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February 15, 2010

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A Tween Turns Twelve!

November 12, 2009
Goodncrazy Tween Talk superhero girl
Guess who’s birthday is later this week… ?
Yup the tween. She’ll be 12.

ODE to the Tween
Oh to be 12 again.
To meet my first zits.
Finding out the hard way,
Showers are your friend.
Venture the halls of Jr. High.

goodncrazy blue dots

I’m super glad to be the mom of this particular tween.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

I asked her for a booklist and a music list. She has been reading voraciously for years now, I can’t keep up. It’s official, I know less and less about what is going on in her life. So I give you the faves in her life. Maybe you can find a gift idea for the tween in your life??


Uglies (series) by Scott Westerfield
Midnighters (series) also by same author.
She’s told me a lot about these books. One of her current faves. Strange premise, science fiction.

ANYTHING by Sharon Creech
Walk Two Moons, Ruby Holler are two she described to me in detail. I think she’s read every single book Ms. Creech has ever written!

Fablehaven (series) by Brandon Mull
Candy Shoppe War (same author)
We once got to meet Mr. Mull at a book signing!

Anything by Gail Carson Levine
(esp. Fairest, her note)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) by Rick Riordan
(I have it on good knowledge that she is literally dying to get her hands on the 4th and newest book… um… don’t tell her… I think it might be stashed somewhere ready to wrap itself up for her! Shhhh.)

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
Also Inkheart by same author.
(She left me a note: “did not like the next books in the inkheart series.”)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
(She stayed up nights reading the whole series in a matter of months.)

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

The City of Ember by Jeane Duprau
(She notes that she didn’t like the next books in the series.)

Falling Down – Selena Gomez
(She tells me she like pretty much all of her music)

Taylor Swift (The whole kit and kaboodle.. surprise huh?)

Jordan Sparks (Ditto)

Songs from the Movie ‘Another Cinderella Story‘ and ‘Spectacular
Not familiar with those movies…?
What… you don’t watch the Disney Channel nonstop?

Crush– David Archuleta
(I think she has the crush.)

All the Songs from Wicked
Me too… we are so working on a plan to see this play.. someday… somehow.

What are we missing? What does your tween LOVE?

Church Chat: Marvin Part II

July 11, 2009
Christianity and The Law of Attraction

As a self-described “non-religious, dogma free, maverick spiritualist Christian with a Zen Buddhist background and a firm believer in the Law of Attraction,” I often get asked:

1. “How does your earlier Zen training affect and/or influence your current Christian beliefs, practice and experience – if at all?”

2. “How do you feel about the New-Age spirituality – the Law of AttractionThe Secret? Is humanity on the right track, or are we abandoning the scriptures and trying to ‘figure things out’ on our own, becoming a godless race of self-aggrandizing egotists?”

My first guest post here on Carissa’s blog covered the answer to question number one. If you missed it and would like to read it, just click here.

Today I’ll answer question number two – the whole “new-age” spirituality thing, the Law of Attraction – how do I feel about it, how does it fit into Christian beliefs and practice?

It fits right in. Perfectly.

A good friend and author colleague of mine, Philip F Harris, has published a book that I highly recommend on just this subject, titled Jesus Taught it Too (The Early Roots of the Law of Attraction). In it, he quotes the sayings of Jesus in the traditionally accepted versions of the Bible and elucidates their meaning as it relates to this “new-age” understanding of the scriptures. There is no question that the Law of Attraction is a fundamental axiom of the universe as God created it. We do create heaven or hell for ourselves with our own thoughts and actions. It’s quite simple. You think you are a failure? You will be a failure. You believe yourself to be accomplished? You will be accomplished. “Ask and ye shall receive.” Just be careful what you are asking for. And remember, this is one of the tricky parts of the Law of Attraction – you are always asking for something.

We all have habitual thought patterns that are constantly sending beliefs, wishes and desires out into the universe. (Buddhists would call this Karma-inducing mental activity) Your thoughts will become your reality. Buddha said, “We are what we think. With our thoughts we make the world.” So be careful, be mindful – counterproductive thought habits can kill you. One of the fundamental premises of my latest novel, Owen Fiddler, is about just that, but written from a Christian theological perspective. What is that wise saying? Something like, “One person believes it can’t be done. Another believes it can. Both of them are right.” So, to me, in the most fundamental sense, the Law of Attraction is no “secret,” it is not new, and it does not disagree with or in any way contradict the teachings of Jesus and solid spiritual Christianity.

