Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review--FINALLY!!


Thr3e by Ted Dekker

From Publisher's Weekly: Dekker delivers another page-turner with this psychological Christian thriller about Kevin Parson, a 28-year-old seminary student who suddenly becomes the target of an evil nemesis called Slater. Obsessed both with Kevin's downfall and the number 3, Slater initiates a game in which Kevin must answer riddles to avoid Slater's destructive, potentially murderous retribution. Slater particularly wants Kevin to publicly confess a secret sin, and Kevin is at a loss as to what that sin might be. Once Dekker establishes this premise, he masterfully takes readers on a ride full of plot twists and turns. Not only does he spin a compelling tale of cat and mouse, but he also creates a narrative world in which it's possible that no one is quite who he or she seems. Dekker gradually discloses his protagonist's nightmarish childhood and delivers an almost perfect blend of suspense, mystery and horror. Dekker's prose is strong, putting him in a league above many other evangelical Christian writers and showing improvement over his previous work. Aside from following certain Christian fiction guidelines such as making his gorgeous 20-something characters entirely virginal, Dekker eschews most of the conventions of evangelical fiction. His spiritual message is subtle and devoid of the theologically and politically conservative agenda present in other novels.

My thoughts: This is a twist on the battle between good and evil. There is actually a movie spun from this book. When I watched it, I thought it had potential but the acting was probably just awful. After reading the book, I realize that yes the acting was awful, but I really didn't like the way the first half of the book was written. I think it was a bit too random and too fast. Certain characters and situations could have been developed more to give you a better picture. It almost felt like the first half was just thrown together. The second half was much, much better. It flowed very nicely and I didn't feel short changed.

Recommend? If you have not seen the move Thr3e, I do recommend you read the book. I think it will be pretty enjoyable especially after the first half.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Howdy, ya'll!

Just checking in quickly this early Saturday morning. I'll throw a few tidbits out there.

-- I was crazy busy this week. The only reason I had a couple of posts was because I wrote them over the weekend. :o)

-- I have been so busy because ball season has started back up for the kiddos. I also have a half marathon I'm training for. Squeezing everything in has been a bit difficult, but I'm making it work.

-- My gym membership is probably the only thing that is going to save me from the half mary. I wouldn't be able to train with out it. Seriously.

-- We are fostering a dog. He's super cute and very well behaved. He'll get a post of his own.

-- Today is crazy busy. I'm going to run before the race. I'd like to get 6 miles in. After the race, I'll come home, shower, and get all prettied up to go back out. I *may* go to a tweet up. I haven't decided. I'll be going to Jen's for a little partay. Can't wait to sample the yummy food and see my ladies. Yay!!

--I am also going to try to sneak a trip to the mall in there. I think I can make it work.

--The kids are with my parents this weekend. It hasn't even been 12 hours and I miss them like crazy.

Ok. I need to jump off here and figure out where the heck I'm going. City driving scares me. Eek!!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My ABCs

I've seen this on a few blogs I read. I thought it would be fun to play along.

A: Age -- 29
B: Bed Size -- Queen, but I really want a king size
C: Chore Your Hate -- Putting laundry away
D: Dogs -- Lady, she's a beagle mix of some sort
E: Essential Start Your Day Item -- COFFEE!!!
F: Favorite Color -- purple, duh
G: Gold or Silver -- gold, more specifically white gold, not a fan of yellow gold
H: Height -- 5' 9", shortest kid in my family too. Total crap
I: Instruments You Play -- none, in my head I inserted a dirty joke. :o)
J: Job Title -- mom, wife, friend, teacher, sister, cousin, aunt. Get the picture?
K: Kids -- Crash 3, Tater 8 and Grace 11
L: Live -- Missouri, more correctly pronounced Misery
M: Mother's Name -- Debbie
N: Nicknames -- Cec, Cece, C, C-Diddy, bitch, freckles, sassy
O: Overnight Hospital Stays -- uh, 4 I believe
P: Pet Peeve --people who refuse to be responsible for their actions
Q: Quote from a Movie -- Bond. James Bond. Sorry. Nothing really sticks out.
R: Right or Left-Handed -- Right
S: Siblings -- 2 younger bros, 1 older bro and 1 older sis. All of them are much more attractive than myself. I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool. >:(
T: Time You Wake Up -- 4:15. It's as miserable as it sounds.
U: Underwear -- I have some. Bikini cut briefs. No butt floss for me.
V: Vegetable You Dislike -- Lima beans and okra. Blah.
W: What Makes You Late -- Kids, traffic and husband in no particular order.
X: X-rays You've Had Done -- too many to count. I'm a klutz.
Y: Yummy Food You Make -- My fav is my lasagna
Z: Zoo Animal Favorite -- elephants

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Been a While

I haven't been on a scale in over a month. It's been a pretty liberating thing. I'm not tied down to a number. I have no clue how much weight I have lost, if any. I don't know the number of inches I have lost. Ya know what? I'm ok with it. What I do know is that I am down two pant sizes. I went from a bra size of 40 DDD to a 38 DDD. I'm out of most XL shirts and into just a L. My bust is pretty large hence the reason for not being able to get away from all XL. It's ok though.

