Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another First

The Homecoming dance. It was a big night for the girls. They went to dinner before the dance and we stopped at the park for some pictures. During dinner they texted me to see if we could go to McDonald's. Dessert was "really expensive here". Yes, they did go inside in their dresses and heels. They had a really good time at the dance.I was really proud of the was the girls behaved. They are becoming beautiful young ladies.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School

It's that time again, backpacks, notebooks and tissues (for mom). Lauren started High School this year! School started 2 weeks ago, and so far she seems to be doing really well. We haven't had any drama, no calls from school and she only got lost going to English. Looks like we are off to a good start. This year Lauren is in marching band. She does seem to complain about it a little and she did say she misses her french horn, but I think she likes - just a little.

Caleb is in first grade! The first 2 days he wanted me to walk him into the gym where they wait for to be released to go to their classes. Wednesday he said he just wanted me to walk him to the outside door. on Thursday when we arrived on the campus the school had been evacuated and the police car with sirens was just arriving. One of us was a bit tramatized, but I'm better now. It was an "unscheduled" fire drill, a sensor went out. Whew!

He's loving 1st grade. He did have some concerns about only having 2 recesses but he is adjusting. Caleb's doing a great job with his reading, I worried he might have forgotten some of the sight words he learned in kindergarten have but that doesn't seem to have happened. I think he will have a good year.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Book Shelf Again

I finished reading Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See this week. I didn't pick my last two books very well, so I wasn't sure I'd like this book either. I was wrong! I picked a winner this time. I really enjoyed this book. Here's what Publishers Weekly says on the Amazon website...

"See's engrossing novel set in remote 19th-century China details the deeply affecting story of lifelong, intimate friends Lily and Snow Flower, their imprisonment by rigid codes of conduct for women and their betrayal by pride and love. While granting immediacy to Lily's voice, See adroitly transmits historical background in graceful prose. Her in-depth research into women's ceremonies and duties in China's rural interior brings fascinating revelations about arranged marriages, women's inferior status in both their natal and married homes, and the Confucian proverbs and myriad superstitions that informed daily life. Beginning with a detailed and heartbreaking description of Lily and her sisters' foot binding, the story widens to a vivid portrait of family and village life. Most impressive is See's incorporation of nu shu, a secret written phonetic code among women—here between Lily and Snow Flower—that dates back 1,000 years in the southwestern Hunan province. As both a suspenseful and poignant story and an absorbing historical chronicle, this novel has bestseller potential and should become a reading group favorite as well."

When I finished the last page of the book I missed Lily. I think I enjoyed Snow Flower and the Secret Fan more than the last two books I read because it's a culture so different from a life I could imagine it grabbed my attention and held on. Lily fought not to be the woman her culture demanded her to be. In different stages of her life she was that ideal and used her position in that ideal role to reach beyond the limits placed on her by her society.

Snow Flower was definitely a "page" turner for me. I've found a new author and a favorite book. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Book Shelf

This is just my opinion on a couple books I've read lately, review sounds official and like I know what I'm talking about, so I'm not calling it a review. The first book is The Secret Life of Bees, a story of a girl who runs away from home and finds a family. As much as I liked the characters and understood the "divine female power" I didn't feel like I was going to miss anything if I put the book down. It just wasn't a page turner for me.

The second book is Dream When You're Feeling Blue, a WWII era story focusing on a family and the impact the war had on their everyday life. This wasn't suspenseful by any stretch but there were a few developments I didn't see coming. Dream When You're Feeling Blue isn't a book I'd want to read again, but it was enjoyable and entertaining.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Say Cheese!

Caleb lost his first tooth!

It has been loose for awhile and we have been waiting (not patiently). Friday, in the van, Lauren told him to pull his tooth forward and down and it would come out. He tried it, and out popped the tooth! He was so excited! He couldn't wait to tell Dad and find out what the Tooth Fairy would bring him.