The only issue I have with some of the “New-Age” spiritualists is this: the element of worship is often lost. Some of them tend to be full of themselves, as if since they are “gods-in-potential,” they need no other god. No need to worship anything other than their own innate Divine Potential.

Wrong. Misdirected. A faulty understanding of how it works.

Worshiping God is an imperative, essential and healthy spiritual practice. Worship. Bow down to God. Sing praises to God. Whether in church, temple or synagogue, or walking in the woods, or holding hands with your sweetheart, or wiping your bum, or being excoriated by a superior at your job. Give God your entire being and devotion, every moment of every day. It is a means of getting beyond your own petty “little” self, your isolated, frightened and ready to fight against all odds and others “ego,” and being reborn into the awareness and fullness of your human birthright – that being One with God. One.

To conclude this post, I will wrap it up with an apropos quote from the New Testament Gospel of John, 10:34-

“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?’”

Announcing the winner…

August 2, 2008

Of the little headband giveaway!

I used for the technical part.

And number 87 was the first number so….

IHCHICKY…..YOU are the winner! You lucky thing.
Two little headbands are headed your way. (Get it?)

And thanks so much to Bloggy Giveaways and for hosting me and my cutesy tutesy giveaway. Oh that was bad. Sorry. Lo-ong Day.

It this cool or what?

June 8, 2008

An update:

(You now have to vote via the CONTACT button at the top of the Island Life blog…so much for easy, eh?)

I just got wind (NO not that kind of wind! Sheesh.)

I’ll try again.

An Island Life is hosting bloggy awards.

And guess what? I just discovered that I was nominated for a blog award! I haven’t been doing this very long, and I’m glad someone agrees–Most Talkative is my genre. A big thanks to my nominator(s)! (Although as pointed out, most Snarkiest might have been a better fit?) I wasn’t kidding in my earlier post, either. When I was a kid, most of my report cards came home with “good student, but likes to talk a lot”. Hasn’t changed much.

The competition is pretty intense, but I’m down with that. I was also a former high school athlete (my Dad was my coach…can’t get much more intense than that.)

Here’s a couple recent examples of my talkative-ness, well maybe more than a couple…uhh…definition of talkative?

Midnight vs. 6:45(AM)
Marriage Saving Graces (and part II)
A most recent Rant
And a recipe..but it’s still talkative, I promise.

If you agree…you can vote here. Just scroll down to the Most Talkative box and toggle my button, (that sounded bad didn’t it?).

For Ali and Arizona

May 27, 2008
Monkey Boy Crocs & Socks.
The crocs are for Ali, and the socks are for Arizona. But the little boy is all mine.

MEME: The last

May 23, 2008
We Support
“Operation Authentic Birthday Party”.

I put that on the bottom of TK’s birthday invites.

Once again, this isn’t really a MEME. But I hope it catches on anyway. I’m tired of the crazy over the top celebrate your kid’s birthday as if it’s a one time life event. What happened to backyard parties? Oh, it’s winter? Then what happened to basement parties? Too many kids for your house?…Dare I suggest it? Invite LESS kids! Too much work to pull it off at home, you say? then, uh, SCALE back. Little kids love simple things, and big kids really just want time to talk and laugh (and if they are girls to scream).

And let’s talk about gifts. You’ve just paid hundreds of dollars to host 15 wild kids at the local climb and play. And your fancy store bought cake is half eaten and mostly on the floor. Now you get to lug home 15 different variations of plastic ten dollar Barbie/Alien/Polly mishmash. I read a magazine article where a family did not accept birthday gifts. They even suggested that any gifts given would be donated to charity. (What a concept? Nearly blew me away.) A year ago we took on the challenge. NO gifts from friends. (We had to alter it a bit–we now accept homemade gifts.) In another post I’ll tell you what we do for friends on their birthdays…

I am not prepared to fully list my rants about party bags, goody bags or variations therein. I will start with this: More sugar for my frosting over-dosed 5 year old? No thanks. More tiny plastic crap for the landfills? No thanks. I hate those itty-bitty tops. NO-ONE likes those tops! Attention tiny plastic crap makers…STOP making them. (I read a blog post–can’t remember where though, sorry I’m getting old–about using wooden toys for goody bags/Easter baskets). But why even that I say? Isn’t “thanks for coming, here, have another cupcake” enough?

So sit there and think about your birthday traditions, and while you do here are some 4yrold party pics. I think that’s MEME enough for a good long while. I won’t say this is the last one I’ll do, cuz hey, I might feel the need to MEME all over myself again sometime.

