Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 5 Books Read in 2009

Here are the top 5 books I read in 2009 that I would recommend, and the link to my review. (Note - these were read in 2009, but not necessarily published then).

Green by Ted Dekker

I loved the fantasy world created in this story.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Packed with emotion, this one was a true tearjerker.

Death by Dorlana Vann

Bonus book in that you get two enjoyable supernatural tales in one.

A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II by Colleen Sell

Warm tales of our four-legged friends, perfect for short reading intervals.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The characters come to life.

Also, worth mentioning:
Groundswell - winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

What were some of the best books you read this year? What did you like most about them.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Few Favorite Blogs

In no particular order, following are my three favorite blogs to read (not including any in which I contribute):
  1. Supernatural Fairy Tales - fun to read short stories and articles inspired by fairy tales and with a supernatural twist. This blog is by my friend and fellow HFC member, Dorlana Vann. I never miss a post.
  2. Michael Hyatt Leading With Purpose - interesting posts on blogging/social media, leadership, writing and publishing from the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, a large Christian publishing company.
  3. copyblogger - all about copywriting, blogging, and writing compelling content.
There are so many good blogs, and I subscribe to quite a number. Blog posts are my primary source for new technology and gadgets, social media marketing, blogging tips, entertainment, and sometimes even inspiration. What are your primary reasons for subscribing to and reading a blog regularly? What good blogs would you recommend (here's your chance to plug your favorite blog, but keep it limited please. The system will identify comments with multiple links as spam.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wordless Posting - Pics of Live Nativity

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Live Nativity - A Holiday Stress Buster

Continuing with the theme of my last post, I offer this as a holiday stress buster. While true this is still something to do, it's meant to result in your taking the time to reflect on the true meaning of this season. And it's fun and free, and the weather looks to be perfect.

Woodforest Presbyterian Church hosts its annual live nativity, tonight, between 6-8pm. It's your chance to dress as a shepherd or angel and participate. The stage is set for the holiest of nights, complete with stable, live animals, Mary, Joseph and the babe. Refreshments are served.

Woodforest Presbyterian Church is located at 15330 Wallisville Road, at the corner of Black Rock and Wallisville in Houston, Texas.

Perhaps one of the best ways to bust the stress of the season is to be intentional. Read this "Holidays or Holy Days" post by our church pastor, and please share your stress busting thoughts in the comments.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Stress

So recently, I have felt like a rubber band pulled taut to the nearly breaking point. It's so chaotic and busy this time of year, it's hard to find peace and tranquility. While the music sings "silent night" and "all is calm," I'm frantically on my way somewhere to pick up or do something. And it's not just shopping. It's parties, and school events, and work, and cooking, and . . . . I keep telling myself that if I can just make it past this milestone, the course is sure to get easier. But it doesn't. Or at least, it hasn't. I still believe it will.

My blogging has fallen off a little with all the busyness of the season, and I plan to finish the year with a few "favorites" posts. Like favorite books read this year, favorite blogs to read, maybe even favorite holiday activities or traditions, so stay tuned.

Question for you...
How do you cope with the busyness of this season?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kids are a Lot Like Cats and Dogs or "But That's Not Fair"

There are cat people and dog people, then there are those that love both. I fall in the latter category, loving both cats and dogs (and birds, and hermit crabs, and fish, and . . . well, you get the picture. But that is another post). The funny thing is, you may love cats and dogs equally, but you care for them differently. And rightfully so, as they have very distinct needs.

Kids are a lot like cars and dogs. No, not just in the ruckus that often results when put together, particularly in close quarters. Rest assured, even though cats and dogs are supposedly mortal enemies, they can learn to live together in harmony, and so can your kids. But even with the same parents and consistent environmental influences, kids can be very dissimilar.

My own, for instance, are both girls with brown hair. That just about ends the similarity. One likes to dress up and make herself pretty, the other is more comfortable in a pair of torn jeans. One eats a well-balanced diet complete with vegetables of all colors and textures, while the other prefers a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugars. One prefers pushing herself for individual bests, while the other enjoys contributing to team efforts. Should I go on?

The point is, they are each individual and thus, I treat them differently. One child might need more reminders and dare I say "nagging" to get things done, while the other might be more of a self-starter. How many times have I heard, "but that's not fair" or "but you let my sister."

Truth told, if being fair means treating your kids the same, then I'll admit it, I'm not fair when it comes to my kids. I don't always treat them alike, and I do allow liberties at varying levels. But what is fair is how much I love both of them. That's what I want them to know more than anything. That even when things don't feel "fair" and they feel life (and their mom) is treating them unequally - the love I have for both of them is immense. I guess that's about the best we can do as parents.