Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I Love Claire

And you will too once you read Tracey Bateman's new book! It's a 70s revival here today. I listened to Fleetwood Mac while cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, and it was Crosby, Stills, and Nash on the way to school this morning. I think I'll listen to Steve Miller while baking this afternoon. I had to drive the kids into school this morning so they didn't have to ride the bus. Doogie is giving a presentation (as we speak, or at least as I type) in school about our immigrant ancestors from England. He's got the info on the Trever family and why they came in 1870. He (I) had to bake a traditional English dish, so we made a Queen of the Puddings. It's a kind of egg custard with bread crumbs and covered with strawberry jam and a meringue. I drove them in to school to make sure that the blasted dessert that took over two hours to make arrived safely.

Last night was Mia's preschool Christmas concert. I really believe that her teacher deserves a Nobel prize. I can't imagine how teachers do what they do day after day and keep liking kids. All five kids were adorable last night, but of course, Mia became shy about halfway through the program and pouted. I couldn't help but laugh, because when I took her grocery shopping earlier in the day, she was singing all through the store at the top of her voice, "I'm gettin' nuthin' for Christmas......Mommy and Daddy are mad." One shopper must have been unfamiliar with the song, because she asked, "Mommy and Daddy are mad?" I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders. How can you explain?

HT to Michelle Malkin. Here's a great way to do something nice for the holidays that only costs the price of a stamp.

I Love Claire by Tracey Bateman is the third book in her fabulous Claire series. Claire Everett is a Christian romance writer who's currently without a publishing house or an agent. What she does have is a fiance, four children, an ex-husband and his new family, a new suitor, and a desire for a $5000 wedding dress. The desire for the dress leads her to new jobs as a dog walker and nursing home housekeeper. I relate so strongly to Claire in many ways. She's a real woman who doesn't always clean her house and isn't the greatest cook. She loves her children, but sometimes she stumbles over how to care for them best. She's most comfortable in her Spongebob pj pants and leopard fuzzy slippers. Most of all, Claire is trying to live her life the way God wants to and is struggling to give Him control every day. This is a woman we can all relate to! Bateman's writing of Claire is superlative, and she creates difficult situations for her that are realistic. Her oldest son is smoking pot, and her oldest daughter is graduating from high school and in a possibly too serious relationship with a young man. Bateman isn't afraid to share the nitty-gritty details of real life in a way that makes the reader laugh and learn at the same time. The series ends on a high note with most plots tied up, but with others left dangling, just like real life. Claire Everett really is every woman, God bless her!

I've got M&M cookies to bake before running off to buy candles at Maple Valley Candles tonight. Their candles fill the whole house with scent like few other brands do. It's just a husband and wife working out of their home, but they make better candles than some big brands I won't mention. Check them out!