Life... Health... Reviews...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

First basketball "game"

Today, I witnessed one of the funniest things I've ever seen: a group of 3 and 4 year olds playing basketball. It was my son's first "scrimmage" and it was so hilarious. Andre, my son, is on the team All Stars and their shirts are green and they played against the purple team, the Dawgs.

(Once again I wish I had a picture to share, but I don't feel like trying to see if the KodakShare program on my computer is going to work.)

When the children arrived their coach, who I wish would spend more time teaching the basics of the game like the other coaches did, had them shooting baskets (I use the word "shooting" loosely). A couple of the kids were actually able to make baskets and a few even knew how to dribble. (Mine you they've only practiced once before today.)

That went on for about 30 minutes and then they began to play. A purple-shirted team member was doing a very good job on the defensive, but he was doing it against his own team member.

That cracked me up!

Another purple-shirted team member was not being blocked and was headed straight for the basket. ... the wrong basket.

Again, I'm rolling in my seat.

Some of the children were stealing the ball from their own team members. And once, a little friend of Andre's -- also named Andre; go figure -- almost wrestled a child to the floor after his dad called out "steal the ball!"

More laughing from me!

What I didn't understand was why some of the parents were so serious. I could tell the ones who had practiced with their children because they would get angry or make ugly faces when their child missed an "easy" basket. They were even watching the game like it was one in the NBA. They just sucked the fun right out of the room.

But I had a ball - no pun intended. And I think Andre, who mostly stood on the court looking around or getting distracted by something on the sidelines, had fun too!

A book that touches the soul

As an avid reader, I often come across books that I'm really interested in but I normally don't have time to read them. Not too long ago I stopped by the library to pick up some books the teenager needed for a class when I stumbled upon Soul Matters by Yolonda Tonette Sanders.

I was hesitant to check it out because oftentimes books are due before I can crack them open, but the vibrant colors on the cover and the enticing description sold me. This is a portion of what it says, "With a successful husband, a fulfilling career, and a baby on the way, schoolteacher Wendy Phillips is sure God is on her side. She knows that the person she has become would not have been possible without the strong, loving family she grew up in -- and her continued efforts to be the perfect daughter and a righteous example for her rebellious sister. But it only takes one little phone call to show Wendy that things aren't nearly as perfect as they seem -- and throw her life into turmoil ..."

Now that may seem generic to some, but this book definitely isn't. Soul Matters had me laughing out loud at the self-righteous grandmother, speculating about someone's identity, angry at the estranged husband, siding with the wrong person and crying at the revelations!

This book, which was the author's first, had messages and life lessons interspersed throughout. The engaging characters and surprising twists are definite page turners. For instance: How does Marlene react when she finds out the true reason for her mother's cantankerous behavior? Will Kevin find out who Renee really is? Does Wendy have her baby? Do Kim and Terrance get married? Who is the elderly stranger?

If you want to find out what's really going on in Soul Matters then you'll have to pick up the book for yourself.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Book donations

I love books. I love to read books, borrow books, buy books, give books as gifts... I absolutely love books. Even though I don't get to read as much as I used to I still read a lot. (As a matter of fact I want to post some book reviews as soon as I get a chance.)

Today, while out with the children, I saw new book donation bins. One was at Wal-Mart and I think the other was at Kroger -- both in Fayetteville. I don't remember the name of the organization, but it had to do with literacy, of course.

I said to the teenager, "Maybe I can donate some of my books instead of trying to sell them or give them away." (Like on She, another book lover, nodded in agreement. You see, I have so many books that I don't have anywhere to put them. There are some stacked under my bed and I think I still have a box full in storage. Every bookshelf that I have is filled and even my desk and several sections filled with books. My goal is to have a library in my dream house -- a room that has wall to wall and floor to ceiling bookshelves that are covered with books.

Oh that would be so glorious.

Novels, biographies, historical, poetry, cultural, business, career, finance, health, religious, art... you name it and I want it to be in my library.

