taken place in a setting that differed from the book. That really bothered me. I am not sure as to why the setting had to change.

Overall, is this movie good? It is OK. It is good considering the time constraint but worth watching? I would not recommend this movie as there are other versions of Pride and Prejudice much more worthy of my time.

Pride and Prejudice – the A&E Miniseries

In my Pride and Prejudice book review I wrote:

"I suspect that I will like the A&E version as they are produced in BBC. I have found that I love BBC productions (Jane Eyre)."

I was correct in what I suspected! I LOVED this version! It was very true to the book!

I really feel that I ( the viewer) was able to understand the manners and civility which where highly important to Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy and those surrounding them.

I do not recall any scene of which the setting was changed.

I believe, they stuck to the details of which was written in the book. For instance, while in Pemberley, Elizabeth is looking at photos of the Darcy family. The 2005 version (reviewed above) has Elizabeth looking at sculptures of the Darcy family. I liked the simplicity of detail - the photos - versus the pompous detail of sculptures.

Do I recommend?
Yes! Please indulge yourself. I say indulge because this A&E movie runs about 300 minutes. I watched the movie in two sittings but really (for the sake of my children) should have watched in about 4 or 5 sittings. The downside to the DVD is that - I would have to fast-forward to where I left off.

Worth the time and effort for sure!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Preschool/Toddler Activities

I have come across a lot of great ideas. Great ideas that I can do with Little One (2 years old) and Little Man (5 years old).

This post is a list of activities that I want to try with the children. It is a post to help me narrow down the ideas and categorize them.

I would love to hear about any activities listed here if you have tried them.

My list will be as follows:

1) Activities to do will be in plain text
2) Activities done will be in gray text
3) Activities to do throughout a certain month will be in green along with the month
4) Activities we liked will be in red text
5) Activities we loved will be in purple text

There are hyperlinks added to some of the activities. Scroll your mouse over the activity to see if it has a hyperlink.

Morning Activities with 2 year old

Read - Daily
Wringing a wet cloth - Sept
Learning how to use a spoon - Sept
Walking on the Line - Sept
Bean play - Sept
Sticker Play - Sept
Cutting and tearing paper - Sept
Clapping - Sept
Pouring Exercises
Liquid Measure
Screwing and unscrewing lids
Using Clothes Pins
Sand and water play ideas
Sounds of Alphabet video (This is for me...I want to teach 2 year old alphabet sounds and not concentrate on alphabet letter names)
Dry Pouring
Sponge Transfer
Scooping Beans/pasta from one container to another
Transferring and Sorting beans
Glue shapes onto paper
Working with playdough
Drawing using crayons, colored pencils, markers
Playing Music instruments
Dance to Music -Sept
Matching animals to nomenclature cards
Matching Fabric textures
Stacking Blocks
Touch and Feel Bag - Directions for the bag
Shape Sorting

Afternoon with 5 year old and 2 year old

Daily Walks
Collecting: rocks, leaves, pine cones, sticks, etc. - Sept
Bean Bag Game - Sept
Monthly Theme - Senses (Sept - October)
Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:
Week 4:
Week 5:
Cutting and tearing paper - Sept
Use Scissors - cut straight lines - Sept
Use Scissors - cut fringes - Sept
Color matching and color sorting - Sept
Color picking when color is given by adult - Sept
Mixing Colors in a bag
Help feed Pets
Mixing Colors with Eye dropper
Unwinding and winding yarn
Use Scissors - cut curved lines
Use scissors - cut shapes
Glue shapes onto paper
Trace straight Lines
Trace zig-zag lines
Trace shapes
Help feed Pets
Cutting a banana
Working with playdough
Counting - to 5
Counting - to 10
Drawing using crayons, colored pencils, markers
Touch and Feel Bag - Directions for the bag
Shape Sorting
Artist of the Month theme - I will simply this version...sample art cards, story, art project
Nuts and Bolts Play
Tactile Sand Paper Letters

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Presidential Election....thoughts

I grew up a Democrat.

My Father is a die-hard Democrat - meaning he will not agree with anything Republican. Thus, unless you want an argument/anger, do not speak of politics with him unless you are Democrat.

I was a Democrat myself throughout my childhood, teens and early 20s.

I am now a Republican.

Yes, I can say, I am a Republican. I have at times thought that I should be a Democrat but I really cannot line myself with their politics - I have tried. What changed for me? Well, I wanted Clinton to be our President for his first term. I did not want him in office for his second term. The whole Monica thing threw me off that boat. Beyond that, I really do not see the Democrats as the ones who are for the "little people", "for the people", "for helping those in need" as how I grew up believing. I see them as a group of incredible liberals.

