Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I REALLY LOVE BOOKS!

I've read three more books to tell ya'll about.
First I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  I read this book in order to understand my youngest daughter better.  In the prologue, Susan writes "Without introverts, the world would be devoid of the theory of gravity, the theory of relativity, Chopin's nocturnes, Peter Pan, Orwell's novels, The Cat in the Hat, Charlie Brown, Google and Harry Potter."  It's important to realize that introversion is not a handicap.  I learned some good things.  BUT the author is very liberal and a lot of her examples bothered me because of the political leanings.  More often than not instead of trying to understand the point about introversion vs. extroversion, I was frustrated with her beliefs in things like global warming, etc.  I guess this book was interesting, but frustrating.  I'm not sure what kind of a recommendation that is.
Trina lent me her copy of The Seamstress: A Memoir of Survival by Sara Tuval Bernstein.  It was so good that I ordered my own copy.  But it was also horrible.  Good and horrible?  Yes!  Because Seren Tuvel is a Jewish Holocaust survivor.  There was a lack of bitterness throughout this book.  Seren simply tells about the beatings, questionings, and other forms of torture she and her family endured at the hands of the Nazis.  She always has hope.  Even after the war, Seren simply tries to recover, find her family members and work.  She never complains, although she would have been completely justified to do so.  I also loved how Seren was intense loyal to her sister and friends.  She uplifted, and helped those around her.  This biography showed high ideals and strong character that were developed during the Holocaust.  It's inspirational - as good as The Hiding Place.
I LOVED Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.  This is a book that if you haven't read already, should be high up on your list of books to read next.  Especially if you like fantasy and Brandon Sanderson.  The characters are compelling and the mysteries throughout the book are intriguing making this book extremely hard to stop reading.  By placing a bunch of great characters and placing them in a wondrous and strange world, Sanderson has managed to create an original and powerful story that shows how being human can mean so many things to different people.
Kotten Kandy and Scott read this book before me.  They talked about it all the time.  Now I understand the hype.  It's fabulous.  I highly recommend this book.
So that's my book reviews.  Time to start another one!

Monday, August 24, 2015

WYOMING

On the way home from Utah we stopped in Green River, Wyoming - otherwise known as Scott's old stomping grounds.  The purpose for our short visit was to see Uncle Brian.  It was fun to visit with him.  We also saw the old Tomahawk Inn that Scott and his family renovated years ago.  And look at the street corner we found in order of my two homes: one in Colorado and one in Kentucky.

BYU EDUCATION WEEK

Scott and I celebrated our 20th year anniversary by going to BYU Education Week together.  It was a wonderful time!  We were inspired by all of the many fabulous classes we attended.  We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment.  And the best part was spending time together.  It's hard to put into words how amazing this week was.
Here is a quick review of the week:
Holding Kevin and Kelly's pet....
Saturday and Sunday:  We drove 26 hours to get to Kevin and Kelly's (Scott's brother and wife) house.  We were exhausted.  We took 2 naps (no hotel) in the car for a total of 3 hours.  Kevin and Kelly are the BEST hosts ever.  They are laid back, like we are and made us feel welcome and loved.
Monday:  We went to 6 hours worth of lectures.  They were all amazing!  Our favorite:  Michael S. Wilcox.  He spoke about temples.  We also saw Anthony Sweat and John Hinton.  They talked about inviting the Spirit to our lessons.  And our last class was about teaching creatively.  We REALLY liked the presenter, Kevin Miller.
Tuesday:  We started the "classes."  Here was our schedule:
     Mark Eastmond and Paul Murphy taught "Arm Your Family with Righteousness: Understanding the Scriptures and Teaching Them Effectively in the Home"
     Carrie Wrigley taught "Creating Love:  Building and Maintaining a Heartfelt Connection with Your Spouse and Loved Ones"
     Lunch and Shopping
     Randal Wright taught "20 Ways to Build Your Self Confidence and Increase Your Happiness"
     Merilee Boyack taught "Rising Up in a Falling World"
     Kevin Miller taught "Increasing Personal Effectiveness: Living Happier, More Productive Lives"
     and Ryan Eggert taught "Hymns!  Messages, Stories, and Life-Changing Doctrines of the LDS Hymnal"
After our classes we ate dinner and attended the musical comedy "Crazy For You."  It's a musical based on Gershwin's music.  It was silly, and fun.
Wednesday:  We went to classes again.  Then Wednesday night we saw Gentri in concert.  They are AWESOME!  We really enjoyed their show.  My favorite songs were the boy band medley and the Les Miserables medley.  Their harmonies were awesome.  And we loved their "look."  They are truly gentlemen.
Thursday:  Classes.  After classes my parents came to visit us.  They took us to dinner and a movie for my birthday.  It was great to see them!  And the movie, "The Cokeville Miracle" was incredible.  All of us cried - the Spirit was so strong.  I definitely recommend this movie.  And we will be purchasing it when it comes out on video!
Whitney, Stacey, Kelly, Kevin, Mark, Kerri, Scott and Me
Friday:  Our last day of classes.  :-(  We really learned sooooooooo much!  We spent the evening with Scott's family!  Kelly, Stacey, Kevin, their spouses and us met at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.  YUM!  And great company too!!!!!  We are blessed to have such wonderful brothers and sisters.
Saturday and Sunday: We drove home - to meet our new "daughter."  We also stopped briefly in Wyoming.  (Another post)
So that's our week in a nut shell.....
PS.  I'll post my notes later this week so hopefully they can inspire ya'll (if anyone is reading this).



