The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: June 2008 (Page 1 of 3)

Not Every Day

It’s not every day you see this from your back yard.

We heard the loud “whoop whoop” sound and looked up to see a life flight helicopter right over us. The fireman yelled over at me to “keep your kids back”, because what kid can resist getting closer to a real live helicopter?

When they landed, a couple of guys got out and went somewhere we couldn’t see, and then we had to just wait from our yard and see.

Of course there was a firetruck there, too. We hadn’t heard a crash or anything, so we didn’t think it was a car accident, but we were still curious. I mean, this kind of stuff doesn’t happen very often in our neighborhood.

Later on we found out that it was an accident at home, and the person involved is doing better every day, but for an afternoon, that was our excitement.

about a boy

Cole has been busy this summer. I can’t believe he’s so grown up. He’s 14 and mows the lawn for us, (which is great because it’s one of the only ways a 14 year old kids can earn any money), babysits whenever I need him to, and now that school is out, is really quite pleasant. Last weekend he also did his first garage sale.

Here he is standing in front of all our old stuff that he’d like to sell.

Of course, he didn’t just do it all by himself. It was his “band fundraiser” garage sale, and all the money he earned goes toward his band trip this fall, but did he do it alone? No. I’d been collecting things for the previous two weeks. I went through the girls’ closets and tried to weed out the clothing they didn’t need. Jenna’s was the most fun. As the 3rd girl in the family, she ends up with a LOT of clothes. We went through her closet and picked out everything that said size 6 or 6x (since she’s 7 1/2 now) and then tried to whittle down the dresses to “just 10”. I know, I know. Just 10? She had a lot more. I even got rid of a bunch of stuff from my closet, too. We also brought up the kids’ kitchen set and the little tykes tool bench and tools, the bouncy horse and mini trampoline from the basement. The kids weren’t too thrilled that I was getting rid of their kitchen. “We LOVE that!” they wailed. But I was insistant that if we are ever going to finish our basement, we need to start getting rid of some of the things we don’t really play with. Besides, Cole could use the money.

The kids and Ryan loaded all that stuff into the truck, and then I drove Cole and Megan to the High school at 6:30 to set up. I can’t believe all that stuff that I had been collecting for weeks only took up one load in our little pick up truck. I thought it was a lot more.

I had to leave the young entrepreneurs at 8:15 so I could go to my Saturday rehearsal, and by that time he had only sold a few dollars worth of our stuff. Darn. But things eventually picked up and he made a total of $50. And we got rid of a bunch of stuff. What didn’t sell, of course, went to DI, and that was just fine with me.

Yesterday, Cole marched in his first “REAL” parade, the Lehi Round-up. As former residents of Lehi, we’ve attended this parade many times, and the kids have actually even been in the miniature parade before. But this time he had to march AND play the flute at the same time. For two grueling miles in the hot sun. And they started at around 11:00am. Oh, and did I mention that they are wearing black?

They can’t be like a lot of high school bands and actually wear shorts and a t-shirt for their parades, they have to put on the whole flipping uniform and nearly sweat to death for their parades.

The worst thing, though, is that Cole is severely sun burned. Oh, yeah. He and Megan went with some awesome friends (thanks, David!) to Classic skating and waterslides on Friday, and I sent him with a bottle of sunscreen. Here is where this is kind of my fault. I SENT him with the spray can of sunscreen. I didn’t spray him all over myself before he left. And kids don’t seem to understand that you can’t just lightly spray that stuff on, you have to spray enough that you can see it, and then rub it in. Well, that didn’t happen, and he didn’t just wear his shirt, like I’m going to insist he do at all future sun/water events. His shoulders and back are very red, and he just walks around all day saying, “ow”. We’ve slathered on the aloe, and he’s taking tylenol, but he’s still very uncomfortable. So, needless to say, the whole marching in the hot black uniform wasn’t the most fun thing. But he did it. he survived, and he’s stronger for it.

(Just for the record, I didn’t actually attend this parade, as I had another Saturday rehearsal, so thanks to Ryan for taking the kids and sitting in the sun waiting for Cole to come by. They did get TONS of candy and stuff thrown at them, though. They even got a couple of t-shirts! So, Ryan, if you have anything to add here, feel free!)

He’s lucky he didn’t have to strap on the drums or a tuba!

And for his reward, the marching band plans to go to Seven Peaks Water Park tomorrow! Yippee! I’m not sure if Cole will want to go, or if he’ll be able to hang with his cousins, who are in town and will soon be staying with us.

