Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Notes

1. Revenge is coming back. Next week.

2. Community is also coming back. But no date has been set yet.

3. I worked out 3 times this week. And on one night we went to the track and did bleachers and lunges. I am still sore. But we did set two days a week to always go to the track. Apparently I like to torture myself. And running is torture.

4. I am going to run a 5k. I want to run the Blue Bell 5k in April. After you finish you get to eat all the Blue Bell you want. That is according to the website anyways.

5. One month down in the new year and I am rocking most of my resolutions. I have read 10 books this month, I have been working out, and I started trying to knit. I can only get the yarn on one needle, not the other. But I'll figure it out. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen

Zed is from a future society that is considered "perfect." He is sent back from the future to make sure that the past plays out as it originally did. There are others who will go back in time to "fix" it by preventing bad things from happening. Zed's government wants to make sure that the past isn't changed so much that it changes the future.

Zed is sent back to prevent a major event from happening. I wish I could be more specific on that but the book was specific on what the happening was. That is the only thing I would change about the book.

The book follows three other characters whose paths make them essential to the future.

It was a Science Fiction book, but wasn't too SciFy. I actually enjoyed the amount of Science in it.

I would recommend this book. I think there were a few curse words, but beyond that there wasn't much inappropriateness.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Frosted Toast Crunch

I love cereal. It is the best. Luckily, Chris shares in my love.


It was amazing and good and I love it. This cereal deserved a post all on its own.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


1. Sammie and I have been watching Revenge. It is on of our new TV shows from the fall that we both thought would be stupid, but now we are hooked. But I don't know when it is supposed to come back on!

2. I don't read books that don't use proper pronunciations. I have picked up a few that don't use quotation marks. What is the point? I might be missing out on some good books, but I'll live.

3. I got these shoes. I saw them at Target a week ago and they didn't have my size. And then I went later and they had my size. So...it is my conquest of the week. And less than $10.

4. I started running this week. Again. Hopefully I won't stop.

5. I love the non-winter we've been having. Recess outside isn't just a break for the kiddos.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Jolly Postman

Has anyone else ever seen this book? I remember it from 1st and 2nd grade. And I have been looking for it for a few years. It was on my Amazon wish list, but I finally just bought it for myself. 

I love it so much because it has other people's letters in it. And it is characters from fairy tales. I love reading books with letters in it.

It isn't exactly what I remember. I think they "improved" it and "updated" it. But since I don't really remember it too much, I couldn't tell you exactly what those improvements are.

But I took some pictures. It is just adorable! There is another like it that I'll have to get soon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Go ahead and say the title out loud. I didn't exactly get it right away, but as soon as I realized what it said I had to read this book.

The set up is a fictional island, Nollop, home to the fictional creator of the phrase "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." A phrase which uses every letter of the alphabet at least once.

When the monument to the creator starts losing letters of the phrase, the city council bans the use to the letters as they fall. The first letter banned is "Z." Anyone who uses Z in writing or speech will be several punished.

Fantastic premise and the novel delivered. The book is a collection of letters the characters write to each other. As letters are banned, they have to get more creative in their writing. It was fantastic how far the characters got as they lost letters. Towards the end, words were spelled phonetically.

I would recommend this book. It is also one of the few adult fiction books I have read that are completely clean.

My favorite line was write before the K became banished from the island.

"Kkkkkiss me again, Nate, while I may still speak of it!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas Ornaments

This year I was a little obsessed with making Christmas ornaments. I spent a majority of Thanksgiving break doing it. I had the intention of giving them away on gifts, but I forgot about that. I still need to pass them out. 

These were some of the ones I made. 

While gathering supplies at Michael's one day, I saw the trains and figured they would be fun to paint. I convinced Chris to paint one also. And then we just got lots of wooden ornaments to paint. 

We are slowly expanding our ornament collection. I would love if most of them were handmade.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

I read the first book in this Trilogy (yes, another young adult trilogy) last year. I have a lot of young adult series to finish up this year.

What I didn't like about the first book was the set up of the dystopian society. Now as the main character Gaia leaves one society, she falls into another dystopian society. I felt that the second society was better set up and I loved that.

However, the story had young adult written all over it where the first book did not. There was a love interest in the first book, but it wasn't weird. The characters knew each other for more than a day, they genuinely helped each other and Gaia didn't brood over the fact that she wasn't with the boy all the time.

