31st Jan2011

Monday Mingle: All About the Food

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Jenn at Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants.  After all, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions are from Paula at Thrifty Momma’s Tips:
1. What is one food or drink you cannot live without?
2. Are you a foodie? Do you like to cook or are you a food blogger?
3. What is your one easy family friendly recipe, or amazing supersecret recipe that you are known for? Share it here if it isn’t a closely guarded family secret.

Chicken and Rice

3 cups Water
2 cups Instant Rice
2 TBS Oil
2 lbs chicken strips
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 package Frozen Peas or Broccoli Florets
Salt
Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes

1. Heat oil in skillet, add chicken strips, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until done all the way through. Remove from skillet and cut into bite size pieces.
2. Put water, rice, soups and vegetables into a dutch oven and cook on medium until water is absorbed.
I have 4 teenagers and a husband living with me, so this is a lot of food. You may need to adjust the amounts accordingly.

Next week’s questions were submitted by me
1. Which decade do you think would have been most fun?
2. On what TV show would you like to have a guest starring role?
3. What’s the strangest/weirdest thing you’ve ever done?

30th Jan2011

Mamavation Monday on Sunday

by Daenel

MamavationI’d like to say a big thank you to the Mamavation ladies who gave me shout outs last week ~ trust me, your support is appreciated.  I’d like to give a special thanks to the peeps on Twitter who answered my questions and offered encouragement when it was needed.  You don’t know how much I needed to “hear” your voices at that moment

Last week was mostly about making changes to my eating and drinking habits, which I did with a great deal of success.  I started logging my food intake on Live Strong and was totally shocked by how many calories I was socking away per day.  Funny thing is, I really didn’t feel like I was eating that much and I wasn’t.  What hurt me was what I was eating, not how much I was eating.  Sometimes you need to see the numbers and I did.  So now I’m making sure that I eat a healthy breakfast (oatmeal with raisins and walnuts ~yummmm), a healthy lunch (because of my schedule I’ve made lunch my heaviest meal) and a light dinner (salad with grilled chicken and fruit).  I’m also filling in my meals with water (not quite where I need to be but better than I was) and trail mix for a snack.  Kia’s words of encouragement on the Mamavation Carnival post reinforced what I knew I needed to do ~ make the changes that are necessary for me to deal with the challenges that I have.

This week I plan to focus on the physical side of getting healthy.  I have a pedometer so I’ll start tracking my steps (I know I probably won’t hit the 10,000 step goal right away but as long as I’m increasing from day~to~day I’ll be happy).  I’ve also enrolled in a 21 Day Activity Challenge that is being hosted by my friend (and a fellow librarian), Sarah.  The challenge is “easy”, just commit to doing 10 minutes of an activity for 21 days.  The goal is not to make you a fitness buff but to encourage you to make a habit of being active.  It takes 21 days to make a habit, right?

My stats:

  • Starting weight:  163.2 lbs
  • Last week’s weight:  163.2 lbs
  • Today’s weight:  161.3 lbs  (-1.9 lbs)
  • Goal weight:  145 lbs

Mamavation Monday Blogging Carnival

This week’s Mamavation Blogging Carnival is being hosted by Earth Footwear.

This week’s question is:  “What does ‘wellness’ mean to you?

Wellness for me means taking care of myself on all three fronts: spiritual, physical and emotional.  I’m doing this by participating in the Bible in 90 Days Reading Challenge, getting fit with Mamavation and taking time for myself to just breathe….

Disclosure:  I was not paid or reimbursed for this post.  This post is my entry into the Mamavation Blogging Carnival that is being hosted by @EarthFootwear.  Mamavation is a weight loss support group that uses social media to help women and especially mothers to lead a healthy lifestyle.  You can learn more about Mamavation by visiting the website, following on Twitter or liking on Facebook.