Move over, Mimi, It’s Mrs. Mayor!

This week at play rehearsal we met with the hair and make-up people so they could get us all up to speed on how we should look. There’s some pretty wild and crazy things going on, since we have jungle animals, bird girls, monkeys, fish, a cat, a grinch, and a bunch of Whos, just to name a few.

After a general workshop on makeup and hair, Mr. Mayor and I (I play Mrs. Mayor) had our own appointment where they went over what they had in mind for us. She showed me this very bland short GREY wig, and said, “This will be your hair.” Grey? They want me to have grey hair? What? I had this really cute blonde curly princess type wig that I was going to put all kinds of ribbons on and be super cute and funky, and she shows me this GREY wig, and I’m supposed to be excited about it. Well, they had me put it on and this one lady started to go to work on it. “It won’t look like this when I’m finished with it,” she said, and she started in on ratting and teasing and somehow curling it with just her fingers and a comb. She told me how she had done so much hair she was thinking about switching to grooming dogs, since it would be something new. Hmm. ‘Can you just not make me look old and ugly?’ is all I’m thinking. After she worked her magic on my “hair” for a few minutes, the makeup ladies are just oohing and ah-ing, telling me how absolutely perfect it is. I go into a nearby bathroom to see, and as I look at my reflection in the mirror, a gasp of shock escapes my lips. All I can think of is “I look Martha Washington!” Not that looking like Martha Washington is necessarily a bad thing, but I just hadn’t expected that. And how in the world did she get that hair so dang HIGH? Wow.

After I had been properly coiffed, the make-up people wanted to have their fun, too. “Can I just do your face really quickly?” one lady asked me. “Um, sure. Go for it,” I said, still in shock from the whole GREY huge hair I would be wearing. “Now for your makeup,” she said, “I want you to think of Mimi on Drew Carey.” Oh great. I can’t wait. As they are working on my face, adding more and more make-up, I look over at Mr. Mayor as they are glueing on some “eyebrow extensions” so that he looks somewhat like Oscar the grouch, and I feel a little bit better. At least I won’t be the only really funny looking one in the show. I shouldn’t have worried, though. At least I’m not the grinch. They were playing with prosthetic faces and noses. And he’ll be green, of course.

When they were done, there was another gasp of shock, and we went to go show the director. She liked it, but said she wasn’t so sure about the grey color. Oh, hooray! I thought. “She has a little boy, I don’t think she would be this old looking,” she said. I was grateful. So, they may color that wig brown or even black. Who knows. But they also discussed some kind of a funky hat, which would be fun.

The bad thing, was I didn’t have my camera with me, so I didn’t get a picture of the whole effect. But I did leave the makeup on all night through rehearsal. I felt very Tammy Fae Baker-esque. Little kids in the show were staring at me, and then would say, “I like your makeup.” Right, you do, kid. Don’t let your mom hear you saying that.

So, when I came home I flashed my face to Ryan, who was just a little bit shocked. He said I was practically ‘glowing’.


So, there you have it. Mimi and Paige together. Oh what a pair we’d make. Although I think I’m going to need a LOT more blue eyeshadow if I’m going to pull off that look.

Temporary beef induced insanity

“Why do we always have to park next to the smiling girls?” John asked today.

“Maybe because you are so cute,” I said.

“No, I’m NOT cute!”

Allright. You’re not.

Today, in an effort to “get out of the house for heaven’s sake before I throw you out” yet not spend a lot of money, I took the kids to the library and out to lunch. The library was fun, although we still cannot find that one darn video. No more videos or DVD’s, kids. I MEAN it.

After the library, I scoured the Happenings Book and came up with a plan. We’d drive Burger King and get a buy one get one free burger, then we’d go to A&W and get a free burger and drink when we buy a burger and drink. A good plan, in theory. At Burger King, I ordered two of the hamburgers listed on the coupon, and they told me they don’t carry those burgers anymore. Oh. I asked if they would still honor the coupon on another burger, and she said yes, on the steakhouse burger. Um, ok. Two of those should be fine. When I went to pay, it was $5.15 for the burgers. Was that with the coupon? Yes. Uh-oh, who pays $5 for a burger? Whatever.