But in the second story, it was quite opposite. Not only was there a love triangle, but there was a love square.  After the girl had talked to two of the boys for about 20 minutes. How does that happen? It just didn't seem real life, it seemed juvenile.

But... there were a lot of interesting themes suggested. I could imagine that some people would hate the books based on some of the choices that the main character made.

If you are looking for a good series, I would recommend these. I also don't know when the next book comes out yet.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

List of Things

1. School has started again. And we are halfway to summer!

2. We had an assembly this week at school. As it was ending, the students were asked to repeat a pledge.

  • Presenter: "I"
  • Students: "I"
  • Presenter: "State your name,"
  • Students: "State your name,"
I don't even think they noticed.

3. I am still obsessed with reading. And getting more obsessed with doodling/coloring. In my free time, I alternate between reading and doodling.

4. My school half-year resolution was to leave work on time and not take any work home. And I have stuck to it 85% of the time. Which means I have a little more free time. Some things are not getting done, but they aren't priorities. Sometimes things just have to get dropped. I am okay with that. 

5. I got my hair cut. And now I try to grow it out again. Any suggestions on how to make my ends stay healthy will be appreciated. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Family Pictures

Over Christmas break we had family pictures done by Sarah Berry. I think they turned about fantastically and she did it in like 20 minutes because we had all woken up really early so we can take these during sunrise. So some of us might have been a bit cranky. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Crossed by Ally Condie

Love triangle. Mysterious love interest. Life or death situations. Too much poetry. Part of a Trilogy

It is YA Fiction. The second part of the series I started last year.

It was fluff. Not much happened. You find out 1 or 2 new things. Maybe just one. It was basically just a way for two of the main characters to spend some quality time together and quote poetry to each other.

The first novel was Matched. It is about a dystopian society (I have a type) that controls everything they people  done. The main part of the society is where you can choose to be married and if that happens, you become Matched to a person you are most likely to be successful with.

The main character Cassia is matched to her best friend Xander. But as she is going to see his file, someone else's face flashes.

From there, Cassia "society" starts to fall apart.

Crossed picks up where Matched left off, but in my opinion doesn't really add anything to the story.

I am excited for the last one for two reasons. 1) I would love to find some answers. 2) I know that it is 3 of 3, so their can't be anymore. I'll have my answers.

I would recommended it, but wait until the last one is out. I don't know when that will be.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Donor's Choose- My Project

I set up a Donor's Choose project a little bit ago. I checked my email today and I had two donations! It was pretty exciting. What is even more exciting is one of the donors said he saw my project on Daily Kos. I recognized that because it is a political website that Chris often visits.

I checked and there it was. My project.  (Scroll down to the second project.) Every week the Daily Kos picks projects to sponsor and encourage their readers to donate to.

It is very exciting. I wish I would have chosen some more exciting stuff. Once I have one project funded, I can do another. It is stuff that I really need in the classroom.

Here is my project to check out. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

This book reminded me of the P.G. Wodehouse book that I read a few years ago. And then I read a review that said is was like Seinfield. Combine those two things together and you get this book. It follows several characters who are somehow intertwined and doesn't seem to have a real plot.

All the characters have ties to the address at 44 Scotland Street in Edinburgh. There's Pat who is on her second gap year living with Bruce. Bruce is a narcissist who works for Todd. Todd's daughter doesn't want to do anything with her life. Pat works at an art gallery with Matthew who has coffee every morning at Big Lou's. Irene and Bertie (a mother/son pair) also live in the building and are at odds with each other.

There really isn't a main character but I did have some favorites. I loved reading about Irene and Bertie. He is a 5 year old boy with a pink room and decides he just wants to be normal like other boys, but Irene doesn't want that.

Although it didn't have a real plot, I did like it. And I will read the next books in the series. However, I feel like because I don't know much about Edinburgh or Scotland, I was at a disadvantage. There were a lot of references to streets and people that I didn't catch.

I did love that the author can make you love or hate the characters. Even though there are so many characters, you have a sense that each character is developing somehow.  That is what I consider good writing.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Drawing, Doodling, and Coloring

I have found a new skill that I would love to learn. Doodling. Does doodling come naturally to some people, because it does not come easy to me. I can draw like 2 flowers and a tree and some swirls. 

I saw this book online and got it for myself. And I love it. Each page has different things to either color or add to the page. Sammie and Charleah were so jealous of my book, they had to get their own doodling book. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Top Books of 2011

I don't usually read books that I don't want to . I have no problem putting down a book I've started if I don't like it. Why waste my time reading a book I don't like when I can read a book I do like?

