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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Faith of Barrack eye opener

As someone who isn't afraid to say I'm a republican, I honestly admit I was more than a little nervous when Barack Obama was nominated by the Democratic Party to run for the Presidency.

Many things concerned me, but as a Christian, his faith or rather his unusual faith background, made me very nervous as to what this man and his personal views would bring to the office.

Eager to educate myself on who I thought Obama was, I read the Faith of Barack Obama in one long afternoon. The book is very easy to read as the author breaks the stages of Obama's faith down in a chronological manner.

We get a glimpse of the life he had with his grandparents, and what their belief system was. We also learn how his atheist mother might have added a little confusion to his life when she married a Muslim man and then sent him to Catholic school. All these different faiths even before he was introduced to the radical preacher Jeremiah Wright. So many different religious points of view thrown at such an impressionable young man were bound to form a very unique adult.

However, one thing that really impressed me about the book was the impartial way the author conveyed the information without giving us any indication of what the author himself thought of Obama, his faith, or his politics. In a time when so many journalist and non-fiction authors write their opinions more than they write the facts, Stephen Mansfield refrained from that tactic and that's to be respected.

My opinion of the book is that it was concise, informative, and well written. Regardless of political affiliation, you can read it and come away with the facts ready to form your own opinion of who Barack Obama is and how his faith has impacted his life and political career. Would have given it a 5 star if there would have been a little content about how Michelle and her faith has impacted him. Would have liked to know a little about that.

Stephen Mansfield, without a doubt, is a great new author (for me, at least) that I eagerly anticipate reading more from.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Tanner started fourth grade this week. I don’t know who was more worried of the two of us. Okay. Actually, I do know. Tanner was worried out of his mind. I was only a little cautious. I guess because depending on his teacher our school year could go either way. :0/ A couple years ago we had a teacher that took so much time with him and really talked to me about teaching him in alternative ways. I thought she was the biggest blessing God had ever bestowed upon me. Seriously. She made me feel comfortable talking to her about Tanner’s differences and never made me feel like one of “those mothers”. You know--the needy ones. LOL. This year seems to be okay. We have a sweet young teacher that Tanner thinks is so pretty. I have a feeling he'll be okay. As long as he's not too shy around her.

Last year was horrible. For a number of reasons. Tanner was nauseous the whole year. He was sent home from school for vomiting probably a dozen times. And came home miserable every afternoon. I took him to the doctor, had all kinds of expensive tests, and didn’t really feel like I made any progress. It’s nothing he can find other than he has severe reflux. This upsets his stomach but shouldn’t make him so nauseas. I personally think a lot of it is psychological. The stress and the smells of school make him sick. Since he was a little nauseous and only sick a couple times this summer, I figure it has to be something about being comfortable.

I love my doctor but I swear if he tells me “just love him” one more time, I’m going to slap him. LOL. It’s like he thinks because Tanner is a little different I exaggerate the problems we experience. Uh, no. I can’t exaggerate the school calling me with a kid that’s vomiting all over his desk at school. I go to this doctor because I believe he really does care for Tanner. He’s a Christian man who has children Tanner’s age and so he relates to Tanner very well. Tanner adores him so it feels impossible to leave him. When Tanner finally feels comfortable with someone it’s hard to change. That’s why we go to a dentist out of our network. Because Tanner nearly had a breakdown when I suggested a new dentist.

Tanner’s nausea is better. So far he’s been to school two days and hasn’t been sick. Woohoo. Progress. But still, I worry. I worry when he tells me he’s lonely and wishes he had a sibling. Or when he wishes he had a best friend. I worry when he has to ride the bus home because the noise overwhelms him. I worry about his feelings when he tells me a boy at school makes fun of his teeth (we’re getting ready for braces in the next few months, which I worry will be hard for him to deal with as much as he gags) I worry when they’re serving rice at lunch because Tanner has some kind of psychological problem with all things Asian and I’m afraid he’ll be sick. It’s so bizarre, I can’t even figure that one out. I worry that he doesn’t smile much. I worry. I worry. I worry. I wonder when I’ll be able to give the worry to God? When I’ll be able to let it go. I try. I really do. Or do I?

The fact is, Tanner is okay. He gets down sometimes, it seems to be in his disposition, but in all honesty, he’s okay. He’s not made fun of on a daily basis. He has lots of friends, which surprises me as stand offish as he can be. He’s smart and well behaved at school. Maybe because he’s deathly afraid of being in trouble, but still, he’s considered a sweet boy. He has a good heart. He knows right from wrong and I think he has good character.

So, his teeth are horrible. We can fix that. Maybe he’s a little socially awkward. We can work on that. He vomits a lot…okay, that’s a tough one. LOL. But really why do I worry so much? It’s not like it changes anything. I need to pray more about this. And study the Bible. I need to find peace and give Tanner back to God. I know these things and I’m working on it. Pray for me.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Menu for Romance Review

Cater to your craving for fabulous fictional fare with Menu for Romance, where a party planner finds herself torn between the contractor and the cook. After eight years of unrequited love, Meredith Guidry makes a New Year's resolution to find someone new and end her single status before the year's over. And when she meets a handsome contractor on New Year's Day, it seems like her prayers have been answered.

Executive Chef Major O'Hara has forsworn relationships, knowing he could never saddle the woman he loves with a family situation like his. But when it seems he's about to lose Meredith Guidry to another man, he realizes he must concoct a menu for romance to win her back.

After reading The Stand In Groom by author Kaye Dacus earlier this year, I was eager to continue on the journey with her well-crafted characters.

As with Stand In Groom the cover for this one was very nice. Very contemporary and fun. That’s always a plus with me. If the cover isn’t great I probably won’t pick it up.

This story is about Meredith Guidry and Major O’Hara. If you read the first book, you’ll remember, Meredith as Anne’s cousin who runs the event center after Anne left to start her own wedding consultant business. Major is the longtime chef who has a great relationship with the Guidry family.

As with the first, this book centers around the close knit family dynamic that I fell in love with in Stand in Groom.

The author did a great job creating conflict and drama. You’ll find that page after page you’ll be eager for Major and Merideth to figure out how crazy over each other they are. As with the first book, it’s easy to fall in love with the well crafted characters in this series. I still wish I could join in on their weekly family dinners.

Something else worth mentioning is the setting. The Bonneterre setting was so strong it played out like its own character. So much that I wish I could visit.

Even after the book concludes, you’re left satisfied to know she has a massive amount of potential for future books with this cast of cousins and siblings.

Overall—great read. I’d definitely suggest this author to friends and family!