Monday, February 25, 2013

Hazel Nutt Book Reviews


I read three of Hazel Nutt's books, in exchange for honest review. The books are entitled: What Squirrels do: Just for fun; What Squirrels do when you are not looking; and What Squirrels do: the Squirrel Olympics. Each book is written from the perspective of Hazel Nutt. 


About the Author


Hazel Nutt is a baby who is nutty about nature, especially squirrels, whom she often has
a good natter with. They tell her their secrets and her parents help her write them down
to share with the world, as picture books. Loving nature is really important to her and Hazel Nutt hopes to make sure that lots of other kids get nutty about nature as well.

Author Website:
Book Website:

Contact Details:
Email: HazelNutt@Hazelnutt.com or HazelNutt@WhatSquirrelsDo.com

Social Media Links:
Twitter:
Facebook:
Google+
Amazon:

What Squirrels do when you're not looking
The book has excellent graphics. The book also rhymes. The book discusses what squirrels do when we are not looking (swinging, going to bathroom, buying food, etc. The book was a quick read and the kids loved it. The book is available on CreateSpace, Amazon


Paperback: 36 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1478363800
ISBN-13: 978 - 1478363804
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches



Product Links:
Amazon UK
Kindle
Kindle UK



What Squirrels do: just for fun

Once again, the book has excellent graphics. In this book, Hazel wants to know what squirrels do for fun. Some activities include making faces at people; shaking branches, and swinging from branches. The kids loved the book.

Paperback:32 pages
Publisher:CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Language:English
ISBN-10:1482354195
ISBN-13:978-1482354195
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches

Product Links:
Kindle
Paperback
Kindle UK
Amazon UK

What Squirrels do: squirrel Olympics.
First the book has excellent graphics. Hazel Nutt is discussing the squirrel Olympics. The competition has the vertical leap, the high jump, tennis, and running. The squirrels also bungee jump. The book teaches children about the different types of sports.


Paperback:32 pages
Publisher:CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Language:English
ISBN-10:1482354195
ISBN-13:978-1482354195
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches



Product Links:
Createspace:
Amazon.
Amazon UK
Kindle
Kindle UK






Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rosebud Blooming

I read Rosebud Blooming, in exchange for honest review from BookSneeze.The book was written by Nancy Maggio and published by WestBow Press.

I used Reader for PC to read the book and I admit I did not like the panel format, but I loved the book. The book discusses moving forward, even when life has challenges. We need to find ways to move past the pain and depend more on God, during the good times and bad times.

I am not a perfect Christian. I have made plenty of mistakes. Some of my issues, I had to truly rely on God because I could not trust people. As we rely on God, we mature and blossom into more beautiful human beings.

The book presents stories and poems. The first poem was simply beautiful. It was entitled Unfolding this rosebud. The poem was saying the author was a rosebud, who could not grow because she was in so much pain. Her heart was hurting. She needed God to help unfold the rosebud and to help her grow, otherwise she would wither away and die. Seeking God and maintaining a relationship will also require maturity, wisdom, and and trust.

The other stories and poems have a reoccurring theme of listening and depending on God. One of the first stories discusses hearing a voice in the woods, and thinking it was grandma. Nancy and her brother heard the voice and ran towards it because her brother was hurt. The voice was God because their grandma did not know the kids were missing. Another good story involved an unplanned pregnancy and the boyfriend wanted an abortion; child molestation; single parenting; child illness; depression,  and addiction

The book, discusses finding freedom in letting the past go. We have to free those old skeletons in the closet and give God the burdens, worry, and baggage. Let God handle our problems. I really enjoyed reading this book. I did identify with some of the author's stories and poems, especially on single parenting,, depression, and addiction.

I review for BookSneeze®

Friday, February 22, 2013

Amidst Traffic by Michel Sauret

I read Amidst Traffic, in exchange for review by Michel Sauret. The book was published by One Way Street Productions. I received the paperback from Sauret. I also have the Kindle version and the Smashwords copy, I got on my own, so I can read it on my e-readers and the Kindle, of course.

About the Author: paraphased from the back of the book

Sauret, is an indie author, who was born in Rome, Italy.  Sauret graduated from University of Pittsburgh English writing department. He published "Breathing God", his first novel at 18. He also served as a public affairs specialist and journalist for the United States Army since 2004. Sauret also has won several awards, including Army Journalist of the year in 2008. He also was featured in the Northside Chronicle recently, but I could not find the article online.