29th Jan2011

Library Day in the Life Round 6 Reflection

by Daenel

Save LibrariesFirst of all, I’d like to thank Bobbi at Librarian by Day for putting the Library Day in the Life Project together.  The first time I participated in this meme was back in 2008 when I was blogging at Curious Child’s Library Wanderings.  I remember I was able to keep track of everyone’s posts and comment here and there, this year whew it has been crazy!  Now I know why, according to Bobbi’s reflection post there were just under 250 people signed up on the wiki and about 800 participants on Twitter.  That is wild!  Congratulations, Bobbi, you should be proud of what you’ve done.

I learned so much from reading the few blog posts I was able to get to and the many tweets that hit my stream.  Seriously, you guys were killing my stream with the tweets and I loved it.  I think I was most amazed by the diversity within the library field, not just job descriptions but types of libraries, their locations, the people, etc.  I also loved that so many library workers shared not just the professional but the personal as well.  I saw tweets about knitting, getting together for coffee with friends, etc.  It was fabulous.

Some of the “reference” questions posed to the librarians were hilarious!  “Is the tall librarian in?” from Sense and Reference made me chuckle.  I hope you post pics of the Yoruba art that you’ll be putting in the display case for Black History Month, that just sounds so cool.  This tweet by@vonburkhardt about students who don’t know their instructor’s name made me laugh.  I don’t know how many students come to the ref desk and ask for books and don’t know the instructor’s name, the course number or the name of the book they want but they expect me to know.  Dude, I’m a librarian not a mind reader, although I am a ninja in my spare time.

I also enjoyed reading about Alice’s first time being solely responsible for the library at Alice in Libraryland.  You can feel the range of emotions in her post ~ awe, intensity and a sense of a job well done.

When I started this project, my hope was that my mom blogger and homeschooling friends would pay attention to the tweets, blogs and pictures and realize the importance of libraries and how they help their communities.  So many libraries are having their budgets cut because of the financial climate because the powers that be don’t realize how useful library services are.  We provide more than books ~ we offer resume help, we are the first step in education for children, we provide free entertainment, we teach computer skills, we show people how to find information….  These are life skills that everyone needs in order to survive.

Did you participate in the Library Day in the Life Project?  Were you one of my bloggy buddies who followed the twitter stream or read the posts?  What did you learn?

27th Jan2011

Loose Threads and Other Random Thoughts

by Daenel

Loose ThreadsHey, I’ve been sorta busy with Twitter lately, I’m participating in the Library Day in the Life Project this week so my life has been consumed by all things library.  If you’d like to find out what librarians do, you can read my post or view my pictures on Flickr or read through my Tweets.  Anyway, here are some random thoughts that have been floating around inside my head…

  • Yesterday one of the library patrons told me about a woman who bought a little over $200 worth of groceries for $8 using coupons and a store card.  What?!  That sorta money saving thing is like Big Foot, people know about it and some believe it exists but no one’s ever seen it with their own two eyes.  Do you use coupons?  What’s the trick? ‘Cause I never see coupons for anything my family uses.  But it’s my mission to get the hang of that couponing thing ~ I have 4 teenagers and a husband at home.  THEY EAT A LOT!
  • My son sent me a picture of a box that he made in his wood shop class for a girl that he likes.  I hope she appreciates it.  The box is beautiful.  I’m so proud of my boy but I’m also sad that he’s growing up.  I’m trying real hard not to be that mom but I really wanna go down to the school, corner Miss Missy and tell her she better not break my son’s heart.
  • I’m so tired of the cold.  We have been stuck between -9° and -11° for the past week.  Today it hit 30° and it was like a heatwave.  Students were walking around in fleece hoodies and sweatshirts….  There’s something wrong with that.
  • I learned my lesson about trying to be romantic with the husband today.  Because we work opposite schedules, I don’t really get to see him until the weekends, so I usually call him on my way to work just to chat for a few minutes.  Anyway, today I decided to serenade him with that Stevie Wonder classic “I Just Called to Say I Love You”.  So he answers the phone and I immediately start singing, he mumbles something and quickly hangs up.  I’m stunned.  How dare he ruin my romantic overtures?  About 30 minutes later he calls me and tells me that he was in the middle of a meeting and everyone heard me singing. Niiiice.

26th Jan2011

Bible in 90 Days: Day 24 SOAP

by Daenel

SOAP RingSCRIPTURE

1 Kings 3:9

Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people.

