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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book #10

The Sweet Far Thing
By: Libba Bray

Last book in this trilogy, and I was pretty happy to see it end. There wasn't going to be a way that this story ended that would satisfy me. I had a hard time sticking with the story all the way through. It felt as if there were so many (too many) loose ends to tie up from the other two books that this story dragged on for too long. Even when I got to the end, it kept going! I thought that many of the last few chapters were unnecessary.

A quick summary: Gemma, Anne, and Felicity must decide how and when to bind the magic that is currently bound only to Gemma. She has to figure out who is with her, against her, will help her, will kill her. She must protect her family, her friends, school, and herself from the evil creatures in the Winterlands. She has to convince Felicity that Pippa has turned into something evil (there is a twist there that I barely saw coming) and help Anne break free from her poverty stricken life. She has to figure out how to love Kartik, and how to stay away from Fowlson. She must save Tom from the Rakshana, and her father from his opium. It is no wonder that this book is 700 pages long--not an exact count. I did dream about the scary Winterland creatures, and the gargoyles that adorn Spence. It is a different kind of fantasy novel than those that have been so hugely popular in the past few years. I don't NOT recommend it, but it was not my favorite.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Busy Weekend

Whew! I feel as if we have been going non-stop all weekend. Probably because we really have. Shopping, cleaning, shopping, more cleaning. I subbed all week last week, and I will continue subbing for the next three days, so we had to get all of our life THINGS done this weekend. It made for a busy weekend, and I am again reminded of how spoiled we have been with me not working. The adjustment will be a big one when (IF) I find a job.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hiring Season

Well, it is upon us. I am anxious about this next month becuase there are lots and lots of teacher fairs coming up, and they are all "By Invitation Only". The good news? I have already been invited by one. So, that's good. Now I just have to wait and see if I will be invited to anymore. Several districts will send out invites the first week in April, so now it is time to pray that those invites arrive in my Inbox!
I suppose I should also get busy and look to some districts to the west of us. Nick's friend, Chad, made some suggestions of places I hadn't even thought to look into because I thought they were much further away then he says they are. So, looking to the west is my priority for the week. Maybe there will be a suprise there waiting for me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Our Texas Mama

Despite my many misgivings about Texas, there are times when I look around me, take a deep breath, and give thanks to my Heavenly Father for the amazing people I have in my life. Wednesday night was one of those nights. Nick and I went to celebrate a birthday for a very special lady who we call Mom. She is our Texas Mom, and one of the most special ladies! Truly she is our friend, Mike's, mom, but she has taken us in as her own. She is the kind of lady who would do anything for the people she loves, and we would do anything for her! So, here is a special wish for a special year for a special lady! We love you, Mom!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Growin' Up

When we are young the answer to this question is very simple. Every child seems to know what they want to be when they grow up, and I was no different. I knew I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, a mom, and a teacher. I made the choice to become a high school English teacher before I ever walked through the door of my own high school. I KNEW that was what I wanted to be. I KNEW I would be dang good at it too. And I am, and I do love it. However, more and more, as I contemplate the road I want to take, I honestly have NO CLUE what it is that I want to be when I grow up.
I have been on this teacher track for so long that the thought of being anything else is really frightening and exciting. Don't get me wrong. I am still looking for a teaching job. I am still hoping to find something, but more and more I feel as if I need to prepare myself for that horrible and likely chance that I won't find a job again. Then more than ever I will need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
Nick and I have talked about this extensively. As we think about having a family soon (let's face it, I'm getting old--and NO, this isn't an announcement) we played with the idea of me staying home for about a minute...then Nick said, "Don't you feel as if that would be a waste of your education?" Good one, babe. After being really taken aback at that one, I realized that I spent my whole life thinking that exact thing. And now I don't? Good grief! What is happening to me?
So, what do I want to be when I grow up? A high school English teacher? A school librarian? An administrator? A SAHM? The next American Idol? I just don't know!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kelli's Visit

I have decided that another benefit to having so many siblings (thanks again, Mom and Dad) is that I get visitors more! Kelli came and spent half of her Spring Break here with us, and it was the perfect trip! I loved having her here! Time really flew too fast, and before we knew it, it was time for her to leave. I am getting ahead of myself though, so let me detail her time here with us.

