Thursday, May 31, 2012

Parenting and tests


  I love how God teaches us something, then immediately tests us.  As a trained teacher, I know that the assessment is an important part of the learning process.  I know that it “seals” in the learning and shows where our assimilation of the new skill is lacking.  
  Well, go figure that was the day I had yesterday.  God opened my eyes about how I spoke to my children.  I love them dearly, but I get so frustrated and tired at the end of the day.  I try to be patient, but sometimes I just lose it.  I know- I am human, it happens to the best of us, etc, etc.  But that is not good enough.  I know God doesn’t expect perfection, but He expects that I would choose His way over the world’s excuses.
I will never be a perfect mom, but I can be the best one possible for my kids’ sake.  God expects my best and actually calls me to put aside my anger, rage, and self and clothe myself with patience, compassion, kindness, humility, and gentleness (colossians 3:12).  That is not exactly what I did today.  I hung on- until 8 pm and the 15th time telling them to go back to bed.....
Today is a new day.  Thank God children are forgiving and resilient!! 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday! it's almost summer


Happy Wednesday!! I can't wait for summer, also since I substitute teach, it means I can be home all day everyday!! Since my oldest is in school, it means we all (except poor Daddy) will be home all day everyday and that is something to be excited about!!

.

The jeans- Sam's Club!!! 
the shirt- Ross
The Sweater Walmart (I was out and got cold and needed a cheap sweater.  It was $5)
The necklace- a gift




 
The shoes- H&M                                          The earings a local boutique- "The Happy Hippy"

                                The bracelet- I honestly can't remember.  But I loved it and had to get it in the shot!



                                                   Sweater- Old Navy, tank- gifted
White house Black Market, skirt- thrifted










             Apparently someone was using my camera!! I had to sneak in this to "What I Wore Wednesday"!  Pajamas- hand me down from her sister.   And we are linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A recipe for Tuesday

Yesterday we were going to have some friends over and a little dinner and have a good ol' time.  We were going to have some friends come up from Phoenix and hang out and celebrate the day with us.


In the morning we decided to go to the local drive through animal park- Bearizona (kinda cute). They have bears, mules, buffalo, goats, wolves, and a few others.  Midway through the drive I noticed Kai had very, very, red cheeks.  I started thinking- he had had a fever over the weekend- Fri it was 103.5.  I knew the red cheeks meant something. I thought for a minute and it clicked- fifth disease (for those who don't know it is not serious, it is a mild virus that effects mainly children.  They get a fever and a rash.  It is called 5th disease because it is the 5th of the 5 infectious rash illnesses in children).  He has to go to the Dr today to confirm....but his cheeks didn't look as red later in the day.  We will see. But since my friend is pregnant and there is a chance she could have complications if she contracted this, she couldn't come. 


But we had one fabulous potato salad!!!  It almost made up for the lack of company.



vegan potato salad-
1 lb organic potatoes
1/2 bunch green onions
1/2 cup veganaise
1 cup carrots chopped
2 tbs thyme
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
2 tbs lemon juice
salt
Wash and quarter the potatoes. Place them in a pot of salted water.  Bring the pot to a boil and keep at a rolling boil for about 10 min or until the potatoes are soft all the way through.  
While the potatoes are boiling chop carrots, parsley, onions, and thyme and place in a bowl.  When the potatoes are done drain them well and put them in the bowl with the herbs.  Mix in the veganaise and lemon juice and salt to taste.  I used about 1/2 tsp of salt.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  If you refrigerate over night the flavors will mix better.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day.  I wanted to take today to remember the ones who have given everything to die for our freedom.  The people who serve our country and gave their lives.

But there is another one who gave His life for us.  He is definitely not honored enough.  I walk through the grocery store and people using his name as a slang term.  I turn the television on and He is mocked.  He is the one who, while we were still far away, gave his life so we could be free.

In America we have quite a bit of freedom.  We have the constitution, the bill of rights, etc that guarantee our rights as citizens of this country.  We have a lot of freedom to do and say as we please.  But if we don't have Christ- we are still enslaved.  We are slaves to sin-  John 8:34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin" but, “For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1.  So because of Christ we are free from the obligation to sin.


When people are far from God, they don't know that they are compelled to sin.  Sin makes sense to them and they see it as right.  But through Christ we are free from that bondage, we can see the truth clearly and get an "out" from sin.