OBSERVATION

King Solomon knew that he had the ear of the Lord and whatsoever he prayed would be granted, and rather than praying a selfish prayer ~ long life, great riches, strength in war ~ he prayed for wisdom in leading God’s people.  How many of us would have used our “in” with God for such selfless purposes?

APPLICATION

Being a mother can sometimes make you feel like you’re ruling over a small nation and, boy, do you need wisdom!  I remember when my kids were little, sometimes they’d come to me and tell me they were sick and couldn’t go to school because of a headache or an upset stomach, so I just stand there staring at them blankly.  There were times when  I honestly couldn’t tell if they were telling the truth or just trying to get out of going to school, so I’d call my husband and ask his opinion.  As my children grew older, I started to realize I couldn’t call on my husband to help me make every decision, I needed God to sharpen my parenting senses.  So I prayed that God would grant me the power of discernment with my children, so I’d know when they were really ill or simply wanted to play hooky from school.

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for the example set by King Solomon who chose wisdom above all else in Your kingdom.  And though I do not rule over a nation as he did or guide a country as our president does, I thank You for giving me the wisdom to raise and nurture my children to become responsible young adults.  And as they get older and prepare to spread their wings, I ask that You give them the wisdom to know right from wrong and good from evil.  Finally, I ask that You give me the wisdom to know when to let them go and when to hold them tight.

Amen.

For more information about SOAP and its use for the Bible in 90 Days Challenge, please read What is SOAP? on Mom’s Toolbox.

24th Jan2011

Library Day in the Life Round 6

by Daenel

Library Day in the LifeI’m the Evening Technical and Public Services Librarian at the Miller Library at Keystone College, a private, co~educational college in La Plume, Pennsylvania.  Founded in 1868, Keystone College was the first institution of higher learning in Northeast Pennsylvania.

I’ve worked here for about 4 months now and I really do enjoy it.  The staff is small, only 6 people, so there are a lot of opportunities to spread our wings and be creative with providing services for our students.  Right now my major projects involve getting our students connected with us through Facebook and Twitter.

I think the biggest stumbling block may be advertising.  Even though we have a board with our Twitter ID and Facebook address on them, I don’t think the students are paying that much attention to it.  We’re hoping, at some point, to start providing reference service to our students through those services.  I think it’d be an awesome way to help students on days when the library is closed due to inclement weather.  Is your library on Facebook or Twitter?  How did you get your students, faculty and staff engaged?

Another fun project that I’m working on is creating custom 404 Error pages for the library. I got the idea from Stephen Abram who suggested customized 404 Error pages as a way of redirecting the lost back to the library.  Does your library have a cool 404 Error page?

One of the cool things about our library is that we don’t just provide services for the students, but we provide services for the general public as well.  In conjunction with the Lackawanna County Library System, we provide books, movies, music, etc for members of the general public.  There are several little people aka children who come in with their parents on a regular basis and they like telling me about the books they’ve read or the movies they’ve seen.  I love seeing their little faces light up.

Highlight of the Day:  A student came up to the desk and asked if we schedule one~on~one tours of the library for students, I told her that I didn’t know the “official” answer to that question but I’d be more than happy to show her around.  So after her tutoring session, I took her on a walk thru of the library and showed her where everything’s located, how to use the online catalog (OPAC), printers, etc.  As we were walking she told me that she was just returning to school after a long absence and was a little nervous about the modern updates in the library.  I told her about my own encounter with the library when I was a returning student and explained to her that we are here to help.  The student smiled, thanked me and told me that she’s glad she met me because I made her feel more comfortable with the library.  I found out at the end of our conversation that she is the niece of a former co~worker of mine.  Such a small world!

Lesson:  Sometimes it’s OK to step outside of your “official” job responsibilities because you never know what may be going on an individual’s life and how a kind word or a good deed can help ease their fears.  What lesson did you learn today?

The Library Day in the Life Project is hosted by Bobbi at Librarian by Day.  For more information about the jobs of librarians and the way that libraries impact your communities, please check out the Library Day in the Life on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

I will not be blogging for Library Day in the Life for the rest of the week but I will be posting on Flickr and Twitter.