The most important thing about not weighing in? I haven't binged or purged in nearly two months. This is the longest I have been "sober" in over a decade. It's an amazing feeling. I'm not healed. I'll never be fully recovered. I'm certain I'll always have these demons living in me, but they are under control.

I thought I would share some advice that has been working for me. I'm definitely not an expert of a professional. I'm just a girl who is trying to figure this damn thing out.

** Every bite really does count. If you are trying to lose weight, sadly, every bite counts, when it's the "bad stuff." Fruits, veggies, etc are pretty much ok. The "bad stuff" I'm referring to are usually processed foods or ones that are higher in fat. Did you know that one mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cup has 44 calories?? Yep. You may be *just* eating 3 of them, but do the math.

** You CAN eat the bad stuff. It's called moderation. I truly believe in this. If you do not allow yourself a little something naughty, you will end up binging on it when you finally have it. I eat french fries, but just a few at a time. I allow myself A chicken nugget, but just one. In doing this, I've found something very interesting, the foods that I thought I couldn't live without, don't taste as good as I remembered. The pb cups were just eh, okay.

** Drink water. Lots of water. I know a lot of people who say they don't like water, but they need to start. Water is amazing. I feel 100 million times better when I am consuming enough water. Often times, our body tells us we are hungry when in fact we are thirsty. True. If I eat something and think I am still hungry after, I slam a glass of water. I soon find that I wasn't nearly as hungry as I thought I was.

** Watch what you eat. Seriously. Check it out. Look it up. Research what the nutritional content is. Did you know a sausage mcmuffin while cheap at $1 has 22 grams of fat? Gulp. That's nearly half the fat many people are supposed to eat in one day. May make you think twice. I know it has me. Personally, I count my calories. I do this so I know that I am getting enough. I'm not too worried about going over most days, but it is not good to be too far under.

** Yes, there is such a thing as not enough calories. If you think you are rocking by only eating 1000 calories a day, you may not be. This can actually cause your metabolism to slow down. Slow metabolism means slower to no weight loss.

** Remember why you are eating. You are not eating just because it tastes good. You are eating to fuel your body. I follow an amazing woman on Twitter who is the author of 263 and Counting. She is a huge inspiration. She tweeted something one day that makes so much sense: Put in junk food, get junk energy. Eat good foods, get good energy. Eureka!! She's right. I feel so much better now that I am eating foods that are good for me instead of just crap.

** It's not a diet. Don't call it a diet. I don't like that D word. I cringe when people comment that I am still dieting. I'm not dieting. This is a lifestyle change. These are choices I have made that I plan on continuing for the rest of my life.

** Exercise. Do it. You will have every excuse in the book to NOT do it. I challenge you. When you come up with a reason to not do it, show yourself you CAN do it. Get your butt out there and do it. You can find a way. Think I'm wrong? I thought for the longest time I couldn't because I had Crash hindering. The fix? I started going to the track to run. The kiddos could play while I did my thing. When the older 2 went to their dad's, I'd push in in the stroller. Where there's a will, there's a way.

** Accidents happen. You are going to slip up. It will happen. We are human and I haven't met a single one of us that is perfect. Try not to get hung up on it. It was ONE bad choice. If you flub on lunch, you don't have to continue that to dinner. Dinner is the time to right the ship. You have the option to start over the next time you eat.

** NO EXCUSES and ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. If you take nothing else from this post, take these two tips. Lose the excuses. Once you do, you will do so many amazing things. You will go so much farther than you ever thought possible. I promise you this. It takes a while but you will reach a point where you WANT to exercise. You will automatically make the right food choices.

** Find a friend. I'll leave you with this final thought. Find support. Don't be afraid to get help. There are people just like YOU who want to do the same thing. There are people who WANT to help YOU. They are out there, don't be afraid to find them.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stalker or Groupie? Day 2

The drive to Lawrence didn't take as long as I thought it would. Helped that I napped a bit on the way. :o) We took Mr. 'man Clan's cute car which is a stick shift. I cannot drive a stick so I did not have to drive at all the entire weekend!! It was heaven.

