Monday, December 31, 2007

December Books

Seven Wild Sisters by Charles De Lint B
Beth wanted me to read this… She loves De Lint, and I’m just not that enthralled. This is one of his better ones- focused on the story and not just enjoying himself in the magic of words… He writes fairy stories that are half story and half poetry, but this one actually has an interesting story and solid base to it. Many of his books attempt to put into words a very internal, poetic and imagaic world and DO NOT succeed. I think this one succeeds. It was good. Beth loved it. Side Note: The illustrations in this are lovely. A whole lot of fun and very appropriate for the material.

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts A
The first in a new trilogy- Many details in this book reminded me of Stephen King’s IT: friends growing up in a small town, have an experience when they’re 10 which makes them aware of an overwhelming evil, they escape, move on and then come to realize the monster will be coming back, finally as adults they all return to battle the demon/monster. Of course, with Roberts you automatically get a romance... This was very good, and I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Feathers from My Nest by Beth Moore A++
Reflections on motherhood. Moore looks at specific items, whether a hairbrush or a string tied to a dresser, and reflects on the memories each brings back. Her children have just ‘flown the nest’, gone on to college and she is dealing with the empty nest by going over the precious times and the difficult times. She talks about how God holds a family together and the struggles families must deal with in today’s world. Excellent.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins A
Just when I start thinking I’ve read all the books I’d like to, or found all the good authors in the whole world, God lets me find another one. (by the way, He normally leads me to a really good one when I pray at the library… Funny how kind He is about that.) So, this was really good and I already have the next one in the series! :) Kind of “Alice goes down the rabbit hole and meets the New York plumbing system”. Except Alice is a boy named Gregor and the Mad Hatter & the March Hare are spiders and rats who like to eat people… Really good YA fantasy.

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins A
Okay, I devoured this one- first, it’s a quick read. Second, it’s a good read. Continuing the adventures of Gregor and the fireflies/rats/bats and other fiendish Underlanders. Very good. Looking forward to the next ones in the series!

Dead of Night (compilation of 4 paranormal romances)
Here’s the sad truth… My mom buys romances like they’re candy, so there’s always one or more in the house that I haven’t read and probably didn’t/don’t really want to read. I avoid them altogether unless there’s a story by Nora Roberts- I like her characters and stories. She writes solid and interesting stories that stand on their own, which is why she’s moved on out of the romance section of the book store. Most romances are rather like a porn script: stupid lines and obvious plot leading the two (or more) people to a sex scene. In fact, it’s my opinion that most romances are a feminine version of Playboy… They’re just more culturally acceptable than the blatancy of naked pictures. I hate admitting this: I used to read everything my mom brought home- in fact, I read most of my mom's romances through high school & college. I don’t think they were good for me and my impressions of what true love is really like or should be… Okay! Enough. Here’s my thoughts on this particular grouping of romance stories.
Eternity in Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) B
This is the story that caused me to pick up the book. Enjoyed this one… I like most of her Eve Dallas mysteries. This one is about a guy who thinks he’s a vampire. Rather nasty when you get into the underbelly of the vamp believers world. This one’s based on vamp culture, not the fictional world of vampires (Anne Rice, Dracula, etc.). Not her best.
Amy and the Earl’s Amazing Adventure D
This one was lousy. Too much waiting for something to happen. Two people go back in time to find out rather silly things and end up falling in love. Predictable and stupid.
Timeless by Ruth Ryan Langan C
I wasn’t too sure about this one, but ended up enjoying it. A woman goes back in time and ends up discovering the secret of love. Predictable until the good ending.
On the Fringe by Mary Kay McComas B+
Really liked this one. A bored wife/teacher has the opportunity to see what her life would have been like if she hadn’t married her high school love. Very good story. Not your typical romance and very much about what day to day love is all about. Wish it didn’t come in this package, ‘cuz it really was a good story.

The Dead Zone by Stephen King B+
Plot: Johnny Smith is in a severe car accident and wakes up after an almost five year coma with the ability to see into the future.
After the Roberts’ book that reminded me of IT, I felt an urge to read some King. I think I liked this one… King is a tad bit dark for me, and I tend to find him rather vulgar and crude… Which is funny, ‘cuz I’ve read other horror and if Laurel K. Hamilton doesn’t qualify as crude I don’t know what does… I guess I like my fiction a bit sweeter. I don’t know. King’s a bittersweet romantic- I do get that. With way more blue collar in him than me. His style is “so in your face”- kind of the opposite of Charles de Lint… I did like the ending, although I didn’t think I would. I fell in love with Johnny, and was pained that life didn’t work out for him and his love, Sarah. I know love doesn’t always work out, but I kind of like it to work out in books, at least… In this situation it just couldn’t. I’m glad Johnny took care of the one thing he had to do- the one great evil he had to destroy, and I’m glad he didn’t really have to kill anyone to do it. Johnny & King circle around this question: If you had the opportunity to go back in time and kill Hitler, would you? You’d probably be caught and tortured, but would you do it if you could? It’s a worthwhile question… Kind of obvious in that: who'd be the guy who'd say no?? A dark question, but worth the asking.

It by Stephen King A-
Okay. Not a bit like Roberts’ Blood Brothers, which finally required me to reread this book. The only thing the two books have got in common is that these guys experienced a ‘bad thing’ when they were young and promised to come back and deal with it later if they had to. I enjoyed It more this time around… I think I relate to being a little older and going back to look at your childhood home. I also took the book a little slower this time around- I still think King reaches a point where the book is just too big and he tries to shut it down and it’s kind of out of control… But not as much as I thought back in college. I’m still upset that they don’t get to at least remember the special friends they had when they were little, even if they don’t get to keep them… I’m still horrified by the evil in this book, maybe even more now than in college…
Because I think that there’s a truth here- that it’s easier to close your eyes, not get involved, and just let evil happen. A Christian doesn’t have that option. We just don’t. We know the true horror- We know that there really is a monster- a lion roaring- who is seeking to steal, kill & destroy. And that we have been called to fight that monster with our faith, our scripture knowledge and the Holy Spirit. It was definitely a better read this time through- But also, more disturbing, more real…

Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid by Lemony Snicket A
This book made me laugh. And it’s a VERY quick read. I haven’t been able to read ‘The Series of Unfortunate Event” Books all the way through, because after around 7 or 8 of them I got annoyed, ‘cuz nothing ever seemed to change or get better. Like reading bad romances- boy meets girl, a little sex, bang- they’re married, and baby makes three. In each of the Unfortunate Events books, the kids find someone new to live with, the Uncle shows up, things get bad, and then they get worse. Horseradish was fun, though. Took the concept of those silly inspirational books with a quote on each page and made it hysterical. Much of what he says is quite true, some isn’t very funny, but it was a good quick read.

Servant: The Awakening by L.L. Foster C
I don’t know how I got sucked into reading this one… The title? The cover? The blurb on the back? I just don’t know. I read the first three chapters and thought, ‘wow, this is pretty lousy. Surely it will get better.’ So, I took a break and read the Lemony Snicket book. Then I went back to this and read 3 more chapters. Then I thought well I want to know how it ends, and I’m already half-way thru… It did get better about 2/3rds of the way in, but that’s a long time for it to be so lousy.
It’s actually an interesting idea, but it’s not carried out very well. It’s kind of Frankenstein meets Professor Van Helsing. I got to the end of the book, read the author’s bio and was shocked that she’s written 60 or so books! I did some research, though and they’re all romances. Aah. Now it all becomes clear. Seems that you can get away with writing really lousy stuff if you’re a romance writer or an author of Christian materials…

Coyote Dreams by C.E. Murphy A
The third in Murphy’s Walker series. Loved this one! I admit our heroine is still a little dense, but we’re getting there… I hate it when the reader knows more than the main character! Reading this you spend about a quarter of the time wishing you could prevent her from being stupid. It is good to see her finally dealing with her boss in a different manner, even if it's not what you want for them... However, very good adventure- interesting ideas. Yay!

Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow A/D
I did not like this book, but it had some really good points… There’s truth in here but it’s buried under some rather chauvinistic opinions and hidden by faulty assumptions about women. The church Jake & I attended that most directly fits Murrow’s description of a ‘feminine church’ was controlled by a couple of aging male deacons who didn’t want anything changed ever, loved the term ‘family of God’ and wouldn’t let the pastor do anything that would attract new members. I think Murrow makes valid points about the lack of men in church, their differences and the reasons they don’t attend church; however, it took me a long time to get past his language. Jake read one chapter and a couple pages and refused to read any more…

Without Due Process by J.A. Jance B
Breach of Duty by J.A. Jance A
My mom’s always got mysteries and romances lying around- these are in the first category. They’re mysteries with Detective J.P. Beaumont, an aging life-time cop as the main character. I’ve never read them, but grabbed a couple and gave ‘em a whirl. The first one was good, but the second one was really good. Breach of Duty has buried secrets, nasty crimes, a trail of clues, rather disturbing/disturbed & believable suspects and a sympathetic main character.

Insomnia by Stephen King A
From the inside flap: ‘Ralph Roberts is seeing some strange happenings in Derry, Maine. He sees auras around human beings that show him the horror threatening them. He sees a nice young research chemist like Ed Deepneau turn into a savage wife beater. He sees Charlie Pickering with blood in his eyes and a gleaming knife in his hand. And he sees three little bald doctors in the homes of the dying- and he begins to suspect who they really are. No wonder Ralph stays awake all night. You would, too.’
I really liked this King story... I fell in love with Ralph- the 70 something main character. The situation/mystery of it is arresting and strange and I suspect that this story is more like my normal fantasies than any of his other novels. Also, (apologies to Valette), but I have to say that this is a romance! The story is more about the depth and magic of ‘old’ love than it is really about defeating a horrible monster; although, yes, the horrible monster is defeated. I wish I could say he was destroyed, but this story is more like real life- Evil is defeated in an important & critical maneuver but not destroyed permanently.

Showdown by Ted Dekker C
This should have been better! I’ve read other stuff by Dekker- he writes strange Christian horror/adventure novels about the confrontation between good and evil. The idea was interesting- a stranger shows up in a small town with a message of hope, or is it a message of death? I slogged through the first half, and just felt like I was reading it ‘cuz I should… Beth reminded me that I didn’t have to read the whole thing! (How come I keep forgetting this??) So I skipped to the last quarter to finish it off… It was actually good for that last quarter. I think he just wrote too much. It’s kind of an apocalyptic redemption tale, and it had potential. I just don’t think it lived up to it, and that’s sad.

Until Proven Guilty by J.A. Jance A
The first book in the Seattle detective J.P. Beaumont series. Very good. Dark and sad. A little girl trapped in the world of her mother’s freaky weird cult is murdered. Finding who killed her is only half of the twisted mystery.

Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling A+
I love Harry Potter! This was a re-read.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Flower Child

Another silly quiz from Jake...
There are some very young and strange personality quizes on the site...

Which Decade Fits You?
You're a woman of two very different sides-- on the one hand, you're very traditional and conservative, believing in conventional ideas of family life and rarely having too much to drink. There is, however, that other part of you that knows that some ideas, though they may have worked before, may not be so appropriate anymore. You struggle to find a median between how you feel comfortable presenting yourself and what you believe is true in your heart. Remember that if you go with your gut, you usually can't go wrong.
Again, the quiz site is here if you're interested:

Friday, December 28, 2007


I took a silly quiz passed on from Jake... Just wanted to share. Mainly I ended up with the Dodge 'cuz it went FAST!!

If you're interested here's the link.
What type of truck are you?
Yeah its got a HEMI........
You like to speed and show off all the time

Everybody's on Vacation!!!

I've been on blog withdrawal!!!
I keep going to my friend's blogs and many/most of them are not writing for whatever reason: Christmas vacation trips, too busy... So I must be the only one with no life...

Anyway~ I've been jumping off their websites onto others trying to find something interesting, and I've been falling into Alice's Wonderland holes. I go in and then discover two hours have gone by and Abigail's crying for me to take her upstairs for her rest... (I love that! You have a kid that WANTS her rest? I do!! Deborah did NOT- She'd fight and fight and complain, but Abigail LOVES her rest.)

So, I've been pasting addresses in to share some of the really cool things I've found out there. Hope you enjoy them too!


Got this from Kiana's website, too-
Copied it for myself...

1. What specifically are you going to work on in the next week to become closer to God?
2. In what areas of your life do you find it easiest to compromise your standards?
3. Does your faith point others to Jesus? If so, how? If not, why not?
4. Can you give a recent example of a time you had to depend on God?
5. Have you spent daily time in prayer and in the Scriptures this week?
6. Who was the last person you shared your faith with?
7. How has your walk with Christ changed over the last year?
8. Have you been completely above reproach in your financial dealings this week?
9. Have you exposed yourself to any explicit material this week?
10. Are you truly a servant to people around you? Explain.


There was a group of woman in a Bible study on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter 3, they came across verse 3 which says:
"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver..."

This verse puzzled the woman and they wondered what this statement means about the character and nature of God. One of the woman offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.
That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for the interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the siversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver...". She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.The woman was silent for a moment.
Then she asked the silversmith "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh that's the easy part, when I see my image reflected in it."

I've read this before, but it's good to read it again. Sitting in the fire hurts, and I think that's where God has had us for a while. I'm ready to be out of it for a while!

The Accuracy of the Old & New Testament

I thought this was a very helpful & concise list of reasons we can trust the Bible's accuracy...
Kiana includes facts about the Old Testament and the New Testament in her analysis.

Kiana is Valette McLay's sister-in-law, and lives in the Wasilla area which is right outside Anchorage. I've known Valette since college- she was the younger sister of a dear friend in our drama team. And though I've never actually met Kiana, I feel like I have since I've heard about her & her husband Marty and prayed for them several times over the last 15 or so years.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Beth's Book

Beth has received the AMAZING LETTER!!!!
The 'We're intrigued by the idea' Letter!!!
Penguin Putnam has requested the first chapters of her book, and we're all a'twitter...
She actually sent her letter off to a bunch of independant publishers first. And we're surprised that it's one of the big guys who responded... A real writer gets turned down TONS of times before anything really happens, so yay! Beth's a 'real' writer.

Please pray for her- pray that the editor will really read it, not just glance.
Pray that the editor will look on it favorably!
Honestly, we want them to LOVE it, but I think we're more interested in God's will being done. I think His Will will involve them loving it- ;)

Babies come out of Belly Buttons

Last night I fell into the rabbit hole of the web and around 1 a.m. found the funniest thing I've read in a long time...
I jumped off Polk's site, and then Dena Dyer's site and found a site called 'Tales From My Tiny Kingdom'. A mom writes of the trials and tribulations of raising three boys. This particular entry is about 'the talk'- you know the one- the birds and bees talk. I laughed so hard, and I was trying not to wake anyone up-
It's not for the faint of heart, but it's an absolutely hysterical discussion involving the opening line, “I think a baby is too big to come out of a belly button,” making googly eyes, and the daddy having 'fertilizer'...
Don't miss it!

Our Business Card

Just for comparison, here's our business card.
Beth & Valette spent HOURS working on it: looking for fonts on line, playing with it and getting it just right.
The weird thing here is all the white around the edge and how pale the writing is- I wanted to enlarge it just a little and that messed up the scanner, I guess. The writing on the card is normally quite neatly centered & dark enough to be legible... I'm not computer illiterate, but after scanning it four times I'm not gonna play with it anymore today!
The ONLY thing we'd probably change at this point is adding the web-site address. Originally, when they designed the card we didn't have the jewelry blog. Since Valette designed it for us and locked it we don't know how to add the website address on the computer. We don't have all the fancy programs she has for designing stuff, so we've been adding it by hand at the bottom- very annoying and time-consuming.
So, while I'm willing to take comments on it, we're pretty happy with it. :) We know it's got a LOT of words on it, but it's got what's important to us.

