Monday, November 30, 2009

"Plain Truth"

Last night I couldn't fall asleep for anything, so I decided to finish reading the book Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. This is the first book by this top-selling author that I've read. It was an interesting, well-written book; but it's not going on my list of favorites.

An Amish girl is on trial for killing her newborn baby. Her distant cousin (who is not Amish) is a defense attorney and decides to take the case, even though it means moving in with her Amish relatives for several months. Finally by the end of the book, the accused girl remembers as much as she can about what happened. She had been sneaking away to visit her brother who had left the Amish community. While he was in classes, she had developed a relationship with his roommate and ended up pregnant. She didn't know what to do, so she didn't do anything except hope that the whole situation would just go away. In the middle of the night several weeks premature, the baby was born. She gave birth in the barn, cut the cord with baling wire scissors, fell asleep holding the baby and praying that God would take care of everything. When she woke up, the baby was gone. She tried to cover up the fact that she'd been there and then went on with her life. During the trial, two witnesses testified that medical evidence proved that there were at least two explanations of how the baby could have died: he had an infection caused by unpasteurized milk (the girl lived on a dairy farm) and this infection would have killed him within the first week of his life; or he could have been smothered. In the very last chapter, the girl's mother admits to the attorney cousin that she was the one who had killed the baby in order to save her daughter from any repercussions of having a baby outside of marriage.

The storyline kept me interested all the way through the book, but I definitely didn't like the ending. She spent the entire book proving that the Amish aren't capable of violence because of their intense commitment to their religious beliefs, but then we find out that the mother did commit murder. I guess it was a good twist after all the previous events in the story, but I didn't like it.

So this morning Luke picked out the next book for me to read, and I was able to start reading it while Seth was in speech therapy (he has started going in to his therapist on his own while I wait in the waiting room -- he's starting to get appropriately independent :-).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

snow and sledding

The view out my front door every morning is SO beautiful -- very "Thomas Kinkade-ish"!! I don't have a professional photographer's kind of camera, so this is the best I could do at capturing the beauty:

This morning, we took the kids to go sledding. Aside from all the whining, yelling, and arguing that seems to always be present when two or more of my children are in one place, it was REALLY fun for them and funny for me to watch. I just love the look of "OH NO! I might crash into something, but WOW this is fun!" on their cute little faces!!!

Seth LOVES to go sledding!!!! He's not scared one bit (probably because he has no concept of cause and effect yet, so he doesn't realize the potential for crashing).

Joel crashed quite a few times at first, mostly because he was trying to avoid running into Luke, I think. We ended that problem by assigning sledding tracks (thankfully, there were three separate parts of the hill already packed down and ready for sledding).

Luke slid the furthest through the parking lot at the bottom of the hill.

Apparently sledding is exhausting to Makenzie:

Joel crashed again:

I'm really not sure why Luke decided to do a little flip-over:

Seth didn't appreciate getting sprayed with snow, but he didn't complain out loud and was fine after we wiped the snow off his face.

Luke did a little crash on the parking lot, so Seth ran over to comfort him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Seth's do (and other stuff)

I forgot to put this picture up last week. We saw someone in City Diner with his head wrapped up similar to this, so I decided to try it out on Seth to keep his hair out of his eyes.

It didn't turn out looking as good as the guy in the restaurant, though. And Seth only left it on for a minute or two. I've been told INNUMERABLE times that my kid needs a haircut. My response is always the same now: "Naw -- it'll be long enough for a pony-tail soon." :-)

Yesterday I finished another Bible project. This is the very first time that I have stuck to any kind of Bible reading plan, and I must say that I'm pretty happy with myself. Over the past year, reading this each morning has made the year a little easier than it would have otherwise been and has made me more focused on my Lord and my faith. I filled the two notebooks with notes from what I read.