So let us remember the great deeds of men, but let us also make sure we don't forget the Great ONE!!!  


Have a safe and happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 25, 2012

Running the Race

Hebrews 12 :1- Therefore since we are surrounded by such a greg cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


Ok, so I am a runner- well not a good runner, but I run. I have even run a few races.  Each race that I run is clearly marked by the people who designed it.  There are signs along the way that we see and individuals who guide, encourage, and assist the runners.  Everyone in the race has a clear direction that they are going the right way.  There are also other runners along side you who encourage, challenge, and guide you on your way.  There are many more people out of the race doing other things- like eating lunch, getting gas, or whatever they are doing.  

Last winter I was in a half- marathon.  Now I had only recently regained walking post my ankle surgery see these posts to read about my surgery and not being able to walk for 2 months.  Then after the bed rest, I had to spend another month in a boot- so I was not running much of this last 1/2 marathon.  But I completed it.  At the halfway point I was sooo hungry (forgetting to pack my own gels) and there were people eating lunch along the way.  If I had followed my temptation I would not have completed the race.  I would have stopped and eaten- letting my distractions get away from me.

When I started out, I was wearing a fleece- even though the race was in Phoenix, it was January and the morning when i left my in-laws' house it was in the 30's.  However, mid race the temps were twice that.  If I kept my fleece, it would have been bothersome and gotten in my way had I chosen to bring it-despite being a little uncomfortable with the cold in the beginning.  I was grateful later on that I had left it behind.

The point is that in life there are a million distractions.  Things that bring us away from God- some of them are good things, but in the wrong position in our life can cause dangerous consequences.  For example, social media can be a great tool.  However if we use that instead of cultivating relationships with those around us, we get caught up in the dangerous lure of that and it can ensnare us to not follow the race that God has set out for us.  He has clearly set out boundaries for each of us in our lives.  He creates in our lives a set of boundaries that we are supposed to follow.  There are others he places in our lives to encourage us and others are examples to us on where we are supposed to go.  We can't look off to the path of where God has set us to go or we will not finish our race.  If we don't get rid of distractions in our life we won't be able to focus on what it is that God wants for us.

It is so important that we find out where God is leading us in our race.  I know right now, for me, my race is primarily in raising my children.  As I type I have one of them laying in my bed with a fever.  Caring for this little person is the primary stretch of my race at this point in time.  Soon my kids will be grown and my race will take a different turn.  I encourage you to take a look at where your life is.  What stage it is in.  Find the focus that you need to have and cultivate that.  If you do not have children yet, maybe God is calling to help others who need it.  Maybe God is asking you to find a ministry and serve others (we are actually to serve others throughout our entire lives, the people are the only thing that changes), maybe God is asking you to spend your time teaching his word, or whatever it is.  Seek his markers for your race right now. And run it to the very best of your ability.

Thursday, May 24, 2012



Trusting and letting go

I have mentioned, I am sure, that I have hoshimoto's thyroid disease.  It has been a long road, a long and difficult road.  I thought I would share a little about my journey (and going).

I will go back to when I had my oldest daughter- that was 10 years ago.  I gained a whopping 70 lbs with that pregnancy due to stress and lack of knowledge.  That was hard for a 22 year old, but luckily I lost it all! And within 4 months.  I felt healthy and strong.  Throughout the next few years my weight fluctuated a little- 10-15 lbs, but not much.  Then I got pregnant with #2, things changed.  Despite eating healthy, I still gained 60 lbs, 10 in the first few weeks.  But went throughout  the pregnancy working hard to be healthy- and going to school...ok, so I wasn't THAT healthy.  But I figured it wouldn't be a big deal since I lost it so fast the first time.  Well, that didn't happen.  I struggled hard that first year of little Arydona's life.  I chalked it up to already having a daughter and everything else I was doing.  Then got pregnant twice that year (I miscarried the first- I got pregnant with that baby when Arydona was a whole 7 months old).  After Kai was born about a year after the miscarriage, I was ready to start trying to lose weight again.  I had worked out 2 hours a day during his whole pregnancy and watched every bite but still gained a bit for my size at the time.