TENNIS

Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy are taking tennis lessons.  They LOVE it!  And they LOVE their coach!
Twice a week they get to spend an hour learning.  I got to watch them the other day.  It was fun to watch their personalities come out on the tennis court.  Key Lime Pie was very self conscience.  Kotten Kandy was attentive and aggressive.  And Marmalade was scatter-brained.  They all made me laugh.
Top Row:  Marmalade, Juice, Kotten Kandy, Key Lime Pie, Coach
Bottom Row:  Nuts, Apple Pie and Jelly Bean

KEY LIME PIE'S BUSY WEEK

Scott and I have been gone for a week....  Kotten Kandy did not send any pictures.  She kept busy working at home getting ready for Lollipop.  Key Lime Pie did send photos.  She had a lot of fun without mom and dad.  Here's Key Lime Pie's exciting time:
Twiz and Key Lime Pie went to a stake dance.
Key Lime Pie rode a motorcycle to see Twiz at the fair.
Congrats, Twiz!  He got first place at the Kentucky State Fair for his cow!
Twiz got her flowers!
Yes, this is her first time getting flowers....


SHE'S HERE!!!!

Kotten Kandy, Lollipop, and Key Lime Pie
I get to have another daughter for a year!  She's amazing!  We already love her lots!  Meet Lollipop from Germany!  You'll see her a lot here on the blog!
Don't worry, we have already introduced her to cultural things like: "The Princess Bride" and cinnamon bears candy!
Kotten Kandy, Trina, Trina's foreign exchange student, Lollipop, and Trina's daughters
Unfortunately, we weren't able to meet her at the airport, but our good friend, Trina, her daughters and Kotten Kandy (far left) met her.  Lollipop is in the middle!
Here's what I love about her already:  She's happy!  She's friendly!  And she's excited to share everything with us!  She's willing to experience Church with us!  And she's cute as can be!
Welcome, Lollipop!

Monday, August 10, 2015

GOODBYE

Goodbyes are never easy.  And they are worse when they are such great friends!  We will really miss the Melansons!  Jan has been a mentor, a teacher, a sister, a crafting buddy, a canning chum, a sewing guru and a true friend to myself and my daughters!  Kentucky won't be the same without her...
I love you, Jan and Dave!  We will visit you...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

BEDROOM, BOOKS, TEMPLE AND FUN

After painting and decorating Key Lime Pie's room last month... it was time to do Kotten Kandy's room!  She chose to paint it brown.  Books and Young Women's values are her "theme!"  I think she's excited about the transformation!
The owl picture is from Mil.
The light switch cover is from Shaved Ice.
The flowers are the YW value colors.
I think the book shelves are Kotten Kandy's favorite part!
Owls and books are on every shelf!
I finished reading two books...
If I Stay by Gayle Forman was alright, but I can't recommend it.  For those who haven't read it, it's about a girl, Mia, who loses her family in a car accident and is now in a coma.  Mia is a cellist (which I loved).  And I love how music played a HUGE part throughout her recovery.  I didn't like that there was swearing and that Mia and her boyfriend did consummate their relationship.  I know that it wasn't described in detail, but the fact that they had pre-marital sex really did bother me.  If I had known before hand, I wouldn't have read the book at all.  I feel that it is NOT OK to normalize relationships in that way, even if it is just "barely mentioned."  I'm not judging others who loved the book.  It's just my opinion that I don't like to read books like that.
The second books I read was completely different. Conquering Your Own Goliaths by Steven A. Cramer is wonderful!  We all have a Goliath (or two, or three, or four) in our lives.  This book gives practical advice and provides you with the tools to slay the Goliath.  It doesn't make you feel terrible about yourself, but rather gives you hope that there is a way out.  I love it and will probably reread it over and over again.
We got to go to the Indiana temple open house on Friday!  We went with our favorite people:  The Bettenhausens, Chris, Twiz and our family!  It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  I wish I could have taken pictures inside the temple.  It was gorgeous!  But what's even better about the temples is what we do once they are dedicated.  Temples are wonderful!
The rest of the pictures and stories in this post just make me smile....  Enjoy!
What do the DeGooyers do when nothing is planned?
We take selfies on the floor....
So excited for this!
Had to take a picture at Key Lime Pie's work!
It's the little things!
Twiz wears a 13....
Key Lime Pie wears a 7.
And they actually were able to wear each other's shoes!
For FHE a few weeks ago we made art work based on our favorite scriptures.
Mine:  D&C 121:7-8
Key Lime Pie's:  Alma 32:21
Scott and Kotten Kandy were to embarrassed to share their art work...  :-(
Key Lime Pie sent me this picture.  It made me laugh!