My thoughts:

The book is a collection of short stories. First, I liked the coding at the beginning of the book which signified language, violence, or sexual references. The codes were the first thing, which stood out. I wanted to incorporate something similar into my next poetry book, whenever that may be. I loved the stories from Eli and his strange dream in Three Straws. I also loved Voice with a Reason. Trevor's story was emotional and intense. Voice with a Reason details the story of Trevor, voices in his head, and a bank robbery. I was entranced from beginning to end, and the end was not what I was expecting, neither was the middle. Another good story was Blessed are the War People. The story was about Myron, a military journalist, heading to Iraq. He had his camera and ammunition, ready to work, yet getting angry at a woman at the airport.  Myron also got angry at a few soldiers, but with the power of Christ, he forgave them. Though, Myron was in a war-torn country, he recognized the power of God and recognizing the enemy within ourselves.  He seemed to be passive. I saw part of myself in him. Being angry on the inside and not doing anything about it, until it builds up. The stories were descriptive, graphic, and detailed. Definitely would want to see this book in audio format. Next, I loved the cover. It was simply beautiful.


Articles discussing Amidst Traffic:
Pittsburgh City Paper:

Blogtalk radio podcast, featuring Sauret

Upcoming Appearances:


Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Workshop: "Writing Short Stories with Long-Lasting Effects" | Allegheny Library
 | 6:00 p.m.



Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Workshop: "Self Publishing: Rising Above the Stigma" | Shaler Library
 | 6:30 p.m.



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Will I ever have sex again? No will I ever be completely ready

wrote this back in January, but forgot it was in draft mode.

I havent had sex since November, 2010. Prior to this, I experienced a loss of sex drive since my last miscarriage in 2009. The second miscarriage led to me not wanting sex as much. It also lead to postpartum depression. I went from having sex with a lot of men on a weekly basis to a few men, spread out over the month. I hardly added new men to the mix after that. All regulars-all repeats.

Fast forward two years later- I have two wonderful kids. I want to date, but scared to. I also don't want to fall back into old habits. I don't (right now) want to have sex (for the time being until an indefinite time). I don't want to be pressured into having sex again (by any man). If I have sex, I may acquire my old taste and old addictions (toys, masturbation, and of course sex). I was a nymphomaniac. I was a sex addicted.

Then, I have to consider the possibility that my skills (no matter how average) may have declined. Toss in a few new missing teeth (since I am a-scared of the dentist) and I am not wanting to sex anything for a long time.

A dude asked for my time this weekend and I could not give him a definite yes. I have myself and my kids to think about. I want to date but not sure if this is the right time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mind of her own

I read Mind of her own, in exchange for honest review from Tyndale Blog Network. The book was written by Diana Desire Brandmeyer and published by Tyndale House Publishers Inc.

The book is about Louisa, who develops a case of amnesia after a knock to the head by a George Foreman Grill. (which is why I chose the book. The description was amazing). She can't remember her name or her life, with three kids.

The book opens as Louisa is reading a romance novel, maybe she reading a steamy love scene. Anyway, she is entranced in the book, and jolted back to reality, when the kids start fighting and screaming. Nothing like children to mess up a little tranquility. :-) The scene continues as mama tries to diffuse the situation, with a smart-mouthed child too. Louisa is also in a relationship with Collin and they are currently not speaking or sleeping in the same bed because of a fight. This is just the beginning, in addition to a headache and an annoying grandma :-) Oh yeah, they have a dog named Cleo.

I definitely felt Louisa's pain--the kids, annoying relatives, stay-at-home mom--the frustration--the need for a quick break.  Taking on too much--juggling one too many balls, and hoping a ball does not fall. Then, BOOM, the grill hits her in the head. The first few pages and scenes really grabbed me. I was lost in the book. The book was a great read. Will continue to read until it expires.









The Pony

videoKalen got his pony on Monday, February 18, 2013. He is learning to use it very slowly. So far, he either moves backwards or stays in one spot. Most of the time, he cries until he figures out how to escape. He had one successful escape and one fall so far. He also got approval for his braces. His braces will arrive in four to eight weeks, from last week. The walker is on loan from his physical therapist. He has to practice two to three times per day, for 30 minutes each session. Ms. Sandy said practice on tile, even though I have tried to put him on carpet as well. I recorded the carpet videos yesterday. The video with Kalen and Sariyah, my great niece, was recorded today. 
video
video
video

Time Control by Justin Byers

I read Time Control, in exchange for honest review from Empowerment Nation.  The book was written by Justin Byers and published by Empowerment Nation.

