fail and happy reading

Like I said in the last post – when it comes to Mike, I am totally a lame gift-giver (although I loved Nora’s suggestion about getting him something that he could do with the boys – making it actually more of a present for me!). And its so sad, because I really do love my husband, and put a lot of thought into what he might want.

The problem is that Mike is completely non-material things focused (unlike me and my furniture obsession). He wears a uniform to work, so his clothes tend to last a LONG TIME, and he doesn’t really care about clothes (we have that in common). So its hard to get him just THINGS.

Another problem is that he has a hard time getting seriously into a hobby because he spends so much time out of town for work. When he’s home, he wants (or is ordered to) spend time with his family. I really don’t think I’d be okay right now with a husband who was gone half the time, and then wanted to spend his weekends at home golfing or hunting or something. We do love to camp, but that’s a hobby that will wait until we get back to the States, for a variety of reasons.

What he would be really impressed with is romantic gestures – like the year before last for Valentines Day, I made him a, ummm, romantic coupon book, if you get my meaning here. And he loved it. But he said I’m not allowed to give him something like that again if I’m not going to actually let him use the coupons when he wants to. And right now? I can’t make any promises, buster.

Anyway, so I try really hard to think of what he might like. I also ask, multiple times. This year, he tells me that he wants a spatula and an electric griddle, so that he can cook breakfasts like his dad did when he was growing up. I think that these are fabulous ideas – I purchase the spatula and try to get a large electric griddle. Except they don’t sell them at our BX. And I can’t get one in England, because the voltage here is 220 instead of 110 (we live in base housing, so we have outlets for both). AND I can’t find a place in America that will ship one to an APO address. So I decide to put my thinking cap on again and rack my brain for anything that he might have once mentioned that he wanted having.

I came up with this – over a year ago he mentioned that he would like to have a digital picture frame that he could bring to work. And our BX actually sells these things. So I bought one. I was pretty proud of myself, sure that I was going to put a smile on Mike’s face last night.

But…when I gave it to him, he kind of sighed and said, oh, I did once say that I wanted one of these, but I heard a while back that those things sometimes carry viruses that can then crash your computer, so I’m thinking it might not be such a good idea to try it. 


So tonight I’m trying to redeem myself here. On the menu – his favorite: roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, with brownies for dessert. All homemade.

Because I do REALLY love my husband.

Oh, a tiny clarification: Kodi, is, indeed, a dog. Thank you Lord that none of our children eat poopy diapers…so far.

And one last thing, HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY!! This won’t improve my street cred any, but I think I should have been a librarian when I grew up.

Noah went to school dressed as a knight, along with the book How To Be A Knight (only because we don’t have a Ben10 costume, which is the book he wanted to bring to school).

My favorite books include Beach Music by Pat Conroy, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges (fun fact – he went to my high school in Iowa, and some of the characters in the book are named for teachers there). I also adore the Mitford series by Jan Karon, and will read anything that Michael Crichton wrote, or that John Sanford writes. Oh, I could go on and on, because I LURVE to read.

Sawyer’s favorite book is The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson (we love anything by her).

Noah’s favorite book is …any book about Ben10 (at least its reading, right?).

Emmett has not expressed preference for any one book over another, although he is a fan of the black and white picture book his physical therapist brings for him to gaze at while working on sitting.

As for Mike’s favorite, I’m not sure. He loves Tom Clancy of course – ooh, and one other author that I can’t remember. I’ll ask him and let you know. Book he reads every day? The Bible. He actually hasn’t done any pleasure reading in who knows how long because he’s working on his ACSC stuff (a military thing), and I, being the slave-driving wife we know I am, won’t let him read fun stuff until he finishes his work (in my defense, he has to get it done by this summer).

What are y’all’s favorite books?



Filed under general living, military life

8 responses to “fail and happy reading

  1. Hey can you have someone in the states buy a griddle and send it to the APO? I’d be happy to do it for ya if you want!

    Books? What are books?!? Oh yeah I seem to recall something about Pat the Bunny? Ha. Right now, I”m reading Living Buddha, Living Christ which I LOVE!

  2. Beth

    Sorry the digital picture thing didn’t work out. I think he’ll like it once he uses it.
    This is probably dumb, but does he have and ipod? That’s a good gift….I’m sure he has one. Steve was very resistant to them, but once he got one, he loved it! Now he has an ipod docking station in his office, so he’s all geeked out now.