Monday at school he will finally get to put his name on the "Who Lost a Tooth" tooth.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birthday Boys

Both my boys had birthdays this month. We started with Caleb's. We took chocolate cupcakes to school for snack and had a family party on Friday (his actual birthday). I let the kids pick what they want for dinner on their special day, this year he picked hot dogs and mac & cheese (the shell kind), we followed that up with chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and ice cream. Grandma D. was here for his party making his day extra special.

On Saturday, we had Caleb's first "friend party". Caleb invited 10 of his friends to play games, make some crafts at his imagination station and have chocolate cake (again) and ice cream . The boys played hard and laughed hard. Most importantly Caleb had a really good time and nobody got hurt.

On Sunday we celebrated Philip's birthday. He turned that number I'm not going to mention, we're the same age and I'm not turning it. We had steak and baked potatoes for his birthday dinner, so glad he didn't pick buffalo wings, followed by pineapple upside down cake and ice cream. Grandma D. aka Phil's mom was able to stay the weekend and be here for his party too.

The "Party Weekend" filled with great memories, time for Phil and mom to catch up and lots of cake.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From the Corner of His Eye

Here is my attempt to do a book review of From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz. I'm not very good at this so I use the term "review" loosely. It was the first Koontz book I've read. His style was described, very accurately, as similar to Stephen King only sunnier.

From an review, a "suspense thriller, which is chock-full of signs, portents, angels, and one somewhat second-rate devil, a murky and under characterized guy named Junior Cain who commits murder and spends the rest of the novel waiting for the retribution that will surely come. But not before a series of tragedies ensues that convince Junior that someone or something named Bartholomew is out to exact vengeance for that crime and the series of other murders that follow."

I liked the characters, except Junior, and how they interacted with each other. I knew enough about the characters to care what happened to them. There were enough twists and turns to keep me on my toes and guessing what was going to happen next. Including a few places I had to reread because I was so caught off guard I needed to make sure I read it correctly. It was a thumbs up for me and I'll be adding more of his books to my TBR list.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Reading Challenge

Happy Spring! Katrina at Callapiller Days is hosting her annual Spring Reading Thing. I participated in the fall challenge and had a great time reading other participant's lists, challenging myself to set a goal and trying new books. I'm a little late but I finally have my spring reading list together. I had a hard time deciding what I want to put on this list, too many good books to choose from. But for at least today this is my list…

From The Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz. A friend recommended this book and loaned it to me. It's over 700 pages and may be the only book I finish. This is the first book by Dean Koontz I've read. Dark creepy suspense thriller. (Finished 4/6.)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. This one was recommended by a different friend and she also loaned me the book. The story of one motherless daughter's discovery of what family really means. (Finished 4/22.)

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See. The description of this book reminded me of The Good Earth and I loved reading it in High School. Period piece 19th century China.

Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg. Another period romance this time WWII. (Finished 5/2.)

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer. Book two in the on going saga of teenage vampires. This one made the list because Lauren reminded me I need to finish the series.

8 Sandpiper Way and A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber. This is the 8 and 8.5 in the Cedar Cove series, the 9th and maybe final book comes out in September. I'm sure that one will be on my fall reading list.

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I've read his first 13, so of course I'm going to read this one.

This is a long list for me because I'm a very slow reader. The title is Spring Reading Challenge so that is what I'm doing. Four of the books on my list are new "to me" authors. That's my list for now. Until I start reading other people's lists, I'm sure I'll add some titles to my TBR list. Happy Reading!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Runnin' on Empty

Last night after Caleb's bath he climbed into the rocker with me. He snuggled up and sat with me for a few minutes. Then he said "Mommy, I think I'm almost out of love."

As he rubbed his chest and tummy he said "I imagine I have a love jar in here and it only has 2 or 3 loves left."