First, the first sentence kind of irritated the grad student in me. I wanted to edit the sentence APA style (it, there, that). The second sentence is a little lengthy, which can lead to confusion.

 Other than that, people are drained by work, kids, and finding time for self. People also want to improve productivity and accomplish dreams, but first, we need to identify goals, schedule time to complete goals, and make a commitment to achieve goals.

Goals also require a change. We have to identify goals, in addition to monitoring and identifying progress. We also have to find time to work on and complete goals. We also need to be honest with self, when accomplishing goals. Next, we need to identify why we want to accomplish each goal. Specify each goal, with details. For example, the book discussed finding a new home versus finding a better living situation.

Next, the book discussed time destroyers. Some of mine included procrastination, pessimism, and not having a plan to tackle large tasks. I need to break goals into smaller tasks, schedule time to complete tasks, and focus on one task at a time.

I am also subject to time distortion, or over estimating time needed to complete a task. I also rush into tasks without thinking.

Finally, the book provides tips for being more productive. The tips include:


  1. Plan and schedule all tasks, including small, moderate, and large. 
  2. Track daily activities to determine time wasters. 
  3. Identify distractions (television, websites, online gaming, etc). 
  4. Group and double up tasks
  5. set aside time blocks to work
  6. use a friend as an accountability partner
  7. reward self for achieving goals
  8. set aside a dedicated work space
  9. don't let failures get to you
  10. Attempt tasks, even if you do a bad job
  11. limit negative emotions. 
  12. remind self of past successes
  13. get sleep and rest. 



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Childrens Book Reviews



I read Where is my baby, in exchange for review from Edelweiss. The book was written by Harriet Ziefett and illustrated by Simms Tabeck. The book was published by Blue Apple Books. The book was a quick read. The book had excellent colors, design, and graphics. Great read for the children.The book has each mama (or daddy) animal, looking for their baby. The book also teaches about the names of baby animals (chick, piglet, kid, etc). The kids loved the book.



I read Eggs, 1, 2, 3, who will the babies be, in exchange for review from Edelweiss. The book was written by Janet Halfmann and Illustrated by Betsy Thompson. The book was published by Blue Apple books. Key selling points from Edelweiss:



  1. Kids are interested in reading about baby animals
  2. Poetic flow and nature facts. 
  3. The book teaches kids how to count
  4. The book is interactive
  5. The art and design work is fabolous
  6. The author has wrote over a dozen nature-themed animal books. 
The book was a quick read. I loved the artwork and graphics. The book flowed poetically. The first story is on penguins. The penguin family is waiting for their egg to hatch. The book also teaches counting skills, in addition to guessing skills. For example, the section on platypi, only shows the platypus tail. The kids can guess which animal the tail belongs to. Maybe it's a playpus, maybe it's a beaver. Great read. 




I read Do you wear diapers, in exchange for review from Edelwiess. The book was written by Tanya Roitman and published by Blue Apple Books. The book was a quick read and the kids loved it. I also chose it because my youngest is still in diapers and my oldest is in pull-ups. I added images from the book to the right

The book asks different animals do you wear diapers? and each animal responds with how they go to the bathroom. For example, the bear poops in the woods and the tiger poops in the jungle. The other animals respond with where they poop at. The book also teaches kiddies about animal habitats. Loved the book.




Women's guide to reading the bible in a year by Diane Storz

I read A woman's guide to reading the bible in a year by Diane Stortz, in exchange for honest review from Netgalley. The book was published by Bethany House Publishing.  I wish I skimmed this book sooner because I truly enjoyed reading it this weekend. Definitely am thinking about buying either the Kindle or paperback version of the book.

Second, The book starts out with inspirational stories, starting with a ladies group, who desired to read the bible in a year, focusing on three chapters per day. The group eventually broke off into multiple groups, including a men's group. The stories also included a Jehovah's witness, who desired more, in addition to a missionary, who realized she lacked familiarity with the bible, even though she taught it.

