Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good readin'

My publisher/boss and I were having a great conversation about good books last night, and I thought I'd compile a brief list for others of you who consider fiction and/or memoirs a great escape. I use fiction for entertainment, to broaden my understanding of other people/times/places, to understand the market, and to appreciate great writing. (Please don't hate me if they're not you're thing. :) So please note that because of this, many of these (if not most) aren't from my own worldview.

Christ the Lord: Road to Cana (Anne Rice)
Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri)
The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
Three Dog Life (Abigail Thomas—actually a memoir)
Monster (Frank Peretti; kind of pop fiction, but still an interesting read)
Dream When You’re Feeling Blue (Elizabeth Berg)
Ellen Foster (Kaye Gibbons)
Breathing Lessons (Anne Tyler)
Peace like a River (Leif Enger)
The Appeal (John Grisham)
When Crickets Cry (Charles Martin)
Some Wildflower in My Heart (Jamie Langston Turner--writing's much better than the title)
Palace Walk (Naguib Mahfouz)
Girl Meets God (Lauren Winner)
Hood (Stephen Lawhead)
Madman (Tracy Groot)
Safely Home (Randy Alcorn--a little preachy, but worth the insight into Chinese persecution)
Count of Monte Cristo (Alexander Dumas)

Happy reading!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tips to save time and or money

1) I rave about this site. I purchase my glasses and Corinne's here. Yes, prescription lenses are included. After shipping, I paid $12.95 for mine, and about $27 for Corinne's, which are titanium and flexible to the point you could wring them out. I am dead serious about the pricing, and we received them in about 2 weeks (except when they got caught in customs...though I doubt there were any weapons of mass destruction in my glasses). Customer service requires about a 5-10 minute wait, but is good service.

Tip: You'll need your prescription (you can't get it over the phone with HIPAA, so you'd have to pick it up or have it faxed), and your pupillary distance from an optometrist, who uses a machine. I measured my own and am satisfied--they tell you how on it was nearly impossible with Corinne and ended up affecting her vision (her optometrist was generous enough to use the machine and still let us save the $170 of getting the glasses there, but ask gently, of course).

Also, I have a wide face, so the measurements of the width of the glasses were important to me (they give all of them to you in millimeters). Might want to have your old glasses handy to test the length of the temples, etc. I mean, it's not foolproof; it's ordering online. But to me, if I spent an extra $13 in saving $170, I was okay with that!

2) Printer ink cartridges: I just saved a bundle at It’s 1-3 day shipping (free with orders over $25), satisfaction guaranteed, and I paid $20 for 5 cartridges—2 black, three color! I usually pay $40+. Beats running to Office Depot!

3) Microsoft has some tools called Power Toys that are developed by Microsoft but not supported by them, but they’re really helpful. I’ve downloaded their image resizer, and it’s a whole lot easier to use photos from my digital camera.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fun with the Fam!

Leslie, John, and Lori came and visited this weekend--and as a bonus, Anna was here for breakfast Friday morning! Talk about a great weekend. We made it up to Hot Springs to check out local art, saw one of Baden's scrimmages, completed times! The kids LOVED IT. Shameless pic of one of the many reasons I am still desparately in love with this it warm in here?

Corinne thought Leslie was great.

There was a lot of spoiling involved this weekend...

Baden and Will love kicking the ball around with Dad, and it was extra fun with Grandpa and Aunt Leslie.
My adorable little girl!

John and his faithful sidekick, Molly.

Anna and Bridget!

Easy Chicken Lo Mein

We've tried this yummy ramen noodle recipe with pork and pork ramen, too, and it's good. Thank you, Lord, for easy cookin'.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's official: For Sale By Owner

We've been praying for awhile now about selling our home to move a few miles south to Bryant. We'd love your prayers as we're about to enter into a time of real chaos with Jack scheduled to arrive April 24!! Keeping everything "just right" would be a real adventure... Actually, we'd love a miracle right about now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What is the recession for?

Hoped you might find this a gentle word on God's direction in hard times like I have. May God continue to provide for you and your family! Taken from a contributor to John Piper's Desiring God blog (I've heard there's a great full-length podcast on a similar subject...lo, I have no ipod).


God is sovereign over all finances. Any economic recession—global or personal—is never less than recession-by-divine-design.

When the economy plummets, God has his purposes—perhaps thousands upon thousands of purposes. Some of these purposes he has made known in his Book.

At least 5 of them are:
To expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.
To wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.
To relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods—in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.
To advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.
To bring his church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.

2 Corinthians 8:1 2 might be the clearest "recession text" in the Bible. Itdescribes the roots of the joy of the Macedonian believers in their"recession." In their "severe test of affliction" and "extreme poverty,"their abundant joy "overflowed in a wealth of generosity."
Their generosity didn't come from prosperity but from God's grace—and thisgrace rooted in "our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).