Go MEME yourself.

Our backyard birthday party. Water balloon toss. We found out that if you use large balloons and not a lot of water… Also that it will entertain six 4 year olds for 45 minutes, and that is some kind of record, I’m sure of it.

I kept meaning to blog about this lady’s cakes. She CARVES them! How totally cool is that? I love making my kids’ cakes, and have them help me decorate them…but a Scooby Doo cake? In 3-D! (And yes that is a ghost chasing down the Mystery Machine.) Please stop buying Albertson’s generic cakes right now. Find someone who can do THIS. I hope that doesn’t sound hypocritical, I don’t mean to say I’m against spending money on your kid, (and believe me, TK got plenty of Ben 10 items, no need to feel sorry for him) it’s just that I’m for AUTHENTICITY.

MEME: The Third

May 21, 2008

UPDATE: (my new favorite website is

Define SNARKY. But now I have no idea who Dane Cook is?

But this looks good.

Today is Jamie’s Tag. It doesn’t seem to have a name. So I will call it…

Digging Through my Past in Rounds of 4. (Or: crap in my past you really won’t care about).

Let’s see…

10 years ago:

My oldest kiddie was in Utero.
I took the subway to work in New York City every day. (And despite what people think, while I was pregnant people offered me a seat nearly every day.)
I saw the Garth Brooks concert in Central Park. (Which was all fine and good, but I’m not a fan, still-it was mighty cool to see THAT many people in one public place.)
We did not have a car. (We sold our cars before moving to Brooklyn, that’s how we paid for our flights at the time, seriously poor.)

5 years ago:

We lived in New Jersey. I had been a stay-at-home-mom for 3 years. And my husband had a 2 ½ hour commute into NYC every day.

I was wavering back and forth about whether to have a third child or not. (I got a knock on the head, and I KNEW I would be having a boy—I gave away all the girl clothes and began buying boy stuff. I got pregnant 3 months later. I found out it was in fact a boy 7 months later.)

I was desperate to move. To leave. To go anywhere. (Selling our tiny house in New Jersey, netted us nearly enough to pay off the massive Law Loans, and we were free to move anywhere we wanted. We chose moving back home. We sold the house, and then husband got the job offer in Utah.)

I had several very close friends at that point in my life, and I truly miss that…and them.


I bought a totally cool black lacey sweater. (I get to go out to a real dinner…with real ADULTS…next week! I’ll take a picture, promise.)

I got a cool new doo. (I added back the highlights I had grown out for the past 6 months…)

Dishes. (I don’t know if this counts, since really it’s daily blah, blah, blah. But grocery shopping is just as boring. And I did that too.)

I made this for dinner. (FAB!) (I have pictures of it here)

Okay Jamie, what is up with the 4th part of this MEME tag? It’s a little schizo? Favorite TV shows? One of these things is not like the other…la, la, la. (Just roll with me and my Sesame Street homies)

TV shows….hmmm.

How about I will tell you my theory instead? I think they come up with terrific ideas for shows and then exhaust the plots for those shows about half way into the second season. And then everything turns into soap operas. (Except the ones that start off that way—I truly hate Desperate Housewives.)

For example.

Loved Picket Fences, but it turned into sappy soap opera about 3 seasons in.

Loved The Practice, till it went downhill and was all about the characters personal lives—stick to the legal stuff we were loving it.

Murder One was terrific. But only the first season, it was awful after that.

And I’ve already said I love ‘House’. So far this season is okay. I keep expecting the soap opera stuff to take over any minute though…

This last part is kind of sappy. What makes me REALLY happy? All the same things as you I suppose.

Banana flavored anything. Like: Ice Cream (chunky monkey is my all time favorite), Laffy Taffy, Snow Cones.

Acoustic music.

My husband’s soft lips.

When my kids ‘get it’. When they understand something; like how long it will take to get to Disneyland. Or that a $100 is a whole lotta money for a doll.

Sorry, just not up to my snarky self while writing this one. Could be that American Idol was on in the background, (ew)? Get this. My 5th grader for required homework had to watch the final American Idol. They plan to vote in class tomorrow to see who will win?? Or, it could be that I was beyond tired. Beyond able to think or smart off or even spell correctly. And for the record, David Archuletta has creepy eyes. There. I’ve been dying to say that for weeks. Oops, that was snarky wasn’t it?

Dr. Seuss Rocks!

May 17, 2008

And here are the book titles.

