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Book Review: Through the storm

Thomas Nelson Publishers recently released review copies of:
Through the storm: A real story of fame and family in a tabloid world by Lynne Spears

What drew me to this controversial book was my curiosity.
Who hasn’t heard about the recent turmoil in the Spears family and passed judgment?
If ever there was a family under attack it would be the Spears family. I was curious to read what a mother’s perspective on it all would be. Would she see what the rest of us see? Was there another side to the story?

I admit I had also heard the rumor that this was a parenting book.
It most certainly is not a parenting book, nor was it ever supposed to be one according to Lynn.
It’s also not a tell-all book.
You won’t find any juicy details about any celebrity in this book and Lynn has only the kindest thing to say about her ex son-in-law Kevin Federline.

You also won’t find any new details about Britney’s breakdown either. Nor will there be any new revelations concerning Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy.

What you will read is a celebrity mother’s account of her own life, mostly the period before her children became famous. If you’ve ever been curious about the woman in the photographs with Britney & Jamie Lynn, then this is the book for you.

Lynn chronicles her life and speaks in detail about her childhood, early marriage (and eventual divorce) to Jamie Spears, her relationship with her sister and her regrets about not holding on to her teaching career. Towards the middle of the book she discusses her naive attitude towards the entertainment industry and a few of the regrets she has had along the way. Throughout the book she does speak briefly about her faith, but this is not really a book about her Christian faith, although she identifies herself as having a strong one.

Although I found the first half the book to be an interesting read I felt the last few chapters of the book were disjointed. In these chapters Lynn discusses Britney’s breakdown and the birth of her third grandchild. There is nothing in these chapters that hasn’t already been revealed in People magazine. It is obvious Lynn is hesitant to discuss her children’s personal life and you have to admire that. This book is not an attempt to sell off any remaining bits of privacy the family has. But what is it an attempt to do? After reading the book I’m a little unsure, as I’m sure Lynn was when she wrote it. While I cannot say that I feel I know Lynn Spears anymore after reading her book, I can say that I have more empathy for her. And perhaps that is the point of reading any autobiography?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Birthday Girl

Today is my birthday.
I am now 37 years old.
The sad part is, I had to do the math to figure it out.
Honestly. I did.
Somehow, I thought I was going to be 38 this year.
Don’t ask me why.

Big Daddy would say it’s because I always round up my age.
Generally come March I start saying I’m the age I will be in November.
That sort of thing.
I don’t know why I do that.

If you are a glass is half empty person you might look at this and say,
“Girl, you are so old you cannot even remember how old you are! It’s all downhill from here!”

If you are a glass is half full person you might look at this and say,
“Surprise! You’re a year younger than you thought! Happy birthday to you.”

In honor of my 37 years of life I thought I’d compile a list of:
37 things I’ve learned in life…

The bible really does hold the key to everything to need to know about life. There isn’t anything you need to know about that isn’t in the book. Your kids are whining? Titus 2:12b

The things you vowed you would never ever say to your children? You will.
“Whatever you don’t eat for dinner you will eat for breakfast.”
“There are starving kids in Africa who would be happy to have your dinner.”

There is nothing sweeter than the feeling of a baby sleeping on your chest.

Sometimes the biggest trials in your life, bring you the biggest blessings.

When you have the most time to nap you don’t want to.
When you don’t have time to nap, that’s all you want to do.

Marriage isn’t always easy but it’s always worth the extra effort.

The friend who encourages you to break the law speeding and says, “Don’t worry, if you get a speeding ticket, I’ll pay it.” Most certainly will not pay it.

Even though it feels like it, you won’t die from newborn sleep deprivation.
But if your husband keeps talking about the good nights sleep that he had, he probably will.

After you have kids there is nothing sexier than a man who cleans up the kitchen and gets all the kids to bed!

Driving a mini van will never feel cool.

Red is my favorite color.

Green is my favorite color.

Pink is my favorite color.

I no longer have a favorite color

Just because you didn’t have the best mother doesn’t mean you can’t try to be one.

Be wary of those who speak about the personal lives of others to you,
because they are most likely speaking to others about your personal life too.

The sky is so clear in Africa you can see the satellites flying through the sky;
They look like shooting stars.

Just because someone asks you a question,
doesn’t mean you have to answer it.

Nothing compares to a handwritten note.

The first person to raise their voice is the weakest.

It’s a lot harder to come up with 37 things I’ve learned than I thought it would be.

I’m regretting the whole, 37 things I’ve learned” thing entirely.

I don’t recommend doing a blog post on 37 things I’ve learned.

Words do hurt.
Especially to children.

