Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Monday! Trying Again

I'm kind of starting to miss blogging now. I'm not saying I'm going to start blogging religiously now but I'm going to try and do it a little more. So here's another It's Monday post. :)

Currently Reading

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)- I totally fell of the bandwagon with Hamlette's read-along for this book but I am still reading it. I got caught up in too many other books unfortunately.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read) (audiobook)- I didn't plan to re-read this but this was an audiobook I owned and I never get tired of Pride and Prejudice. 
  • Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens- Another read-along I've managed to botch. I might just set this one aside for awhile. 

What I've finished reading since my last It's Monday post

  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (re-read)
  • Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (re-read)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (re-read)
  • Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Scarlett by Marissa Meyer
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (audiobook)
  • Great Adventures in Nursing by Helen Wright 
  • Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse (re-read) (audiobook)

Coming Soon (hopefully)

  • Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • Tales From the Perilous Realms by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (re-read)

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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Baptismal Gown

Back in March I announced that I was going to be an Aunt. No the precious child has not arrived yet but she will be here soon!!! I also announced then that I was going to make her a baptismal/christening gown. That has (finally) arrived! It took me several months because I'm a dreadful procrastinator but it is completed. Knowing how much I procrastinate I made my deadline to have it finished the day of my sister-in-law's baby shower so I wouldn't be finishing it up as she was delivering the baby. Naturally, I finished it the day of her baby shower. I'm excited about how it turned out but it burned me out from crochet for a little while I think. The baby shower was absolutely splendiferous. It had a book theme naturally and I helped organize a mad libs game with classic children's stories that was fun.
Now I'm just eagerly awaiting the birth of my FIRST NIECE!!!! :)))))))
eBeth and I with the gown. 
The gown. 

Myself, eBeth and my little sister Betsy.
Final note: If you're interested THIS LINK is for the pattern. It's a free pattern and while it was challenging in parts it's a doable pattern and obviously has gorgeous results.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

So You Want to be a Nurse

Now that I've been a nurse for a little over a year now I feel very qualified to speak on the subject of being a nurse. ;) So you want to be a nurse? Here's what you should know beforehand.
  1. It's gross.... Don't ever underestimate the grossness of nursing. On that same note though, you work past it. You get better at handling the smells and the disgusting sights of "who knows what that is!" I wasn't always able to handle it and still some smells make me want to join my patient in puking but it does get better. 
  2. It's inappropriate... As a shelter homeschooled child I was shook out of my innocent world by the nursing profession. I've gotten a LOT more at ease with a lot of situations and don't blush nearly as hard as I used to (I'm a really bad blusher) but let's face it... it's still awkward. There's definitely nursing humor which is pretty much never appropriate so learning how to handle that has been an adventure. 
  3. It doesn't just take a caring personality... It takes determination and a lot of support from your family. However, please don't go into nursing unless you have a caring personality... I know nurses that aren't very caring and let's just say they shouldn't be nurses. 
  4. It's stressful... You come home drained and emotionally exhausted. In just one shift you can have one patient crying on your shoulder, one patient giving you a hug and then one patient hitting you... and then if you're really lucky one patient doing all of that.  You never know. 
  5. It's terrifying... Having a person's life in your hands is scary and that never gets old and really never should. 
  6. It's worth it.... It really is. As crazy as it is I love it. Every time a patient tells me thank you I forget about the other patient that just shouted at me five minutes before. 
So you want to be a nurse?

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Reading Habits Book Tag and an Update on My Life

It's been almost a month since I've posted. Sorry! I didn't intend to wait this long, though I did say I wouldn't be posting as often. So yes I'm still alive and reading.
A little update on my life is due I suppose. I switched from night shift to day shift recently. I'm still not sure how I'm liking the transition yet. I really loved night shift in a lot of respects so it will probably take some time to adjust. A normal sleeping pattern is much appreciated though. I was able to take a quick trip up to Missouri with a couple of my siblings and a couple other friends to visit some friends that we met on the mission trip we went on in June. It was a lot of fun to reconnect and we also got to experience a great ten mile canoeing/kayaking trip. I'm starting to feel the time crunch to get the christening gown done for my brother and sister-in-law's baby as she's due in October! Better get crocheting! We also have a Japanese exchange student here right now which has been fun. He'll be heading home soon though. The other day a couple of my friends and I went to several antique stores and enjoyed going through them and naturally I found some books but also we found some adorable aprons! So that's basically my life right about now.

Now here's the Reading Habits Book Tag I saw on another blog. I do love a good tag. :)

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Normally I read in my bed but sometimes a comfy chair does the trick. 

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmark normally but I've utilized many random pieces of paper when I was short a bookmark before. 

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

In the past I always had to finish the chapter but in the last few years I've gotten better at just putting the book down, though it still isn't easy. 

Do you eat or drink while reading?

It depends but not normally. 

Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

No! I can multitask with some things but not with reading. Unless it's an audiobook but that's kind of a different scenario. 

One book at a time or several?

I normally have several going anymore though it used to be only one at a time. I normally have one normal book and one audiobook at the same time at least but oftentimes more than that. 

