First off, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas isn’t about politics. It’s solidly and solely about keeping Christ in Christmas, protecting our rights as Christians and asserting our freedom of religion. It’s a book by a Christian, for a Christian.
Sarah Palin’s basic message is, “If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, don’t. We respect that. But don’t try to impose your beliefs on me and my family and don’t infringe on our right to celebrate our religious holiday the way we choose.” Really. That’s pretty much it. A live and let live message. One of tolerance – that elusive concept that liberals claim to so admire.
Normally, if someone were to write a Christian book about a Christian holiday, with a little American constitutional law thrown in, non-Christians wouldn’t really give a rip – unless, of course, they were exceptionally sad and bitter with nothing better to do with their time than attack a peaceful religion during a joyous time of the year.
But this isn’t just ANY book on Christianity. It’s a book on Christianity written by SARAH PALIN. Bum bum bum BUMMMM!!
So, of course, if you plan on reading it in public, or posting on your Twitter or Facebook page that you’ve read it, expect some liberals with a hard on for hating Sarah that have never even so much as cracked open a book by Palin to come out of the woodwork and roll their eyes, scoff, or say ignorant things that they think make them sound “cool”. Yeah, cuz saying misogynistic and sexist things about a woman makes you such a strong manly man. (Or for the women, proves that you’re a real lady.)
I’ve long come to terms with the fact that nothing angers an insecure liberal man or an unconfident morally confused liberal girl more than a strong , intelligent, beautiful conservative woman.
Liberals go into a veritable frenzy when it comes to Palin. They attack her children, say grotesquely sexist things about her, embrace wacky conspiracy theories about her life, take comedians exaggerated “quotes” and ignorantly believe they came straight from her mouth, and insult every woman in America when they suggest that Palin can’t be a good mother and a politician, too. As John Hawkins of Townhall News says, it would be understandable if Sarah Palin were President and produced this type of reaction, but the former governor of Alaska? Most people couldn’t even name half a dozen governors, much less obsess over what they’re doing.
Sarah Palin represents a totally different style of woman: the conservative feminist. She’s had a successful career, raised a big family, and has done it all without aborting an “inconvenient” child or carping about men keeping her down. A true enemy to the liberal feminist ideal. But I digress!
More on this book! It is extremely short. It’s not overly profound or ground breaking in its observations and facts. For the news and current event savvy conservative it’s just old news polished and repackaged with a shiny new Christmas bow on top. So really, it’s either a good Christmas 101 for new believers or a good casual read for the Palin fans. Nothing more or less.
Not to diminish the topic at all, because the information is relevant and vital. The fact is, our environment is increasingly becoming hostile to Christians and Christmas. That’s no joke. And Palin gives some basic tips on how to keep the Christmas spirit, and how to keep it well.
Plus, it’s fun when read in Palin’s voice. She’s cute, she’s witty, she puts her opposition down in that adorably innocent way you’d expect a soccer mom to when having a dispute in front of the kids.
If not written by Palin, I’d say it’s simply a good short read for a Christian seeking to focus on the reason for the season. But because it’s written by Palin, I’d say it’s a MUST READ…. What? So, I have a crush on her, what of it?
Best part of this book? GETTING TO MEET SARAH PALIN ON HER BOOK SIGNING TOUR, WHEEEEEE!!!!!!!! *runs around in circles* Check out the photo that got posted to Sarah Palin’s Facebook wall of my handsome hubby and gorgeous baby girl getting Palin’s autograph… awwwww, yeah!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA’LL!
I was just finishing reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis this morning, when my Twitter feed lit up with the nation stumbling over itself to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy.
Then, a lone tweet from @winstoncoolidge stood out in my timeline. “So today we hear about old people reminiscing about where they were when C.S. Lewis died.” Huh?! What? By Aslan’s mane, it’s the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, too! I literally discovered this with a C.S. Lewis book in my hand. (If that’s any indication of how much of a fan I am…)
Now I’m no soul-reader, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that the death of C.S. Lewis, just a few days shy of his 65th birthday, isn’t one to be too heavily mourned. I mean, I think we’re all fairly sure where he’s ended up.
A modern day literary saint meeting his maker isn’t something to mourn. It’s something to celebrate! So celebrate I shall.
C.S. Lewis is BY FAR one of my all time favorite authors. An intellectual and an apologist, he used fairy tales, mythology, poetry, science fiction, children’s stories and scholarly essays to communicate the depths of truth. What’s not to love? He’s worth reading and rereading and then reading again.
So without further ado! Here are some literary morsels to chew on in celebration of the life of C.S. Lewis. (Oh, yeah, and sorry you died too JFK…)
1. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
2. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.
