Sunday, August 19, 2007


After talking about painting the house for well over a year, it's done! It looks awesome and was well worth every penny! We ended up paying someone to do it instead of trying to tackle it ourselves. I'm glad we did--they were able to power wash the house, caulk the rough spots, sand and prepare the wood. They did a great job! It's hard to tell by the pictures, but we picked out a new color. It used to be tan/brown with a dark brown can kind of tell in this picture from last summer.

Now it's a green/khaki color with even darker brown trim. They painted everything so nicely we really want to get new windows so the whole house looks nice! We also need to work on landscaping & our lawn, as you can tell from this picture! All in due time...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

More Summer Reading!

Yesterday during a meeting at work I inadvertently made a comment about how I had read like "30 books" this summer. So, the reality is I didn't actually read 30 books, but I did read quite a few (closer to 20)! The very first list of books I read is in the article titled Opinion Blog #2 and the second list is in the article titled, Summer Reading. Here are a few more I've read in the last few weeks.

by Cynthia Kadohata
This was a very interesting book targeted young adult readers. It is about a poor Japanese family living in Georgia during the 1950's. There are two sisters in the story and one develops cancer. It is told from the perspective of the younger sister.

The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Also targeted at young adult, it was not what I excepted at all! This is a very cute story about a small mountain mining town. All of the girls are summoned to attend a "Princess Academy" from which the prince will choose his bride! It is a sweet story about one determined little girl who has all the odds against her.

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Adult Fiction, not for the faint of heart. It is a Columbine-like story told from the perspective of the shooter and those around him. The interesting part of this story is that the shooter lives to tell his part of the story. Very moving.

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith
I've read books 1 through 4 of this series (there are 8 books total). I've really enjoyed the first few, but was given a heads up by my mom I might not like the last few. Very cute story about a woman in Botswana, Africa who opens a detective agency. I love how she is no-nonsense and there is no violence in the books. I'll let you know how the last 4 turn out! Interesting side note, I was able to walk through the "Botswana" exhibit at the Denver Museum of Natural History. It was fun to see pictures/displays of what I had been reading. The books are very accurate!

The Heavenly Man by Paul Hattaway
Adult nonfiction about a Chinese Christian's (Brother Yun) struggle to spread the good news throughout communist China in the 70's, 80's and 90's. If you've ever doubted God's ability to perform miracles in the present day, you need to read this book. Brother Yun is still alive and helped contributed to this book. All of the remarkable and amazing (almost unbelievable) stories in the book have been corroborated by others.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of A Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Excellent Read! This is a non-fiction book written by a 25 year boy who was forced to fight in the guerrilla warfare in Sierra Leone. It is incredibly moving, but has taken me a while to read because it is so powerful. I became interested in this book when my parents told me about a couple who came to stay with them at their Pastor's Retreat Center, Cedarly. They are from Sierra Leone and told my parents that the recent movie, Blood Diamond was incredibly accurate. I had dismissed the movie as silly and overly violent. Anyway, it's still on my list of movies to watch, but got me interested in reading this book in the meantime.

On my list to read soon:
--Book #7--Harry Potter (please don't tell me how it ends!)

--The remaining four books in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series

--On My Swedish Island by Julie Catterson Lindahl My mom recommended this
book about Swedish lifestyle. Her entire family is from Sweden and she found that she had made of the characteristics talked about in the book. Unfortunately, my local library doesn't have it, so I'll have to track it down!

--Gardening Books--I am really on a kick to get my yard & gardens in order in the next year (hey, at least I'm trying to be realistic!). I'm going to try to put in a veggie garden in the spring and some hosta in yet this fall. Joel & I are working on getting our yard under control, too!

Let me know if you've read any good ones--I always love suggestions!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

High Expectations

All summer long I had been anxiously waiting the release of the 3rd "Jason Bourne" movie, The Bourne Ultimatum. I loved the first two movies and knew the third movie would prove to be the best one yet. I love the character of Bourne--his no nonsense way of dealing with situations and his "matter of fact" personality. Even though the world may be blowing up around him--literally--his facial expressions are always the same--cool, calm & collected.

Just before the release of movie #3, Joel and I re-watched The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy. I was totally pumped as we drove to the movie theater last Wednesday morning. I was not disappointed! It met and even exceeded my hopes and expectations. The third movie is the best, most action-packed, intense movie of the trilogy. The movie ties up some loose ends presented in Supremacy and even leaves the door open for movie #4. Wow, exciting stuff!

Last night, Joel and I started watching Band of Brothers, a Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg series about a group of men fighting in WWII. We borrowed the whole series from Joel's brother, Ted, again, with high hopes of a well produced, action-packed, moving story portrayed through film. We watched the first episode last night and again, we were not disappointed!

As I laid awake this morning thinking about these 2 movies, I realized that I had placed a lot of trust in the people who wrote, starred, produced, and edited these movies. Based on their previous work, I knew they would come through again--how could they not? They make millions of dollars to do what they do!

And yet, I find it difficult to trust the writer, producer and editor of my life. I sometimes refuse to believe that He can live up to my expectations in life. I put myself first, writing my script, trying to produce results and then editing the scenes in my life I don't like. Why is that? I can trust the team of Hanks & Spielberg, spending hour upon hour watching their movies, but I don't make time to read God's script. My priorities are out of whack--God's already written my story and he knows the story from start to finish! Why do I want to be in charge when I don't even know what today holds? He created the entire universe--not just a 2 hour blockbuster movie! God is the best writer, producer and editor and he gives us the starring role, if we would only trust Him and focus on his plan for our lives. Will you? I know you won't be dissapointed.