Do I disagree with everything Democrat? No. Do I agree with everything Republican? No. I know that many, many people think that Bill Clinton was this great President. I am not so sure. I know that many, many people think that George W. Bush has dragged our country down. I am not so sure. I think they are both part of a movement that occurred during their terms. Meaning, Clinton was blessed with a growing economy that, lets face it, could not continue to keep growing at that pace. Look at the housing market. It inflated incredibly. Housing expense is enormous that I really think it out-marketed many people as is seen in all the foreclosures. Bush had to deal with terrible event of Sept.11, 2001. How do you think Clinton would have dealt with that blow? So, that leads us to the war. Who is right? Who is wrong? Seriously, it is about the oil??? I really find that hard to believe. It is about a group of crazy, radical people who are feeding their crazy, radical ways to young people ... to hate and they hate us! Do I like the war? No. Do I have an answer to this horrid question...war? No. This leads me to where I am now. I am not sure of much in the way of politics. I am not so sure about this whole power thing of the Presidency. Let us face another fact, congress holds a lot of power! They set laws, legislation into place. They vote "nay" or "yay". They have the power to do a lot of change! Have you seen change with the Democrat majority congress? Not I! Another thing, am I worse off now than in the 90's? Not really. Yep, the gas prices effect me but seriously...I see my money going more and more to fund programs for those who do not work, down on their luck, illegal immigrants, etc. Do I think programs should be in place to help those in need? Yes. However, I think it is out of hand. My family and I are not well off. We are middle class - whatever that is?? We work, pay our health insurance, pay our bills, buy our food, buy our clothes, we make choices, we struggle, we do not struggle. We are fortunate but yet we are not. Not much is really changed for us from the 90's to now except that we are older have more children and I obtained a degree.

Now, onward to the elections. I have felt deflated. I did not have strong preference for either presidential candidate - Barack Obama or John McCain. Let me restate that thought - I did not have a preference for John McCain but do not like Barack Obama. Sorry Dad, I know that is blasphemy!
Let me break down how I have felt about the candidates.

Barack Obama: Pompous. Great Orator who gets the crowd right behind. "Change" is his moto but seriously...Change? What is he going to change? Where does he really stand on the issues? What has he done for Illinois as our U.S. Senator? What policies has he put into place? What is he going to "Change"? When he speaks, he has great flow. He rallies the people. He uses great statements.
What he does not do is... He does not state What.He.Is.Going.Do.To.Change.The.Subject.At.Hand.
He does tell us what is wrong with the country, the opposing candidate.
I.Am.Not.Impressed! Sorry Dad.

Joe Biden: Who is he? A senator, I know. Who is he? I do not care to know.

Hilary Clinton: Smug attitude yet I started to feel a tiny bit of a pull towards her. Yet, not sure of her ideas/agenda. Nope, she is a liberal democrat...Can.Not.Go.There.

John McCain: Blah.Blah.Blah. Yes, I have not listened to him much as I am so unsatisfied with the way politics on the whole are handled in this country that I turned off. Thanks to a civic minded friend of mine, I have kept a little bit interested but not enough to hold great conversations as I once did with another friend who keeps herself on top of politics at hand.

Sarah Palin: Oh.My.Gosh. She has sparked me! I do not know much about her. Learning though and what I have learned - I.Admire.!.!.

Now with Sarah Palin in as the
Vice-Presidential nominee, I am inspired. I am inspired to learn more about our candidates. To be involved, if not with actions then with my mind. I am inspired to start talking and reading politics. To talk, with knowledge, about politics with my husband, children, family and friends. Ok...maybe not with Dad as I am very confident that my thoughts will not be in line with his.

Here are a few things about Sarah Palin that have inspired me.

She has 5 children.
She is 44 years old.
She was a mayor.
She is the Governor of Alaska.
She has made statements such as these:
"individual freedom and independence is extremely important to me and that's why I'm a Republican." (source - Newton-Small, Jay (2008-08-29). "TIME's interview with Sarah Palin", Time, p. 3)
"pro-life as any candidate can be." (source - ^ a b Hopkins, Kyle (2006-08-06). "Same-sex unions, drugs get little play", Anchorage Daily News.)

The following are quotes from her Vice-Presidential nominee speech on Sept. 3, 2008 have inspired me. I found these quotes on a post at Semicolon.

“To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.”
Wow! This speaks volumes to me. I agree with the post from Blogger - Semicolon when said "I dare say that this advocacy position may be a part of the reason that God has raised Sarah Palin up for such a time as this."

Another quote posted on Semicolon

“Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems - as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”
Yes! About time I hear someone in office and running for a high office speak this truth.