   After Kai was born, I worked HARD to lose weight- I didn't miss a beat.  Actually, some people from my gym thought I never had the baby as I was working out again within a week or two of his birth.  (FYI- don't ask a lady who just had a baby when she will have her baby....bad form!).  I started off losing weight- and nursing my newborn round the clock was going to help! But it didn't.  I actually GAINED weight.  It made no sense- I had a feeling that my thyroid was off, but thought "It'll work itself out".  I let it go.  For a YEAR I let it go.  I ate as little as I could to fuel my body and still lose weight and did lose- slowly.  It was a year later that I finally started to have more symptoms.  My "bathroom" habits were irregular- I was lucky to go to the bathroom once a week.  I knew that wasn't healthy.  My hair started breaking at record amounts- which I at first shrugged off to post pregnancy hair loss.  I then started having joint pain and exhaustion.  I mean exhaustion- it was ridiculous. I would fall asleep mid-afternoon despite getting 9 hours of sleep and then still be tired.  After all these symptoms I finally went to the dr.   My TSH numbers were 13! (So there is an inverse relationship with thyroid numbers- high tsh means low thyroid...confusing I know) The acceptable range is 3.0-.3.

My Dr would not tell my why my thyroid was low- which I wouldn't take.  I found and endocrinologist and decided to find out what was up with my body.  She did the antibody test and determined that I did, in fact, have hoshimoto's.  For about a year I took synthroid- which worked at getting my numbers ok, but my symptoms never got better.  I then switched to Armour thyroid.  I have been on that for a year and a half.  My body is extremely sensitive to changes in the meds and it is still not completely better- but my symptoms are better.  I am finding that for right now at least, my body likes to be a little on the low side of normal.

Apparently the stress from three pregnancies in less than 2 years put a toll on my body and I developed the autoimmune disease.  It also runs in my family and will encourage my kids to get theirs checked regularly.  So if these symptoms sound familiar- or you are missing eyebrow hair on the outer third of your brows, experience cold when others are warm, if you are having unexplained blood pressure issues, or have a family history- get your thyroid checked.  Get it checked yearly or every couple years if you have a family history and especially if you have just a baby.  Thyroid disease is common and difficult.  If you have questions thryoid.org's website.  You aren't crazy, and you are not alone!

Despite all these horrid effects pregnancy has had on my body- I don't regret a thing!! I have 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday!!!

It is back! And this week I have some fun Vegas What I Wore pics.  So let the fun begin .....



A little traveling music please.  This was what I wore for the drive down
Shirt Daniel Rain (Told you he would reappear!) from Piperlime
shorts Old Navy
Shoes- Famous Footwear
Tank and Hat both from H&M


This was night one's look- dress H&M
Shoes Famous Footwear
Necklace- A local downtown shop (gotta love buying local!)


                                      The hubster even made an appearance for this one!
                                       Jeans- calvin klein at Sam's, Shirt- a gift from his mom, Shoes target
                                     

                                  

                This dress was from H&M- the hat too- but if you look closely you can see it was
                 a bathing suit cover- I plan to add some lace to the bottom since it is a bit short, but worked for
                    the pool!!!!

                                                         Blouse- gift from Mother in Law: White House Black Market
                                                       Jeans- Miss Me- birthday gift, necklace- walmart
                             

This look works- don't you think!?

And we are linking up with the Pleated Poppy

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mac And Cheese- well, not really....

I love macaroni and cheese. Always have.  I had made accommodations to it when I found out I had to eat gluten free, but still ate it about the same way as before- just different noodles.  Well, this last year I have wavered between vegetarian and vegan and have settled closer to vegan (I am not strict due to a lot of dietary restrictions I already have - so if I find a gluten free pastry or bread when we are out I will eat it even if it is not vegan) at home we are 100%vegan.  I like it so much! I feel so much better, my skin is so much better, my digestion is better, so much has improved.  However, I have tried a bunch of different cheese substitutes that I don't like.  I have scoured the blogs and cookbooks for macaroni and cheeze recipes and none of them have appealed to me- until now!!!