So, then we go to A&W and go in. We’re a little bit more successful there, although my two “Plain” cheeseburgers looked surprisingly like regular cheeseburgers with lettuce, mustard and tomatos. Does that say plain to you? No, they had to go back and I had to wait for them. I’m glad I decided that two of us could each share those monster Steakhouse burgers, because they are HUGE. HUGE. And As I was splitting them and giving them to the two girls who actually like flavor, and I see, what’s that? Onion ring crumbs? On the hamburger? Who does that? I had to tell them to just scrape those off, and ripped those off. Megan and Natalie each had a half, but no one else wanted any of THAT kind of burger. Cole and Jenna at the plain 1/4 pound cheeseburgers, and John just wanted fries. They shared the two rootbeers and the two large fries I got, and I was left with a whole big huge burger for myself.

Ugh. I should NEVER have eaten that whole thing. It’s like telling my body, “you know those 2 and a half miles you walked this morning? Just ignore that because I’m going to stuff down this entire burger which must have at least 4000 calories.” Burp. I have to kind of agree with this review here.

At least the kids had enough to eat, and I did share a few bites of my burger with Natalie, after I scraped all the offensive parts off. Burp. Oh, excuse me!

Then, since we were out, we decided to go and wash the car at my favorite place, although it’s kind of counter productive to try and vacuum a vehicle while the 5 kids and their library books are still in it. They sat in the car and read their books while Megan and I tried to vacuum around them. Well, we tried.

And if that weren’t enough, we decided to stop at Target. Because we just haven’t had enough together time. And I kind of needed straws (which I couldn’t find), shoes for Megan, and birthday presents for both John’s friend and Megan’s friend. Now, when a mom pulls into a Target on a hot summer day and she and five of her kids pile out of the car, it’s like she’s wearing a sign on her back that says, “Go ahead–Shoot me now and put me out of my misery”. Because at least then the torture would be done. Instead I dragged them around the store making them try on shoes (oh, the torture!), while NOT buying John every single pair of shoes he wanted, and also none for you, Natalie, you little shoe hog.

After the shoes, I should have just left the store with my passel of whiners. But no, I’m stupid that way, so we proceeded to…. are you ready for this?….the toys. Yep. What was I thinking? You NEVER go through the toy department with children! NEVER!! You let them think that all toys come from the North Pole and they will only receive toys at Christmas time or their birthdays! But we’ve got these birthday parties coming up, and I must have been temporarily out of my mind from the large amounts of beef and crispy onion thingies I consumed earlier, and I trudged forward.

I won’t go into all the details, but we’ll just all agree that it wasn’t
c-short enough

And whatever the heck we picked up for those birthdays will just have to do (silly string and poppers and a “It’s my birthday” badge for a 12 year old girl? Come on.)

Then we came home and I took a small nap.

Summer Activities

Well, Summer’s in full swing, as you can tell by the heat, and there’s LOTS going on!

**Marching Band** Cole is doing marching band for the high school this year, even though he’s only going into 9th grade. He’s having a good time (so far), but then he’s only done one parade. Their first parade was at the developmental center, and it was the perfect practice parade. They marched for about 20 minutes, which was perfect for the watchers and the marchers. I don’t know how they are going to survive marching in 100 degree heat for long parades, like the 4th of July parade, but I guess they have lots of water. This is my favorite picture, because if you notice in the far right, you see some concerned mom helping out with her child’s hat.

**Activity Days** I’m the 10 year old activity day leader, and it’s really fun. We had a fun little tie dye activity, and then launched water bottles. because they always finish the activities WAY faster than I think they are going to, and we need to have some filler.

We also threw together a skit for our stake Activity Day, where each ward was supposed to do a skit from the scriptures. Well, we found out about it on Sunday, and had to have the skit ready the a week later on Monday. And did I mention that each of us has at least 10 girls in our class, and there are four classes? Minor detail. “Paige is theatrical, she can think of something,” said one of the other leaders. So, while we were standing there in the hall of the church, I “handled” it. “OK,” I said, “let’s do the story of Ammon cutting of the arms. Your class can be sheep. Have them wear white shirts. Your class is the oldest, so you guys figure out who’s going to be Ammon and the King. My class will be servants of the king, and your class can be the robbers who get their arms cut off. Ok? Practice in your classes and we’ll talk about it before we do it.” Yeah, that’s how I handle it, because does anyone want to get 40 something girls together to PRACTICE? Not me. I did write up a simple script and give it to the three girls who were playing King Lamoni, Ammon and the narrator. And I went over the story with my own girls and told them what they would be doing, but that was it.