3. A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
5. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
6. Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
7. We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
8. The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
9. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
10. Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
11. Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
13. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
14. The magic is not in the medicine but in the patients body. What the doctor does is stimulate Nature’s functions in the body, or to remove hinderances. In a sense, though we speak of healing a cut, every cut heals itself; no dressing will make skin grow over a cut on a corpse.
15. No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.
Guess who has two thumbs and got Sarah Palin’s autograph… IN PERSON?!?! Yeeeeah, that’s right. THIS GIRL!
The gorgeous Governor of Alaska was in Pensacola, Florida yesterday on her book tour for her newest work, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas”. I finished reading it just in time for the autograph signing event. I don’t think you guys understand the importance of that. One of my biggest, biggest and I mean BIGGEST pet peeves is getting into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving. DON’T YOU ENCROACH ON MY FALL TIME SANTA.
So reading a book that is just chock full of warm and fuzzies for the holidays shows just how much I adore Sarah Palin.
My husband had duty on the base and it looked like he wasn’t going to be able to make it.. buuuut! He asked for permission to ditch out long enough to get the book signed, and against all odds the big wigs on the base said okay! So I picked him up from work at the very last minute, we ran to Books a Million, and we joined the 1000+ people crowding the building to meet the lovely lady herself (along with her family – Todd, Piper and Bristol).
I’m told she signed 894 books last night! And we’re but one itty bitty stop on her massive tour. Poor lady better have a hot bath and a masseuse on hand, amiright?!
So. There we were, a young mother, a young man in military uniform and a tiny newborn baby in a tiny little sailor suit, mingling among a crowd of what I’m willing to bet were 99.9% Christian conservatives. Jonathan was stopped and thanked for his service countless times. And the reaction to a Navy man with a tiny baby in his arms? PRICELESS. It was like a constant surround sound track of oooohhhs and ahhhhhs and “how old?” and “whats her name?” and “she’s so precious!”
They made us leave our phones and cameras outside of the autograph area, but Palin had her own photography crew there taking pictures. When Jonathan approached the table with tiny Tessa in tow, we just KNEW we’d be seeing that image again soon. And lo and behold, the very next morning, what do we find on Sarah Palin’s personal Facebook page:
Awwww yeah. That’s my sexy family. I am such a proud mommy and wife. I wasn’t in the picture because they were pushing us along single file and after my book was signed, they ushered me away. I turned around to see Jonathan chatting it up with Palin. I tried to walk back to the table but the Books a Million gal stopped me like I was some crazed wacko trying to go back to lick the pretty lady. (In her defense, the thought had crossed my mind. I’VE GOT SUCH A CRUSH ON HER!)
Anyhoo, I’ll follow up with a book review soon enough. MERRY CHRISTMAS YA’LL!!
Anyone that knows me, knows that I consume books like I eat food – quickly, mercilessly and without any restraint. I am a glutton for mind candy. As a result, I breeze through novels in a matter of days. I forego sleep if a book really strikes my fancy. I tune out all distractions and go into a book bubble, where it’s only me, my coffee, and my imagination.
On our first date, as Jonathan and I both started the traditional nerd mating ritual of preening and parading the fantasy novels and geek literature we enjoy and have in common, Jonathan insisted that I read the Dresden Files books. I’d never even heard of them, New York Times best seller though they be.
But read it I did, and have found that I really do enjoy the series. Jonathan and I have been following the books as they release, and breathlessly awaiting the follow up novels. The Dresden Files was actually the third cosplay we ever did together. We love this series. It’s become one of “our” things.
So I really don’t know why it took me four whole freaking months to finish this book. (It could be because I was busy growing a peoples, packing up for my cross country move, moving into my new home, being put on bed rest, and then shoving a human out my nether regions, followed by 24/7 care of and attention to said human. Maybe.)
Anyway, this is the 14th book in the Dresden Files series. I’m not going to even BEGIN to touch on the story intricacies. I’m just going to assume everyone is up to speed on the plot and story development. So to be honest, this book didn’t do anything for me. It was an enjoyable read but it just kind of… meandered. I guess I’m still just reeling from Butcher destroying every iconic and recognizable icon in the Dresden-verse with the book Changes.
After unraveling everything that had been built up over the course of 10 novels, this book just felt like reading a giant filler episode. Yes, things happened. Things were explained. Some major characters got killed, and recruited to new roles and la la la. But the way it all unfolded just felt so… flat. Maybe it’s because I read the whole book in tiny snatches over a course of four months. But I didn’t experience the breathless page turning, edge-of-my-seat excitement that I normally get while reading a Jim Butcher novel.
And the whole struggling to maintain his identity and quell his darker nature and internal power struggle thing just doesn’t float my boat. It’s like reading the memoirs of an angsty teen with raging hormones. It was more a one man show of Dresden off on his lonesome, and less personal interaction between characters. And it’s the character interaction and snarky dialogue that I really enjoy in the Dresden books.