Advertizing poster 2

Based on a friend's suggestions, (thank you Patrick!) I've made some changes to our poster...
We made the original for our show at Willowcreek Clothing, and I actually don't remember why we ended up creating the poster in Word. Something to do with time, lack of fonts and general stress. Something didn't work right in Publisher and I had to make some changes and I got frustrated... We had to get the posters to her by a specific time and ended up working on it up to the last minute...
So, this time around- no stress, lots of time, plus Beth had found the font we used on our business cards! Yay!
Anyway, here's the poster the way we actually want it to look! So, if you have any suggestions now, I will take them under advisement! I'm actually pretty happy with this now, so I probably won't change it, but I will listen. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Latest advertizing

This is our latest poster...
I'm not completely satisfied with it-
Will I ever be? ;) If I was completely satisfied I'd probably be shocked.
And, no, in real life I don't go by Rebecca Emery-Sirevaag, but there are still people up here who will recognize me by that name and I WANT to be recognized...
If you've got any hints to make this poster better, let us know and we'll take it under advisement.

Merry Christmas from the Sirevaags!

Wishing you and yours joy and peace in this special season!
May the light of Christ shine throughout your life this year.

God bless-
Rebecca, Jake, Deborah & Abigail

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Jog on the Wild Side

There are some wonderful things about living Alaska- the view, the summers, the lack of people- but here's something that's not so wonderful: taking a jog with wolves.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A wolf pack surrounded three joggers and attacked one of their dogs in the latest of a series of bold attacks near Alaska's largest city.
A dog on a chain also was killed Thursday and a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said the same pack may be responsible for both attacks.
The dog in its own yard in Eagle River on Anchorage's north side was killed first Thursday morning.
A few hours later, the second attack occurred less than a mile away as three women and their dogs were running on a well-used stretch of road.
It was so quick, the three friends at first didn't know what was happening.
"They were so quiet. They just came right up on us. They were quick. The dogs had no clue. They didn't smell them or hear them - nothing," Alycia Beiergrohslein told KTVA-TV.
At least seven wolves surrounded the three women and their dogs as they jogged on Artillery Road. The lead wolves came within feet, circling the women as they tried to get away. They were only slightly deterred by pepper spray.
"I was rainbowing my pepper spray, and they fell back a little bit," said Camas Barkemeyer. "But as soon as we would turn our backs to try to go, they would run up on us, and we would turn around and start screaming again, and I would spray my pepper spray.
"We just kept pulling, and they were so big, and they started howling, and they were circling us. And it got us really panicked, and we kept screaming."
Beiergrohslein, Barkemeyer and the third jogger were more than a mile and a half away from their cars. The women had read the warnings about other wolf attacks and kept their dogs on leashes.
As the wolves circled, the women walked backward, screaming to keep the animals away, and trying to keep everyone safe.
"I love my dog with all my heart, but I can't jeopardize my friends. And if that's what they wanted, I didn't know whether to leave him," Beiergrohslein said.
The women held tight to the leashes, and were able to keep the wolves at bay, but not before the pack attacked Barkemeyer's American bulldog, Buddy.
"My dog was attacked by the wolves, three wolves," Barkemeyer said. "He fought his way out as I was pulling."
The women were not physically hurt. Buddy underwent surgery to mend gashes and bites left by the wolves. Barkemeyer said she worries the pack could attack again.
"They were not afraid of us," she said. "And I'm afraid that if I was out here by myself, they would attack me. They were not afraid."
Quoted from The Associated Press, from KTVF TV Anchorage
I love wolves and have used them for some acting things. I've done research on them and find their pack lifestyle fascinating. They are beautiful and amazing animals. However, I have absolutely no interest in meeting any of them face to face.
At the same time, it's part of the package. If you live in Alaska, you're gonna live pretty close to some of the wildlife. We've got moose in our backyard, and on bad snow years wolves attack animals on the outskirts of town.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


This week I've been substitute teaching at a local Christian school. I loved it! Made me realize how much I miss teaching.
I had called Fairhill Christian at the beginning of the school year to see if they had any openings. They did but the details involved (VERY low pay, changing Deborah's schooling, finding & paying for daycare for Abigail) meant I really couldn't even consider the position; however, they asked if I'd be willing to sub. I thought, 'that probably won't work, but why not?'

So, I got called about a month ago to sub for the 7th & 8th grade class for a week. Mom and I worked out the details, and I got to go to school! I admit that 7th & 8th graderes are my least favorite ages to work with, but these kids were great. Hard to call them kids- such an awkward age! They're not really kids, but they're not really young adults or even teenagers.
Mr. Hopkins suggested that I do some drama stuff with them since that's my area of expertise. Most of them enjoyed the games and the others went along without complaining. ;)
We did some grammar, some literature, some Bible, a couple finals, and some hanging out... A math teacher comes in to do their Algebra with them, so I didn't have to do that- Thank God! I've helped kids with their Algebra homework at Huntington & at Chrysalis, but it's pretty much the blind leading the blind... The one thing I'm really good at is catching their basic math mistakes. So, if they can remember the process we generally get to the right answer. There's a wonderful thing in being the teacher and having the answer key! But I didn't have to do that this week.
I was surprised at how sad I was on Friday! As much as I'd missed my girls this week, it was good to be back in a classroom.
Thank you God, for the gift of this week. The kids I got to work with were a blessing. I love teaching, and I hope it's something You allow me to do again. Thank you for my girls! I'm enjoying them more today than I have in a while! :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Allergic to Cats

"If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if that thing is cats."

Quoted from Horseradish: Bitter truths you can’t avoid by Lemony Snicket

This is particularly funny to me since I'm terribly, terribly, horribly allergic to cats and I live in a household with three of them...

Plus, because of our living situation and the cat angst in the aforementioned household, my cat has to spend the night in our bedroom. Even though my Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy doctor has said, "Don't let your cat into your bedroom. Ever." If she doesn't spend the night in our bedroom she ends up with horrible scratches on her face or eyes and then we have to take her to the vet. I don't know which is worse- her physical wounds, or my asthma and colds all winter...

This Week

I'm tired! For many reasons I haven't slept well this last week, and I've not had any time to do fun things... So I haven't checked my email, and I haven't blogged, and I haven't done much beading. I did read a book- 'It' by Stephen King. And I think it made me depressed on top of being sleep-deprived. Probably wouldn't have made me depressed if I hadn't already been sleep-deprived...

Reasons I haven't slept:
Jake's been snoring like a choo-choo train
And Luna's been climbing on me
And my feet haven't stopped moving
And Abigail's been having nightmares
And Deborah's been waking up early and in a bad mood
And I've been feeling bad

Friday, December 07, 2007


It's snowing right now- Big soft flakes. This is Luna's favorite perch... She's sitting on top of the printer and watching the snow fall. When I'm on the computer she loves to be where I am and watching out the window is a bonus! It's warm today- +18.
We've had a very warm winter so far. I admit that I like it, but the weird weather is not good for our plants and plumbing. We've had a low snow year, which means the plants and plumbing don't have the insulation they'll need if it gets colder. Who knows if that'll happen...
The week of Thanksgiving we had temps up to +40, (VERY WEIRD) which means the snow we did have (not much) melted into rivers of water. Then the rivers froze that night and became an ice rink in parking lots and on ski trails. The skiers are having a lousy year- low snow, plus warm temps means hard nasty ice... Which is almost impossible to ski on.
The mushers are having a lousy time, too. The river ice isn't thick enough to safely mush on and the low snow means yucky mushing trails.
Nobody knows exactly why, but there's a small wolf pack active close to Fairbanks. So far, they've only been picking off pets (they've killed & eaten 3 dogs), but that probably won't last. They'll probably move on to kids waiting for school buses... I guess their normal hunting grounds aren't yielding this year and now that they're used to being around town and having easy prey (at least one of the dogs was chained- horrible way to die), they'll probably stay around. So, that's one result of the weird weather.
I love the warmer weather, though. Fuel is so expensive right now, and the warmer weather means we're using less fuel to keep the house warm. Nice side bonus of the warm weather- saving money.
Plus, it's warm! I know you probably think I'm crazy, but +18 is a VERY big difference from -40. That's what we normally have around now. I hate anything below -20. It's painful!
Right now, I'm going to sit with Luna and watch the beautiful snow flakes falling and enjoy the warmth.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

November Books

Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz B+
I love the quirky humor in this one. Delightful and scary, plus a darn good book. Jimmy Tock is born at the same minute as his grandfather dies. But before he can die, his grandfather predicts that there will be five dark, terrible days during his life. The reader is taken on the Tock’s nightmarish ride, but invited to see the good in everything. It’s interesting to me that Koont’ presents a world view similar to my Christian one- that there is terrible evil fighting and rebelling against a great, redeeming good…

Killer Dreams By Iris Johansen C-
Well, this is the second Johansen book I’ve read and I can definitely say I don’t care for her style. Dark, disturbing and I find her characters rather unsympathetic. Bad things kept happening to them and I wasn’t convinced that I really cared… I kept reading it thinking that it would get better and it didn’t.

Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb B
Disturbing little book. I don’t want to give away the answer to this mystery; however, let me say- I’ve been thinking of this one almost every day since I finished it. Yuck. Good book, but the story bothered me a lot.

Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn A+
Aah, yes. Finally a jewel of a book! This is the third in Shinn’s ‘Thirteenth House’ series and brings back all my favorite characters, while furthering one of the group’s stories. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it! Magic, swords, evil vs. good, a little romance. Strong characters, and an interesting world. Very good.

Fall of Knight by Peter David B-
Third in his Arthurian saga. Not as much fun as the others- too much end of the world stuff, and too much stuff denigrating faith and Christianity.

Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer B
Not as good as the Artemis Fowl books. Kind of ‘Encyclopedia Brown marries Veronica Mars and they give birth to the Rug Rats’.

The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley B-
This is a reprint of Bradley’s first novel, published in 1961. I admit this is not her best book, but it was a fun read. Kind of pulpy & campy... Takes place on Wolf, which is not Darkover but resembles it in mainly ways- drytowners, ya-men, catmen, red sun, desert, high mountains, chained women, low tech world, hates Earth and all earthlings… Has some themes she will later expand on and explore further (and better) in her Darkover novels… family relationships vs. friend relationships, a main character caught between two worlds, a haunting past.

Finding Laura by Kay Hooper C+
Second read… But it’d been years. I like Hooper’s ideas and characters. However, she believes in reincarnation, which adds a surreal touch to her books. They’re still good, though.

Trollbridge by Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple A
The second in their Rock ‘n Roll YA fantasy series. Fun & silly. This one’s a combo of the twelve dancing princesses and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. A very enjoyable read. (The first one was 'Pay the Piper', a retelling of the 'Pied Piper' tale.)

Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems by Cesar Milan & Melissa Jo Peltier A
Written by ‘The Dog Whisperer’ on National Geographic. We’ve rented some of these from the library to watch while we’re beading. I think he’s amazing. His ability to get dogs to cooperate is astounding, and I think his opinions on dogs in the US are right on the money. He’s convinced that most dog problems are caused by their owners and after watching him work with a lot of very disturbed dogs, I agree. Though Jake & I aren’t planning on getting a dog until we move from our present residence, reading this has prepared me for some of the challenges in being a dog person. Bonus: It’s also helped some in dealing with my type A, strong-willed daughter!

The Artemis Fowl Files by Eoin Colfer A
Interviews with the characters, some silly additions, plus 2 short stories with all my favorite Fowl characters. Yay! Enjoyed these. Love the world that Colfer has created and it was fun to read a couple of the back stories.

Trading in Danger
, Marque and Reprisal and Engaging the Enemy by Elizabeth Moon A+
I love finding a GOOD new series! These are reminiscent of David Weber’s space opera style, but without all the gore. Moon creates a solid believable world, and appealing characters. I’ve enjoyed diving into these books and have had an impossible time putting them down… I’m looking forward to finding the next installment in this series.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Temps + weather

We're all sick AGAIN!!!
I think part of the reason no one can seem to stay well in the Emery/Sirevaag household is related to the odd temps. It's been very warm, and fluctuated greatly.
It was 5 degrees today! I can definitely tell the whole 'ozone layer/earth warming' thing is for real, 'cuz we've had a crazy heat wave this winter. It was up to 40 degrees last week. Normally at this time of year it's running -10 to -30... Instead, we've got Crazy warm. Which makes it VERY icy. Scary driving. I much prefer -10 to +26... Way more accidents at +26...
At least neither of my girls have had fevers with this one... Just lots & lots of drippiness.
Anyway, I'm sick & tired of being sick & tired...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Week Wrap Up

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Grateful Note: Well, the 'blogging-every-other-day' thing didn't work last week. Deborah had a week-long Thanksgiving vacation, so I had a 2 year old and a 4 year old to entertain every day. However, I did have stuff planned for most days, and most of those plans worked out. A visit from our Early Head Start home worker, a trip out, a visit to our church's Cabin Fever Reliever. The only thing we missed was a trip to the library. Deborah's been in school for the last 2 days, and I am thankful for that!!

Thursday's Grateful Note: Thanksgiving was sweet. Jake stayed home, watched the kids until around 11 am, and washed some dishes. Yay, Jake! Which meant the kitchen was all fresh and clean to work on a special Thanksgiving meal. And I got to sleep in a little. My mom, my sister and I did some baking before Thursday, and worked on a good family meal that day. The girls are so funny! Many of the more traditional Thanksgiving foods are on their 'won't eat it' list. But we had a breakthrough with Abigail. She'll eat pretty much anything, unless she gets it in her head that it's nasty before she tastes it- then you can forget it- she just won't touch it. But today she tried some new things!

Friday's Grateful Note: Beth & I got up early and went in to a couple of the sales- JoAnn's & Fred Meyer. Mostly for Christmas presents. In fact, I have a surprising amount of Christmas completely ready! Yay, me.

Saturday's Grateful Note: Beth & I were at Pioneer Park for their Winter bazaar on Saturday, and finally, we did very well. Thank you, God! Plus we saw several friends from our old church.

Sunday's Grateful Note: Sunday, the 25th was our wedding anniversary. Jake & I have been married 7 years. This one's supposed to be the bad one, but I have to say it just hasn't been bad. We've had stuff going on- church yuck, finances yuck, limited time alone... Our limited time alone is the worst one... Since we live with my mom and sister, we're rarely the only adults around. Plus the girls NEVER go to sleep. (God, I wish I had not passed on my insomniac tendencies to my children!!!) It seems like we rarely have enough money or time to just go be a couple. I can say that we still really enjoy our time alone. We enjoy just hanging out with each other. Doesn't really matter too much what we are doing, just so long as we're doing it together.

I will remember this anniversary as the one Jake took me to the shooting range. Rather an odd anniversary activity... He's been trying to drag me for the last 6 months or so, and I DID NOT want to go. I've never shot a gun before and didn't really want to. But he's been insistent and persistent. So, I went and it wasn't terrible. Just not thrilling- although he was shocked that I did as well as I did. I don't know anything about it, but he was quite surprised! ;) I wanted everything to be in the black part of the target, but I only got about half my shots in the black circle. He was impressed that not only did I get every shot on the paper, but half were in the small target area. Too bad it wasn't something I'd be willing to work much on... I guess it's cool that I did so well for the first time.

We also went out to a Gambardella's, a wonderful italian restaurant downtown... Took our time and enjoyed the good food. We came away feeling good, and not too full.

Monday's Grateful Note: Deborah went back to school!!! Thank you, God for a good school. I love my daughter, but she's exhausting. She's this type A bundle of words, energy and demands. She wants to be entertained most of the time, and is highly talkative. Sometimes it feels like she's just sucking all my energy away. I wish she could entertain herself at least part of the time! I'd really like to know where on earth she got her need to be talking 90% of the time. She wakes herself up talking, and talks herself to sleep at night. Pretty much doesn't stop talking during the entire day. Anyway, much as I love her, school is a good break for me.