We arrived in Lawrence around 11. We decided to head over to Esquina for lunch. It was just average. Definitely better than Taco Hell, but probably not something I will seek out again. As we were finishing up dinner, Mr. got a call from his bff. Their fantasy baseball draft was going to be starting shortly. Lucky for him, we were close to Starbucks. We went over and hung out there for a bit. As we were leaving, we see the guitarist from the band sitting at Starbucks. What?! We stopped and introduced ourselves. Mr. 'man Clan chatted about music crap. It was pretty damn cool.

We left Starbucks with no clue what to do next. We didn't have a hotel picked out at this point. I was flipping out because I had foolishly used nearly all of my calories and wanted to run. On a whim, Mr decided to go into the fancy pants hotel next to Starbucks to see if they had a fitness center. It's called The Eldridge. They in fact have a fitness area. The rooms start out at $149. Say wha? The lovely girl at the desk said she could get us into a suite immediately if we'd like at the bargain price of $179. Gasp. We said screw it and stayed there. We got into a room 3 hours before check in AND they had a toilet that could flush. When you travel once every 5 years, it's not so bad spending that kind of dough. I've never in my life stayed at such a fancy pants place. It was awesome.







Seriously, the suite was as nearly as big as our house. The best part?? It was across the street from the venue. And Starbucks.






One important tip I learned from traveling this weekend. Staying close is awesome. We walked every where. We were able to see and do so much more. We found a great place to eat and an awesome coffee shop.

The tickets for this show were all general admission. We decided to be daring and stand on the floor closer to the stage. So glad we did!! It was awesome!!

Meeting Laura Jansen after her set. Can't wait for her album to release.

Brandon Walters, the guitarist we ran into not once, but twice.


Cary on the piano. He plays the guitar and piano. Double swoon.


Favorite shot from the whole trip. Three amazingly talented performers.


Laura came out a couple of times for performances. She never stops smiling.

The Lawrence show was by far the best. You could tell the groups had more fun at this show than the one the night before. The crowd was so much better. We were hoping for a repeat encore like he did in STL, but no luck. For the encore, they came on floor in the crowd and performed a song acoustic. It was flipping awesome.

We were really sad to head home. It was really nice to spend some time with Mr. 'man Clan. I hope we don't have to wait another 5 years to do it.

Oh, something to note: We spent more on coffee than alcohol. :o)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stalker or Groupie? Day 1

This past weekend, Mr. 'man Clan and I went on our second long weekend. Not second, as in 2011. Second as in the nearly 6 years we've been together. Our first trip was Nashville to see Rodney Carrington (his fave). It was a great time.

One of my favorite singer/songwriters is Joshua Radin. I get that he's not everyone's cup of tea, but I big pink puffy heart him. A lot. I've met him twice, most recently the week before my birthday. Best. Present. Ever. I saw in his FB feed that he would be performing in Columbia, MO and then the next day in Lawrence, KS. Hello? Can we say road trip?! Mr. 'man Clan was good with it so I purchased the tickets. The trip was an anniversary present to the both of us. He likes Joshua Radin too, so he wasn't going to be suffering. I was super excited to hear that Cary Brothers would be performing with him also. I've had a music crush on him since I heard a song I heard in the movie Garden State. Swoon.

I don't believe I will ever go to another show in Columbia again. The crowd was a bunch of young, drunk kids. They were extremely rude and would not stop talking. :o( Oh. Word of advice. Don't stay at the Regency Downtown. It's not as fancy as its name implies. It was a huge dump.



Mr. and Mrs. 'man Clan before the Como show.


Laura Jansen was the first act. Great talent.


Cary Brothers was next up. We about flipped when we realized he was performing with Joshua's band. Coolness.


I met Cary after his set. He signed my vinyl. He thought I was cool for buying the vinyl. He's right. :o)


Josh and the band getting ready.


My music husband.


The next morning, we checked out pretty early. We wanted to try this place for breakfast that I had found plus we wanted to find a toilet that worked. Yeah, the toilet in our room stopped flushing and it wasn't the chain. :o( They didn't give us any sort of comp for that. Jerks.

Breakfast was at Cafe Berlin. We got there a tiny bit early. Good thing. A line was starting to form and they weren't even open! I think Mr. 'man Clan forgave me for the hotel debacle after this fantastic breakfast. The food was awesome. It was a bit pricey but we didn't eat dinner so we justified it. Plus, it was very filling. Mr. 'man Clan had the John Schyler. Description from the site: The John Schyler a sandwich with an over-hard egg, jalapeño, bacon, red onion, tomato & chipotle mayo on choice of bread. served w/potatoes

Mr. 'man Clan's breakfast


I was having a hard time deciding between the Mediterranean and Florentine. I went with the Florentine minus the hollandaise sauce. I think the sauce is pretty bad for you, plus I've never had it. The Mediterranean description from their site:Mediterranean Breakfast 2 free-range eggs scrambled with scallions and parsley. Served with hummus, fresh tomatoes, Kalamata olives & homemade pita bread. The Florentine description from their site: Eggs Florentine 2 poached free-range eggs over a bed of sautéed greens with garlic and red onion on a toasted English muffin covered with Hollandaise and served with roasted potatoes.