Why I chose the book: I never read the entire bible. I read the verses outlined in Church, plus a few chapters on my own. Read the book of Revelation a few times, but I never thought of reading the entire bible in a year. Definitely need to work on reading the bible more, plus memorization. Never memorized a bible verse, let alone a chapter,  a day in my life, I think, except like the last verse: AMEN or JESUS WEPT. Of Course, there is In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

Third, The book was very inspirational. Stortz (2013) discusses how we can find truth and love within the bible. We also can find encouragement, forgiveness,  hope, understanding, accountability, appreciation, direction,healing, release,  and peace. Next, Diane told her story of being born with one, fully formed, hip socket, instead of two. She was placed in full body casts around the age of one, in addition to staying in the hospital in traction. She eventually wore braces and then learned to walk. God is good. Very inspirational since my youngest son can not walk yet. He is in Early Childhood and Physical therapy. Tomorrow, he is getting a gait walker, which is to help his balance and muscular structure. God is truly blessing him with great therapists and he has made great progress since last year.

Fourth, the book provided tips for reading the book. For example, you can start anytime. The pages are not dated. You can use the guide with any bible version. You will read about three chapters per day, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes. It is also ok if you fall behind or get confused. You can catch up or re-read anytime. Stortz definitely focuses on using the bible to develop a closer relationship with God, which affects other relationships, such as family. Diane also encourages using the book to record your thoughts as you read the book. The book also provides guidelines for group reading.

Fifth, Stortz provided a brief history of the bible (from God speaking directly to men to traditional publishing), in addition to the books of the bible. Everything I mentioned so far, is found in the first 30 or so pages of her book.

Finally, the book provides an outline for reading the bible in a year. Each section has a selected theme, bible verses, in addition to checkpoints. The author discusses each theme first, before getting into verses and questions. Each section also has questions such as name something you learned or write down a bible verse you like to remember. The sections are very short. The bible verses given for each section also has a check box, to check your progress, I assume.




Friday, February 15, 2013

I want to date, go out, have a life, and not always involve the kids

Another rant from a special needs parent: Some things you may have heard before

I want to date, go  out, and have a life, and not always with the kids. I love my kids, yes I do, but some days, I need a break. I don't have babysitters because I do not trust too many people with my special ones. I don't know too many real-life people, who do not voice their diverse, irritating opinion about my babies.


  1. Why does Brad act that way?
  2. Brad just needs a whipping and his autism will go away?
  3. You need to watch your kids 24 hours a day. You don't need sleep. Your kids are too bad.
  4. I hope Kalen does not turn out like Brad. 
  5. I hope Kalen will be the normal one
  6. When you die, I am sending Brad back to his father and keeping Kalen. 
  7. When is Brad going back to live with Brad Sr. 
  8. I can't keep Brad because he not potty trained. He will pee on the couch (even wearing a pull-up). But Can I keep Kalen (who wears diapers)
  9. If only you would, then Brad or Kalen would not ________________________
  10. Put Brad on additional medications, which will make him a zombie or sleep all day, to make my life (not Stacie's) easier. 



I hear people, who want to date me, ask When do you get time for yourself? When do you get a break? The question is old. The question irritates me because my kids are with me most of the time. If I sleep, I have two kids in my bed. If I go to the bathroom, a kid or two is knocking on the door. Maybe, a kid is in his bouncer in the bathroom with me to protect him from his big brother.

There is a nursery and SPED class at church though, but still I check the pager consistently to see if the kids are acting up.

I don't want to have sex yet. I do not drink a lot. My life is about the kids. I just want time to think, to breathe, to socialize.

Then, you have to consider things have changed. I used to have one kid, who stayed with his father. I got him on some weekends. I did not get him all the time. Didn't want to inconvenience anyone. Didn't want Brad to feel unwelcome. I also did not feel I could offer Brad all he needs. Thought since he was a boy, his father could control, discipline, and teach him manly things.

Since I got Brad full-time again, in 2011, I learned Brad really did need me. Some things I have taught him, I wish I taught him before, like peeing and showering and brushing his teeth. If it wasn't for Kalen being born, I would never have appreciated Brad more. I had conflicting thoughts during the pregnancy. Could I love this child? Will he be special needs? When will I see Brad again? Will I have a full-term pregnancy? I also had thoughts about my first two miscarriages, which consumed me.

Eventually, I decided that I wanted a child, a boy child, who will live. I didn't care if he was 5 armed, 30 fingers, and green. I wanted my baby. I wanted my oldest son. I did not, never, ever, ever, want another miscarriage again. and after Kalen was born, I got fixed. I had a new appreciation for the unborn male child and my oldest child. Anything was better than another miscarry. Anything was better than losing a baby, legs propped up, in a hospital alone.

I love my kids. I am responsible for my kids. I will cuss and fuss and fight and kill for my chillens. Definitely a crazy parent, with anger and other un-diagnosed mental issues.

Words can change your brain

I read Words can change your brain, in exchange for review from NetGalley. The book was written by Andrew B. Newberg and Mark Robert Walman.