Plus, Harry and Karrin STILL haven’t bow-chicka-bow-wowed. That’s just unacceptable.
For the first time since starting the book series, I’m not overly excited for the next release. I don’t NOT want to read it, I’m just okay with waiting. And for the life of me, I can’t see how this series is going to continue for another six to nine novels. It’s already reaching a serious “winding down” quality to me.
Anyway, Jonathan thinks I’m crazy for not being in love with this book. He was apparently enthralled. Which means the whole machismo, internal struggle theme must be bigger with the guys. I, personally, need more cheesy romance and nonsensical fantasy to keep me captivated for 14+ books. ^_^
For the last few weeks Jonathan has been reading Winnie the Pooh to Tessa at night. Winnie the Pooh has been my “future baby” theme / obsession since I was a kid. Since most of our books are still in storage, my bazillion antique / collectors / random copies of A.A. Milne’s works are out of reach, so Jon had been reading the books off of his phone. But I finally insisted that we raid the local thrift stores to find some actual, physical, “these are the first books we read to you” books. I was adamant that whatever we find we need, need, NEED to make sure we get her some old school Winnie the Pooh, and as a close second, some Alice in Wonderland books. And guess what we found?
Reading to a baby bump is so very, very important. Babies begin to hear around 18 weeks in the womb, and from that point on they are listening and learning and remembering during the pregnancy. Their brains do not wait for birth to start absorbing information.
Bonding with your baby doesn’t begin the day that he or she is born, it can (and should) begin way before that. While it’s no secret that baby will know moms voice at birth (being constantly surrounded by the ominous rumbling thunder of Mom-God voice), but research has shown that babies whose father’s talked to them constantly while they were in the womb were immediately responsive to the father’s voice at birth as well.
I really don’t understand why dads are cut out of so much regarding pregnancy and birth and child-rearing. Our society is experiencing an epidemic in deadbeat dads, and when there are some amazing guys out there (like my sexy-pants Jonathan) who desperately WANT to be involved in their childs life, they are often overlooked or made to feel that it’s not their place by women who see an almost sacred monopolization on the parent-child bond. I saw a whole discussion on a mommy forum where the majority of women were scoffing at the idea of prenatal bonding between daddy and baby. WTF?!
Research has proven that babies can distinguish between their parents and strangers voices while in the womb – a newborn with an involved father WILL recognize her father’s voice. With recognition comes built in attachment, and when there’s a healthy attachment between baby and parent, the baby comes to believe that the world is a safe place. This is the beginning of the establishment of trust, which is vital to personality development. Hur hur hur baby-hogging feminazis – daddies can and should be building healthy relationships with their budding spawn, too!
Anyway, one of the most upsetting aspects about Jonathan leaving in less than two weeks is that he’s going to miss out on 9 weeks of late 2nd trimester and early 3rd trimester bonding with Tessa. But then we had a rather brilliant idea. My friend Salena had given me her Lullabelly band, which she swears by. The Lullabelly band is basically a fuzzy belly belt with speakers that is iPod compatible. It matches the decibels of a normal conversational voice volume at 60-80 decibels. (See where this is going?)
So we have started recording Jonathan reading bedtime stories to be played on the Lullabelly while he is gone! That way Tessa can hear his voice every night. And we know she hears and enjoys his voice, because just a couple of days ago, while speaking to my belly, Tessa wiggled closer to his lips and started wiggling up against his face. He could even see little twitches outside of my belly where she was wiggling to get closer to him. It was so precious! (And yes, the cats are already getting jealous of the tummy time… they are beginning to treat my bump in the same way they treat books and computers – something to be sat on to intercept our attention and get ALL DA LOVES!)
In addition to keeping up bedtime stories with poppa every night via Lullabelly band, I am also planning on playing music (mostly classical and Baby Einstein) to Tessa. There is no definite measurable scientific proof of just how much music benefits babies in the womb, but the research done thus far points to the fact that the efforts are positive and certainly don’t hurt.
We know, for instance, that children exposed to classical music in the womb are more apt to have increased positive physical and mental development after birth. When studied at six months, the babies exposed to classical music were more advanced in terms of motor, linguistic and intellectual development than babies who received no musical stimulus during pregnancy.
Scientists explain that with every event a baby experiences – including listening to music or its parents voices – it triggers neural impulses which strengthen intercellular connections in the brain. Babies have also been proven to show signs of recognition of songs played in utero, and to be soothed and calmed faster by familiar melodies and rhythms.
As a future homeschool mom, I plan on giving my kids every opportunity to learn and grow, and to do all within my power to make their environment one in which they can thrive. And in my opinion, that responsibility begins in the womb. Along with bedtime and music with the Lullabelly, I plan on chatting with Tessa throughout the pregnancy and being the crazy lady at the supermarket discussing how sometimes potatoes look so sad to my belly. 😉