I stopped by Gluten Free Goddess and found an amazing recipe!!! We had it for dinner tonight and it was by far the best recipe for a vegan mac and cheeze that I have actually liked (little B even had 2 bowl fulls!!!)  It wasn't oil free- I will have to work on a way to do an oil free rue- but it cut the oil in half- which was a start, right!! Anyway, I added sun dried tomatoes and white beans for protein.  It was the perfect meal for our first meal at home since the trip. Unfortunately I don't have a picture....but use your imagination and enjoy this lovely pic of my kids at the lake....not anything close to mac and cheeze but they are so cute, aren't they!??

adjusted from the Best Cheesy Uncheese Sauce c/o gluten free goddess
Cheesy uncheese sauce-

2 tbs oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
5 tbs rice flour
2.5 cups of nondairy milk (I used oat milk, you can use any unsweetened milk)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tbs rice vinegar (I used garlic infused)
1 tbs onion powder
1/2 tsp honey mustard
1/4 cup white wine

Heat the oil in a pan. Chop garlic while the oil is heating then add garlic to the oil. Turn the heat down to Med.  Almost immediately add the rice flour.  Stir the flour with the oil until mixed through.  You may have to add a little more oil.  Slowly add the nondairy milk whisking while adding to the mix.  Before it is completely mixed in add in the salt and turmeric and continue to mix until smooth.  Add rice vinegar and mix until smooth.  Mix onion and mustard and when fully incorporated add in white wine, stir until smooth.  Keep mixture on the back burner until bubbling for 5 min.  Then cover over pasta, potatoes, vegetables, anything you can think of!!!

add any vegetables or flavors that you like- like I said we had it with sun dried tomatoes and white beans.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

So vegas.....it was amazing!!!
Look forward to some great What I Wore Wednesday from Vegas! We road tripped it from Flagstaff to Phoenix to drop off the kids then headed up from Phoenix

We got to the hotel at 10pm on Friday and got changed and roamed the building.  We stayed at the stratosphere and decided to go up to the top and see the view from up there.  It was amazing.  People were jumping off the top of the building!!!!! It was pretty wild.






We went to buffets and had AMAZING food!!!! One of them had cotton candy!! Yummmmm.  We saw Madonna's dress at Planet Hollywood and even  had a meal in a downtown Paris street. We got to kiss in the streets of "Paris"! We made sure to do a lot of working out to combat all the rich food, though!!



We had the opportunity to sit in the front row center of The Blue Man Group- which is a show I truly recommend! It was fantastic and amazing- despite having banana splattered all over me.  Hence me having to wear a snazzy parka.  It was a funny show and had really great music.  It was a definite highlight of the weekend- we got to get a picture with a Blue Man.

It was so nice to wake up late and go out to dinner without the kids.  What a fantastic blessing!! Bryce's 30th birthday was a gift for me too!  And they had a great time with Nani and Papi- they went to an Aquarium and a movie and all kinds of kid fun.  They even loved the souvenirs we got them- two got hats and the third got a handbag.....so cute!


If you can swing it- I totally recommend a weekend or even a night away from the kids with your spouse- it was such a bonding experience and you will need to know what it is like one day when the kids move out of the house!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

30 and counting

Today is my husband's 30th birthday.  He has been trying to hang on to his 20's as long as possible- sorry, honey, you gotta let go!   I found this fun way to celebrate that would be right up his alley!!
image borrowed from- http://scrappyjilly.blogspot.com

Birthdays are a big deal in our home.  It is your own special day!!! The spring is loaded with them though! Both daughters and I are in April and Bryce is in May- that is not counting our parents and extended family!! So 4/5 of our family has birthdays within 6 weeks of each other- talk about busy season!!

So for Bryce's birthday we are making not huevos rancheros with country gravy (trust me it is ahhhmaazing! ) and raspberry cupcakes and going to Vegas!!!!  We leave tomorrow!!! I can't wait- look forward to some great posts about that!!  We are leaving the kids with Nani and Papi for the weekend and Daddy and Mommy get some lovely couple time.  We were gifted some tickets to "The Blue Man Group" and we are so excited.  We are scheduling relaxing by the pool so we can make sure that happens!!

 Part of being married is making sure you remember that you are the most important part of the family.  The parents are the center of the marriage.  Think of it like a house- you need a good foundation to make sure the house stands.  You have to maintain the foundation, or the whole house will fall.  So we are going away to strengthen the foundation.

What I wore Wednesday

So I don't know how to get the posts in one tab...I will work on that.  But, here is another "What I Wore Wednesday"



                                                       This was a work outfit-
                 sweater- Marshall's, shirt- hand me down, jeans- Marshall's (don't mind the kid's shampoo and conditioner in the pic!)