23rd Jan2011

Mamavation Monday on Sunday

by Daenel

Mamavation.comHi, ladies!  Some of you know me and some of you don’t, so let me introduce myself to you and tell you why I’m re~pledging to Mamavation.

My name is Daenel, pronounced Daynell, and I’m a married mother of 5 (ages 24 years, 17 years, 15 years, 15 years and 14 years).  I work evenings at Keystone College as a Reference and Technical Services Librarian (if you’d like to know more about my job, follow my Library Day in the Life posts for this week).  Because of my work schedule, eating properly has become increasingly hard for me and, as a result, I’ve put on about 13 lbs since I left Mamavation about 6 months ago.

Today I realized something needed to be done when I was trying to get dressed for work and everything felt as if it were cutting off my circulation.  Even my baby doll type shirts were snug and don’t get me started on my jeans which are currently leaving their angry impressions around my waist.  I know what to do as far as my weight and leading a healthy lifestyle, I just need the accountability ~ the group encouraging me to keep going when I want to stop.  I also want to be a source of encouragement to others.  Last but not least, I miss the sistahood, the support and the friendships…

So here are the details for this week:

Healthy Commitments:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat “real” meals
  • Set up an exercise plan

Challenges:

  • Eating “real” meals ~ I’ll have to find a workaround for my dinners. Because of my work schedule, I can’t eat dinner until after 10 PM.
  • Making sure I get a decent amount of sleep ~ I sleep from about 1:00 AM til 6:00 AM and then I’m up the rest of the day.
  • Reducing sugar ~ I drink a lot of coffee to keep me going through the day, so eliminating sugar will be impossible but I can try to reduce it.

My stats:

  • Starting Weight:  163.2 lbs
  • Goal Weight:  145 lbs

Mamavation is a weight loss support group that uses social media to help women and especially mothers to lead a healthy lifestyle.  You can learn more about Mamavation by visiting the website, following on Twitter or liking on Facebook.

22nd Jan2011

Proof That I Love My Family

by Daenel
Thermometer 1

The temperature at 12:30 AM

Last night my husband crawled out of bed and asked me to go to the pharmacy to pick up something for his “man cold.”  That was the temperature on my car’s thermometer…

Thermometer 2

The temperature at 7 AM

This was the temperature this morning when I drove my daughter to school for a trip.  I don’t care what they say, this is not appropriate winter weather!

How cold is it where you are?

21st Jan2011

Bible in 90 Days: Day 19 SOAP

by Daenel

Whoa, cannot believe that we’ve hit day 19 and that we’ve covered 8½ books of the Bible. There are so many stories that I’m reading for the first time and details from other stories that are being re~learned.  Reading the Bible for yourself is incredibly different from listening to a minister or lay leader read it to you (or even from perusing the scriptures during services).

I have to admit, there have been times when my eyes have glazed over (the incredible amount of laws, the division of the lands, etc) so I’ve had to really focus and eliminate distractions.  I’ve found that the best times for me to read are in the mornings just after the kids leave for school, there’s no one hear except for the dog and me.  I can settle in with my coffee and my Bible and just read.

I’ve decided not to write a SOAP every day but rather to write one every 5th day unless the spirit moves me to do otherwise.  In the meantime, continue reading and God’s blessings be upon you…

SOAP RingSCRIPTURE

Judges 16:28

Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord God, ‘please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God, that I may be avenged on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

OBSERVATION

Samson, like many of us, had a weakness (his weakness happened to be women) and even when he knew the dangers of dealing with certain women (Delilah, honey, I’m looking at you), he kept falling into temptation.  In his prayer, Samson acknowledges his sin and then prays the prayer of repentance and trust (“remember me” is the phrase commonly used by those who are asking God to bring them back into the fold).

APPLICATION

In my daily life I’m tempted to say things that I shouldn’t say or react to things in ways that I know are contrary to God’s ways, but I also work hard not to fall into a pattern of repeated sin.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your never ending grace and mercy.  Thank you for the love and patience that You show me on a daily basis, even as I continue to test You.