    As far as books, you know I could read every day, all day. And I did actually work in a library in college and I LOVED it. Now if I could just find a way to read books and get paid to do it….

    My favorite books….that’s tough. I LOVE The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. If you haven’t read it, you MUST. I also like all things Stephen King. I really enjoyed the Ya-Ya books. And I like The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven, also by Barbara Kingsolver. I enjoy Jodi Picoult books and Emily Giffin….and Jen Lancaster. Lauren, you’ve gotta check out Bitter is the New Black. Hilarious.

    I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. I started reading them when I was in graduate school. It was part of my “work” when I was at the Reading and Math center…and I was already into children’s lit because of my elementary education degree. I read one and was hooked. Good writing. Seriously.
    Lauren, the author for Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay is Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. She also wrote Naptime is the New Happy Hour. Both are funny, funny, funny.

  3. Ok, best gift ever? Kegerator conversion kit!! Email me if you want more info, but honestly, if you BOTH take part in the fun…Mike might even get to redeem his coupons! SNORT!! I crack myself up. It’s so funny that he asked for an electric griddle; that’s what Trav asked for too (turns 30 in 12 days) because it’ll enable him to sear the perfect steak and cook the perfect med-rare burger (to go with his beer).
    I second Nicki’s offer if you need someone here to buy it and ship it to you. Otherwise, I think Nora’s idea was a winner too – maybe a remote control airplane or one of those cool kid / dad gifts.

  4. lauren

    ooh, Beth, I forgot about the Poisonwood Bible – I think that should be required reading for all Christian missionaries, although I didn’t like her other stuff as well. Of course the Harry Potters are awesome, and I loved the YaYa books and anything that Jodi Picoult writes too. I’ll be checking out all the others you told me about today. And thanks for filling out the preschool forms.

    Laurie, the kegerator is a good idea, but there is no way on this earth I am getting Mike something alcohol related when I can’t drink – that just sounds like more work for me, which I am adamatly opposed to :).

    And we will be ordering the griddle and having it shipped to one of our parents for them to mail. I just feel bad that he didn’t get anything cool on his actual birthday. Thanks for offerring your services, ladies!

  5. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorites, too. I also love Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Flies, Gone With the Wind, Immortality (by Milan Kundera — if I’m remembering and spelling correctly), Atlas Shrugged (really one of my all time faves) . . . notice I’m leaving out a certain book series. I also recently read The Hunger Games (don’t remember who wrote it — some woman). It was pretty good. A very quick read. Hmm . . . The Count of Monte Cristo is good, the Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio is a quick read and inspirational in a “makes you grateful for what you’ve got” kind of way. Oh, and Jane Eyre! LOVE that one. I don’t read nearly as much as I used to/would like to, but I do love books!

  6. nora

    Garlic And Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
    My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki
    Who can forget the Twilight series-Beth?!?!
    For complete escapism and little depth (perfect for us sleep deprived mommys) any Janet Evanovich book.
    I like Leon Uris books as well-Exodus is my fave
    Ohhh I recently enjoyed State of Fear by Micheal Crichton
    Ditto on Jane Eyre and most of the rest of the lists!!!! I love books too!!! This is almost as much fun as names 🙂
    My girl’s newest favorites:
    Pete & Pickles by Berkeley Breathed, although it is a little dark it goes right over their heads and the illustrations are wonderful
    A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
    Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier
    Axel’s faves-Anything with a car (Go, dog, Go!) or anything with singing (Wheels on the bus, Itsy bitsy spider) and the Good Dog Carl series.
    Right now I am reading 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. Very interesting but I actually have to think while I read…

  7. Beth

    Nora, I didn’t forget the Twilight series. Loved them….
    Oh! 1984 is very, very good. And so is The Jungle. The Invisible Man is good too.
    One of my all time faves from Lit class in high school was Heart of Darkness.

    Right now I’m “reading” (audio book in the car) to Telegraph Days by Larry McMurtry (I think)….never read a western before. It’s actually okay.

    And I’m reading 1,2,3 Magic….a discipline book.

  8. Jennifer

    If it makes Mike feel any better, he has a brand new set of Calphalon spatulas in my garage. They’ve been there for, um, well, a while. I am great about buying gifts. I am not great, however, about actually taking said gifts to the post office. But I think of him every time I pass them in the garage. Does that count?

    I hope he had a great birthday! Give me a call girl! 🙂

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