The book discusses how communication can build trust, resolve conflict, and increase intimacy. People need to chose their words carefully, listen, and observe non verbal body cues.

The right words (or wrong ones) can affect stress levels (physical and emotional), behavior, meaning, tangible benefits, and intangible beneifts.

The book also discusses the 12 strategies of compassionate communication: 10 of which includes:


  1. relax
  2. stay present
  3. cultivate inner silence
  4. increase positivity
  5. reflect on deepest values
  6. observe non verbal cues
  7. appreciation
  8. speak warmly
  9. speak slowly
  10. speak briefly

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How Katie got a Voice

I read How Katie got a voice, in exchange for honest review. The book was written by Patricia L. Mervine and published by Trafford Publishing. I received a print edition of the book a few days ago, and read it in one sitting. The book is excellent.

I chose the book because I felt a connection to Katie. I have two special needs children. My oldest, for those, who don't know, has ADHD and Autism. My youngest has developmental delays.

Katie is disabled (wheelchair bound) and can not speak. Katie relies on her attendant to help her in the classroom. She also uses a speak book, which allows her to use her eyes to communicate with her assistant. She enrolls at Cherry Street school, where everyone has a cool nickname. The book is narrated by Miguel, who gives out the nicknames to most of the school, including the principal, teacher, and janitor. With a little help from the speech therapist, Ms. Lips, Katie learns new ways to communicate, and earns a nickname. Ms. Lips and Katie, work together to surprise the classroom.

Definitely enjoyed the book because people have different methods of communication. Not everyone can traditionally speak. Brad can speak, but he can also point, grunt, and knows a few signs. Kalen also does not speak except his one word. therapist is attempting to teach him sign language. The book will be a great read for the special needs community (parents, siblings, speech therapists) and can be used to teach acceptance, inclusion, and disability etiquette. The last few pages in the book, after the story ends, lists disability etiquette. Some tips include:


  1. Do not stare and/or ignore people with disabilities. 
  2. Do not shout or speak to the disabled, like they are younger or not as smart as you. 
  3. When a disabled person has an aide, speak to the person, not the aide. If you talk to the aide, don't ignore the disabled person, as if he or she is not there. 
  4. Don't pet service pets without permission. They are performing a service and should not be distracted or disturbed. 
  5. Do not touch or play with any assisted technology devices. 
  6. Don't ask about their condition unless they bring up the subject. 
  7. Be patient. 
  8. Focus on the person, not the disability. 
I also attached a wonderful video, from Patricia's website. 




Book Information:
Author: Patricia L. Mervine
Illustrator: Ian Acker
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Distributor: www.speakingofspeech.com. The book is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble (print and Kindle formats)
Publication Date: July, 10, 2012
40 pages, softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4269-6649-1

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I don't like being needed (all the darn time)

The title explains it all: I do not like being needed all the darn time. It's one thing for the kids to need me. They need food, shelter, a diaper change, something to drink. They need to be bathed and dressed and nurtured and loved. It's another thing, when its other humans. I know no man is an island and people need each other, just not from the same person all the darn time. I don't mind helping aliens, humans, and other annoyances. I don't mind editing the occasional paper or watching the bad brat, from time to time.  Fulfill your needs from multiple parties, not just me. I am only one human, with two kids, graduate school, blogger, and book reviewer. I am part cook, part maid, part insane.

My mother and cousin is notorious for doing this, but my cousin is worse. Stacie, Can I have ____. Stacie can I borrow______________. Every time I turn around, someone is asking for something. I do have to wonder a few facets though:


  1. If you are always asking for stuff, do you ever plan on buying your own or continue to use up my (and kids) stuff? It is easy to buy your own stuff versus always asking from others, especially the basics (soap, toilet tissue, washing powder, baby supplies). I understand if you need something for an emergency, but not every day. 
  2. If you are always asking for help, did you try to fix it on your own first? did you consult a manual? did you ask other people? Call tech support? Do you really need help OR are you asking me to do it for you?
  3. Do you seriously like annoying me? Because I am not a people person. I am an anti-social human being. I hate being bothered all darn day (especially when Aunt Flo in town and she is getting on my nerves right now). 
Today, I got asked to keep my great-niece, while I was setting up for speech therapy for Brad. I got asked for the baby tub. I got asked to help hook up the vacuum. I even got asked for mouthwash and underwear. 