Because I did my Bible reading from 5:30 - 6:00 each morning, I would often forget exactly what it was I had read when I would try to think of it later in the day. Now that I'm all finished with it, I got the bright idea to carry my Bible with me so that I could re-read wherever I was. I ordered a Bible cover so that my Bible wouldn't get messed up in my bag (I'm planning on keeping it in my school bag with my ASL book and notebook). After much searching and opinion gathering (although I didn't follow anyone else's opinion), I finally decided on the perfect Bible cover (it's special to me, so I wanted it to be something that would catch my eye and make me smile when I saw it, not just overlook it) :

Chris Tomlin has THE VERY BEST version of the hymn "Amazing Grace" that I've ever heard. One of the verses of that song is on my new Bible cover: "The Lord has promised good to me. His Word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

winter wear :-)

Apparently, Seth and I cared more about warmth than about matching today: green hat, one black glove, one red glove, orange and blue coat, red shirt, black boots. :-)

The gloves and hat came off within minutes of getting in the van, though.

Seth and I did some running around today. I recently decided that I need to carry my Bible around with me because I'm having trouble remembering what I read in the mornings (can't imagine why I would forget something that I read at 6 a.m. right before scurrying around getting everyone ready for school). I also decided that I needed a Bible cover so that my Bible wouldn't get destroyed (I'm not the most careful person, even with something as important to me as my Bible). I didn't want to settle for just any Bible cover, though. I looked through ebay and cbd, went to the Christian bookstore, then looked through ebay and cbd again. I narrowed my search down to five choices and got everyone's opinion about which one I should choose (even Makenzie's friend who came home with us after school today). And, being a normal female, I chose the one that no one else chose :-)

When I came into the computer room/Seth's room to type up this post, this is how I found my poor baby sleeping:

Yes, my four-year-old child still sleeps in a crib because I am LAZY and don't want to deal with teaching him to stay in bed and go to sleep until I absolutely MUST! That white thing that his head is smushed up against is part of a baby gate. I took two pieces out of the gate and stuck them in his crib because he learned how to climb up on the dresser part of the crib. Normally, this would be my cue to put him in a toddler bed and teach him to stay in bed all night like the rest of us do. I obviously chose a different path. I do realize that he can't sleep in a crib forever, but he'll be sleeping in there as long as possible. He doesn't seem to mind, and we all get good rest every single night.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Luke predicts my time to go

Today, Luke made up a little rhyme: "Open the gate. Who do you hate? Then that's your date." Yes, I promptly lectured him about NOT hating ANYONE, but that's not the point of this story. He filled in Seth's name, not because he actually hates him, but so that he could say the end of his story:

"Open the gate. Who do you hate? SETH. Then that's your date. Cool, Mom, I'm going to be with Seth FOREVER!"

"No way, man! I'M going to be with Seth forever."

"No you're not, Mom. You're going to die before Seth's even grown up, and then I'll get to be with him."

Nice to know he's got everything planned out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

keeping connected

I've been thinking last night and today about all the ways we have to stay connected to other people -- mail, e-mail, blog, phone, cell phone, i.m., facebook, texting. It seems to me that, while I enjoy time to myself to do many different things from Bible reading to cleaning, I DESPERATELY need to know that human contact is always available. "Time alone" and "feeling alone/lonely" are two completely different animals! From the very beginning, God said that it's not good for man to be alone. On one hand, I sometimes think that He was saying, "Please, ladies, do NOT leave the male species alone or they'll somehow destroy all of My Creation!" But I also think that He knows that people need other people for companionship, love, and acceptance. We all have so many thoughts and feelings to share, so I'm very thankful for the many means of correspondence that are available to us all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

cousin playtime in the snow

Seth and I walked over to my sister-in-law's house today so that the cousins could play in the snow together. Seth really doesn't understand the concept of continually walking until we reach our destination. He wanted to stop and play everywhere -- the neighbor's yard, the middle of the street (good thing we live on a not-very-busy-street). Although Seth likes to wear hats for fun, he didn't want to wear his hat outside, even though it was pretty cold today.

Darryl and Amanda's back yard is one big hill, so Gavin and Seth of course went sledding!