Tuesday's Grateful Note: My mom had a surgical type procedure today- the same one I did- where they inject hydrocortizone into your spinal fluid in the hopes that it will help with your pain level. We were all concerned about her doing this, but it went very well. They had to keep checking her blood sugar- it got down to in the 50's which is low, but they took good care of her. God, Thank you that it went well! Please, please, let it help her daily pain level.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Small Groups

Sunday's Grateful Note: We finally got to visit a small group from our church. We've been attending Friends Community for about 8 months, and I started trying to find a Bible study for us about 5 months ago. One group was too full, another was all young military couples... you get the idea. So, I found one we thought sounded okay, but they weren't meeting for the summer. Then in September they were too busy to start meeting. They finally started meeting last week and we couldn't go. But last night we got to go! And we liked it very much. And we'll be going back next week. Maybe we'll finally start getting to know some people at our church...

Monday's Grateful Note: Today the church did a 'cabin fever reliever' for pre-schoolers. They pulled all the chairs out of the sanctuary, pulled big toys in and rented one of those big bouncy air-trampoline rooms. The girls and I went and they ran and ran and ran for an hour. Wonderful. I let Deborah just go, but Abigail wanted me to follow her around- She's still pretty clingy. There were about 6 other moms, but they mostly sat and let their kids go. Which made me sad. I didn't really get to meet other moms, which was half my reason for going. But the girls are worn out and that's good, since this next week is Thanksgiving break and Deborah's home ALL week.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Every Other Day?

Well, I seem to be getting in here every other day... I guess that's not too bad for a pre-schooler's mommy... I don't know. I wanted to do better!

Friday's Grateful Note: My Mom and I got to go Thanksgiving shopping today! Our combined money went further and we've pretty much got everything we want for Thanksgiving dinner. Yay! We won't be returning to the stores during the next few "crazy" days.

Saturday's Grateful Note: My husband came and rescued me today! I thought Deborah would enjoy singing in the children's choir at church so I took her with me to the musical rehearsal today. Major meltdown. For some reason she'd thought we were going to church even though we'd talked about singing at a rehearsal and that she'd be with the big kids. Didn't seem to have stuck though. We got there early and as soon as she realized we'd be in a different room with lots of chairs and kids she didn't know she COMPLETELY fell apart- Crying, pulling on me, begging me to let her go to her room. Except we went there and she discovered that her class wasn't meeting. So, I went and called Jake and he came and got her... More crying when she realized I wasn't going with her, but he just took her away and left me to do what I had to do. Thank you God for my husband!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rise up

This is copied directly from Matt Tullos' blog:
He Stinketh John 11:39

some nights I try to bury my deadness
I wander aimlessly shrouded in malaise
a death colored haze
like a dead man walking
dreadfully, desperately yearning for breath
but the stench of my spirit
secretly stalking my tomorrow
like a thief, like a dirge
a stone covered hole
the blackest night.
absent of light
and You speak to the bones
rise up!
buried dreams
rise up!
broken hopes
rise up!
lost, rogue child of God.
rise up!
joint to joint
marrow of life’s scattered feast.
O, rattle on life!
the Master Artisan of grace
owns every heartbeat
tendon and sinew of joy
every first born epiphany
every ion of truth
sweet and ever new

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Okay, I knew the 'blogging-every-day' thing would be almost impossible for me, but I thought I'd do better!
Anyway, here are my thoughts for the last two days:

Tuesday's Grateful Note: I got to spend a little bit of time with Jake. He stays busy and comes home so tired from work. With the girls, making dinner and putting them to bed, I often don't get to spend much time alone with him. I like my husband. It's good to spend time with him and remember that- I wish we could do that more often.

Wednesday's Grateful Note: I was able to take a nap today! A nap is a RARE thing for me, but it was a weird day. Deborah woke up from a bad dream at 5 a.m. (she normally wakes up between 8:30 & 9) and she wanted to get up... So, I got up. Which meant a VERY short amount of sleep for me. At least Abigail didn't wake up that early!! Thank you God that it worked out for me to take a good rest!

Thursday's (today's) Grateful Note: My mom has been helping me with some household chore during the last two days. I hate housework, nobody else can or will help, and stuff tends to pile up. I often end up feeling like an ant trying to battle a giant, or the little dutch boy with his finger stuck in the dam... With her help we've almost gotten ahead of the giant! Thank you God that she's been able to stand up long enough to do some of the things she wants to do! Please help her back cooperate with her mind.

Monday, November 12, 2007

School and Church

Deborah went back to school today!
Yahoo! I had about 3 hours without a little one underfoot. I put Abigail down for a rest and was able to do some quick house-cleaning... and sit down for a couple minutes and check me e-mail.

Monday's Grateful Note: Thank you God for Deborah's pre-school! She loves going and has several good friends. Plus she's already teaching herself to read! She loves the activities she gets to do- dancing, singing, digging in the snow, painting and dressing up (of course).

Sunday's Grateful Note: Thank you God for a church where the girls are happy! Everyone was rather sick still yesterday, Jake in particular, so we ended up missing church. Sad for the girls since they both get so disappointed about missing their kids church. Deborah cried and whined about missing it for a while, enough for me to know she was serious about her disappointment. We had such a hard time finding a church that it's a blessing to know that the girls really are happy there.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Good Day

Today's been one of the best days I've had in a while...

-I'm on antibiotics and not so tired. Maybe getting better!

-The girls weren't quite so whiney, although Deborah is DEFINITELY ready to go back to school.

-I got to go to a Christmas children's musical rehearsal today! I MISS working with the kids at Shannon Park, probably more than anything else. I enjoy them, seeing them getting it, and teaching them little bits about music and drama... They've already got a musical director, and he pretty much knows exactly what he wants. (not to be too negative, but he wants the 'grampa tells the kids about the baby Jesus', version 1337-cA2 musical) However, I'll be writing portions of it, so maybe I can spruce it up a bit... I know it's hard to be creative with the 2007th retelling of the Christmas story, but I wish we could do something a little more fun than 'same old, same old'. However, it's not my choir. It's not my deal this time through.. Thank you God that I'm getting to work with kids, and do drama and music. Please calm my restive, seeking, creative nature and help me just enjoy the relationships I'm going to build with these kids...

-I just finished a wonderful book! (After a string of fairly lousy stuff...) I thoroughly enjoy Sharon Shinn's take on 'swords & sorcery' fantasy, and I just got the third in her Twelfth House series. Yay! I almost couldn't put it down to go to bed last night and then I had time to read it today! I love revisiting characters that I care about... Shinn is so good at creating people you want to know, and that you can root for- She's also quite good at creating a horrible evil for them to fight against... And, YAY! Best of all! The story's not really over. There will still be more of these characters!

-All weekend a tiny little collection of our jewelry is being displayed at the Holiday Marketplace bazaar, and we were specifically asked NOT to be there. Is that crazy or what? Thank you God for Joanne! I also heard from several reliable sources that it's been crazy this weekend, so maybe we'll have sold something.
Saturday's Graceful Note: God, this week has been so hard. Me sick. Jake sick. Both girls sick and waking up every night. Thank you for a good day. Nothing absolutely fantastic about today- it just wasn't stressful. I am grateful for a calm good day. Thank you!

Friday, November 09, 2007


I've not kept up with my commitment to blog everyday...
My best reason is that everybody's been home sick this week, and I've been too sick to do much myself. Deborah's been home from school and Jake's been home from work. Deborah was whining around the house all day yesterday- still too sick to go back to school, but too well to be laying about and just watching tv or reading books.

Wednesday's Grateful Note: Thank you God for a sweet kitty who just wants to cuddle & purr while I nap.