From a Christian standpoint, I do not have a servant spirit or gift. I am administration. I do have anger management issues, patience issues, and not a people person (Yes I know I repeated myself, but I have an A-type Personality, with anti-social tendencies). 

Yesterday, my cousin asked me for the baby tub to wash my great niece. I was washing Kalen at the time because he had an appointment with the orthopedist. Told her, leave the baby on my bed, I will clean her, and bring her downstairs, since I have to come downstairs anyway. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, this heifer-like person, decided to sit on my bed, watch me bathe the babies, and offer comments. It's 8 am in the morning. I have a 930 home appointment. Go away. but I hear:  I want to sit and talk to you.  Are they going to use the same water or are you going to change it out? Are you going to dry him off before putting her in the water? Are you using too much soap? Kalen has good hair. Blah blah blah Wah Wah Wah. 

I do like being needed, but not all the darn time. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kim McCosker Reviews

I read Baby Bowl, in exchange for honest review from Edelweiss. The book was written by Kim McCosker and published by Atria Books.

Offers ways to cook and make homemade baby food. I have read the 4 ingredients series from McCosker and love her. Next, I love the food characters towards the beginning of the book. The characters have names, with a list of their benefits. For example, Avocado is a source of protein and Banana is a source of fiber. McCosker also provides a list of kitchen tools and preparation methods needed to make baby food with. The author also discusses storage methods for fridge and freezer, along with use within time frames. She also discusses food allergies, reflux, gerd,  intolerance, and the right time to offer certain foods like nuts and honey. I enjoyed the information more than the recipes. One of the recipes I did like was the Apple Cream--made with Boobie Liquor, rice cereal, and an apple. I have made something similar but I used jarred baby food. The added boobie liquor also keeps people from eating the baby's food out the fridge :-). All of the recipes are easy to make and healthy for the baby. I loved this book.

I also read 4 Ingredients Christmas, in exchange for honest review from Edelweiss. The book was also written by Kim McCosker and Published by Atria Books. First, things first, the graphics were colorful, vibrant, and amazing. The first recipe, which stood out was the first recipe. The Reindeer Dust-simple, 3 ingredients, no cooking required, edible, and a decorative object to sprinkle on the lawn. The rest of the recipes require minimal ingredients and simple to make, like Almond Bread and Bacon and Avocado Bruschetta. The picture of the Bruschetta was simply divine. I also enjoyed the ham quiches, with the ham as the cup. You simply cook the quiches in muffin tins, but first lining each cup with a slice of ham. The brie and nut mixture was interesting enough to try. The cheese board requires no cooking, just preparation.  I wonder if that would work with bacon. Ooohh the watermelon and feta bites. :-) I love simple cooking. I am a big fan of McCosker's simple cooking style.

Finally, I read 4 Ingredients. One Pot, One bowl, in exchange for review from Edelweiss. The book was also published by McCosker and published by Atria Books. Once again, McCosker brings her simple cooking style into another cookbook. The recipes range from homemade lemon butter (never thought about lemon butter being this easy) to little cheddar pies. The book has quiches, sammies, bread bowls, and sloppy joes. Loved this book.




Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Compassionate-Mind guide to overcoming anxiiety

I read the Compassionate-Mind guide to overcoming anxiety, in exchange for honest review from Bethany House Reviewers Program. . The book was written by Dennis Tirch. The book was published by New Harbinger Publications.

I chose this book because I have anxiety issues. The book talked about how people are calmed by warmth, compassion, and connection with others. The book also discusses healthy ways to deal with aggression.

Anxiety also affects people physically (the body) via tingling, shallow breathing, tightening of the stomach, and panic attacks.

I also liked how the book discussed the types of anxiety. Panic Attacks can cause an increase in heart rate and hyperventilation. Generalized anxiety affects attitude (negativity). People may not feel safe or content. Anxiety also has basis in culture and experiences, which affect thoughts and actions. Next, people can experience social anxiety, which causes worry about what others think. People may fear rejection or alienation. Finally, people have specific phobias, such as spiders, heights, or snakes.

I have had panic attacks before, along with social phobia, generalized anxiety, and specific phobias. The book was a good read.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who is responsible for your kids?

I asked this question, after talking to my daddy.  Who is responsible for your kids? The answer is simple really, but some people make it more complicated.

A few years ago, 4 adults got into a car, with a baby. Open containers, drinking, etc. The car flipped. 4 adults, 1 baby, no car seat. None of these adults had enough sense to 1) bring the car seat along. 2) have enough sense to stay sober and stay at home.