We picked her up on Saturday after a rather adventurous morning at DIA. She drove to Denver after her last class on Friday and spent the night with Adam and Kara. She even got to see the Beutens! She had a really fun night with them all, and then got stuck in a long and terrible line while checking in. She barely made her flight here after several texts and calls stating that there was no way she was going to make it, but she did!

This is how we spent Saturday afternoon and evening. We just hung out and played with the puppies. The weather didn't really cooperate with us for the first few days she was here. Oddly enough, this is also how we spent Sunday afternoon. I have been trying to introduce Nick fully to the concept of the Sunday Afternoon Nap--which is a Mahan Family Standard--but he has yet to FULLY embrace it. However, Sunday, we all napped! I do love me a good nap.
Sunday evening, Michael Blaisure came over for dinner. He brought his friend, Ashley, who was really great. Why is isn't dating her, I don't really know. Oh wait! Probably because she would be great for him, and he doesn't like girls who actually like him back. Silly me! Anyway, we had dinner and played Wii and totally forgot to take any pictures while he was here. Dang it!

We did a little shopping on Monday, but the real fun happened on Tuesday when we went to the Stockyards. There was a TV show being filmed down there, so we stood around and watched them rehearse for a littel while. We made friends with some of the extras. I have no idea what their role was going to be because this was a modern show, but hey! We got some cool pictures and made friends, so who can complain! My favorite is the guy with the eyepatch. He is a pirate cowboy. Who knew they ever existed, but I guess it makes sense.

Tuesday we took Kelli to P.F. Changs, downtown, and to Barnes and Noble. This seems to have become our standard night out with company. We took these before we headed out. I love the picture of Kelli and Nick. I told them they needed to have a prom pose, and this is what they came up with. Not very prom-ish, but they sure are cute! We had a fun time, and when I took her to the airport the following day, we both cried a little. I reserved my tears for the car ride home though. So, who is coming to visit me next? Mom and Dad? Hint, hint!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book #9

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
By: Rick Riordan

Why, oh why, did I wait this long to read this series? For those of you who don't know, I am a Mythology junkie! I was lucky enough to be able to teach it at Brighton High School for a few years, and I love, love, love it! I have seen these books around for years and not even bothered to pick one up! SHAME ON ME!! I just read the first one, and I love it! I can't wait to read the rest, and I kind of hope the movie will live up to my expectation. The ways in which Riordan weaves Greek Mythology into our modern world is wonderful! He takes even our most modern wonders and makes them from the Greek gods.
As Percy (Perseus) Jackson and his hero friends run off on their quest to recover Zeus' lightning bolt, Percy becomes a hero worthy of Greek honor. His anger, attitude, and (unwilling) ambition set him up for the perfect tragedy. He is a Greek hero, and he is tragic. I cannot wait to read on and see what happens to Percy as he battles more ancient monsters and discovers what it means to truly be a son of the god, Poseidon.
I can't give any details without ruining the fun of this book. It is an education in Mythology for anyone who reads it, and I hope this series sparks a new interest in the subject. There is so much to learn from these myths. Thank you, Rick Riordan, for a story that allows me to be true to the nerdiest part of myself!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Doctor, Shots and No Sleep