I know that I stumble in my daily walk with You and I ask that You not forget who I am but remember me as Your daughter.  Give me the strength to be silent when I need to be and the wisdom to use Your words when I need to speak.

Amen.

For more information about SOAP and its use for the Bible in 90 Days Challenge, please read What is SOAP? on Mom’s Toolbox.

20th Jan2011

Rock the Red Pump: 500 in 50

by Daenel

Rock the Red PumpThe Rock the Red Pump 500 in 50 Campaign has begun and I’m so excited!  Why?  Because this is an opportunity for you, my sisters and brothers in blogging/vlogging, to become part of a global community of bloggers who are raising awareness about HIV/AIDs.

Every year, the United States has recognizes 10 March as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDs Awareness Day.  This is a nationwide initiative to raise awareness about the impact that HIV/AIDs is having on the lives of women and girls all across the U.S.

In observance of the day, the Red Pump Project is asking bloggers and vloggers to join in the third annual Rock the Red Pump 500 in 50 Campaign.  The goal is to get 500 bloggers to “Rock the Red Pump” on their blog’s sidebar in 50 days.

This will be my second year participating in the Rock the Red Pump 500 in 50 Campaign and let me tell you, there’s nothing like looking fierce while wearing a pair of red shoes and knowing you’re doing something good at the same time.  To see my shoes from last year, check out my Facebook page.

If you’d like to join, you can sign up here.

Now I’m off to find another pair of red pumps….

For more information about the Red Pump Project:

Facebook:  Red Pump Project
Flickr:  Red Pump Project
Twitter: @RedPumpProj
Website:  Red Pump Project
YouTube: Red Pump Project

19th Jan2011

Library Day in the Life Project Round 6

by Daenel

The 6th round of the Library Day in the Life Project is hosted by Bobbi at Librarian by Day and will begin on Monday, 24 January.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all and reading about the lives of my fellow librarians.  My hope is that by participating in this project that you all will see how vital library services are to your communities and that you will step forward and allow your voices to be heard when government officials consider slashing services.

Flickr ~ pictures from participants in the Library Day in the Life Project

Wiki ~ a list of all of the Library Day in the Life Project participants

17th Jan2011

Save Libraries: What Would Losing Your Library Cost You?

by Daenel

Save LibrariesA couple of days ago, a friend and I were talking on Facebook about the closing of her local library and the disruption it’s going to cause in her schedule.  You see, she doesn’t just use the library for checking out material and doing research, she and her son walk to the library when the weather is nice and they use that time to talk and just enjoy each other’s company.  They also like to stop at the local park so her son can play while she reads or catches up with other mothers in her neighborhood.

The library has become a “memory holder” for my friend and her son.  As her son gets older and the mother~son moments become fewer, they’ll always be able to look back and remember their walks to the library, the stops at the park, the book reading at night, etc.

For many parents, the library is more than a place to find books, it’s one of the first places their children learn to connect with other kids ~ through story time and other children’s activities.  The library is the place that preps their kids for school.  Think of all the things children get introduced to at story time:

  • Listening and vocalization
  • Use of the imagination
  • Connecting stories and crafts
  • Fine motor skill development
  • Big motor skill development
  • Following rules

And, for some children, the local library is the only place where they have access to a computer.  Libraries provide the foundation for a solid education.

These are the things that the powers that be don’t know when they make the decision to cut services at or close libraries.  By removing these services from our communities (or cutting back on the hours these services are available), a disservice is being done to the children and the parents in our communities.

What would losing your library cost your community?

To save your library, consider joining grassroots organizations like Save Libraries or I Love Libraries.  Or, better yet, go to your local library and become a friend of the library.

16th Jan2011

Bible in 90 Days: Day 14 SOAP

by Daenel

SOAP RingSCRIPTURE

Deuteronomy 11:1

You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.

OBSERVATION

God’s greatest commandment is to love Him above even ourselves and the way to demonstrate that love is to follow His commandments.