Today, a few other relatives got into a car. 2 adults, 2 kids. Nothing wrong, but I realized about 10 minutes after they left, one brought a cup of straight liquor with her. She was not the driver. She may not drive at all, but there are two minors in the car. I am praying they get home safe. I asked my father, why didn't he stop them from taking the liquor? If I had realized it, I would have, but my mind was focused on something else (my kids). His response: the adults were grown. They can do what they want. He has no control over their actions, but the minor kids are his lineage, his genealogy line. His grand and great grand kids. He may not control other people, but he has enough sense to attempt control his grands and great grands. 

On the other hand, I can not blame my father. Let's talk about the grand daughter. She is old enough to not get into a car, where open containers and cups are present. and If she is already in the car, she should have enough sense to get her ass out. Not to mention, the great grand of my daddy's is her daughter. Your child, your responsibility to protect your children.

Plenty of times, kids get into stupid-ass situations and no one takes the blame. It's so and so fault. No one can force you to do something all the time. If all your actions are guided by some punk belly friends, then you need new friends :-). People do not want to take responsibility for their actions or their kids actions

Another example (and I am probably off-track here) is my daddy's former and current marriages. In every marriage, Willie Charles blames the women. He treats them right. He watches their kids. He gives them kids. He comes home. He does not mention his fault in any of the marriages. He does not mention the cheating, the extra kids, the drugs, the alcohol, the long periods of unemployment, and just his overall craziness. Then, again, he didn't force all 4 or 5 of his wives to say I do either.

Pastor Mike talked about parental responsibility weeks back. The parents are responsible for their kids well-being, health, socialization skills, educational skills, secular learning, etc etc etc. We are responsible for what they eat, what they say, what they do, who they hang out with, what medicines they can take, the doctors they go to, everything. (Of course, we need to counsel the Lord for guidance). The kids, I guess, can make decisions, but we, as parents, will discipline them for their stupidity, dumbness, ignorance, teenager-dom, etc.

The parents (or guardians) are responsible for the minor children. The blame can not be passed to someone else. I am responsible for Brad and Kalen. My gene pool, my lineage. They are my job for life, since they are special needs. Otherwise at 18, they are mostly responsible for themselves, with guidance from me and guidance primarily from God.


Anyway, everyone got home safe. God is Good.
Stacie D. Wyatt

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Giving credit to the father 1/20/13

I wrote this back in January at Church.

I am a Wyatt. My mother gave me and my sister, Willie C.'s name, even before they got married years later. Youngest sister is a Wyatt too. Willie C. isn't the best father in the world, but he is the father.

A few weeks ago, I decorated the game room. Added some furniture, cleaned it up, a little decor. Made it neater for Kalen and Sariyah. They needed to crawl around without getting in my way. My room is only so big with limited crawling spaces. We also wrote in chalk on the walls, since they are plan. On one of the longest walls, I wrote THE WYATT Family room.

Wyatt-my mother did not like the word on the wall. She said I was giving Willie C. too much credit, even though Willie C. Wyatt was not even a thought. I could have put Williams or Amerson to honor my great grandma or great grand mom--Fannie Reese Williams or Areletha Reece Williams Amerson Tims. I chose Wyatt because it's my last name. I didn't choose my maiden name, my mother changed it. If I changed my name while married (and never changed it back), it would been the Colquitt family room. My mother easily could have gave me Amerson, since she was not married to Willie yet. Stacie Dorletha Amerson. Rachel Janine Amerson. Kalen Nathaniel Amerson. Sariyah Alise Amerson. but She gave us the name of the father.

The father-a name so powerful, filled with honor. God is the father. He knew us before we was born. Before we was a thought in our parents minds. Our parents are to nurture us and teach us the ways of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They are to give credit to the father, when the kids wake up each morning, for food, for clothing, for shelter, for everything. Nothing wrong with giving credit to God and his loving son Jesus. They provide our needs and love us unconditionally.

Some women do give their children's father too much or too little credit for what they do, but God deserves all the credit. Without him, we are nothing. We don't exist.

For example, there was an episode of Judge Mathis today. The mother was suing the son for something. The mother gave her son too much credit. He has a job. He has five kids. He takes care of his kids, etc etc, etc. The son told the judge, yes he has a job, but no, he does not support his kids like he should. He easily could have agreed with his mother. Boosted his ego, but he was honest and forthright.