So it was kind of difficult to narrow down the list. But here were my favorite books of the year.

1. The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
2. One of Our Thursdays is Missing, Jasper Fforde
3. Across the Universe, Beth Revis
4. Bossypants, Tina Fey

And then all of these tie for 5th place, because I couldn't just pick one of them. 

5. The DeclarationGemma Malley
5. Tomorrow When the War Began, John Marsden
5. Insatiable, Meg Cabot
5. Beggars in Spain, Nancy Kress
5. Before I Go to Sleep, S.J. Watson
5. The Woodcutter, Reginald Hill
5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Books Read

It is another year and it is time to start another list of books read. This is 47 books long, hopefully a year from now it will be at least 50 books long. 

Tomorrow I will give my top 5 of the year. Possible more if I can't narrow it down to 5. 

Heart of the Matter, Emily Giffin
The Declaration, Gemma Malley
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary Pearson
I am Number Four, Pittacus Lore
Tomorrow When the War Began, John Marsden
Love the One You're With, Emily Giffin
Matched, Ally Condie
Misguided Angel, Melissa De La Cruz
Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, Rafe Esquith
The Resistance, Gemma Malley
Last Night at Chateau Marmont, Lauren Weisberger
Birthmarked, Caragh O'Brien
Insatiable, Meg Cabot
Across the UniverseBeth Revis
Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Sophie Kinsella
World War Z, Max Brooks
Delirium, Lauren Oliver
Why Didn't I Learn This in College?, Paula Rutherford
Reluctant Disciplinarian, Gary Rubinstein
Beggars in Spain, Nancy Kress
Bossypants, Tiny Fey
John Adams, David McCullough
The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, Elizabeth Stuckey-French
Green, Ted Dekker
The Heretic's Daughter, Kathleen Kent
Rise Again, Ben Tripp
The Sisters Brothers, Patrick DeWitt
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
Before I Go to Sleep, S.J. Watson
Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger
Death of a Witch, M.C. Beaton
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, Mindy Kaling
Killer Move, Michael Marshall
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Already Gone, John Rector
If You Ask Me, Betty White
Sister, Rusamund Lupton
Wither, Lauren DeStefano
44 Scotland Street, Alexander McCall Smtih

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

This is a young adult novel, which I have stopped reading. But it was dystopian. And I can't say no to a good dystopian book.

In this society, humans have been genetically engineered so much that cancer and other diseases have been eradicated. The first generation of genetically engineered babies has survived, but their children start dying off. Males now die at age 25 and females die at age 20. Rhine has been kidnapped and sold to be one of the wives of a rich boy.

All she can think about is escaping to find her twin brother but at the same time her husband is falling in love with her and she is falling in love with her assistant. As she is part of the love triangle, she is caring for her sister wives.

The reason why I stopped reading young adult novels was the love stories. They aren't real! But they are what teenage girls like to read. So I understand why they still get written.

I thought the writing was good. The premise was good. I don't really care about the science part of it but I know that there is no real backing for any of this is actually happen.

I do not like that it is a trilogy. To me that says the author can drag out the story with whining and necessary things when the three books probably could have been crammed into one.

I give it a 2 out of 5 stars. You probably wouldn't hate it if you read it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Resolutions

I am keeping it more simple this year for resolutions. I am not feeling it like I have in the last years. Not to say I am not going to do tons of fun stuff. Chris and I have lots of things planned that we hopefully get to do.

1. Read/Listen to 50 books.
2. Move to College Station.
3. Go to the temple every month, especially when we live 1 1/2 away.
4. Look good in a pencil skirt, my bridesmaid outfit, by Charleah's wedding.
5. Learn to knit. And make warm socks for Christmas.
6. Find out the cause of our infertility and start the adoption process if needed.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

He's Back.

Adison has been back for over a week now and it has been awesome. The morning of us picking him up was a little chaotic and everybody was excited. Charleah, Steven and I ran through the airport (in a hallway nobody was in) while Chris just took his time. Charleah video-ed us waiting. 

We all got as close as we could to security. Mom was crying, Sam was crying. I almost did. But I managed to get through it. 

Then let the hugging commence. There was a lady there who really wanted to talk to him about where he was coming back from. While we were trying to have a family moment. But I guess that's okay. It just interrupted Sam's hug. 

We are all so glad that Adison is back! He is still himself, but all grown up now.