Seth wasn't much help with pulling the sled back up the hill, but Gavin did a great job!

Makayla got to sled down once with Mommy :-) Then she just had to observe and get a red, cold nose.

Each time the boys slid down the hill, they seemed to go a little faster. Amanda and I both were holding our breath, hoping they didn't crash into the steps and get hurt. They did bump the steps, but didn't get hurt. Twice when Gavin slid down the hill on his own while Seth was slowly making his way back up the hill, the sled came SO close to plowing Seth right over but BARELY missed him. That cracked us moms up both times.

The boys had some crazy static hair when they came back in the house:

Makayla fell asleep. This girl can sleep through ANYTHING!

After being out in the cold, we definitely needed some hot chocolate and chocolate pudding (Gavin had told Amanda before we got there that he really wanted to share his pudding with Seth -- what a sweet cousin :-).

my cutie-pie Seth

I thought Seth looked extra-cute today, so I took some pictures :-)

singing with Third Day:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Makenzie enjoys reading "The Royal Diaries" and wanted me to read one of them, too. So today I finished reading Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile. I'm NOT generally interested in history (I think I got a score of about SIX out of thirty-something on the history portion of the high school ACT), but this was actually a pretty good book. Apparently, there aren't very accurate records about this queen because of fires, wars, etc. Since I really don't care much what really happened, though, I enjoyed the story :-) What stuck with me the most was the incredible lack of loyalty. I'm sure this flaw applies to people in power today, too, but I was disturbed by the ease with which people were overthrown or executed even if they were family members. Another disturbing point of the book was the barbarism of that time period. Again, the world hasn't exactly become a better place to live since then; but at least there is some idea of a stable "right and wrong" about physically harming people.

So now I can move on to my stack of books I just got in the mail last week. I made the mistake of signing up for a book club, thinking it was a good deal -- five books for only about $7. What they failed to mention until the deal was done was that they would be charging over $15 to ship the books to me. I'm saying NO FAIR to that one, but I'll enjoy the books anyway.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

first snow

We got some snow (I'm thankful that this is the latest beginning of winter that we've had since I moved here thirteen years ago, I think!), so of course Seth needed to go play in it.

He kept pulling his arms up in this "here I go!" kind of pose before . . .

. . . plunging his hands into the new snow :-)

Then he found the table full of snow . . .

. . . what fun!

And he decided to be helpful and clean the snow off the deck railing. He kept sweeping it onto his face, though. He never cried, but he didn't exactly know how to get it off him since his hands had snow all over them, too. So he spit several times and called it good enough.

I didn't think he was going to run out of entertainment on the deck, but when I went down the steps to sweep the snow off them, he followed me and went into the back yard. I was able to capture his first tumble of the winter:

When he picked himself back up, his hat was all messed up.

Who needs a hat anyway? It's above zero degrees.

This picture sums up Seth's general opinion of playing in the snow:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

this and that

Usually, Joel and I dress pretty casually on Sundays because I work in the nursery and he plays dodge ball in Sunday School, but today we all six got dressed up for church so that we could get our family picture taken for the church online directory. Wouldn't you know it -- they weren't set up to take pictures today! So we had Jason's dad take our picture, not for the church directory but just for a memory that we all looked nice (and to remind me to NEVER pose sideways -- not so flattering in my opinion).

Uncle Darryl wore his suit that matches Luke's almost exactly :-)

My sweet Seth woke up at about 6 a.m. today, so he fell asleep almost as soon as we got home this afternoon. I'm sure it helped that Dad put a movie on, shut off all the lights, and lay on the couch with him with a nice warm blanket.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Luke's new suit

Today Luke went shopping with Jason's mother. Instead of asking for a new toy, he asked for a new suit just like Uncle Darryl's. This child CRACKS ME UP!!!!!

I'm hoping I can find a pair of black socks and black dress shoes. White socks and white sneakers MIGHT not be the "look" he's going for.

The Hofacker Family 2008