Willie C. also gives himself too much credit at times. On a good day, listen to him boast of the things, he says he used to do, when I have no idea, if he did it. My mother also makes the same claims at times, but I am a skeptic. When you was a baby, I cooked for you (ewwwwww greasy food). I changed your diapers. I taught you how to cook (sorry, but consult Areletha for that. RIP Areletha Reese Williams Tims Amerson May 1, 1940 to November 8, 2000). Not saying, there is not a chance he did all these things, but I frankly don't remember. I remember the drugs and alcohol phase. Not to mention doing time "upstate" lol. You also have to factor in I had epilepsy from 1994 to 1996. that darned tegretol messed up my memory.

But I digress. Have a blessed day.



I need my sanity, no matter how much is left

The other day, the kids were driving me nuts. Brad and Kalen was off the wall. My daddy was visiting too. His wife put him out again because they was fighting. He came over here, with liquor in tow. I wanted to sip the liquor but resisted temptation. For some reason, by accident, I knocked over and broke the bottle of Brandy (don't drink it anyway) and still have not touched the boxed wine in the fridge. After having a small convo with Dementia (my middle sis), I never want to drink or do anything stupid enough, when my kids (and great niece or nephew) drives me up the wall. She came upstairs with a bottle of whatever, saying the kids are driving her to drink. She had not kept a kid all day (not even her grand), but the kids driving her to drink. She also checking into a hotel for a week (even though she has a daughter and grand). I like my kids, I love my kids, but I don't want to waste money to do bad things to release stress. I think i got some chocolate somewhere though.

This morning has been hectic. I had all three kiddies (two sons and great niece). I got the great niece because I heard her crying and went to check on her. She was about to flip out of her bed. Her grandma was sleep. My mother was gone. So, I got her and put her in Kalen's Crib. I also had to clean and prepare self for two meetings, back to back. 11:00 was Brad's science meeting for home school. They are preparing for the STARR testing next month. Then at 1230 was speech therapy. I got up about 8 am and the kids woke up after. 

Brad was screaming for part of the morning and Im not sure why. I put it on Sesame Street on the DVD player, when he wanted SpongeBob. Frankly, I am tired of the Yellow Blob, after watching a marathon yesterday. He needed something educational. I cut it on SS and he turned off the DVD player. I found a few other shows on Amazon. Same result, he turned off the DVD player and/or the movie. I told him I am not dealing with him anymore. Either he watches a good show or he can watch something similar on regular cable in the room. He was screaming, hollering, beating windows, mirrors, and slamming doors. He needs to learn he can not get his own way. 

On top of this, Kalen and Sariyah are having their baby fits. They are hungry, tired, need to be changed.  I had to move them into the game room. Let them let off a little energy. 

So, I have a reason, no justification, maybe rationalization, a little projection-- to drink, smoke, go out and have sex with random guys, but I chose not to. Once I do those destructive behaviors, I still have to come home to a house with crazy kids and crazy relatives. Same problems, temporary release, but nothing really has changed, until I change. I can not always  run from problems. Spending needed money on really,stupid things. Bills still must get paid. Children still need a mother and caregiver. and As the most sane person in this house (no matter how crazy I am), I need all my faculties to deal with einy, miney, and sometimes curly and moe. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lost on a familiar road by Kimberly Sowell

I read Lost on a Familiar Road, in exchange for review from Netgalley.com. The book was written by Kimberly Sowell and published by New Hope Publishing.

The book discusses familiarity. Familiarity requires less thought and more routine. Sometimes, we veer off path and not sure which direction to move in. WE also can overload the brain and forget the important things we need to do. We need to prioritize, delegate, and declutter to clear the mind. We also need to ask for perspective on what is cluttering our minds. Next, we need to replace negativity with positive, uplifting thoughts and obedience to Christ. Finally, we need to pray.

The book also provides exercises to assess your faith, you thinking, and your focus on God. I copied a few to OneNote, so I can answer them later. I need to change my perspective on a lot of things in order to achieve balance. The book also provided examples of biblical people, who lost perspective. Martha focused on serving others, instead of God. People thought Noah was crazy for building an Ark. Peter thought Jesus was losing focus because he focused on the carnal, instead of the Kingdom of Christ.

Another highlight: We need to believe beyond our immediate circumstances. The book gave the example of Jay. Jay wanted chocolate milk, but his father brought home white mil. Jay was upset until his daddy poured Chocolate Syrup into the milk (Viola Chocolate Milk).

I love this book and added it to my wish list on Amazon. Will pre-order the book as soon as I get paid next. Love a paperback and I do not order too many paperbacks.