Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spiritual Sunday: A Brother Like That

One of my favorite Christmas stories is "A Brother Like That." I love the message and how it inspires me to be a better person, to be a brother like that. 
Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.

"Is this your car, Mister?" he asked.

Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Christmas." The boy was astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't cost you nothing? Boy, I wish..." He hesitated. Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.

"I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that."

Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, "Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?"

"Oh yes, I'd love that."

After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, "Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?" Paul smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Paul was wrong again.

"Will you stop where those two steps are?" the boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car. "There she is, Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn't cost him a cent. And some day I'm gonna give you one just like it...then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Christmas windows that I've been trying to tell you about."

Paul got out and lifted the lad to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.

That Christmas Eve, Paul learned what Jesus meant when he had said: "It is more blessed to give..." 
I know sometimes it's hard to be a brother like that. It's easy to say, "I don't have a brother like that, so why should I be like that?" But the fact is, we do have a brother like that, Jesus Christ. I hope we can all  keep him in our hearts these next few days as Christmas is upon us. Merry Christmas!  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Water for Elephants

I first read Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants many, many moons ago. I love the idea 
of the old circus, the glamour and the sparkle and the majesty, even though I've never 
actually been to the circus! 

Once the movie came out, I meant to read Water for Elephants again to refresh my memory, but life got busy and books get packed (and moved and moved again) and other books get read instead and the movie was never seen. But it finally made it to the top of my pile! 

I enjoyed Water for Elephants as much the second time as I did the first. It encompasses the magic of the circus along with the devastation of The Great Depression.  It's a love story, love for a woman, an elephant, and the circus. It's a touching story with characters who come to life. I really felt like I knew the characters and I cared about what happened to them. 

The only thing I don't like about this novel is the bookending of the past by the present.
 Of course, I always say that about books like this. I don't feel the need for the small story
 of the present. I'm happy with the story of the past. It's enough for me. It's a great story 
and I think you'll like it too! Enjoy! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Of Two Minds & More Minds

Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman's Of Two Minds and More Minds, the sequel, are about Princess Lenora and her betrothed, Coren, while Lenora's stubbornness takes them on an adventure. I read these, and liked them better, when I was younger, but they're still a fun quick read with a good moral. These are best for upper elementary/middle school readers both in level and demographic. Happy reading! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm a Feminist & You Should be, too

Hi. My name is Jayme and I'm a feminist. 
("Hi, Jayme!") 

Now, before you get all bent outta shape because you think feminist is a dirty word, you should know that it's not. A feminist isn't a bra-burning, hairy-armpit-ed, man-hating lesbian.  That woman can be a feminist, but you don't have to be her to be a feminist. It's like how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. 

A feminist is, simply put, any person who wants equality between the genders, anyone who believes women should not be submissive and subservient to men. Anyone who wants to give women a choice and a voice.  

Being a feminist is embracing my womanhood without diminishing my husband's manhood (heh. That sounds funny).  Being a feminist isn't about woman being better than man, it's about equality, opportunity, and choice. It's allowing women the same rights and choices we allow men.  It's that I can be a doctor or a lawyer, if I want. Or I can be a stay-at-home mom if i want. It's about the freedom to do what I want and be who I want to be and allowing others the same choice. 

So really, should we all be feminists? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Super Short Spiritual Sunday

I was going to write a post about why I didn't wear pants to church today. But as sacrament came to a close, I just didn't feel right about it. It's Christmas time. It's time to love our neighbors, regardless. It's time to do something nice for someone; time to be more Christlike. So I encourage you to be a little bit more friendly to someone today, whether they wore pants to church or not. If I can do it, so can you! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

This Swallow is Nesting


So the crafting bug has hit me, and these are the fruits of my labors! Mom and Jenn are always crocheting or knitting, but I wanted to try my hand at embroidery and cross-stitching. I got these onesie kits at JoAnns (on clearance! Boo-ya!) and it was really fun to work on them and know that they were still going to have a use when I was done. 

I did the bear first, and I think it's adorable, duh, but after washing it I can see where some of the stitching is coming loose and where I didn't do such a good job. I kind of want to fix it, but I don't want to over-fix it and ruin it. I did a better job on the ducky, not that you can see because the pictures are blurry, my bad. But I like having something to keep hands busy! Being crafty is so fun! :) I can't wait for baby girl to get here so she can wear them!

On a side note: Last night, Cass had his hand on my stomach, and I guess Baby could feel him because she kept kicking right at his hand! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gone Girl

On their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears. And Nick is the police's number one suspect.
Something's up, and evidence is mounting against Nick.  He's definitely keeping a secret, but did he kill Amy? And if not, what happened? 

Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is quite the adventure and enjoyable read. It's so crazy, but I really liked it. I didn't really like the end-end, the wrap up. But what other ending could their be? I don't know. I think I would have left that out, but really. Great book. Go check it out. Now. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

If I was quoted and it was put on the front of this book, it would say, "If you enjoyed Face on the Milk Carton as a teen, you'll love Jackson's A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty."  It's also reminiscent of  Esme Lennox with the southern feel of Harper Lee in today's world. Okay, it's not Harper Lee good, but I sure did enjoy it. It's almost a 5. Just not quite there yet. 

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty tells us the story of the three Slocumb women, 45-year-old Big, 30-year-old Liza, and 15-year-old Mosey. Yup, getting pregnant at 15 runs in the family, and even though Mosey is a virgin, she regularly pees on a stick to assure herself she's not pregnant. Big feels that God sends her biggest trials every 15 years, and this year is no exception. All three of these women tell us their part of the story as Jackson takes us down the winding road of Liza's past as we try to unravel her secrets as well as the truth. I liked the twist and the mystery, but I'm not sure that I loved this novel. It got a little blurry at parts, especially at the end, and the logical me things there are some legal ends that will need to be tied up that are not discussed in the novel. Granted, that's not the point of the novel or the moral of the story . . . 

It was weird for me, though, that I related more to Liza's high school years than Mosey's, that I'm closer in age to Liza at 30 than Mosey at 15. Regardless, I really liked this novel, and I think you will too! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Albert of Adelaide

I didn't really know what I was getting myself into with Albert of Adelaide. I guess I was sort of hoping for a platypus on an adventure and kind of picturing Perry the Platypus in my head. That's how Albert of Adelaide presents itself. Albert is a platypus who has escaped from the zoo in Adelaide to find the Old Australia where he can be with other platypuses and live in the wild and be free. It seems like this will be quite the adventure of a read. 

Except it's not.  It's kinda lame. The story line is heavy on over-description and the characters were fairly flat and not very distinct from one another. It's really just about Albert suddenly becoming friends with different animals, then suddenly making enemies with others, and lots of fighting that's boring to read. I can't even think of anyone I would recommend this book to. Maybe those who like Westerns? That's my best bet. I just didn't enjoy this novel. 

*I won this novel from Goodreads FirstReads. All opinions expressed are my own.