APPLICATION

Why do we establish rules for our children?  Is it because we don’t want them to have any fun?  No, the rules are to keep them safe and protect them from the unintended consequences of bad behaviors.  Disobedience to family rules can cause all sorts of problems within the family from the mild, a broken dish, to the extreme, breakdown of the family unit.

The greatest gift that children can give to their parents is obedience because it shows love and respect for everything that the parents do for their children.

Our Heavenly Father provides us with rules, not to keep us from having fun, but to protect us from the repercussions of dangerous deeds.  Obeying Him shows respect and gratitude for all that He has done for us.

PRAYER

Lord thank you for the commandments that you have given to us.  Help me to follow your precepts more closely that I may walk in your will and under your protection.  Help me, Lord, to accept your discipline when I do wrong and your grace when I do right.

For more information about SOAP and its use for the Bible in 90 Days Challenge, please read What is SOAP? on Mom’s Toolbox.

11th Jan2011

Book Review: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

by Daenel

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de RosnayBOOK DESCRIPTION

De Rosnay’s U.S. debut fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél’ d’Hiv’ roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. Already translated into 15 languages, the novel is De Rosnay’s 10th (but her first written in English, her first language). It beautifully conveys Julia’s conflicting loyalties, and makes Sarah’s trials so riveting, her innocence so absorbing, that the book is hard to put down. ~ Publisher’s Weekly

About the Author

Tatiana de Rosnay was born in the suburbs of Paris and is of English, French and Russian descent.  She is the author of nine French novels.  She also writes for French ELLE, and is a literary critic for Psychologies magazine.  Tatiana de Rosnay is married and has two children.  Sarah’s Key is her first novel written in her mother tongue, English.

MY OPINION

Absolutely haunting.  Those are the only words I can use to describe this novel.  I’ve read a few Holocaust based novels and each time I’ve been left feeling numb but this one was different because it is the story of a child told from the point of view of a reporter with a startling connection to the story.

Bouncing back and forth between the past (Sarah’s story) and the present (Julia’s story), de Rosnay did a wonderful job of tapping into my emotional center and making me care very deeply about all of the characters in the story (even Julia’s husband).  This is not an easy read because of the topic but it’s worth the heartbreak and the tears.

I’ve taken classes on European history and not once do I ever remember reading about the roundup of Parisian Jews by the French police.  I ended up doing supplemental reading to find out more about the roundup of French Jews and their fate ~ a very tragic story.  This is a part of history that needs to be re~examined and studied so that the deaths of so many people (especially the heartbreaking deaths of so many children) will never be forgotten.

Note, if you’re in a book club, there are book group discussion questions at the end of the novel.

RATING
★★★★★/★★★★★

Disclosure:  This review refers to the electronic version of this book.  I did not receive any compensation for this review.

10th Jan2011

Monday Mingle: Voices that Speak to Me

by Daenel

Monday MingleMonday Mingle is hosted by Jenn at Eighty MPH Mom. If you’d like to participate, simply create a short vlog in which you answer the questions and then hit up the linky. Don’t forget to grab the badge and leave some comment love for your fellow participants.  After all, isn’t that what mingling is all about?

This week’s questions were submitted by Lynsey:
1. Who has the best voice you have ever heard? Or sexiest?
2. Would you rather be smarter, more athletic, or better looking?
3. If you were a doctor, which specialty would you choose?

Next week’s questions are:
1.  How do you feel about doing fun challenges for Monday Mingle every once in awhile?  Like take a video of yourself trying to blow the shell off of a hardboiled egg (just an example)
2.  Who is one of your heroes and why does he or she inspire you?
3.  What was the best TV sitcom ever?

09th Jan2011

Bible in 90 Days: Week 1

by Daenel

Bible in 90 DaysWow!  Week 1 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge is complete!  That’s two books ~ Genesis and Exodus ~ read in seven days.  I grew up in the church (both of my parents are preachers) and I can honestly tell you, reading the scriptures for yourself is a totally different experience than listening to or reading along with a sermon.  Furthermore, I didn’t realize how much of my knowledge of Bible stories had been influenced by movies like The Bible:  In the Beginning… and The Ten Commandments.  Trust me, as wonderful as the movies are, the book is so much better.