The reality is that I'm not in my dream house and I don't have anywhere for all of my books. The dilemma is: Will I be able to part with them even for a good cause?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Higher page ranks

I posted this question in the LinkReferral forum, but I haven't gotten a response. Can anyone address this issue?

There's a posting on that's supposedly advice to bloggers to remove sponsored post tags from sites and to specifically remove PayPerPost tags like "hire me" and "review me" in order to increase page rankings with Google.

Does this really work? It almost seems like Smorty is just trying to get bloggers to get rid of PayPerPost tags. Some of what they're saying to remove could cause some paid posts to be rejected or kicked off PPP for not having the appropriate sponsorship info.

Does anyone know the ends and outs of this and how to get higher page ranks while following the rules of these sites?"

Thanks for your help.

Childhood joy!!

The two middle children have been home this week (the reason is a whole 'nother story!) and the teenager has been so wonderful with them. Yesterday when I went to my doctor's appointment she cared for all three of the younger ones. Today she fixed the two middle ones their breakfast, sat down on the floor with them as they did their Vtech learning game on the tv and cleaned off their outdoor toys so they could go outside and play.

It's been a really big help since I haven't been feeling well today (another whole 'nother story!) So, I was standing at the backdoor watching them play. Their laughter was infectious. Their smiles lit up the yard. And it was so beautiful to see. (I wish I had a picture to share, but the digital camera program is acting screwy.)

Picture this: It's a very crisp winter day, but the sun is shining brightly and the sky is a clear blue. There isn't any snow, but the ground is covered in fall-colored leaves and pine cones. The children's feet are causing crunching sounds as they chase each other, throw balls and get pushed on a toy by their big sister. They're dressed in sweat pants, long johns, hats, hoods, mittens, gloves... all bundled up and not minding the cold.

It's a beautiful sight to see.

And it makes me do a little pondering... In about another year the teenager will graduate so today is one of those days I treasure. My children are in a good mood, playing, laughing and enjoying each other.

Where's the baby? I know you're wondering. Well, I guess everyone can't be happy: She was fussy and sleepy as is down for a nap!! Whew, finally nice and quiet in the house! LOL! But, nevertheless, a perfect childhood, joyful day!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"I want my kids to have a normal life..."

One day I was watching Rachel Ray and there was a celebrity who was talking about how she washes clothes and packs lunches and sometimes she thinks to herself, "Why am I doing this? I'm on TV!" She explained that the reason she does the everyday household things instead of hiring someone to do it for her is because she wants her kids to have a normal life.

I thought that was a little weird. Okay, let me explain. I can only speak for myself, but I want my kids to have an extraordinary life! So it seems as if (for celebrities) it's the "in thing" to try and make an ordinary life. Well, that was my initial thought.

As I thought about it some more and rolled the idea around in my head (and got over my feathers being ruffled that she didn't express thanks for everything she was able to give her children) another thought occurred to me: I figured what she was saying is (and I am paraphrasing for her) 'among all the extraordinary things that we have going on in our lives and our extraordinary material possessions, I want my children to experience some of the normality of everyday living."

Now that sounds better to me!

Even after I got that all worked out in my brain I still realize that I want my children to have an extraordinary life. I want them to one day experience some of the finer things in life. Although my teenager has had some wonderful experiences when she was younger (flying first class with me on a business trip, traveling during Christmas, posh parties and lunches..) the same can't be said for the most recent years. And I don't know if my younger children will ever get the chance to have similar experiences.

So it's my desire that during the normalcy of life that my children have extraordinary experiences and an absolutely extraordinary life!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

OMG... it's 2008!

Happy New Year! I really can't believe that it's 2008. In a little over a year, my oldest daughter will be graduating from high school. Before this year is over, my son (the second to the oldest) will be going to pre-K and it's just all a trickle affect from there... the middle girl will be 3 and the youngest will be 1.

Along with thinking about a lot of the things that will occur in my life this year, I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful new year before the first day is over. I hope that everyone realizes all their dreams this year, accomplishes all their resolutions, receives all the love they deserve, have a lot of fun and be as happy as they can be each and every day.

Here's to an awesome 2008... I look forward to sharing this year with you.
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