  1. Oh, the Thinks You can Think!
  2. Dr. Seuss’s ABC
  3. I wish that I had duck feet
  4. The cat in the hat comes back
  5. Green Eggs and Ham
  6. The Cat in the Hat

And the *bonus* title is:

The King’s Stilts. (this one was unfair…hence the bonus part. it’s not a young children’s book. and I had never heard of it before SassyQueen brought it home from the school library)

Jill over at “ThouShaltNotWhine” (and her blog title wins by the way) got the most titles correct. But thanks everyone for participating. I’m glad Dr. Seuss is dominating more than just my life!

A little bloggy link love to the participants…just because.

Angie at SevenClownCircus

Jocasta at WayneandJocasta

(I’m dying to ask about the Jocasta part? Because it’s like the coolest name. Also, everyone go look at her it’s amazing, seriously, go look–wink-wink)

Jamie at TheHeinerClan

My friend Melissa, (We go waaaaay back. To college way back). She went to Antioch, and I went to Univ. of Utah. (it’s a long story) But she’s a new mommy, and soooo needs to get a blog!

And to all the rest of you lurkers, next time leave a comment and I’ll show love for you too!

Oh and PS.

The titles to Jill’s tagback:

1. The nose book
2. And to think that I saw it on Mulberry street.
3. Marvin K. Mooney will you please go now!
4. The shape of me and other stuff.

I got none of them right for the record, SassyQueen got number 4 right though.

I cannot imagine…

May 14, 2008

You hear about this on the news….but I guess I honestly did not think it was real. This lovely example made it past my email’s spam blocker. WHO falls for this baloney? If grandma’s the type, please hide the modem. (my comments are in blue)

Hello Dear,

Based on information I gathered about you from a very reliable source, (Really? like who? My mother? My sister? My dentist? Cuz they are so dead if they are your very reliable source.) I am very happy to send this message to you. I hope you will consider and give me urgent and favourable reply. (We don’t spell it that way over here, get a dictionary and pretend.)

My name is Andrew Yusuf,a citizen of Sierra-Leone,Son of late Dr,Anthony Yusuf ,who before his death was the person managing the Sierra-Leone gold and diamond corporation (SGDC).

I hope you are aware of the war which has ravaged my country for the past years now. It was in one of these attacks by the rabels (Spell Check! But say it like Moira Kelly said ‘Toe Pick’ in The Cutting Edge) that led to the death of my father and my mother including two of my brothers.

I was terrified of the situation and because this I escaped from Sierra-Leone to Abidjan Cote D’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast),into a refugee camp but brouth (Toe Pick!) along with all vital document which my late father used in depositing consignment that contain the sum of $20 Million United State Dollars with a private security
company firm here in Abidjan Cote D’ Ivoire (Ivoire Coast). (Hard to be too upset for a 20 times over millionaire refugee? There are real live refugees in my own community I’d SOOOO much rather help out, but thanks all the same.)

For now, I have every information and document needed for collection of the deposit with the security company and I want you to act as the beneficiary of the deposit for easy and smooth collection of the consignment for onward transfers to your account abroad for investment popurses. (Did he mean porpoises? What do they need with dolphins?)

Since the breadwinner is no more and this is the only hope for life. youre possitive (Toe Pick!)x2 response will give me the greatest joy and relief. My aim of contacting you is to seek for your able assistance as a front in trasfering (Toe Pick!) this fund abroad into an account,then as a business devoloper, (Toe Pick!)you can help me invest wisely in areas you deem lucrative and finally to obtain residential permit for me to stay comfortable in your country of abode.

Presently I cannot go back to Sierra-Leone because of the situation there and you know that Cote D’Ivoire(Ivoire Coast),where I now is politically unstable;I therefore wish you could help me out of here before it become worse.

My God bless you for the kind of assistance and I have agreed to offer you 20% of the total sum. (Now THAT is TRULY generous…20% you say? Oh my heck, That almost makes me change my mind, maybe your aren’t as stupid as you sound? Maybe you really intend to share…how much is that? 4 million dollars??? Oh, sure count me IN! NOT.)

Finally I implore you to treat this transaction with secrecy and confidentiality for security reasons. (Well, duh. Like I want some other unsuspecting butthead to get in on MY deal!)

I am are seriously waitting(Toe Pick!) your possitive(Toe Pick!) and urgent reply.

Thanks,may God guard and protect you.


Andrew Yusuf.

Well, Andrew. Go check out this website. I stopped counting at 10,000 names and aliases that doofuses like you are using to defraud via email.