When we showed up at the activity and saw that there were girls in actual costumes with props, my heart sank. We are going to stink at this, and the girls are going to feel stupid, I thought to myself. But luckily, the sheep had their own ears and black socks for feet, the King had a costume (bathrobe and crown) and Ammon had a costume and a sword. It turned out fine. And besides, our audience was a bunch more 8-11 year old girls. The problem was, with 12 (or maybe it’s 13) wards in the stake, the girls were NOT paying attention to the last 4 or 5 skits. I was glad we were in the first third.

**Field Trips**
It wouldn’t be summer without some fun field trips, and we are doing our share, I must say. We got ourselves a membership to Thanksgiving point, and it’s worth every penny. The kids love the dinosaur museum, and farm country’s fun, too. We haven’t been to the gardens yet, but I’m sure we’ll go soon.

This week went went to Classic Skating with our friends, and the kids had a GREAT time! We ended up buying the “kid’s club card” for $10 each, and then all the activities are $1 each for the rest of the summer. So, they can bounce until they are tired, then do some skating or scootering, while Mom chats with a friend or reads a book. There’s also a small waterslide park, and I haven’t taken the kids there yet, but my friend Tess tells me it’s great.

We also had a superfun water party at Tess’ house. They have a creek that runs right through their property, and the kids took turns tubing down the creek, and then walking back up. They had so much fun! They say it’s about a 5 minute ride in the water, and there’s a grate at the end that prevents them from floating off too far. And the little kids did slip-n-slide and water guns. It was the perfect Friday afternoon activity. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera, so there are no pictures (sorry David!).

**Rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal** Yes, I am still involved in this play thing, and it takes a LOT of time. Four hour rehearsals four times a week are getting tiring, but it’s fun. Except for yesterday. You know when the dance instructor tells us that we should “warm up a little ’cause I don’t want you all getting shin splints” that it’s not going to be fun. Now a lot of the people in this show actually are dancers. I am not one of them. And my “partner”, the Mayor (since I play the mayor’s wife, I am always paired up with the Mayor) is even less of a dancer than me. So imagine our frustration doing these dances that are for DANCERS. What the heck is a “lindy” and why can’t I get it? I’m finally thinking I’m getting it, and then she says, “OK, let’s do it with the music!” NO, not the music! It, like every other song in this play, goes incredibly fast! So any confidence I had in my dancing skills goes right out the window. After a couple of hours of this, most of us are dragging. Our faces are red and our legs are extremely tired. I decide that I hate her when she tells us “Run it again!” We only have two more weeks of rehearsal and then we do this show, so we need all the help and practice we can get.

If you were to come to see the show (which I hope you will, by the way), and I told you what song this was, you would go, “Oh, that song? That wasn’t that long! How come it took you three hours to learn that part?” Because it’s HARD. And I don’t dance. Ugh. Rock step kick, kick up and out. Going through my head until I die. (And I’m finding it hard to move around today. I feel like an old lady. Ouch, Ow.)

But last night we did something that was fun. We put on an ice cream social/ticket sales kick-off. The whole cast came and we all wore our matching yellow t-shirts that say Seussical on them, and we sang parts of a couple of songs from the show. No dancing, no moving, just singing. Fun. And our families and friends sat on the grass and ate ice cream and played on the playground. After a HOT HOT day, it was wonderfully cool and nice in the park. After we did our songs, the Little Big Band from the Music School did a wonderful concert of big band music. Although my muscles were sore and I was extremely tired, it was a fun event for the family.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to come up with a talk for Jenna to give in Primary today. Maybe I’ll use this one. That’s easy. Cole is also giving a talk in sacrament meeting today, and he’s already written his. John has to give a talk in primary next week. Do you think they’ll notice if it’s the same one?

More babies?

On Father’s Day I snagged the cutest little 3 month old Eliza from my friend and gave her to Ryan to play with before church started. He just loves those babies. All the kids were fawning over her and we had such fun playing with the darling little happy girl. Right when the meeting was going to start, she did some work in her diaper and so Ryan gave her back to her mom.

A couple of days later John came into my room and said, “Mommy, we need another baby.”
“Well, YOU’RE the last baby John,” I said to him, “we don’t need any more babies! We have you.”

That kind of logic doesn’t really impress a four year old, and he said, “No. We need wots more babies. Wots and wots.”

Ok, that’s the last time I let the kids watch Jon and Kate plus 8.


Snot, sneezing and yelling. That would be the title of the past week for me. Really. After reading about my sister’s horrible day and trying to deal with all that with a huge COLD, I thought, I haven’t written about my lovely Friday the 13th, so maybe I’ll do that.