My plate. Oh it was amazing.

The check is delivered in an old book. This was a pretty groovy idea. Mr. 'man Clan left a little note on one of the pages.





Breakfast was finished, and we hit the road to Kansas. Day 2 coming shortly!




Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PAT Evaluation: Complete

Crash's PAT evaluation is finished. It took forever. 2 hours from start to finish including time to review the results. It was very thorough and the women were sweet. They were all grandmother types, very sweet and endearing.

Crash failed two portions in the hearing testing. This sounds bad however there were a couple of things at play: he has a cold and he lost interest quickly. Both of these the woman told us could have caused him to fail. She did have to right a referral to have his hearing evaluated by a specialist. I'm not too concerned at this point. Let me explain why. The first test measures the pressure inside the ear. Crash's left ear failed and right ear passed. She said this could have happened because of the cold he has and the fact that he is still technically getting over the double ear infection. Ok. Understandable. The next test was to see at what decibels he can hear at. In theory, because of the other results, he would fail his left ear and pass his right year, correct? Not Crash! He passed his left year and failed the right. That makes sense. Oh, wait. No it doesn't. The woman felt he most likely failed because he was losing interest. He wasn't focusing at all and started chatting about things that had nothing to do with the cues. She still had to write a referral since he did in fact fail both. Darn kid. Such a pain.

My thoughts on the hearing portion: Had he failed his left ear both times, I would be more concerned. I will definitely take him for a hearing check as soon as the new insurance kicks in. I'm not alarmed enough to go spend $200+ out of pocket. Mr. 'manclan and I discussed it and felt that was a reasonable decision.

Now we move on to the "interesting" portion of the testing. This was pretty lengthy and I won't go into all of the tests that were performed. Crash is the absolute youngest that can take the test. They test from ages 3-6. It is ok that he didn't get somethings correct and we were given ideas on how to strengthen some areas.

We learned that Crash's behavior is A-OK. They had absolutely no concerns. Score!! This is huge for me. He passed the behavior with flying colors in fact. He stayed focuses, according to them and comprehended what was being told to him. So, he's not ADD. He's just a pain in the butt and doesn't like to listen to his parents occasionally. :o) I never really thought he had an issues, but I suppose you never know until they are actually tested.

Crash didn't do awful in language. What?! In short, he has the words in his vocabulary. He just has trouble pronouncing them during general conversation. The problem solving portion was a bit wacky. She asked questions to which he needed to give an answer and it needed to be the correct answer. Question 1: What do you do when you are thirsty? Answer: Drink the water. Question 2: What do you do when you to go into a room that is dark. Answer: (This apparently required a story.) Ohhhh. It's scary. There are monsters in the room and I turn the lights on. Question 3: What do you do when you break something that belongs to someone else? Answer: (He holds up his tiny fist.) You fight! WHAT?!?! Oh dear. Answer number 2 was enough and then he does this?! Lol. What is wrong with my kid??

In my opinion, this is where he became disinterested. He was asked if he was a boy or a girl. "I'm Danny." Same answer each time. "My sister is A. He's a girl." Completely random. "Mommy is a girl." Very good, she says. What about daddy? Is he a boy? "No! He's just dad!" He even grunts and throws his hands up for added emphasis. At this point, I have hidden my face in my hands because of the embarrassment.

When he finally finished with Ms. Brenda, he walked over to the next test. Ms. Brenda looked at Mr. 'manclan and me and smiled. "Wow, he certainly has quite an imagination." Yes. Yes he does.

The next portion revealed what I suspected. He is having trouble with his speech. :o( They have referred us the early childhood center for another evaluation. From there, it will be determined what sort of help, if any he needs. He may need to meet with a speech therapist or he may be eligible for preschool for something more intense. This is all free. Well, not free. This is our tax money at work. Glad to see it put to good use though.

Overall, I'm glad I was able to convince Mr. 'manclan to have Crash tested. It confirmed my belief that he is having trouble with speech. Now, we can figure out a plan of action. We can fix the problem before it worsens or causes trouble in other areas of his life. I keep telling myself I'm not a bad mom. I'm not a bad mom. If I repeat it enough, I may believe it.