"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -- Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)

Friday, February 10, 2012

YouTube of the Day: Parenting Win

This has gone viral and it is awesome. Adult language warning.

Books and TV, Redux

I've gotten less sleep this week, but I managed to finish reading North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell last night. Here's the review I posted on Shelfari:
After watching the BBC miniseries based on this book, I wanted to see how the story was written. As much as I loved the series, I felt that it was a bit rushed. I was right. What was lacking in some of the development of the characters in the TV production was fully fleshed out in the novel. Margaret Hale was more haughty and yet still likable. Mr. Thornton was more vulnerable, if that's possible. Mrs. Thornton was much more sympathetic. The BBC production was very faithful to the book until the very end. They are similar in terms of the ultimate ending, but the locations are different. I'm OK with both endings. What I found challenging was navigating and interpreting the working class English of Nicholas Higgins and his daughters. It took until about halfway through the book for me to feel that I had a good grasp of the entirety of what they were saying. I got the gist enough and having seen the miniseries first helped me to know what was going on. If you like old classics, you may enjoy this book. I did, thoroughly.
I admit to tears at the very end. I am a romantic sap.

I also finished listening to the very short, abridged audio version of Sylvester by Georgette Heyer and narrated by Richard Armitage. He is an excellent narrator who acts the characters instead of merely reading them. I enjoyed listening to it so much that I started Venetia, which is just as fun a listen. And these abridged versions seem to be better than most - there are times when you can tell that there was some heavy editing/paring, but the general story still works.

In TV news, I bought a second Roku unit. The one we got last year got moved to the TV in my office in the basement when we got the new HD TV for the living room. That TV is internet enabled, so we can stream Neflix, Amazon Instant, etc. directly from the TV. However, lately there were times when I was doing things in our bedroom and wishing that I could watch something from Netflix, but couldn't. I had a little money in my PayPal account, so I splurged on the new Roku. It's already paid for itself in the laundry that's been folded and put away in the past couple of weeks! And I've managed to catch up on some stuff that I've wanted to watch for a while.

For instance, I'm watching MI-5, which I started to watch years ago and never got back to. I'm currently in season 8 and it's annoying me. There's a CIA woman who is clearly not being played by a real American if her terrible accent is anything to judge by. She's close, but so not close that it grates on my ears. Add to it that I haven't trusted her character to be honest, which turns out to be the truth, and it's doubly aggravating.

I'm also watching BBC's Robin Hood which is super campy in a Xena sort of way. I never watched Xena because it was campy. So it's a struggle to continue. But I will.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Am Second

Have you seen the website called I Am Second? It's fantastic and I can spend hours watching the videos they have featured. I love how a simple concept can grow into a beautiful ministry. These people, mostly celebrities, are amazing in their vulnerability as they share a small little snippet of their faith journey and testimony.

So far I think Scott Hamilton's is my favorite. He had me smiling with joy in the midst of tears because he was smiling with joy in the midst of his own tears. He loves and trusts God for his life and it shows.

Check it out. It's well worth your time.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day:

"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read."
-Jules Verne

I like it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Good and The Bad

The Good

I am ecstatic that Sleepy Beth and fam now have a new addition. He is a super cutie and I cannot wait to meet him.

The Bad

I learned today that the husband of the woman who introduced Beau and me is battling cancer. I have known this lovely, gentle man since I was 6 years old. I'm kind of stunned right now.

Monday, February 6, 2012

YouTube of the Day: One Thing Remains

Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
   before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
   for his steadfast love endures forever!   1 Chronicles 16: 33-34

The Bible in 90 Days and 4 Books at a Time

I don't know what I'm thinking right now. There are not enough hours in the day already and I have now added stuff.

I started reading through the Bible in 90 Days right after Thanksgiving. Today is my Day 70. I should finish on Day 89. I'm less than three weeks from my second reading of the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. This takes at least 1 full hour each morning, which I do as soon as I wake up with a giant mug of coffee to help.

As you know, I listen to audio books when I'm in the car. I started The Winds of War by Herman Wouk a few weeks ago and I'm about 1/3-1/2 way through it. It is very good, a nice blend of history and fiction. I am enjoying it very much. However, it has been paused while I listen to a (or a few) short abridged audio book(s) narrated by Richard Armitage.

Richard Armitage as John Thornton
in North & South
See, after watching North & South last weekend, I learned that RA narrated a few regency romances and I was curious about them. And he has a nice voice, so I thought I would enjoy having him talk to me while I drive to and from work. I was right. He is a very good narrator (in keeping with my theory that actors make the best narrators because they act the books and don't merely read them). So the past few drives have passed by with my listening to Sylvester by Georgette Heyer as narrated by RA. I got the other two he narrated and I plan to listen to them as well.

In the meantime, for my limited evening reading I had started An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan. It's a revisit of Pride & Prejudice, but from Darcy's point of view. I'm about 1/3 in and I'm trying to decide if I like it or if it's crap. I think it is crap and that I like it. Help me.

And then, because of my curiosity about the book version of North & South (Elizabeth Gaskell), I started reading that this weekend. This one surprised me by hooking me in pretty quickly. The characters are so richly written and the reader is put into their heads. So while the actors' portrayals were very good, there was much in their internal struggles that just could not be conveyed on television. Most particularly, I find that Mrs. Thornton is much more sympathetic, John Thornton is more heart-breaking in his vulnerability, and Margaret Hale is more haughty and yet still likable. I read the proposal scene yesterday and it is even more tense because it is from Thornton's perspective and his despair is so touching.

