Reading In The New Year

My amazing son wanted to get me a Kindle  for the holidays.  It really was out of his budget but he was willing to spend all his own gift money to get it for me.  My awesome hubby struck a deal with him, and they split the cost to buy me one.  Now, honestly, I’ve had the kindle app on my iPad for quite awhile now and loved it, but was finding it difficult and bulky to carry that around in my bag for those times when you need a book while waiting at the doctors office, or car rides, or whatever.  I didn’t want the more expensive but very cool Kindle Fire .  So I just needed the basic model.  I didn’t mind that it didn’t have the 3G technology and has a few ads on the front rather then a different screen saver.  I am loving my new Kindle and have already read 2 books on it.

My husband and I share an account because he too has his own fancier Kindle with a keyboard.  We found that if we shared the account, we could share the books.  Admittedly, most of our books were free (at the time) downloads, we have bought quite a few as well.  As I was transferring things over to my new reader I was looking at our tastes in reading.

*Disclaimer* As I list these books, please know that I am not rating them or their content.  Some were free at the time and some were purchased.  Some were very good and some only needed a page or two read before we decided they weren’t for us.  I was just interested in our very vast differences yet our similarities as well.

(Just some of) His Kindle Content:

30 Minute Plan

Apocalypse Dawn (The Left Behind Apocalypse Series #1) (Left Behind Military)

A Mortal Terror: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery (Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries)

Democracy in America, Volume I and II (Optimized for Kindle)

House of Dark Shadows (Dreamhouse Kings Series, Book 1)

A Life of General Robert E. Lee (Illustrated)

No More Victims

Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #1: Precipice

(Just some of) My Kindle Content:

1022 Evergreen Place (Cedar Cove)

Against All Odds (Heroes of Quantico Series, Book 1)

The Centurion’s Wife (Acts of Faith, Book 1)

Circle of Friends Cookbook – 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

Divine

Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking

Redemption

(Just some of) Our Joint Kindle Content:

Danger in the Shadows (O’Malley)

ESV Study Bible

Last Light (Restoration)

Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse

Shattered: A Daughter’s Regret (Secrets)

The Tanach (Tanakh) or Jewish Bible (mobi)

However, no matter what you read or how you read it, I encourage you to just read, read, read.  Reading is so very important. Many years ago, as a teen, living in North Carolina, I used to teach adults how to read.  I remember the joy in their discovery as a whole new world opened for them. I also remember thinking that I couldn’t fathom not being able to read something as basic as a menu or knowing how to sign my own name.  As a home school mom for 8 years, I have seen my children’s eyes light up when they connected it all together and truly “got it”.  Reading opens a whole new world.  It also helps to keep us informed, prepared, and alert.  Don’t just listen to the news or books on tape (which are, admittedly, good for long distance drives across the country) but read books and explore new possibilities.  Start this new year off with a good book.

 

The Night The Lights Went Out…

We quickly discovered that winter here means loss of power.  We lost power several times last winter and while prepared, we weren’t as prepared as we could have been.  We don’t have a generator to plug the house into like our neighbors do, but then again, I guess we don’t have the insatiable need for power either.  Yes, lights are good, yes warmth is good, yes being able to cook is good.  But then again, we had flashlights, extra blankets along with other heat sources, and the ability to cook outside.  But, I took it an extra step this week and got some oil lamps.  I will be purchasing a few more in the weeks to come.

As the days are growing shorter at a rapid clip, dinner time is now at sunset.  The past couple of nights we’ve lit the lamps and used that as our source of internal light.  It’s been cozy.

It’s also been amazing how peaceful the house has feels in the glow of the steady light.  Youngest daughter says it’s just like “Little House on the Prairie” and as long we don’t start making them trek to an outhouse she is just fine with it.  Funny….one of the houses we are interested in perhaps buying someday has an outhouse.

 Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…makes me wonder.