Friday, July 17, 2015

DELIVERANCE, HAPPY AND NO EASY DAY

I've been reading again.  Here are some of my thoughts and reviews:
Deliverance from Depression by G.G. Vandagriff is a SHORT book about depression and using the Atonement of Christ to help find hope and healing throughout the process.  As most of the people who read this blog know, I suffer from clinical depression.  After reading this book, I wanted my husband to read it so he could maybe understand what it was like to have a chemical imbalance in my brain.  I related to G.G. and her son as they described their depression, turmoil, pain and despair.  I hoped that my husband could relate to G.G.'s husband in the third part of the book.  I liked reading all three points of view, and found it very insightful.  If you, or someone you know, is suffering from a mental illness, I recommend reading this book.  At the very least, it will help people to understand what depression is like.
Being Happy! by Andrew Matthews was another easy read.  After reading about the struggle of depression, I needed a book that was a bit more upbeat.  This one was recommended to me by a good friend, Trina.  It was a good reminder of the simple things that make us happy throughout our lives.  It is a cheerful book and has a great message.  The advice the author shares is common-sense advice that we all know we should be following, but often we get off-track, or forget.  I enjoyed the reminders.  And I also enjoyed the cartoon illustrations that accompanied each thought.  I definitely recommend this book!
And I finished reading No Easy Day by Mark Owen last night.  I normally wouldn't read a book like this.  It is the story of a Navy SEAL, an elite special operations warrior.  The climax of the book was the raid and death of Osama Bin Laden.  After reading a "military book" I've decided:
- The amount of dedication and commitment required by SEALs is amazing.  They are often away from family and friends for LONG periods of time with little or no contact.  And their time training and honing their skills is insane.  For those two reasons, I could NEVER be a SEAL, and I could NEVER be related to one.  BUT I respect them and think of them as heroes.
- I didn't think this book was political at all.  It also was not egotistical or self-aggrandizing.  It has been accused of both.  I felt this book was really just Mark's perspective, and it could apply to many SEALs.
I'm glad I read this unusual (for me) genre.  But I will warn those who want to read it: there is some foul language.  Actually, I was surprised that there wasn't more offensive language than there is in the book.  These are hardened soldiers who don't have the same commitment to clean language and other values that I have been raised with and consider important.
On another, unrelated note:  Someone, somewhere has a great sense of humor.  We saw Papa Smurf on our walk the other day under a wild mushroom.  I had to get a picture.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

YOUTH CONFERENCE - KIRKLAND, OH & FLOODING

Last weekend my daughters got to go to Kirkland, OH for Youth Conference.  They had a great time!  They especially enjoyed spending time together (they were roommates) and with a couple of good girl friends from church.  They enjoyed learning about church history and singing to High School Musical on the bus!  I'm glad they had such a wonderful time!
My pretty daughters!
The girls were photo-bombed.
They had no idea who he was....
Their group outside the Newl K. Whitney Store.
Last night is rained.  And it rained.  And it rained.  The thunder kept me awake....  This morning we decided that it was "clear" enough to go for our 3 mile walk.  (We walk three days a week... at the Egg Lawn.)  It was completely impassable!  If we wanted to walk today we needed a boat!  These pictures don't do our flooded trail justice.  It was CRAZY!  Check it out:
There is usually a bench on the left in front of the trees, off the path...
We walk on the sidewalk beside the fence...
Water come right up to the sidewalk here....
Kotten Kandy and Apple Pie can't believe their eyes.