Anyway, all this means is that I'm reading a lot as I can fit it in during the day. I wish I could get paid to read all day long. I excel at it if given the chance.

Friday, February 3, 2012

On Introversion

Robbo posts about a new book about introverts in business. (book link)

If you have read here (or at the old, now vanished, blog), then you know that I am a super-introvert. I think that Beau leans more to the extrovert side of things, although he's a more quiet and solitary sort of extrovert.

I've been thinking about the introvert vs extrovert thing a lot lately as I see these traits begin to fully manifest in our kids. I am nearly 100% certain that Jesse is an extrovert. And I'm at about 80% certain than Molly is an introvert.

If Jesse doesn't get out, see people, do something, then he becomes unhappy and intemperate enough that I think when puberty hits it'll be full on cranky. I know this is typical of his age, but he talks incessantly and he requires company at all times. He completely wears me out pretty quickly, I'll admit. My introverted personality that really goes into overload with too much noise and chaos, starts to move into cranky after about 30 minutes of what a typical 4-5 year old offers. I pray daily that I have supernatural patience and tolerance for it, because it is very hard to not just snap at him to be quiet and give me a few minutes of peace. Even when he's watching his favorite TV shows, he will call out to one of us to relay some piece of information about the show or run in to wherever we are to say it before running back so as not to miss anything. After an outing, Jesse is jazzed. He bounces off the walls with excitement so extreme at times that it takes several minutes to get him to calm down. In the classic extrovert definition, Jesse gets his energy from being out, with people.

Then there's Molly, who will sit quietly playing with whatever for anywhere from 20-40 minutes without saying a peep to anyone (except the toys, of course). She will watch TV without moving, sucking on her fingers and twirling her hair. She will sit at the kitchen table and quietly scribble or color without saying a word. Not that she doesn't talk - she is a little chatterbox, but only when she has something very important to tell you. She is classic introvert, who gets her energy in quiet and solitude. After an outing, she's ready for a nap. I'm so with her.

Parenting such different kids will be interesting. I'm looking forward to and sort of dreading how the hormonal changes of puberty will impact these aspect of their personalities. Will they be magnified? Mellowed? And will our parenting have any impact on them?

I will say this, knowing this about them will help. It will help to know that Jesse is cranky because he needs to go out. Or Molly is tired because she was just at a large gathering of people. What will help both of them is that they seem to be outgoing, gregarious people - in their own ways, they love to engage with other people, but how they do so will be fun to watch.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Books and TV

Books: I have read/listened to several books in the past few months, but have not shared anything about them here. I thought that I would since there are a couple that I think are worth mentioning.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay - this is a French novel that was translated into English (well, I might add). I listened to the audio book, which was narrated very well. While the story was slightly predictable, I found it incredibly compelling. The characters were complete - some likeable, some not, some sympathetic, some not. I found the history both fascinating and horrifying. The Holocaust has been an obsession since I was a child and just when I think I know most of the details, I learn something new. 4 stars.

Wings of Fire by Charles Todd - this book took me two months to finish on my Kindle. It wasn't because it's a terrible book. On the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed this WWI era mystery. I just don't get much time to read read. This is why I listen read. This is book 2 of the Ian Rutledge series by Todd. I plan to read all of the rest (I think they are up to book 10? They are a mother-son writing team). 4 stars.

The Drop by Michael Connelly - I am a huge fan of Connelly and especially of his recurring homicide detective, Harry Bosch. This is book 17 of the Bosch series. The last couple I found a little disappointing, but this one was old school Harry. And I was especially happy that Len Cariou narrated the audio book - he is Harry for me. If you're squeamish, this may not be for you. It's a classic police procedural that involves very disturbing mature content. 4 stars.

The Rose Garden and The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley - I listened to The Winter Sea and "kindled" The Rose Garden. Both are light, romantic, historical fiction reads with elements of time travel. I enjoyed The Winter Sea so much that I immediately got The Rose Garden. If you like quick reads of this genre, you should enjoy both of these books. 5 stars each.

TV: After months of not watching much on TV because I've been too busy doing other things and trying to read more, I have moved back into some TV viewing. Most that I'm watching is either on the DVR or streamed via Netflix or Amazon Instant Prime.

Once Upon a Time - this is one of the two currently airing TV shows that I have kept on top of each week. I like it a lot. Some of the stuff is silly, but I like how they're telling some of the classic fairy tales. My favorite is the Jiminy Cricket episode so far.

Downton Abbey - I'm a latecomer to this great Masterpiece Theater show on PBS. The week season 2 was due to start I decided to finally get around to watching season 1, which I was able to stream via Netflix. Love. It. I love everything about it.

North & South - This BBC production of Elizabeth Gaskell's story is wonderful. I streamed this via Netflix as well over the weekend. If you ask me, I believe Mr. Thornton's proposal surpasses the emotional intensity of Mr. Darcy's. I present, you decide.

I swoon. Seriously. And they both get rejected! All I need is for Hugh Jackman to play one of these roles and I'm done in.

We all know Colin Firth. So meet Richard Armitage. He's playing Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit movie currently filming and set for release in December. Can a dwarf be hot?

But I digress.

I have the DVD of the movie adaptation of Sarah's Key, which I hope to watch soon. I also plan to watch some more old Masterpiece Theater things via Netflix.

And there we are, mostly caught up with the trivial in life today.