I almost got on here last night and started posting away. I could not sleep to save my life! I went back to the doctor yesterday and received two shots--one in each hip--another antibiotic and a steroid. The steroid brought down the inflammation in my sinus area so my ear doesn't hurt anymore. The antibiotic was for safe measure. I hate shots, and I have never received them in my hip before, so that wasn't my favorite part of the day. I then spent the rest of yesterday in a cold sweat but burning up, and then spent the entire night WIDE awake. I tried to sleep until about 1:30 and then gave up. I snuck out of bed and read in the office until 3:20 (dang you, Percy Jackson). I crawled back in bed and tried to sleep--played games on my phone after 30 minutes of failed sleeping attempts, then turned the TV on at 5:00. This did wake Nick up for about two minutes. I watched until about 6:00 and finally fell asleep. You would think that I would be sleeping still, but nope! I was wide awake again at 9:00. This is highly unusual for me. I love sleep! I love naps! I love cuddling up in bed! I just could not sleep to save my life! Maybe because I have been a sickie for two weeks and sleeping all the time, last night was my night to have everything I haven't thought about crash down on me. My mind raced all night long. My thoughts ran miles. Not the way I wanted to get ready for my wonderful house guest that is coming! My youngest sister, Kelli, is coming to spend part of her Spring Break with us! We are really excited, and I promise to post, post, post about her visit soon! For now, I will try to take a nap!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Book #8

I'm getting caught up! Here is one by one of my favorite authors!

Metro Girl
By: Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich is a witty author who writes books like I eat cookies. Seriously, the woman writes a series of By The Numbers books about a disaster of a bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, and she pumps them out fast. They are hilarious.
This book is not about Stephanie Plum. It is about Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby who grew up working in her father's garage, bailing her brother, Wild Bill, out of all kinds of trouble, and breaking serious hearts along the way. Now she is trying to live a quiet life as an insurance claims adjuster in Baltimore. Her life is going fine as far as she is concerned until Wild Bill calls her at 2am with a screaming woman in the background and tells her not to worry. Barney heads to Miami to find Bill, and she finds more than she thought she could handle. Sam Hooker, NASCAR Guy, Maria, Judey and Brian, Rosa and Felicia, Slim and Gimpy, Salazr, a helicopter, a few boats, gold, a nuclear bomb, and the ride of her life!
I read it in just a few days, and I giggled a lot. It is totally worth the read, but I think I would read anything by Evanovich. She is really hilarious!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Book #7

Oof! I am behind again! Anyway, here is book #7 for the year.

Miss Julia Takes Over
By: Ann B. Ross

This book is the second in a series about this character Miss Julia. I thought it was the first, and by the time I figured out that it was the second, I was too far in to stop and go back. So, if I choose to read anymore, I might read the first or just skip it. Like any series, you get bits and pieces of what happened in the book prior.
I started this book and almost quit reading it immediately. The main character, Miss Julia, is a God-fearing Presbyterian woman who knows just how everyone else should be living and she isn't afraid to tell them. All her advice giving and judgemental thoughts and comments are almost too much to handle at first. Then I took a deep breath, turned off the voice of my gram, and read her for that character she is meant to be. She's funny. Her opinion and naive knowledge of the world are hilarious, and as she strikes out on an adventure to save her mixed up little family, I found myself laughing and really rooting for Miss Julia.
Her family consists of Hazel Marie (her late husband's mistress) Little Lloyd (her late husband's son from union with Hazel Marie) her housekeeper, Lillian, Sam (the love interest she won't admit to), and a cast of other mis-fits that come together for a grand adventure. Hazle Marie has disappeared, the law and Brother Vern are after Little Lloyd, and no one will help Miss Julia. She hires J.D. Pickens, private investigator, to help her find Hazle Marie, but she won't let him do his job unless she is present. Add a little NASCAR racing into the story, and you have one fine adventure. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Trees

Whipping wind washes in with the shore

Dances around my stout frame

And back again

From all angles I am attacked

While the view before me changes from serene

To terrifying and back again

Rain rages and ebbs, pushes the lake up higher

And higher

And higher

I am frozen

In fear of the water carrying me away

Afraid it may not

The black, dead trees stand stalwart

Immoveable against the powerful

They are strong


I am not

My desires cry in the wind

Call to me—remind me that I fall short

Water snatches my feet

Chills my core

Snaps me back to life

A sigh and a nod of thanks

I walk from the bridge to honor
The water, the wind, the trees