Reading at home or everywhere? 

Growing up we had to take a book whenever we were going anywhere to read in the car or else we would actually get in trouble. Because of that mentality I normally have a book with me when I go somewhere but I'm not as strict about that as I used to be. 

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Unless I'm reading to someone I'm reading silently in my head. 

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Never! It really annoys me when people do that and I have two close relatives that do that.... they're lucky I still claim them as relatives. ;) 

Breaking the spin or keeping it like new?

I own very few new books so normally I don't have to make that decision. Most of my books are beautifully worn already. The couple new books I do have I really don't take the trouble to keep like new as the whole point of having a book is to read it and to break it in. 

Do you write in your books?

No! I have highlighted or underlined in non-fiction books before but even then very rarely. 

It feels good to be blogging again even if it's just this one post for now. I am trying to keep up with y'all in the blogosphere but sorry if I miss anything! 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Post I Don't Want to Write

I've felt this post coming on for the last few months actually. My blog has been horribly neglected and my reading has not fared much better. Without meaning to I've made both of them a chore. Especially for the last couple years I've assigned goals and challenges to myself for both blogging and reading. Those aren't necessarily bad but over time I've become more and more obsessed with keeping to deadlines and goals and I'm just not enjoying blogging or reading. I'm behind with my Goodreads yearly reading goal right now not to mention my other challenges and it's stressing me out way more than it should. The sad thing is that I'm more upset I'm not at my goal and not the fact that I've kind of given up reading. Reading is something I've enjoyed as long as I can remember and I'm ruining it for myself by assigning too much structure to it.
I'm not good at doing things by halves so I think to free myself up from this I'm deciding to just let go. If I happen to achieve my Goodreads goal or complete all of my challenges fine, but that's not what I'm reading for. I read for enjoyment or to better myself not because it's another task to complete.

There's another half to why my reading and blogging has been slacking recently though. I've let other things take priority that really shouldn't: Facebook, watching TV shows, ect. While those things aren't bad in it of themselves I've let them take precedence in my life a lot more than they should.

And then there's yet another half (yes I know that's three halves... just shhh!). This half isn't bad in fact I think it's good. I've developed a lot more of a social life in recent months. I actually do things with people now. ;) This has been really good for me as I've never had many friends and it's been great for me to develop good friendships. Most weeks now I have something every evening that I'm not working. This has left me with little free time and what free time I do have I've been filling with the aforementioned second half.

So what does this mean for my blog moving forward? Honestly I'm still not quite sure yet. I might blog I might not. Know though that I'm still reading y'alls blogs and trying to keep up as best I can. Also know that if I didn't reply to your comment I still read it. I can't help it.... I get emailed every time you do. I do appreciate everyone's comments so much and I really should reply more often then I do. I love blogging and I love reading and I'm not leaving either of them behind anytime soon. For now I'm just trying to free myself from the obligations I've imposed on myself with regards to them.
Thank you for your patience in reading this post and don't be a stranger! ;)

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Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Monday! Struggling

While I've been keeping up with my audiobook during my work commute my actual reading has been a real struggle to keep up with. This summer has been surprisingly busy for me plus I can't stop watching Castle! At this point I just need to hurry up and finish it and then not start a new show as obviously it's distracting me way too much.

Currently Reading

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)
  • Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (audiobook) 
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Coming Soon

  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (re-read)
  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes 
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Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review- The Sovereignty of God

For the Non-Fiction reading challenge I read Arthur W. Pink's book The Sovereignty of God.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952) explores the rich biblical doctrine of God's sovereignty in creation, redemption, and providence. The God of the Bible is in control of all things. This book is invaluable, as Pink also deals with objections to the doctrine of God's sovereignty and apparent conflicts of the doctrine with the responsibility of man.
This was an absolutely incredible book dealing with a complex but essential doctrine. Just reviewing this book makes me feel like I'm opening up a can of worms and a theological debate. However, this book was so well written and so beneficial to me that I can't not sit her and review and recommend it. I read The Sovereignty of God not longer after reading John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion and it really flowed well to go from one to the other as they really built on each other. God's sovereignty is a belief I've always held to but understanding it and it's implications is something that oftentimes confounds me so it was beneficial to read this in depth but readable book that rested strongly on scripture and freely quoted from the bible. I can't wait to read more of Arthur W. Pink's books!

There were simply too many great quotes to include them all but here are a few.
“To argue that God is “trying His best” to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent.”

“Nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.”

“Here is a fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is 'of the world', judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal making. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he rejoices in hope of the glory of God.”

“But now the question arises, Why has God demanded of man that which he is incapable of performing? The first answer is, Because God refuses to lower His standard to the level of our sinful infirmities.”