I had this horrible cold all week. I just wanted to lay down and have all the noise go away so I could sleep. For a long, long time. Unfortunately, the kids are out of school, and they have certain demands, like “feed me”, “there’s no bread”,”take me to band camp, pretty please” (only nobody ever says ‘pretty please’), and “why don’t I have any clean clothes?” So, while I tried to ignore their fighting and requests as much as I could, I still pretty much had to get up and do my job, haphazard as it may be. I also have rehearsal three nights a week and Saturday, so I’ve been really dragging. I didn’t even have the energy or the gumption to go shop at Kohl’s, even though I had a coupon for 30% off MY ENTIRE PURCHASE! Now if you know me, you’ll understand that I must have really been wiped out to let that one expire.

By Friday, I was feeling a bit better, and wanted to do something fun with the kids. So, I took them to Thanksgiving point for Dairy Days. They had fun ice cream cone samples, make your own butter and make your own ice cream displays, pony rides, and all the animals. The kids and I were especially intrigued by a Bingo Game where you write your name and phone number in a square, and hope that the cow poops in that square of the grid. It was called Dolly Bingo or something like that. They kept asking to go back and “check the poop bingo!” The kids were well behaved (partially because we brought a friend with us and that seems to make ALL the kids better behaved), and I did ok until we had been there about two hours. My head was stuffy and I felt weak and dizzy. I gave them the heads up that we would have to be leaving, and they actually did ok with that.

When we got home, I asked the kids if they could please just sit together in the family room and watch Disney Channel (I know, what a slacker mommy I am letting them watch such crap!) for a little bit so I could go and lie down. I think I was upstairs for about 45 minutes before I had to get Megan ready to go to a soccer practice. When I came downstairs to check on everyone, John was nowhere to be found.
“Where’s John?” I asked the kids.
“Huh?” was pretty much the general consensus. Nobody knew he had gone anywhere, nobody knew where he was. I made them turn off the tv, and sent them around the house and the yard to find John. When that search was unsuccessful, I sent them to ride around on their bikes, or go knock on the immediate neighbors’ doors, to see if they could locate the missing four year old. I started on the phone. It really didn’t take that long to find him, but it felt like hours. It turns out he was over at his friend, Noah’s house, about four houses away.
“I wanted to show them my new shoes,” he told me. Which in his mind totally justifies leaving the house without telling anyone, and walking ALONE to his friend’s house. I don’t ever let him go anywhere alone, and I thought he knew better than to just take off without telling anyone. He was placed on a time out while Mommy took a few minutes to calm down. I then took away the new shoes (which aren’t supposed to be worn until back to school time anyway), and explained to him the ins and outs of WHY we don’t just go over to a friend’s house without asking Mom. I tried to get it through to him how much I worry about him and all the bad things that could happen to him and that Mommy was very VERY worried because he didn’t tell me where he was going.
“It’s ok, Mom,” he said, “I didn’t get runned over by a car.”
Well, ok, then. That makes it all better.

By now, Megan is severely late for her soccer practice, and I wouldn’t have even bothered with it except that this was the day we were supposed to turn in our registration forms and money for next fall’s season, and I had to do that. So, there we are 15 minutes late, and I’m supposed to run home, feed the other kids and be back to pick her up in 30 minutes so we can go to her softball game. Right.

Dinner consisted of bagel bites pizza and bananas. What a culinary delight. I also stuffed a bag full of pretzels and grapes so we could at least have something to snack on during the game.

I didn’t get there in time to pick her up until nearly 6:00, then encountered a detour on the way to the softball game. She looks at the clock in the car and says, “Mom, we’re LATE!” in her disgruntled way. I should have just shoved her out of the car right then.

As we all piled out of the car and walked to the softball field, the kids are in various states of complaining. There’s nothing to do, I didn’t get enough to eat, I’m thirsty, can we go play at the park over there?
“Nope,” I told them. You will stay within 10 yards of me at all times, and none of you will leave my sight. EVER.” I said. Always the smarty pants, they said, “But what about when we go back to school?”
“Well, you’d better hope I’m over this little incident by then, won’t you?”
Needless to say, there was no playing at the park. They did, however, play in the grass, and run up and down the bleachers, dropping grapes and pretzels on the ground below. I took two tylenol and drank a diet coke, hoping to quell the headache that was threatening to explode in my head.

