Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fun Friday: Here's an Easy One

Q: First I threw away the outside and cooked the inside. Then I ate the outside and threw away the inside. What did I eat?

A: Corn on the cob

Friday, August 12, 2016

Fun Friday: What Was the Number One Song the Day You Were Born?

The number one song the day I was born was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

What was the number one song the day you were born? Find out HERE

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fun Friday: Can You Figure it Out?

If you've seen it before, don't say. Otherwise, give it a go.

Update: The previous copy I posted had some misprints in it. Here is a better copy:

Update: Catherine has it. There are no e's in this paragraph.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beat the Back to School Blues

     You hop out of bed and pull up the shades. It's a beautiful Friday -- perfect for your youth group trip to the amusement park. As you board the church bus an hour later, someone says, "Hey, can you believe school starts Monday?"
     That question is met with groans and boos. Only a few of the superbrains look happy. And of course the parents who are chaperoning have huge smiles on their faces-- but they're adults and can't wait to have the house quiet again. You slump down in your seat and mourn the last of your summer fun. What's so great about a new school year? And what's so exciting about studying geometry instead of the color of the sand at the beach?
     Well, maybe nothing can compare with the fun you've had during the summer -- unless you were one of those who had to work all summer, then you're probably glad for the start of school. But if you've had a great summer with friends, at camp, or on a mission trip, you probably feel a little blue about the end of summer.

     Here are some ideas for beating the back-to-school blues.
     1. Plan a weekend activity. No, it won't replace your summer fun, but it'll give you something to look forward to. Maybe you can talk your parents into taking you and a couple of friends to an amusement park, the beach, or to play mini golf and eat pizza.
     2.  Set a few goals for the school year. Focus your energy on achieving better grades or better test scores, excelling with your science fair project, getting a part in the school play, or making the basketball team. Sit down and write out a step-by-step plan of how you can reach the goal you've set.
     3.  Try something new. Expand your horizons by joining Spanish or computer club. Volunteer to take pictures for the yearbook or try out for a sports team. Sign up for choir. Help with backdrops, costumes or props for the play. Doing something different will allow you to develop your talents and meet more classmates than you might otherwise.
     4.  Follow up on summer commitments. If you made a spiritual decision while on a mission trip or at camp, don't forget about it once school starts. The emotional high will wear off, but your commitment doesn't need to. Buy a special devotional book just for teens or sign up for online devotions and read them each morning. Take time to pray. Invite your friends to church, and look for ways to share your faith in the classroom.
     5.  Follow up on summer friendships. Keep in touch by texting, twitter, instragram or snapchat. Or yeah, you could even write a letter :)

     The start of the school year doesn't have to bring on a case of the blues. Use these ideas and some of your own to make this the best school year ever.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Challenging Myself

I do not like heights. Not at all. Started when I was in my early 20's, and I don't even know why. Yet somehow I end up facing heights. 

In NYC two years in a row!

And before that there was Chicago...

And of course there was Chattanooga a few weeks ago.

So why then would I purposely go to the springs that has a 22 ft jump?
 I have no clue, other than maybe to prove I could do it??? And I did. Jasmine missed the picture the first jump, so I did it again with her taking a video on my phone. Then I jumped from the lower jump.

Me in the purple shorts ready to jump.

My leap from the lower level.

So how warm was the water? Glad you asked. 69F. That isn't cold when it's air temperature. It's very cold when it's water. But this is a spring, and springs stay at a consistent (cold) temperature year round. You would normally wear a wetsuit in that water temperature, but no one does here.
How deep is the water? Again, glad you asked! Just past the white buoy is the deepest part of the spring at 120 feet deep!

I can't say this was the high point of my week, but I can say I did it. Basically I backed up to where I could see over the edge, then I took off looking straight ahead until there was nothing under my feet and I was falling. I am not at all afraid of water, so once I was airborne, I was okay.

Three of my kids have para sailed. I think I'll leave that one to them!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love

How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker

Sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson lives for food, and it seems that only her boyfriend, Ben, isn’t turned off by her obesity. Of course being almost 300 pounds himself, he doesn’t have a lot of room to judge.

Emery is content, or so it seems, with her diet of double cheeseburgers and onion rings until she is coerced into doing a reality TV show, Fifty Pounds to Freedom in which she must lose fifty pounds in 50 days to win one million dollars in order to save her family from foreclosure.
Emery’s secret stashes are found and dumped and her chocolate, burger and fries diet is replaced with vegetables, whole grains and proteins. She also begins a schedule of running, yoga, aerobics and other exercises.

But life with a former basketball star father, former Laker Girls mother, and equally perfect older sister who wants to be a talk show host isn’t what it seems on the outside. Add Doc, a sleazy producer, the Freedom team and boyfriend Ben and things get more complicated. And nothing is as it seems on the surface.

As the pounds melt away, Emery becomes a celebrity both on the reality show and on her own youtube vlog where she candidly shares her thoughts. But at the same time, secrets are uncovered, and Emery finds out that not all is as it seems. When Emery learns what is planned for the finale, she not only has to process what the information means to her personally, but also decide what to do about it.

This book hits on a lot of what people obsess over—weight, money and reality TV--and is a refreshing change from the ever popular dystopian and fantasy genres. Emery is a fresh and funny voice, although her language tends to be crude and profane at times.

And there are some values issues. Beyond the language, Emery is not only sexually active with her boyfriend, but she has a secret in her past that involves sleeping with two athletes at a party.

Another problem with the book is that the description of the character doesn’t match Emery’s height and weight. We’re told she’s 5’6” and 192 pounds, but she’s described as being very obese. At that weight her BMI is in the lower obese range, but she wouldn’t be nearly as large as she herself describes. Also if she really ate what she said she ate, she would weigh much more than 192.

The ending is a let down too. There’s all the build up to the finale and the final weigh in, and then blah. I wish the author had gone another way. But it’s still a good read.

Which boils down to an interesting book with captivating characters but less than Christian values and a character whose weight doesn’t match her description. Use discretion when deciding whether or not to read it.

I’d love to see what a Christian YA author would do with this idea.