If the grass looks greener on the other side
its just a sign that I haven’t been watering my own grass

There is a kind of girl that guys marry
and a kind of girl that guys date.
If you choose to be the kind of girl that guys marry
you may not have a lot of dates, but then you won’t need to either.

I will never embrace my curly hair.
We always want what we do not have.

Longer hair makes you look younger—and shorter.

Your past does not determine your future.

Magic Eraser really does work.

A thoughtful gift outweighs an expensive one every time.

My life turned out a lot better than I thought it would when I was 13.

Twitter is addicting

Facebook is addicting

Blogging is addicting

37 really doesn’t really feel any different than 36….or 35 for that matter.

Comments make me happy. So please leave some!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.
For the first time in YEARS I am not cooking.
We are going to a restaurant.
I have mixed feelings about this,
but I’m looking forward to a day just relaxing with my family,
instead of stressing in the kitchen!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Black Friday

I‘ve never really gotten into the whole Black Friday shopping thing.
To me it’s silly to be out fighting the crowds
when I could be comfy cozy at home in front of my computer.

Here are some interesting sales/offers I’ve found:

Scholastic Store is offering up to 75% off and FREE Shipping (use code SSTGS)
Sale ends December 2nd

If you are a homeschooler you will love the fact that The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is offering an annual subscription for the unheard of price of $7.95! Seriously, this is what you should get your homeschool friends or your nagging in-laws or parents who don’t “get it.” Plus during the Black Friday Sale, they have all kind of bonus gifts when you spend $50, $75, $100, or $150. Some are electronic downloads that you can download immediately, while other are physical products mailed from various vendors directly to your home. is having a major sale. Visit their Black Friday page for all the details.

Chronicle Books is offering 35% off all items plus FREE SHIPPING use code FRIENDS until December 5th. Be sure to check out the Squiggles book for kids. Chronicle Books has a very large selection and you cannot beat 35% off and free shipping so tell a friend!

PBS is offering $10 off any $50 purchase (code PBSFriday) and FREE SHIPPING. They have a fantastic selection of Kids Programs—-including our favorite, Between the Lions

Red Envelope is offering 10% off plus additional Black Friday Sale items. Use code REDTKN

Apple is offering a one day only sale on iPod,iPhone and Mac gifts plus FREE SHIPPING with $50 purchase.

One Step Ahead is offering 15% off using code NVMRBDAY and $10 off/$75, $15 off /$100, $30 off/$125 plus free subscription to wondertime, family fun, or cookie with $75 purchase and FREE shipping with $85 purchase.

The Stationery Studio is offering 10% off purchases of $100 or 15% off purchases of $200 or more using code HOLIDAY08. This is the home of the personalized soaps as seen on Oprah’s favorite things. In my opinion personalized gifts give you more bang for your buck. Don’t forget to check out their cute quick ship calling cards.

Janie and Jack offers free shipping with purchases over $100 which isn’t hard to do on that website, unfortunately. Use code FREE100

Imagine Toys offers free shipping with $99 merchandise purchase. Use code FREE. We found quite a few fun things in this catalog (and online).

Magic Cabin has $4.99 shipping on orders over $65 (in continental US only) Use code MC1152
This is a really sweet company with great toys that are well made and promote imagination and play. You won’t find video games or talking toys here.

Timberdoodle is having a 5-day sale. They have a great selection of educational toys, games and products. Their catalog is the best, request a copy online. Check out the Prisma 24-piece portfolio!

Soulutions offers FREE SHIPPING on everything with no minimums use code 12881 expires 11/29 so hurry!

Horchow is offering 30% off seasonal and 10% off everything else. Code HOLIDAY

This isn’t really a sale item, but during the holiday season Green Dimes has “gift cards” to their service that you can give out. Its a great green gift idea that offers a year of premium service for only $20. With Green Dimes you can save time, paper, and your identity (junk mail can lead to identity theft).

For information on additional online Black Friday sales click here or here.

Happy Shopping.
But remember, it isn’t about what you buy.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Fridge Filing

Big Daddy once told me in an exasperated voice,
“The fridge is not a filing cabinet!”
Ah Big Daddy, He loves me so!
I guess that pretty much sums up how I view organizing a fridge.
I like things on certain shelves, facing a certain way.
Four kids later I lost my way and our fridge looked absolutely horrible in my opinion.
I felt ill every time I looked inside it.
Not for unsanitary reasons, but for lack of organization.

Organization is essential to my well being.
Opening a freezer that looks like this:

Well, it makes me happy.
And you know what they say.

If Mama ain’t happy; Ain’t nobody happy!

What makes you happy?
Do you have any organizational quirks?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.