The Book Thief:Movie Review

The Book Thief, the movie drew me         download             to watch, first, because of the title. I assumed the little girl was living during WWII and the burning of books.That she read a lot and all her favorite authors’ works had been destroyed. I was quite sure she would be fleeing for her life, stealing books along the way, experiencing unbelievable tragedy all around her. Secondly, I have craved books that contain diaries from the children of the Holocaust. I assumed I would see her recording the devastation all around her. Their diaries held such talented, beautiful, minds on each page. 

I purposely did not read what the movie was about and sat down with my daughter to be humbled because we are so blessed, to cry and mourn for those killed during this time. To try to even begin to imagine what they endured, and how they were even able to continue in life. Some lost every single soul they knew. Whether they were killed or they could not find them anywhere. They literally started over in life. I was drawn in to Liesel’s life instantly. She, like so many other people, suffered unbelievable horror. 

Obvious, to some of you, I have not read the book, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I do not remember even seeing it. So now, I will download the book to my ipad and live in their lives once again. The movie touched me. The book will, no doubt, do the same. 

This is not a regular review where I tell everything about the movie. I hope you watch it and find out what really happens and leave comments and let me know if you were drawn in from the first scene. I am curious when you might figure out who the narrator really is in the movie! Jennifer

Once Upon A Time

A little bit of younger, simpler, days have been slipping into my thoughts, and I am okay with saying, I have been doing quite a lot of daydreaming. I drive somewhere and wonder if I even bothered to stop at lights or stop signs because my mind had been wandering. I start a thought to someone and am embarrassed, because at the second or third word in, I am off on another thought of my younger life. 

Once upon a time, there was a young girl.  She was proud of the fact that she could run faster than the boys, climb as far up in the trees and feel them sway, hang from the monkey bars until she was positive all the blood in her entire body had drained in to her head, She would get on the swings and go so high, that she became air born and flew into the clouds! She would play kick ball, dodge ball, double jump rope, king of the hill, and finish off the evening catching lightening bugs. She could twirl her baton in the backyard until she was almost a baton twirling pro. She wouldn’t just roller skate or exercise. She would roller skate and exercise until she dropped. She would drop. Drop right onto the grass and look up at the beautiful blue sky and gaze at how miraculous it was. How miraculously different it was each and every second. She was afraid of water, so she made herself dive and do back flips into the pool and swim until she was exhausted. She was most proud of skinned knees! She rode her bike and could definitely yell out, “Look! No hands.” 

These times were so simple, so slowed down. I would go to school, play, read, help my mom keep the house spotless, eat an amazing home-cooked meal, and rush to get outside before it got dark. Bath time felt like an hour long luxury, but I do believe it was because I was winding down. I would pray, and crawl under the covers and just know that I was never going to fall asleep.  

I grew up and I try to do some of these things and keep the same speed and agility. Can not quite do some of them without aches,pains, and a little nausea! And I think about once upon a time, because I let it get away from me. I let time fly to fast. I forgot how to just play. Just gaze at the sky. How to  be young with no adult pressure, no daily stress. 

Every day I am feeling the energy that the little girl in me did not waste. I am exercising more. I am stopping and gazing at a flower, breathing in it’s beauty, I am eating more vegetables and fruit, I am trying to let down, get away from the mean and hateful, and laugh and smile more. 

Right now, I am proud of that little girl. Later in life, when I really can not do any of what she did and I am just able to sit and rock in my chair, look out a window, can barely hear or see,  I want to be proud of the grown woman I became. How I loved and encouraged. How I reached out to others. How I cheered. How I laughed and cried. How I stepped out, took a challenge. Enjoyed every single day of my life. How I prayed for everyone and shared my faith. How I opened my arms and hugged people tight. How I smiled and put up an amazing fight to get through any tragedy in life. Look up in the sky and know I had a great life.


What I Like!

1. Starting a new board on Pinterest-I get so excited! I want to share it with everyone

2. When someone says-“Come here. I really need a hug!”

3. To hear someone laugh a great big loud laugh. Makes me laugh! HaHaHaaaa!

4. Listening to uplifting music. Like What a Wonderful World by Israel ‘ lZ’ Kamakawiwo’ole 

5. Hearing campground sounds. I love to wake up and hear people getting out there frying pan 

    and utensils.

6. Going along all day. Driving. Working, Walking. Then realizing as I look up, how absolutely  

     beautiful the sky really is. XoXo Jen

So Important to Set Goals

Sometimes is seems that life gets so hectic that time just passes so quickly.  In fact, with all the new technology available, much of our precious spare time is now filled before we know it.  This makes it so important, now as much as ever, to set goals and keep moving forward.