                                         Dress- Marshall's, purse- birthday gift from my lovely Mother in Law






                                                   Blouse- Daniel Rain (my favorite designer) Marshall's, jeans-                               Can't  remember!!  Shoes- Jessica Simpson (can't remember where from)
   


 Linking up with the pleated poppy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Success

   I had a wonderful weekend.  The weather was perfect- sunny and warm.  Saturday we got to see some filming for the up-coming Food Network's Food Truck Race.  They were at the local health food store- filming crew and all.  It was very exciting for our sleepy mountain town!

Mother's Day was great.  Every 30 seconds I would hear a round of "Happy Mother's Day!!!!" Of course that was almost always preceded by an argument about who won at buckling their seat belt or who got to play with the sparkly star sticker.  It was definitely what I would expect from my family!!!  

                                        

     There was free photo sessions for families (mothers) and then we cuddled after lunch (more "Happy Mother's Days every few minutes), I got in some gardening and Bryce made me a fantastic plant based dinner.  We had PPK's Chesapeake Tempeh cakes  (AMAZING!! the recipe for that is here) some vegan b├ęchamel  recipe here, roasted asparagus and some hash browns- it was amazing!!!  I am so proud of my husband for working so hard at making it!!! He even picked me some lilacs from our friends yard so the table smelled amazing.   




(Sorry, the picture of the food was from my phone, so quality wasn't the best)
                                                                                                                                                       


Friday, May 11, 2012

Mom Enough?

Ok- everyone is talking about it.  I might as well join it.  Time magazine released a cover recently with a woman standing up breastfeeding he 3 year old son with the caption "Are You Mom Enough?" This has struck a huge controversy, as was the purpose of the cover,  They wanted to pit mom vs mom and most importantly to make us judge and feel like we are not good enough- or worse feel better than other moms.  


Let us look at the biblical implications of this- 
Proverbs 27:4   Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?     
Psalm 10:4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  


When we put ourselves in the categories- us vs. them,  we are either jealous, or feeling proud. Neither of these thoughts are appropriate nor do they honor God.  We must be careful with our emotions.  The war between mothers is outrageous in our society.  Stay at home vs Working, breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding, co-sleeping vs. cry-it-outers, etc.  The word says in Hebrews 3:13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness."  Sin is deceitful- it tells us it is ok to feel prideful or jealous.  It tells us that we are not as good as others and makes us hate ourselves or others.  Sin is a downward spiral that leads us further and further away from God.  


Now, I do want to say that breastfeeding is a completely natural and wonderfully bonding thing between a mother and her child.  To demonize a woman for doing so is misguided.  That is not necessarily the controversy here- it is the extended breastfeeding.  I am writing from the perspective of a woman who breastfed 3 babies and extended breastfed (any time past 1 year) 2 of those babies.  My babies self weaned at 15-18 months.  Breastfeeding is not harmful to a child and it is in each mother's own rights to discern when she will stop breastfeeding, what is the best interest for each of her children.  It is also the mother's choice to decide against breastfeeding- she has the right to decide either way and loves her children just as much.  There are bad moms out there- but they are the ones who beat their children, abuse their children, neglect their children, and do sadistic and horrible things.  They are not the women who are simply trying to raise their children to the best of their abilities.  


Being a mother is hard, it is thankless, and it is amazing!!! Being a mother is the most glorious gift that God can give. But as women, mothers or not, we need to STOP criticizing women on their mothering.  STOP treating each other as the enemies.  We need to lift each other up, encourage one another and be supporting to each other.


Here are my three challenges blessings!!   :)



Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Good Leader

So on Tuesdays the younger two kids have a sports class called Sporties For Shorties.  It is a great way for the kids to get some exercise and learn sportsmanship.  The kids have so much fun.  And last Tuesday was rock wall climbing.  The kids strap on the ropes and harnesses then climb this 20 foot rock wall- ok, so they might not climb all 20 feet, but they do their best.  I watched as the children- scared and unsure- climbed up as high as they could go.


There were two different coaches who helped the children climb.  As I watched the children climb up, I started noticing that there were differences between the two coaches.  I noticed that one of the coaches was repeatedly getting the children higher and on the rocks longer than the other.  At first I thought it was just a coincidence with the children who were going to the respective coaches.