Thursday's Grateful Note: I'm thankful for our Willowcreek Clothing friend, Joanne, who is letting us place stuff in her Holidays Marketplace booth. This is the HUGE Christmas bazaar at the Carlson Center (think "hockey rink covered with carpet and divided into 10'x10' booths"). The booths cost over $500! There was no way we could afford one on our own, and she was kind enough to allow us to stick our tall stand in her booth. God, please don't let her kindness to us diminish her sales!

Friday's Grateful Note: The girls are well today! Yay! They're driving me crazy, but they are healthy! I'm still not healthy, but I have a doctor's appointment today. They'll at least figure out if it's just a cold or something more insidious.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Sister's Silly Survey

My sister sent me a silly survey. So, I suppose I should share...

1. First thing you do in the shower?
just stand there and get warm

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?

3. Do you like coffee?

4. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
rather silly

5. Crush's name?
had two- Eric in elementary school and the guy who played the boy in "Escape to Witch Mountain". I found his website a couple of years ago and he's a FRUIT. Like into aliens, and really weird stuff.

6. Do you say aim or a-i-m?

7. What are you?
a mommy, a wife, a writer, a teacher, a singer, an actress...

8. Could you eat your favorite food everyday for a month and not get sick of it?
Yes. I think ice cream probably qualifies, and I could eat some every day for a month and still want more!

9. What are you craving?
tortilla chips

10. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
this wonderful broccoli cole slaw recipe I found

11. Have you ever counted to 1,000?

12. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
in a cone- lick
in a bowl, (which I prefer)- bite

13. Do you use smileys?
14. Where's 14??? It wasn't on my survey copy.

15. Have you ever met a celebrity?
yes, a bunch of Christian ones through traveling with Company
I've been on stage with Chris Tomlin, he's shy & a sincerely nice guy.
I met Rebecca St. James, Wayne Watson, and some others, too..

16. Do you like cottage cheese?
not really

17. What's the last song you had stuck in your head?
DON'T ASK ME!!! It's too late!!! NOOOOO!!!!!!!
'Thomas O'Malley, the Alley Cat' from The Aristocats
Abigail likes to watch the same movie over and over and over and she was really into The Aristocats last week.

18. Favorite place to be?
right now, bed sleeping

19. Are your parents strict?
used to be

20. Would you go sky diving?
oh yeah!!!

21. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?
yes, but I'd probably be nervous

22. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?
Deborah is sitting on my lap right now and she has sparkly nail polish on her fingers

23. Do you rent movies?

24. Who sits in front of you in your spanish class?
I took French

25. Where are you going to be Saturday night?
I never really know. Probably at a rehearsal for a church sketch

26. Brown or white eggs?
white, not that I wouldn't go for brown, though

27. Like rap music?
Don't know if this counts, but the only rap I've ever really liked is DC Talk. Other than that I've been offended by most of the lyrics I've heard. Rather misogynistic

29. Experienced the twin towers falling in New York?
I heard something weird on the radio driving to work, and when I got to school all my students were watching the tv in the rec room. I spent most of the day comforting and talking with my k-7th graders...

30. Is anyone in your family famous?
well, we're distantly related to Betsy Ross on my dad's side. Does that count?

31. What day of the week is it?

32. What was your Lunch?
chicken nuggets, banana

33. What is your best friend doing tomorrow?
this is a difficult question- I've got two. My sister will be sleeping and reading and hanging out. I'm hoping my husband is well enough to go back to work. We've all been horribly sick this week and he's missed the whole week.

34 Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?

35. So, how about them Yankees?
aren't they baseball??

36. What was your bus number for school?
I hope I never remember

37. Is your hair curly?

38. Last time you cried?
almost cried two nights ago when I took Abigail to the ER. She couldn't stop throwing up and she wouldn't drink anything

39. Ever walked into a wall?
this week? No. Last week, yes.

40. Have you ever bought anything from PacSun?
who are they?

41. Favorite season?

42. The next person you'll hold hands with?

43. Do you sleep with the TV on?

44. Have you ever drank alcohol straight from the bottle?

45. Do you think you're old?

46. Are you afraid of the dark?
I used to be terrified. Most recently after watching 'The Sixth Sense'

47. Do you like your life right now?
Parts of it

48. When is the last time you chose a bath over a shower?
a couple years, I've never been a bath person

49. Do you knock on wood?

50. Do you have good vision?
I'm absolutely BLIND without my glasses

51. Can you hula hoop?

52. This is weird. There's no 52 either...

53. Worst thing that happened today?
I had to make a doctor appointment 'cuz I think I've got bronchitis

54. When is your next road trip?
i don't know

55. Have you ever crawled through a window?
to unlock the front door

56. Can you handle the truth?
i prefer it

57. What was the most recent thing you bought?
chicken soup and saltines

58. How often do you talk on the phone?

59. Are you in a complicated relationship?

60. Do you hate more than 3 people?
I can't think of anyone right now

61. Have you ever tripped someone?

62. Have you ever slapped someone?
I think so. I know I've done it on stage! :)

63. Do looks matter?

64. Do you use chapstick?

65. Are you forgiving?
yes, but it takes me a while

66. Do you own something from Hot Topic?
who are they?

67. Do you own a gun?
my husband does

68. Have you made a prank phone call?

69. Have you ever been in a castle?
yes, in Germany

70. Do you like your hair?
most of the time

71. Do you like yourself?
most of the time

72. Are you closer to your mother or father?

73. Do you chat on AIM often?
what is AIM?

74. Whats the closest thing to you that's red?
I'm wearing a red shirt and a red sweatshirt

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Well, Abigail was sick yesterday. Very sick. 102.3 temp plus lethargy, not eating and wanting to go to bed. So, I cooled her off in a bath, gave her Tylenol and put her to bed.

Then she woke up at 11 pm screaming. I went in to her to find that she'd thrown up. I cleaned her and her bed up, and then she threw up again. After calling her doctor we wound up at the ER. Her pediatrician was concerned that she'd refused to drink anything, but by the time we actually saw the doctor at the ER she'd drunk half a glass of juice and was dancing around like a little wild thing.

Tuesday's grateful note: So, while I didn't get a chance to post about what I'm thankful for yesterday, today I find myself very grateful & thankful for a healthy and happy 2 year old. We've done the "hospital-for-a-week, plus IV thing" with Deborah and I'd rather never do that again. Thank you God that Abigail is feeling better and asking for apples today!

Monday's grateful note: And my bonus thankful item for yesterday would be our doctor. Thank you for a doctor who is on call 24 hours a day and willing to be woken up by a freaked out mommy.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Another blogger (Susan Stevenson- photographer) is currently posting about one thing they are grateful for every day for the entire month of November. I like the idea and I'm going to steal it. ;) I may not be able to keep up with the daily thing, but I'm going to try.
Today's the fourth, so I'm already 3 days behind! So I'd better be extra thankful today. :)

Today, I'm so thankful for the relationship I have with my Mom. We just had a 40 minute conversation about some really big serious issues, and I'm reminded about how wonderful it is to have a mom who is also a friend...

Yesterday, the 3rd, I got to sleep in extra because my wonderful, sweet, kind man let me sleep in until 11 a.m. Bless the boy. So, on Saturday I was thankful for both sleep and for my husband.

Friday, the 2nd, Beth & I got to do a first Friday at Willowcreek clothing and display our jewelry. What stands out for that day is the community & relationships we've slowly established through our 3 or 4 year journey into making and selling jewelry. We love Joanne at Willowcreek! She is a special lady.

Thursday, the 1st, I got to do some grocery shopping and make a particularly good dinner. So I'm grateful that I live in a country where I don't have to fight for every aspect of a meal- where food is plentiful and we have as many options as we do.

Alaskan Photos

I met a photographer at our First Friday show and I just want to share her stuff. She takes photos like I wish I could... Her work shows how beautiful Fairbanks actually is.
I get so caught up in how cold and dark it is up here that I sometimes forget to be thankful for how beautiful my city is. I loved all the photos I got to see, but in particular I liked her skyscapes. So, if you're wanting to see professional, quality photos of the Fairbanks area she's definitely the site to go to:

Halloween photos

We haven't gone trick or treating with our girls- We might next year, I don't know. We live in a GREAT neighborhood for it.