“To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Ps. 115:3). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations" (Ps. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the "Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible. How different is the God of the Bible from the God of modern Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today, even among those who profess to give heed to the Scriptures, is a miserable caricature, a blasphemous travesty of the Truth. The God of the twentieth century is a helpless, effeminate being who commands the respect of no really thoughtful man. The God of the popular mind is the creation of a maudlin sentimentality. The God of many a present-day pulpit is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence.[1]”

“To say that Christ is unable to win to Himself those who are unwilling, is to deny that all power in heaven and earth is His. To say that Christ cannot put forth His power without destroying man’s responsibility is a begging of the question here raised, for He has put forth His power and made willing those who have come to Him, and if He did this without destroying their responsibility, why “cannot” He do so with others? If He is able to win the heart of one sinner to Himself, why not that of another? To say, as is usually said, the others will not let Him, is to impeach His sufficiency. It is a question of His will. If the Lord Jesus has decreed, desired, purposed the salvation of all mankind, then the entire human race will be saved, or, otherwise, He lacks the power to make good His intentions; and in such a case it could never be said, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied” (Isa 53:11). The issue raised involves the deity of the Saviour, for a defeated Saviour cannot be God.”
I think those of the Reformed Christian faith would find this the most beneficial but I would still recommend it for all.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Book Review- All the King's Men

For the Mount TBR Pile challenge, Back to the Classics challenge, 12 Month Classics challenge, Shelf Love challenge and the Classics Club I read Robert Penn Warren's book All the King's Men.
All the King's MenSynopsis from Goodreads: More than just a classic political novel, Warren’s tale of power and corruption in the Depression-era South is a sustained meditation on the unforeseen consequences of every human act, the vexing connectedness of all people and the possibility—it’s not much of one—of goodness in a sinful world. Willie Stark, Warren’s lightly disguised version of Huey Long, the onetime Louisiana strongman/governor, begins as a genuine tribune of the people and ends as a murderous populist demagogue. Jack Burden is his press agent, who carries out the boss’s orders, first without objection, then in the face of his own increasingly troubled conscience. And the politics? For Warren, that’s simply the arena most likely to prove that man is a fallen creature. Which it does.
This was an absolutely fascinating book. At the beginning I felt like it was a little slow but as it went on I was entirely captivated by it. I kept turning the pages to find out what was going to happen. None of the characters were really good, which normally turns me off from a book. They were all intriguing though. Their character and motivations keep the story rolling. The politics were messy, as politics often are. As Warren said, politics really does show off man's moral depravity.
Overall I enjoyed this book though it was not my normal cup of tea.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review- The Little White Horse

The Little White Horse
For the Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge I re-read Elizabeth Goudge's children's novel The Little White Horse.
Synopsis from Goodreads: When orphaned young Maria Merryweather arrives at Moonacre Manor, she feels as if she’s entered Paradise. Her new guardian, her uncle Sir Benjamin, is kind and funny; the Manor itself feels like home right away; and every person and animal she meets is like an old friend. But there is something incredibly sad beneath all of this beauty and comfort—a tragedy that happened years ago, shadowing Moonacre Manor and the town around it—and Maria is determined to learn about it, change it, and give her own life story a happy ending. But what can one solitary girl do?A new-fashioned story that is as wonderful as the best fairy tales.
I remember this book only slightly from my childhood and by slightly I mean I remembered there was a white horse so actually not really at all. It was exciting though to experience it like it was the first time. The characters are charming and the writing was beautifully whimsical. I think lovers of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia would enjoy this book as it's a similar writing style.
Read or not? Read!

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Monday, July 11, 2016

It's Monday! Back?

I know I haven't posted in about two weeks. Life has been busy and honestly I've scarcely been on my computer (except to watch Castle of course). I'm going to (try to) take a break from Castle for right now though so I can focus on reading and getting some of those book reviews sitting in my drafts folder finished. I have gotten a little reading done but nearly like I'm supposed to be reading.

I did have a crazy adventure while I was gone though. This past week when I went contra dancing as usual we had a horrible rain storm, the parking lot flooded and a whole bunch of us got flooded in. Thankfully nobody's car was damaged as we were all able to move our cars to high enough ground. We weren't able to get out though for a long time and not everybody got out until the middle of the night, while many of the people that did get out of there had to catch rides and leave their car there until the morning when the parking lot had dried up. It was kind of cool but also kind of scary at the same time. It made me miss when I was a kid and my parents dealt with all of those things but now I was the adult and I had to make sure I took care of my little siblings and ensured that they were safe. The teamwork was incredible though and so many of the guys were watching out for us ladies and helping us. Gentlemen still do exist!

Anyways.... books. :)

Currently Reading

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)- I think I'm still caught up with the read-a-long. I got ahead so slowed down on reading it but since I've been so unplugged from the blogging world I'm not sure where I am with it now. 
  • Waverley by Sir Walter Scott- This one just isn't capturing me like Ivanhoe did so it's been slow reading. 
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens- Unfortunately behind with this read-a-long. 

Finished Recently 

  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read) (audiobook)- I finally finished my re-read/listen of this trilogy! It was amazing and listening to them made this re-read unique and I felt I noticed more than I have in the past. I can't wait to review them! 
  • The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (re-reads)- It was fun to re-read these two and I can't wait to get to the rest of the series. 

Coming Soon

  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes 
  • The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (re-read)

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