Keeping your eyes on the prize…

Starting out on a journey with no clear understanding of where we want to end up is certain to be full of surprises, both good and bad.  Life has enough of those, whether you plan or not.  Taking the time to look ahead, both short term and long term is critical to helping not only see the direction you want to travel, but in getting you there.

It is easy to forget…

Ever notice that our days are filled with ideas and thoughts that are so quickly forgotten.  Writing down daily thoughts and tasks helps to keep us straight.  So it works with writing down goals, and keeping them in plain site.  Tape them on your mirror, put them on your tablet or smart phone.  The key to remembering is seeing them often enough to keep moving in the right direction.

You are the one you need to make happy…

While it is great to encourage others on their way to achieving goals, never lose sight of what is important to you and those you love.  Your goals may be somehat silly to others, or like mine just downright crazy.  The fact is you need to make yourself happy.  Be honest with yourself on your dreams and where you want to go.  Be true to yourself.  Oh yeah, and keep moving forward – Walt Disney. 



Christmas In July At Our House

Blessings, in abundance, in our house. Our blessings are sent from above. They are in love for our children, family members, and close friends. Blessings given as gifts. Such as, good health, happiness, the strength of love dissolving the stress of life.

We decided before our last two children moved out this year, that we wanted to celebrate Christmas with them. So Christmas in July came to our house this weekend.

Friday, we loaded up in my truck and visited our very nice Kroger store. Our daughter took her two children and worked on getting all the dairy products we needed, and our son went in search of baking items. I reread the list several times,added a few things and then we headed home for some hot cheddar broccoli soup and warm blueberry muffins. Of course, we needed a warm meal if we were pretending it was snowing outside! We listened to Christmas music and ended up Friday evening watching Trapped in Paradise.

Saturday morning began the preparations of ham,corn souffle,green bean casserole,baked beans,cookies, and pumpkin pie. We had Christmas themed cartoons on for the babies and enjoyed looking at the decorations and lights that filled the family room, kitchen, and bathrooms.

Today, Sunday, we will bake cookies, ice and decorate them, enjoy leftovers, watch more Christmas movies and my husband will read from the book of Luke in the Bible.  In our minds are visions of past holidays and travels, memories we have shared with one another. In our hearts is overflowing love and abundant blessings that we never dreamt could be. Happy Christmas! Merry Christmas in July! Love Hope and Peace! Jen

Starting at Start Again

Hard work has always been a wonderful way for me to keep in shape, help others, and make very good money. My residential cleaning business grew quite large and branched into commercial, new construction, and cleaning boats for shows. I met and am still meeting, some very wonderful individuals, that make me feel like part of their family. I was still able to take our four children to school each morning and pick them up each day. I made great use of our crock pot, kept our own home clean, and had nights and weekends, usually, free. I always enjoyed, and still do, having my own business and being a loving family of six.  

Lately, Gary and I have been developing new ideas that are very different from our current way of thinking, living, and working. By mid-August, we will be an empty nest. We have found it very exciting to think about being just the two of us.

Then I began to worry what will we do? I admit to being kind of emotional and experiencing some panic. Could I be exciting enough, that my husband would want to start a new chapter in life with me?

I decided. Yes! We are in love. We want to travel our beautiful United States, we want to eat and cook new foods and drinks, we look forward to  exercising, bike riding, hiking, swimming, hang gliding, learning to dance, bake, write, photograph, blog, laugh, and take care of each other.

So the title says Starting at Start Again. In a game, that can be discouraging. But in life, that CAN be encouraging! Excited to share pics and blogs about the paths we enjoy together in the second phase of our life. Love. JenlovesGary

The Search

The search for family began about 16 years ago. Two years ago, I discovered my Grandma, my mom’s biological mother. I honestly thought I would discover her after she had died. I pictured myself finally looking up her name, and different ways to type it into the computer, to finally see it appear. It would be a last name I had never heard of and it would be printed on a tombstone with the beginning date, one that I had looked up many times. 

The day I found her, I had stayed up all night and almost all day. I reached a high I had never experienced before in my life. My best friend and forever love, my wonderful husband that had supported me on this desperate search, was gone for a few days for work. I called him on the phone and excitedly told him every single detail!! I wrote it all down and then when he returned home, I told him all over again.

Well. I could hardly sit still. I had begun a free family search on some years ago and just never gave up. Since this time, three uncles and cousins have been added to our family tree! The last uncle was just found two weeks ago. It is like finding some LOST PIECES from a long forgotten PUZZLE!

The Search is still ON. From this search spirals lies, secrets, confusion, doubt, runaways,  anger from some of my family, and the biggest mystery still to feed my curious mind!