After the game, the kids and I moseyed back to the car, and I was thinking that maybe I’d take them to Wendy’s or something on the way home. They didn’t have much dinner, after all. Oh, how much things can change in a matter of seconds. By the time I reached the car and unlocked it, one child was crying, two were complaining, and one was whining about something or other. As they got in the car, the teasing continued. This was where they pushed me over the edge. I won’t go into my whole tirade on the way home, but I let them know in no uncertain terms that I would NOT be taking them out to dinner, or for a snack for that matter, and that they would NOT be spending the entire summer lounging around the house expecting me to cook, clean, do their laundry and drive them everywhere they needed to go while they just complained and picked fights with one another. When I finished, we drove in silence. Feeling pretty awesome about my skills as a mom at this point, let me tell you. As we approached the house, I told them to go upstairs, get in their pajamas, and they could fold their laundry and read a book IN THEIR ROOMS. There would be no snacks, no goofing around, and no noise. Well, there was noise, especially the stomping and door slamming kind of noise.

Eventually everyone got in bed and I did actually soften up enough to read John a story and tell each of the kids I was sorry that the night had turned out like it did, and tell them I loved them.

Funny thing, but as I sat there in my horrible mood, feeling guilty for having yelled at my kids, yet still angry at them for their behavior, my mom called. She reassured me that some days are like this, and no, I wasn’t a complete failure. Later, when everyone was in bed, my sister called. My incredibly patient sister with 10 kids. I told her about our bad day, and she could totally sympathize. I didn’t think she had days where she feels like a horrible mother, but she assured me that she does. That made me feel a little bit better. Then I wrote out the job lists for the next morning, and let me assure them that they were not short.

Of course things like this blow over. Kids aren’t constantly monsters and mother’s aren’t always at their wits end and not feeling good, but I still feel guilty about it. I wish I could have handled things in a different way, or perhaps been a little more patient.

When I said my prayers that night I thanked my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be the mother of these kids, and asked him to please please please bless me with wisdom and patience and understanding so that I could do a better job of raising them, and asked for His forgiveness for the way I had treated them. And He did forgive me, and loves me anyway.

Doctrine and Covenants 121:41-43
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy.

Paige’s Picks

I think I’ll start a new feature here on Superpaige’s Pad, and that would be “Paige’s picks”. I’ll just let you know some of my favorite things. It won’t be weeky feature or anything like that, because really, I don’t know if I can commit to a schedule or anything structured like that. But here today, we have a few of my new favorite things.

Say by John Mayer. One of my favorite new songs. I loved it when Kristy Yamaguchi danced to this song on Dancing with the stars. I haven’t yet seen the bucket list but I might just need to.

SEI Tumble Dye
It’s fabric dye that you just spray on! No more mixing the dye and then dipping the shirts in. We did tie dye for Activity Days yesterday, and it was much easier for the girls to manage than the old dipping method. Of course, the color doesn’t really saturate as much, so you have a lot more white, but it’s fun and easy to mix colors. You can buy it at Robert’s Crafts for $2.99 per bottle or so. My fingers are blue today, but I guess they would have been if we had dipped, too.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

I don’t remember who sent me this book, but it’s been sitting around in my stack of books to read for a while. Last week I picked it up and decided to give it a try. And since I’ve been sick, then laying around and reading is at the top of my list of things I want to do (that and blow out a pound of snot through my nose). I read it and really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t too preachy, as I was afraid it might be, and the story was compelling.

Here’s a review from Amazon: In this splendid retelling of the biblical story of Hosea, bestselling author Francine Rivers pens a heartbreaking romance between a prostitute and the upright and kind farmer who marries her; the story also functions as a reminder of God’s unconditional love for his people. Redeeming Love opens with the Gold Rush of 1850 and its rough-and-tumble atmosphere of greed and desire. Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child, has learned to distrust all men, who see her only as a way to satisfy their lust. When the virtuous and spiritual-minded Michael Hosea is told by God to marry this “soiled dove,” he obeys, despite his misgivings. As Angel learns to love him, she begins to hope again but is soon overwhelmed by fear and returns to her old life. Rivers shines in her ability to weave together spiritual themes and sexual tension in a well-told story, a talent that has propelled her into the spotlight as one of the most popular novelists in the genre of Christian fiction. This is one of her best.

I would, in fact, like to give this book away, since I enjoyed it so much. I’d like one of you to get the chance to enjoy it, too. I’ll leave the comments open until the end of the month, and then we’ll pick a random number and send it off to you to enjoy. (That is, if you can indeed comment. I haven’t really had any comments since my administrator installed the new version of WordPress on here. Is anybody out there?)

Edited to add: has chosen Michelle as our winner! Congratulations, Michelle!

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