I have a friend who asked me: "Does it bother you that she has young baby and she is running for office?" Ok..disclaimer, I do not have the exact quote (dear friend correct me if you will) but this is rather close.

My answer is No! Well... ok, real honesty...yes it does a bit. Why? Well, because I cannot imagine myself in that high-powered, stressful, time-consuming position. Should I, however, fault her for that? No! What I have learned about her husband, he is behind her and supportive. That is key. They seem to have a good marriage - what ever that means as we do not see behind closed doors. But, I did love her comment during her Vice-Presidential nominee speech in regards to her husband: "two decades and five children later he's still my guy"

I feel a sense of pride seeing a woman who is raising 5 children and one with special-needs still be able to accomplish all that she has professionally! Do I think she is raising her family perfectly or that there are not trials and tribulations? No! However, I strongly hold that even if she did not work or if she held a less demanding job the trails and tribulations would most likely still be there. Who knows though, I may be wrong.

Here is another quote from her Vice-Presidential nominee speech on Sept. 3, 2008. A quote that stuck out to me as I read the address.
"Our family has the same ups and downs as any other ... the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge."

All of this sense of pride makes me feel good about my job. The fact that I receive satisfaction in my work. That my girls, my nieces and my son's girlfriend can receive satisfaction from their work in the future. That they can dream and achieve as much as they aim for. The possibilities are great for the young girls soon to be women in my life. They can be wives, mothers, professionals. However, with that said, I do not believe women can do it all, do it all without sacrifices. No she cannot. She can ,however, make choices. She can have a strong, supportive partner who believes in her and helps her. She can have a family that believes in her. She can make choices.

Why all this great feeling for Sarah Palin? Where was this feeling for Hilary?
The thing is...Sarah Palin speaks to me.

Her speech was the first speech that I have read in its entirety. The first speech that I truly want to see/hear (I was working during the live version). She has inspired me.

On where she stands on the issues - I agree with her for the most part.
The transcript for Gov. Sarah Palin's Vice-Presidential nominee speech on Sept. 3, 2008
Video of Gov. Sarah Palin's Vice-Presidential nominee speech.

Now... I am inspired to learn more about Senator John McCain - Our Republican Presidential candidate. I am even inspired to learn more about The Democrat Presidential candidate - Barack Obama as well as Joe Biden our Democrat Vice-President Candidate. I am inspired to learn more about all. I can then truly make an informed decision and vote as such.

Links that I am going to follow so that I can learn and be informed.

John McCain
John McCain on the issues
John McCain's 2008 Republican Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech - Transcript
John McCain's 2008 Republican Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech - Video
CNN: Election Center 2008 - John McCain
U.S. Senator - John McCain
McCain-Palin Campaign

Barack Obama
Barack Obama on the issues
Barack Obama's 2008 Democrat Presidential Nomination Acceptance-Transcript

Barack Obama's 2008 Democrat Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech: part 1
Barack Obama's 2008 Democrat Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech: part 2
CNN: Election Center 2008 - Barack Obama
U.S. Senator - Barack Obama

Joe Biden
Joe Biden on the issues
Joe Biden's Democrat Acceptance Vice-President Speech 2008-Transcript
Joe Biden's Democrat Acceptance Vice-President Speech 2008 - Video Part 1
Joe Biden's Democrat Acceptance Vice-President Speech 2008 - Video Part 2
Joe Biden's Democrat Acceptance Vice-President Speech 2008 - Video Part 3

Obama-Biden Campaign

CNN: Election Center 2008 - The issues - both candidates are presented.

If you have any links for further information regarding any or all of the candidates - please let me know via posting a comment. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Language Acquisition ... Beautiful

Today I was musing...sharing my thoughts in regards to language acquisition with a dear friend of mine. I really have some thoughts that I want to share if not for my reader but for me to read again later down the road.

Language Acquisition... a beautiful thing! It is a beautiful thing when you are witnessing your little one (age 2) acquiring language skills. Beautiful! Yes, I know, most parents do stop and marvel at their little one when the little one starts throwing out words one at a time and stringing them along - 2 words at time. It is beautiful when little one starts repeating words after parent. It is beautiful when little one can say such things as "backpack", "nighnigh", "diaper", "Popsicle". OK...not perfectly but pretty darn close. Little One can say many other simple words (One syllable) and she can string 2 words together on her own and with some encouragement. Beautiful! Yes... most parent will stop and marvel at this acquiring skills but then (I believe think not much more than that as this skill is expected - at least I did at one point in time).