Who I Am…The New Me

For the last 15  years I have been defined by very specific titles.  First, I was an Army wife then later, a home schooling mom.  Everything I did was centered around those roles.  I ironed uniforms, I attended Army functions, I went to and led Army affiliated bible studies.  I stood by my husband as he left for schools, temporary assignments, and deployments.  I home schooled our children in three different states, countless addresses, more then our share of interruptions, emergencies, melt downs, and amazingly joyous moments.  Trips to the vet became incredible learning experiences.  A doctor appointment was easier to schedule because we could make it anytime during the day.  A simple trip to the grocery store became a day of discovery as we tried a new fruit and studied it and its origins for a week.  So many opportunities to learn and share.

Today has been a very bittersweet day for me.  Today all of my children left the house while it was still dark to wait for a bus that would take them to their new schools.  Today was my very first “first day of school” for all of my children outside of my teaching them.  Today I prayed over my children, touching each one of them and praying very specifically for them, and then hugging them as they left.  Today, my role changed.   I am no longer a home schooling mom.  As of today, I am just mom.

Even my role as Army wife is changing.  My dearest is preparing to leave the Army and retire from military service.  As he transitions into civilian life, so too must I transition as well. Will I be a farmer’s wife?  A teacher’s wife?  Will I simply be “his” wife? Will this be a time for me to spread my wings and redefine myself, or continue on my course?

So many questions.  So many options. I hope you will join me on this journey to find out who I am.  My question for those who wish to answer is simply….what role defines who you are?

Birthday Thoughts

As I walked the aisles of the famed “Stuff-mart” early this morning by myself (a very rare occasion indeed) I had time to reflect on some things.  When I checked out, a young mother was in front of me with two children.  One child was an engaging young toddler with huge dancing eyes and a smile that would knock your socks off.  The mother looked a bit harried, as most moms of youngsters do.  I somehow felt the need to impart “mature” advice to her.  I simply smiled at her baby and then at her and told her to enjoy those precious baby years as much as she could because the babies grow up so fast and before you know it, time is up.  Perhaps it was the hitch in my voice, but the mother looked at me, cocked her head to the side, and very solemnly said she would. Her baby reached for me and shattered my tender heart to pieces.

You see, eight years ago, we celebrated his 1st birthday with us.  Like all new parents, we had dreams and goals and expectations for his future.  How differently things have turned out.  If anyone  would have told me that we would be dealing with an oppositionally defiant autistic child, part of me I would have laughed in their face.  The other part would have run away as fast I could. “They” told us he had ADD/ADHD.  “They” told us that if we just loved him, everything would be ok.  “They” lied.

Mothering this child has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, yet one of the most rewarding.  Who would have thought that I needed to learn special holds to protect him and me?  Who would have thought there would have been rages and screaming fits that lasted for hours?  Who would have thought that during his screaming how much he hated me, sometimes I just didn’t like him so much either? Who would have thought he would destroy just about everything he was given.  Who would have thought there was so much anger inside?  Who would have thought that there was such a tender spot inside a broken heart?  Who would have thought that babies and animals would flock to him?  Who would have thought that he was so shy and insecure?  Who would have thought that he could be so funny?  Who indeed?

There have been times over the last 8 years I wanted to quit.  In fact, I think a couple of times, I did.  But the next morning we both dragged ourselves out of bed and started all over again.  There were times that I dreamt about today.  This day when we could set him free.  There were times I dreaded this day when he could walk away and I couldn’t do a thing about it.  There were times I cried myself to sleep worrying about his future and what he would become.  But he’s come so far.  It’s a struggle everyday for him.  He’s learning to deal with the things that slow him down (but don’t stop him).  He’s decided to take a few things seriously and try his best to succeed.  It’s going to be a hard road, but looking at the roads he’s already travelled, I know he can do this. He’s blossoming into the person he was meant to be.  Someone who can set the world on fire.

He doesn’t remember his past and I can’t help him with it because I wasn’t there.  He didn’t want a mom but he got one. He doesn’t know his future will be, but I long to be there.

Happy 18th birthday my “first born adopted” son.  I love you.