So far, Deborah's been very excited about giving out candy to the kids that knock on our door. She doesn't like the scarey costumes (What's up with the 'dead' everything? Dead cheerleader, dead monk, dead pirate...), but she really enjoys dressing up and looking at the other kids dressed up.
Here they are watching for the trick or treater's to come...

They got to be fairy princesses this year- Abigail got the pink wings for her birthday, and Deborah got hers on Halloween...

All the Fred Meyer employees were encouraged to come in costume on Halloween, and Jake went all out this year. He even asked me to do his make-up... Which got all the compliments. Which is sad, 'cuz he fussed and fussed with the pirate gun he found... He wanted it to look 'authentic' since he works the gun counter.


Beth & I have SADLY neglected taking photos of most of our jewelry for the last 6 months... We've got so much that sold at Farmer's Market without a record of what we made. The only reason that's a big deal is that we both build on what we've made before- We can look at old stuff and go, 'wow. I really don't like that any more!' or 'What if I did this instead?' So, I'm sad we haven't been keeping any sort of pictoral record of our stuff. I've got a complete set of necklaces with a specific kind of pendant that are all gone without a single picture of them...

Plus, we've really made some very different stuff the last couple of months. We've been looking at magazines and getting ideas and have a lot of new stuff... So, here's one picture of some of the things I've made lately:

October Books

Thunderbird Falls by C.E. Murphy A
Loved this! 2nd in the Urban shaman series- Although, I got annoyed with our heroine. How on earth did she miss what was going on??? I knew before we’d gotten anywhere…

The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint B
Beth recommended I read this, and I did. Didn’t like it as much as she did… Much as I love de Lint’s ideas he’s way more interested in his fancy language & wit than being understood by the reader.

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer A
Still excellent! These are so fun, and since I’m not a fan of faerie books it’s great to find some that are so silly, but still good adventures.

A Dream of Stone & Shadow by Marjorie M. Liu C
A major disappointment. Beth recommended this one, too, and I actually liked the idea… It should have been a good story! There’s a detective agency, Dirk & Steele, that only hires paranormally gifted agents, and our main character is a young female precognitive named Agatha (Aggie). But man, this just wasn’t as good as it should have been. Gargoyles, precgonitives, a mystery,

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien A
Such a good story… This won the Newberry in ’71, and definitely is worth the read.
If you saw the cartoon made in the late 80’s, I sympathize. It pains me to say that they did a HORRIBLE job turning this light-hearted adventure into a mystical/ridiculous story. All the bad things in the movie (weird mystical magic, the red jewel, the infighting between the rats) weren’t in the original story and all the wonderful things (the intelligent rats & the lab, the mother and her children, the silly crow) were in this delightful YA adventure.

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer A
Good YA… A dark tech look at the future.

Artemis Fowl: the Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer A
Artemis has had all his memories of fairies wiped out, and there’s a desperate need for him to remember… Opal is back and more evil than ever! Plus, all his contact with the fairies had made him have a change of heart, but the mindwipe returned him back to his nefarious ways.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini A
I enjoyed this dragon/magic adventure a lot. Reminiscent of Tolkien & C.S. Lewis.
A fun, fast-paced adventure. I’ve looked at it several times and never found the whole series when I was actually looking for it. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed them. I went ahead and checked out the first one even though they didn’t have the rest in. I guess I’ll have to go back to the library. Poor me. Sigh.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol A
Very quick read. Most of the solutions are easy for an adult, but it’s still fun to see if you can figure them out… There’s about 20 Encyclopedia Brown books. Each book contains about 10 chapters made up of about 4 or 5 pages containing a mystery. Each mystery has one or more clues that help you, the reader, figure out the solution to the mystery- then you can compare your solution with the author’s at the back of the book.

No Rest for the Witches (a book of 4 short stories)
‘The Majicka’ by MaryJanice Davidson A
I loved the first story… I thought it was hysterical. A witch, a poltergeist, a 6 ft tall fairy, a vampire, and a werewolf- What do they all have in common? They live together. And in the process of the story they add a zombie/dryad and a ‘Buffy the Vampire slayer’ type trainer to their company.
There were three other stories in this anthology, and the tragic truth is I don’t remember any of the others… I’ve got vague memories- one involved voodoo- I know they were all about witches, but frankly, they weren’t that good. One of the stories was downright lousy, in fact. It was so bad I didn’t even finish it- I skipped to the last chapter to find out what happened…

The Circle Trilogy (Morrigan’s Cross, Dance of the Gods, Valley of Silence) by Nora Roberts B
Enjoyed ‘em. I’m glad I read them all, mostly for the last one. (I always feel a need to defend myself when I say I’ve read a romance. Definitely got to get over that one… But, boy, do they have a bad rep.) What I like about Roberts is her characters. I know, you’re all saying, ‘yeah, yeah, and what I like about Playboy is the articles, right.’ But I’m serious. Roberts creates characters you like, care about and root for… In this story we’ve got evil vampires vs. gods, with 6 (the circle) people called upon to be the heros of the fight against evil. Of course, with Roberts as author we already know it’s really a romance, but having the supernatural/magical stuff thrown in makes it more fun.

Little Red Riding Hood

I was just freezing cold a couple of days ago and wandering around looking for my sweatshirt.
Suddenly, my daughter said, 'look at me!' And yup, she was wearing my favorite red sweatshirt...

Raising 'em Right

My girls really don't share well. They're young to share, plus Deborah has a strong 'MINE!' streak in her.
Except for reading. The two of them can sit for a shockingly long time together with a book. It's a delight to me that they both enjoy being read to and looking at books by themselves. They both make up their own stories based on the pictures, or try to remember the story they've been told.
Yup, they're doing good as far as books go.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ode to Grits

I have something terrible to admit... The first time I tasted grits, I thought it was AWFUL.
I was traveling in the south (well, duh!) with the Company, and we were in some strange little dark restaurant and this pile of something white & squishy arrived on my plate. It was NASTY. Runny, but lumpy. Tasteless, yet peppery. Yuck. I never wanted to try it again.

Until lately. My mom just got on this kick of buying Albers grits and making them for her evening snack. (She's diabetic. She's REQUIRED to have some little something before she goes to bed or else her blood sugar drops to around 50 or so. Very bad.) Apparently, she grew up eating them, even though she's from New Mexico. Go figure. I grew up with her cooking for us and I NEVER remember her making us grits.

So, I tasted her grits. And it was good. Huh. What do you know? It had more to do with the cook in that funky little restaurant. It wasn't the actual food item. And I've discovered I like grits with tons of margarine and salt. And I like grits with a little bit of milk and strawberry jam. Isn't that weird. The chick from Alaska/Oregon/California/Washington likes grits.

Ode to Grits
I like grits
Squishy, Deli-shie
Yummy, and creamy
Made of corn
And mixed with salt
Add some milk
Mix it a lot
Scoop it up
Stir it up
Eat it up
I like grits
They're warm in my tum!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Little Mommy

My baby's not a baby anymore!
When I look at her now I realize she's looking like a little girl, not a baby...


Well, my birthday was last Sunday, and it passed rather uneventfully... I'm now 36. Yikes! Old, old, old.

(okay, not really. I don't see calling someone old until they're 70 or 80... Heavens, my dad wasn't 'old' until around 76. The year his older brother died seemed to just crush him. He'd never been 'old' until then. Suddenly, that year he turned old. It was like something in his brain clicked over and said, 'wow, I must be old now." And he seemed to age about 20 years during a 6 month period. Amazing to watch.)

We went as a large family to Chili's and had a grand time there- (there are so few restaurants here that please everyone, plus can handle the rowdy rambunctiousness of my girls.) Went home and had cheese cake and presents all around- My sister gave me a gift card for Barnes & Noble! Yay! While the money is a lovely gift, the card itself guarantees at least 2 solitary hours choosing something in a bookstore! Much as I love my crazy girls, alone time is a precious gift...
And Jake gave me a lovely sapphire necklace. Sweet tender man. And the girls picked out a teddy bear that sings 'when you wish upon a star'...