Although this is a Bible reading and not a Bible study per se, Amy does recommend that challenge participants use SOAP for guidance through the challenge.  SOAP is an acrostic that stands for:

Scripture
Observation
Application
Prayer

For more information about SOAP, read Amy’s post What is SOAP?  Currently, I’m not using SOAP as I read through the Bible, but I may give it a try as I get further into the reading.

The book of Genesis covers man’s creation, original sin, redemption and the genealogy of Christ.  One of the things I found most surprising through my reading is that there were two trees in the Garden of Eden that God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat or touch.  I honestly thought it was just the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” and that’s it.  But in Genesis 2:9, the Bible mentions “the tree of life” and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”.  It was from the tree of knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve ate, thereby causing their fall from grace.  By eating the fruit of the tree, Adam and Eve became wise to their condition (nakedness and they felt shame), but they were prevented from eating from the tree of life when God cast them from the garden and blocked access to the tree of life with sword wielding cherubim (Genesis 3:24).  It is from this tree that the saints will eat after Christ’s return thereby gaining everlasting life.  Talk about foreshadowing…

From Exodus I was able to gain a better understanding of the covenant between God and the nation of Israel.  The covenant was originally established between God and Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3 and 7, (God promises Abraham that his descendants will be fruitful and multiply and that they will be established in a “land flowing with milk and honey”).  This covenant is fulfilled throughout the book of Exodus as the Jewish people escape oppression in Egypt, wander the desert and settle in the Promised Land.  It was also during this time that Moses is given the Ten Commandments as well as the law for making atonement for sins.

I have learned so much from reading the Bible and look forward to learning much more and sharing with you.  I probably won’t do a book~by~book breakdown all the time but I will share scriptures that standout to me.

The Bible in 90 Days Challenge is hosted by Amy at Mom’s Toolbox.  I’m using The MacArthur Study Bible for this challenge.

08th Jan2011

Google Reader App for Android

by Daenel

Google Reader Android App QR CodeLast week,  I wrote about how I wanted to use my Droid for more than just an expensive texting and social networking tool.  I wanted to discover ways to use my phone that would be beneficial to me as a mother, blogger and librarian. Whew, that’s a lot but for what I paid for this phone and what I pay for my monthly bill, I should get a lot.

One of the first apps that I’ve discovered is Google Reader {which no longer exists}. Many of you already use Google Reader to keep up with your favorite blogs on your computers, but what about when you’re on the go?  And if you’re anything like me, you’re always on the go.  Sitting in parking lots or on bleachers waiting for your kids to begin or finish activities is prime reading time.

The app syncs with your Google account, so all the blogs you get in your reader are accessible on your phone.  I’ve been using the app for a little over a week now and I’ve found it to be super easy to use.  I love that my folders have been imported and unread or read blogs are easily identified on my phone.

You can download the app from the Android Market through the QR Code above.

If you’re already using the Google Reader app, do you like it?  Did you find it easy to use?

07th Jan2011

Family Movie Night: Change of Plans

by Daenel

Has your life worked out the way you planned?  I know mine sure didn’t.  When I was younger, I thought I’d graduate from high school, go to college and begin a career as a globe~trotting journalist or spy.  Instead, I graduated from high school, joined the Army, got married, had 4 children and became a librarian.  But, you know what, sometimes the most unexpected surprises come when your plans get changed.

A few weeks ago, Modern Moms provided me with the opportunity to preview a movie called Change of Plans the next movie in Proctor & Gamble’s and Walmart’s successful Family Movie Night.  What an awesome opportunity!  This movie shows how one family deals with the stress that comes from the unexpected and how the unwanted becomes not just the wanted, but the needed.

