one thousand gifts: ch 9

“Let go of trying to do, let go of trying to control… let go of my own way, let go of my own fears.  Let God blow His wind, His trials, oxygen for joy’s fire.  Leave the hand open and be.  Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper surprised thanks.  This is the fuel for joy’s flame.  Fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will…I hadn’t known that joy meant dying.  But dying to self demands that I might gratefully and humbly receive the better, the only things that a good God gives.”  -Ann Voskamp
1000 Gifts Book Club:

Chapter 9

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This is just a teaser for the beach blog coming soon…

Spoiler Alert!

This was taken on day 1. We DO get more tan.  Ava DOES abandon her beach tears.  Kurt and I DO realize that our hair looks surprisingly similar in this picture and strive to not have the same hairdo again.  Our hairdos DO NOT get better.  We DO figure out that in this picture Elle is happy.  We also learn that there is NOT a system for interpreting whether she is on the verge of a blissful squeal or growling cry in any given moment.
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one thousand gifts: chapter 2

You still with me?

Below is the link to the Book Club for  ‘One Thousand Gifts’:

Chapter 2


years of berenstain’s

Just when we thought we might be out of the woods.

Our Honey Bear (if you don’t already know, this is the bear families 2nd baby girl) has decided to partake in story-time.  It’s looking like we have many years with the Bear family left.

And as Dad commits these stories to memory, his delivery of them has really begun to take off!

Nothing sweeter.


Finished the Third

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo– Check!

The Girl Who Played with Fire– Check!

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest– CHECK!

Loved it!  Loved all 3! I recommend the Millennium Series.  The writing has a ton of detail.  This was probably the hardest thing for me to adjust to as I read.  I wanted to catalog every name and event.  Thankfully I quickly realized that I could relax and that the important elements would find their way to the front of my mind.  Each novel follows the previous one perfectly but they each have such a unique perspective that you really do feel like you read 3 different books.  I still loved the  2nd one best (I think because it centers on Lisbeth’s character).  The third was great and tied up the lose ends in such a satisfying way.  This in my opinion is the brilliance behind doing a series.  If you like a good page turner, some edgy characters, have any interest in investigative journalism, computer hacking, conspiracy within the government system… ya know- the stuff of great thrillers- you should take a time out- and READ!

Here’s a summary:

Beginning right after the events in The Girl Who Played With Fire, Lisbeth Salander is in critical condition at a Stockholm hospital under armed guard.  She is the prime suspect in multiple murders.  Journalist Mikael “Kalle” Blomkvist is determined to prove her innocence, as well as demonstrate her mistreatment at the hands of the state for her entire life.

I also just learned this…”Larsson, who was disgusted by sexual violence, witnessed the gang rape of a young girl when he was 15. The author never forgave himself for failing to help the girl, whose name was Lisbeth – like the young heroine of his books, herself a rape victim, which inspired the theme of sexual violence against women in his books.”


Something to talk about

Any book that got Kurt to do this is worthy of a post! 🙂

Thank you ‘View’  and Dr. Oz for peaking our interest so and introducing us to this cool book!  I don’t do this often (ha-ha) but immediately following a TV interview with this author I got on Amazon.com and ordered this guy as fast as I could.  I really like his philosophy that it takes small consistent changes in order to make huge changes in your health and quality of life.  But I also just had to see how he backed up some of  the claims he had made on national television.

The 4 Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question:

For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?

Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women.

From the gym to the bedroom, it’s all here, and it all works.

YOU WILL LEARN (in less than 30 minutes each)

  • How to prevent fat gain while binging (X-mas, holidays, weekends)
  • How to increase fat-loss 300% with a few bags of ice
  • How Tim gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, without steroids, and in four hours of total gym time
  • How to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested
  • How to produce 15-minute female orgasms
  • How to triple testosterone and double sperm count
  • How to go from running 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers in 12 weeks
  • How to reverse “permanent” injuries
  • How to add 150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months

Kurt and I have had a good time taking turns reading random chapters this past week.  That’s another perk, you don’t have to read it front to back, you can read only what you’re interested in (but good luck stopping!)!  Our friends and family will be the first to tell you that many a conversations have been started about the interesting findings we’ve uncovered through our new coffee table book!  I can also report that every night you can find us doing 60-120 seconds of air squats in our living room… want to know why???? Check it out 😉
See you all on page 70 where I will be losing fat without working out, thank you!


Book A Month Club: December

I did it!!! Well, kinda… though I didn’t read a book every month (see June) I did exceed my goal of reading at least 12 books this year!  I ended up reading 22! I am so glad that I reclaimed this very important pastime… I am better for it, mostly in the fact that I feel a little more me 🙂  I have to say that with baby #2 it got quite a bit harder to sneak away for some reading time but I’m still pushing through! I can’t wait for the days with actual down time, not just stolen minutes in the bath or quick pages before I fall asleep!

So for my final book of 2010:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

If you haven’t read it, do.  It is lovely and entertaining and enlightening and beautifully heartwarming.  It was just the perfect way to end the year.  It was a book that left you wanting more…


Book a Month Club: October and November

I can’t believe I forgot to post my books!  I really liked both of these.

Ever since Jurassic Park I am always willing to give a new Michael Crichton book a try.  This novel was actually discovered on one of Crichton’s computers by his assistant after his death and was then published (kinda interesting… I also read that there is another book that will come out in 2012).  Pirate Latitudes has a total Pirates of the Caribbean feel and I loved it!  It is an adventure story about piracy in Jamaica in the 17th century.  It was fun and action packed and I felt like I learned a little something (which we all know greatly boosts my endorsement of a novel)! The novel stars the fictional privateer Captain Charles Hunter who, together with the governor of  Jamaica , plots to raid a Spanish galleon for its treasure. One reviewer states that it is “thoroughly researched…packed through with great detail about navigation and how pirates operated, and links between the New World and the Caribbean and Spain.” Yay!

Modoc, by Ralph Helfer was a birthday gift.  Not a book that I would have picked up on my own but definitely a worthy read.  If you are an animal lover at all you will love this book!  I am not (Yikes, that sounds awful- I like animals a normal amount I just can’t justify using the word love …). But I still really loved the story.  Despite the writing style, which was a little forced, I loved learning about the circus life (kind of reminded me of Water for Elephants– another good read) and I really enjoyed hearing the story of Modoc’s life from beginning to end.  Always love a story that wraps up into a neat little package.

Stay tuned for my December Read… It might just be my favorite of the whole year!!!