As I watched, I noticed that there were certain qualities that first coach had over the second.  The first coach (whose students were not getting as high) was quick to tell the kids to grab the ropes and swing down.  In fact this coach seemed to almost encourage them to get down faster. The children left this coach just as scared and unsure as when they started.  The second coach would encourage the kids, cheer them on.  He was patient and pushed the kids past where their comfort zone was.  The coach would wait for the kids to really be ready before the swing down was suggested. He asked them to go beyond what they thought they could, patiently waiting and setting them back when they came off too soon.  He was there if one of the kids fell and they were always in his confident hands.  The kids with this coach not only got higher on the wall, they came down excited and proud.  The other children seemed afraid and unsure.


As I watched the differences between the coaches.  I started thinking about how God treats us.  He is patient, He encourages us, and He pushes us.  He asks us to step outside our comfort zones and asks us to go beyond what we think we can do.  He always has us in His confident hands and will catch us when we fall.  We may be afraid when He brings the challenge in our path, but at the end we grow and are stronger and more confident.  Aren't you glad He isn't like the first coach??  Aren't you glad that there is a God who is there to guide us in the right foothold and won't let us fall down????

God bless!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

 So I thought I would do this new thing- There is a really great blog/store called The Pleated Poppy.  She is over there encouraging bloggers to just get dressed and share what they wore.  I thought I would join in the fun.






















(Don't mind the car in the back!)  This is what I wore on the way to church this Sunday.  Dress- Converse for Target a million years ago, vest- American Eagle from 3 years ago, boots- can't even tell you when.





Ok- the jeans!!!! I resisted buying colorful jeans.  Then I saw them on a real grown up and they looked so cute!!  I decided that I, too, would join the colorful jean movement.  I bought these shocking babies at Ross for $10 (so if I hated the colorful jean movement it would not be a huge dent in my pocket).  The white undershirt- Marshalls $10, tank- Good Will find $4, handbag- Good Will- $6, shoes- target a million years ago.



This was the Date Night outfit.  Jacket- Marshall's last year- $20 (a great investment.  I wear it constantly) sweater and under tank- White House Black Market- gifts from my wonderful Mother In Law, Jeans- Miss Me- birthday gift last year, shoes- Charlotte Russe from years ago.


So I am linking up with Pleated Poppy, if  you want to see other outfit ideas- that is a great place to get them!!!










Monday, May 7, 2012

Date Night....And other fun

So Bryce and I had a date night.  It was the first in a LONG time!  Well, if you don't count the dr appt I took him too a couple weeks ago.

(Sorry for the dark pic!!)
   It was so fun to get away with my loving husband!  Date nights around here take planning, with my gluten issues (celiac) and the fact that we are vegetarians, eating at places can be a real chore.  There is a great Greek restaurant in our town-Taverna.  It is amazing, they do the "OPA!" dance and flame throwing.  It has REALLY good food!!!  I called ahead and made sure that they had food for me (they special made a gluten free vegetarian moussaka).





Then we went to a great movie.  We saw The Raven, it was a good movie, maybe a little gory- but good. It was very suspenseful and entertaining.  It had me reminiscing on poetry.  I used to read a lot of poetry when I was younger.  So on the way home I read The Highwayman to Bryce (if you like love, poetry, or a good story in general, look it up....and for you all, just because I can and in honor of Edgar Allen Poe, here is another one of my favorite poems (much shorter than The Highwayman)

Annabel Lee
By Edgar Allan Poe

  It was many and many a year ago,
          In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know
          By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
    And this maiden she lived with no other thought
          Than to love and be loved by me.

    I was a child and she was a child,
          In this kingdom by the sea;
    But we loved with a love that was more than love-
          I and my Annabel Lee;
    With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
          Coveted her and me.

    And this was the reason that, long ago,
          In this kingdom by the sea,
    A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
          My beautiful Annabel Lee;
    So that her highborn kinsman came
          And bore her away from me,
    To shut her up in a sepulchre
          In this kingdom by the sea.

    The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
          Went envying her and me-
    Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
          In this kingdom by the sea)
    That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
          Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

    But our love it was stronger by far than the love
          Of those who were older than we-
          Of many far wiser than we-
    And neither the angels in heaven above,
          Nor the demons down under the sea,
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
          Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

    For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
          Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
          Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
          In the sepulchre there by the sea,
          In her tomb by the sounding sea.