So, now is where I get a bit mushy. I say, Language Acquisition.... Beautiful!! I do not say this lightly. No, not lightly at all! I so embrace all that Grace is acquiring. I look upon her steps of language acquisition as a grand thing. Something to not take lightly at all. I swear to you, my emotions get a bit carried away at times when my mind wanders to the beauty of language. My goodness...the ease of learning these words is amazing. No classes where taken just life itself is presented before her. No effort on our part...NONE! No sitting with flash cards, toys and what not repeating the same word over and over in hopes she will say the word. No saying..."great you go." No...this language acquisition is coming easy to Grace! Beautiful! Now, you may say, "Why Deanna, language does come easy for children. This is their learning process. It is natural." Then I say, "Do not take this language acquisition skill lightly. Be blessed that you have not had to teach purposefully your child to speak."

I am so incredibly overtaken by my thought that language acquisition is beautiful because I have missed out on this incredible, wonderful, blessed oh so God given gift with Isaiah. I grieve for that loss. I know, dramatic, but it is true. I look at my friends children whom are close to Isaiah's age and think... "Do you realize what a gift you have? The gift of communication with your child?" I do not think those thoughts with envy or malice. I think those thoughts innocently and with beauty towards their child. I look at Grace in those ways as well. She does not say as much as Isaiah but pretty darn close. At her rate, she will surpass Isaiah very soon. That does make me grieve for Isaiah. He is not grieving as he really is unaware of this defict. He has learned ways to communicate with us if words escape him. He however cannot express full thoughts, full questions, details and whatnot...that is saddness for me. Yes...there were times I questioned how easily language acquisition comes to a child. I have wondered, does a parent need to be more involved. All the time knowing the answer, knowing that we as Isaiah's parents did not miss teaching him. Knowing this does not help. Grace exemplifies to me how language acquitistion is truly a learning development skill that comes natural through life's every day experiences.

Ok... I will stop with the mush.... this is by no way a pitty party. It is just my musings and that is all.

Take a breathe, thank God for the blessing of language acquisition as BEAUTIFUL!

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was not only a book on "To Read List" it is also part of the Classics Bookclub that I am going to try and read along with.

Pride and Prejudice takes us along on a journey of a young woman’s life – Elizabeth Bennet. Her world is one where manners are expected albeit at times a bit snobbish coming from my point of view where my world does not hold to such level of manners. Her world is certainly of one in which the women are not so forthright with a man that they are interested in. Her world is vastly different than mine yet many parts I yearn for us, my children.

The writing style is of free and indirect speech. This is something that I learned while reading another blogger’s review. Thank you for that insight.

Yes indeed, the book certainly does employ free and indirect speech. It did take me a tiny bit to acclimate myself to this style of writing. It was not long into the book when I found myself reading as if it is natural for us in this day and age. The writing was very descripting in the characters’ character. It leads me to love several and to despise several others.

I so greatly appreciated the chivalry that is embedded within this novel. I appreciated the way ones of good manners would put others ahead of their wants and where patience was taken in great stride. I appreciated the romance without the expectation of a hot steamy love affair. I above all appreciated the main character – Elizabeth Bennet. She is a strong, witty, intelligent, spunky woman. She has much strength! However, I also loved Mr. Darcy a great deal. Gotta love the fact that I have sister named Darcy and Grace’s middle name is Darcy. I loved how Mr. Darcy evolved and my goodness, his chivalry is out of this world.

Pride and prejudice is seen both in Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. That is what makes this novel great! The characters have their imperfections. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy learn to realize their flaws and do the best to change their error in way. What a great lesson for us all to learn and appreciate.

Here are a few quotes from the novel to give you a taste at how wonderful this classic truly is.

Mr. Bennet to his daughter Elizabeth:

"An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do."

One of the reasons as to why I so like Elizabeth:

"You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.”

As well the following…

“From the very beginning, from the first moment, I may almost say, of my acquaintance with you, your manners impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form that groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.”

And this following quote truly struck me.

Mr. Bennet reads a letter from Mr. Collins which is discussing a family situation of where one daughter lives with another man before they are married.

“You ought certainly to forgive them as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing."

Mr. Bennet replies "That is his notion of Christian forgiveness!"

I thought, Yes Mr. Bennet…you have it right!

Pride and Prejudice is smart, witty, fun, and romantic.

In vain I have struggled…you must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you…

I loved this novel. It is certainly a novel that I will re-read and one I will encourage my girls to read while in highschool.

I am going to watch the movies:

Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley released in 2005

Pride and Prejudice – the A&E Miniseries

I suspect that I will like the A&E version as they are produced in BBC. I have found that I love BBC productions (Jane Eyre).

I am also going to read:

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series of novels by Pamela Aidan

I will update this post on thoughts of the movies. Hopefully this will be done in the next week or two.

If you have read this book, I would love to hear what you thought.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!


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