Change of Plans Synopsis

Up to this point, Sally Danville’s life has played out just as she hoped it would. A beautiful and free-spirited musician, she and her fighter-pilot husband, Jason, live life on the go, free of domestic responsibilities. But with a single phone call from Child & Family Services case worker, Dorothy (Phylicia Rashad, The Cosby Show), she learns that things don’t always go according to plan. Sally (Brooke White, American Idol) is met with the news that her best friend from college has died in a tragic accident on a Peace Corps mission and has named Sally the legal guardian of her four kids – 3 of them adopted from third-world countries. Now Sally and Jason (Joe Flanigan, Stargate Atlantis) must quickly learn to parent this instant family and help the kids deal with the culture clash of life in America. The story is both humorous and heartwarming, revealing how fulfilling life can be when you look beyond your own plans and invest in the lives of others. ~ Taken from the Modern Moms Website

Doesn’t that look like fun?  I’m asking all of my friends to join me and my family on Saturday, 8 January at 8/7 C to watch Change of Plans (check your Fox channel for the correct station).  If you plan to join us, let me know.  And don’t forget to leave me some snack ideas, other than popcorn and chips, I’m at a total loss!

Family Movie Night is part of Family Moments, an initiative created by Proctor & Gamble and Walmart to bring families together by providing meaningful entertainment.  For more about Family Movie Night, click here.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  I found out about Family Movie Night through Modern Moms and I think this is an awesome idea.  My husband is employed by P&G.

06th Jan2011

Create Your Own Android App for Free

by Daenel

Android AppOne of my “geek goals” for this year is to be more adventurous in the exploration and use of technology (either for my blog or at my job as a librarian), so I was happy when my friend, Bobbi, posted this little nugget:  Librarian by Day as an Android App.  In the post, she shares how she turned her blog into an app for Android.  Genius!  Especially for all of you mom bloggers who want to read updated content while you’re on the go (seriously, there’s nothing worse than sitting at your kid’s practice with nothing to read).  I also see this app being useful for moms who host memes and need to update their followers.  I know I could use app like this while participating in the Bible in 90 Days Challenge.

After you sign up for an account with Feed.nu, you are provided with step~by~step directions for turning your blog’s feed into an Android App.  Don’t worry if you’re not too tech savvy, the hardest part of the process is creating your icons, I used Paint.

It costs $25 to upload your app to the Android Market (to make it, you know, official).  Or you can download the app from the link provided (I paid the $25 because I wanted to see what it would look like).  If you want to download the Living Outside the Stacks app to your Android phone you can search for it under the “Social”  tab in the free app section (if you use search, I found that it’s easier to find under “DaenelT”).

I love when I learn something from my librarian friends that I think can be useful to my mom blogger friends (and vice versa).

*Note right now, this app only works for Android phones….

Do you think you’ll create an Android app for your blog?

05th Jan2011

Wednesday Wrap~Up

by Daenel

Wow!  We’re halfway through our first week of 2011 and so far so good.  Actually, for two people out there, things are great ~ they hit that Mega Millions Jackpot.  Well, you know it’s not me, ’cause as much as I love y’all, a girl would have gone undercover, changed her name and everything.

But I’ve had some wins of my own this week….

  • I finished reading Perfect Peace by Daniel Black, the first book off my “To Be Read List” for 2011.  If you’d like to read my review, go here.  I’ve started on the second book, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, and let’s just say you should buy stock in Kleenex because these are some tear~jerkers.
  • Today is the 3rd day of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge and I’m still hanging in there.  I grew up in the church and have never read the Bible all the way through (only the scriptures used during services, Bible study, etc) so I’m pretty excited about this challenge.  I’ve been assigned to a wonderful group of women for discussion and sharing.  There’s also an active Twitter community, just use #B90Days to find them.
  • My librarian/information professional friends and I are still holding steady with the Daily Image 2011.  I’m so totally loving the creativity of the photography but I’m enjoying the stories that go with the pictures even more.  Also I’m feeling more connected to people in the field that I wouldn’t know otherwise because of distance.
  • I’ve worked out every day this week (I know it’s only the 3rd day in but you have to celebrate the small victories as if they’re large ones).  My weight today is 161.2 lbs so I’m hoping there’ll be a change this time next week.  I downloaded the C25K app on my Droid on Saturday and started the run on Monday, so YAY ME!  I’m hoping that instead of walking in a 5K this year that I’ll be able to run in one.

That’s about it for this week but I’m pretty happy with what I’ve accomplished so far.

What about you, do you have anything exciting to share?

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