So, happy birthday to me! Yay!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It's been snowing a LOT this last week. I'm not ready for this! Oh, Well... Ready or not, Winter's here...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I don't know if I can adequately express or explain this... I've tried before and failed.

For five years I had a 'unique' family called the Company.

The Company was a Christian drama group that traveled and performed across the U.S. and occasionally internationally. We ate, lived, practiced, argued, ministered and created together. We stayed up much too late and worked much too hard. We played together, and several of us ended up married to each other.

Last year one of us passed away- Bill Reese, and I was unable to attend his memorial service or the Company family meeting afterwards. (Another reason to HATE living in Alaska- I'm so far away from the world...)

I just received a gallery of photos from that event. I got to see my family reliving our past and remembering Bill. I got to see the faces of our beautiful children and witness a silly attempt at recreating a sketch that at one point we could have recited in our sleep... I got to see how time has aged us and made us richer, made us better.

Sometimes I want to go back and travel with this group again, but I don't want to go back to who I was then... I LOVED the time I spent there. I loved the work we did. In some way, God made me better because of that time- more like Himself. I've always felt like I finally found out why God made me the way I am when I was with Company. I am so thankful for all I learned from this group- spiritually, emotionally, craft-wise...

God, Thank you for these people- for the gift you gave me. I too often take it for granted...

Us way back then- That's me as "the sun"...

Us now: Jon, John, Randy, Leighanne, Ashley, Melissa, Kim, Jenny, Jane...

Silly Survey

My husband made up this silly survey and sent it to me... So I'm posting my answers...

1. If you could spend 24 hours anywhere, anytime (real or fictional) where might it be?
I'd honestly like to meet Jesus, and walk 1 day as one of his followers, see him heal someone, eat with him, listen to him teach...

2. If you were given $50,000 (USD) to use in any way, tax-free, except for outstanding bills/debt, how might you spend it? (Be specific)
I want my own Dodge Durango (that's the car my mom bought with my dad's life insurance money & I LOVE driving it)

3. Briefly describe one of the most pleasing/rewarding moments of your life.
Too many to choose just one-
The standing ovations we'd get for Jesus Christ Superstar...
Using the piece I'd written and directed for Company and watching the audience watch the piece...
Leading worship with Jake...
My wedding and watching my husband sing the song he wrote for me...
Teaching drama classes when it would work...
Holding Deborah for the first time & seeing how beautiful she was...
Holding Abigail when she was only a week old and listening to her hum...

4. List a favorite/special personal posession.
My camera

5. List the name you wish(ed) your parents named you.
Rebecca- I must be weird. I'm the only person I know who's completely happy with her name

6. Briefly describe the last dream you recall that changed the way you think/behave.
I've had this horrible recurring dream of driving off a bridge and trying to choose which one of my daughters to save before we all drown

7. One or one-hundred? One-hundred.
8. Five or Ten? Ten.
9. Seven or thirteen? Seven.
10. Stripes or solids? Solids, although I'm liking stripes, too.
11. Blue or yellow?Blue, but isn't the sun lovely on a clear blue day?
12. Cool or warm?Cool.

13. A restaurant (anywhere) you really like.
Gambardella's in Fairbanks- excellent Italian food, fantastic chicken parmesian

14. An unusual personal trait, habit, peeve, etc.
I have a very hard time putting a book down even if it's HORRIBLE... I've gotten better, though!

15. A language you'd like to speak fluently other than your native tounge.
Spanish! There are so many people I've wanted to be able to speak more clearly with- tutoring reading in Fort Worth and with a couple of students in Seattle.

16. Something you'd like to accomplish in the next ten years.
financial solvency

17. What won't be on your new year's resolution next year.
No more chocolate

18. What are your top five (5) favorite topics of discussion?
plays, spiritual matters, books, movies, worship

19. What's the first thing you would do as President of the United States of America?
make sure every child in the US had health coverage & a good education-
I'm no Hillary Clinton! Don't get me wrong, but there is no excuse in a country as rich as the U.S. is for children to go without necessary medical care. And our education system's got some big problems...

20. 55 or 65 MPH? 65... only 65?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Crabby, Cranky Me

-I have a sore throat.
-It's snowing & something like 30 degrees.
-I'm not getting enough sleep, so I'm tired all the time.
-I feel pressure about getting enough done for our first bazaar next week.
-Jake & I have been at odds since Friday 'cuz he went out and spent his ENTIRE paycheck on a gun. He doesn't get why I'm angry with him. I don't get how he could be so stupid. We didn't have enough money for diapers!

Aaargh. Anyway, I'm crabby, cranky & in a bad/sad/mad mood.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I don’t believe I ever heard my father swear… Ever. I can’t even imagine him saying ‘darn.’ Remember, my dad was born in 1923 and grew up with an entirely different standard of behavior. His swearing avoidance is/was actually something I respected very much. He moved in ‘earthy’ circles- He worked for the Bureau of Land Management which means loggers, foresters and truck drivers; he played sports in local baseball and basketball teams up until the 80’s; he knew a large population of native Alaskans up here as he dealt with the land claims stuff; plus, he pursued an art degree from 1989 until around 2000 and was surrounded by artists and musicians. (side note: every person in my family has drawn and/or painted the nude figure in some kind of art class) Yet, he chose to not be affected by the circle of people he moved in daily.

My mom grew up in a military family- her dad was an army car body mechanic and he was not a Christian. In fact, one of the joys of her life has been the knowledge that her dad accepted Christ within the year that he died from lung cancer. Anyway, she grew up in a very different home- half Christian, half not. My mom has been known to swear. Mind you, ‘darn it’ and ‘damn it’ are pretty much the extent of it, although I have heard her in a moment of extreme frustration say, ‘He is an asshole.’ It sounded funny, too. Swearing isn’t something she’s proud of and she consciously seeks to avoid and eliminate it from her speech.

I lean toward my mom’s swearing habits- the occasional ‘damn it’… Attending seminary for five years definitely affected my speech choices for the better. However, living with my husband for 7 years has overcome almost any growth gained from my seminary years… I’ve recently heard more ‘shit’ coming out of my mouth than during any other time in my life, including college. I don’t like it. I want to have clean language.

My husband swears regularly- ‘fuck’, ‘damn’, ‘shit’, ‘bitch’, ‘bastard’, ‘asshole’ + and any combination thereof is quite likely to come forth from his mouth… His jobs have brought him in contact with an entirely different world than mine, plus he grew up with swearing in his own home. He shocks me quite frequently. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the words that come out of him.

There was no leniency for swearing during my childhood. I remember having my mouth washed out with soap twice- once because my mom thought I said something I didn’t (oh, the injustice! I still get upset over that one!) and once for something I did say, though I can’t remember what it was… I NEVER said anything again that would bring that soap bar anywhere near my mouth. YUCK.

I have to say, in my opinion, a Christian should avoid swearing. I don’t want to say words that I’d be ashamed of saying before the throne of God. Any words I say are said in the presence of Christ since He lives within me. I don’t want to drag him into the presence of filth. And that’s how I grew up- understanding that swearing was filthy.

I’ve been thinking of this more because of my husband- I think that for a while Jake was trying to eliminate swearing from his language, but my impression is that lately he’s given up. Habits are so hard to remove. Sometimes it’s easier to just give up.

I like the saying ‘in, not of’ that’s bandied about in Christian circles… That’s what I want to be- in the world, but not of it. I do respect my husband, but this is something I wish he’d change. Partly because I just don’t like it and partly because his language is rubbing off on me. I’m tending to swear more now than I ever have and I don’t like hearing these words come out of my mouth! The other reason I wish he’d change this habit is because of our girls. They are hearing a lot of language come out of him that is not appropriate or cute out of a 2 or 4 year old. And he’s their role model. When Deborah asked me what 'fuck' meant last week, I really wasn't exactly sure what to tell her...

Oh, well… I’m sorry to be complaining about this- It’s just really bugging me right now.