We can't have an empty love jar! There's only one way to fill a love jar, so I pulled him (all 60 pounds) onto my lap and loved on him. Then he decided he needed 10 kisses and 10 hugs, we counted out his kisses and hugs added a few extra just in case and finally his love jar was full again. Whew! Crisis averted! He now has love to share.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Madness

I can't believe it is already March. What happened to January and February? The last two months have flown by in a blaze of colds, doctor appointments and activities. For the last six weeks someone here hasn't been feeling well and for about 3 weeks it was me. Lauren also had to have a glad removed. It was minor surgery and she came through like a champ! Right now Caleb is sick, looks like we'll be on the "sick side" of the pediatrician's office tomorrow.

On other news, Lauren got a First on her band solo at contest on Saturday. Yay! Way to go baby girl! We also got her classes picked for (yikes) High School. She will have a meeting next month to see what classes she got and make changes but we are on our way to High School. Yes, driver's ed. was on her list, and for good or bad because of her birthday I'm pretty sure she will get it.

Caleb is busy doing boy things, he has discovered gross disgusting sounds and thinks peeing is hysterical. He's going to play T-ball this spring. Lucky for me the games are only 3 innings.

Philip has been busy with his classes. He is still only taking one at a time but there is a light at the end of the tunnel – he will finish in December. His knee is getting better, he can run a little on it now and goes back to the doctor in April.

I finally finished reading Lisey's Story. It seamed to take forever to read it because I wasn't feeling good I had a hard time getting into it, but once I did it was a good book. It was the first Stephen King book I've read, I can't say I'll be reading all his books but I wanted something different and a bit more challenging and it was. So, now I'm headed back to Cedar Cove (book 5) to see what they are up to. I'm also learning the purl stitch so I can knit mittens, with any luck I'll have a pair done for my Dad before next winter.

That's all the news from here at the ranch. Until next time (maybe sooner than 6 weeks) have a great day and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Saturday afternoon I think Lauren got hungry. She asked me a couple of times what we were having for dinner. I told her grilled cheese and soup as soon as I finished working on the check book. I guess she couldn't wait for fear of starving, so she did it herself.

Caleb and I decided it was the best grilled cheese and soup ever!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Weighing in

Luckily, or not, my weekly weigh in today didn't reflect how poorly I've eaten since Thanksgiving and how many workouts I've skipped. My blood sugar crashed yesterday afternoon, it was a direct result of the bad food choices I've made the last few weeks. I know when my blood sugar is dropping because my eyes start to sweat, my bones feel like they're shaking, my legs turn to jell-0 and when it gets very bad like yesterday, I have a hard time concentrating. Unfortunately, by the time I feel the symptoms it's too late. I need to control my sugar level all day, everyday.

There have been two ways for me to maintain a steady blood sugar level. The first is to have a steady intake of sugar and simple carbs. The other way, the healthy way (that has worked for the past year and a half since my "health makeover") has been to make good food choices and exercise. Getting ready for the holidays I chose option A without exercise. Yesterday afternoon that choice came back to bite me. Several hours later I was still feeling the effects of the crash and I'll have to be very careful in the next few days to avoid another one.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions. I figure if I need to make a change, today is the best time to start. So I'm making a January 7th resolution to get back on "my plan". It's not a formal plan, it's bits and pieces of information that, through trial and error, work for me. The highlights of what I'm going to get back to doing are to limit "white stuff" (white sugar and flour), exercise, eat more small meals, journal what I eat and combine protein and healthy carbs for snacks. That sounds so simple but it isn't and it will take 2-3 weeks to get back on track.

I'm not saying I shouldn't have eaten any goodies (have I mentioned I love cookies?). But all the cookies, candy and junk I ate over the holidays weren't worth how awful I felt yesterday. Because I know that what I eat effects how I feel, I needed to be more mindful of what I eat and increase my exercise, not let it fall off the "to do" list. I thought I could just coast through the holidays without having to watch that closely – wrong! What I lost sight of is that weight/health maintenance is a journey, not a destination.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Book of 2009

I finished my first book for this year! I started it just before Christmas but just couldn't get it finished in '08. The book was Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. I didn't know anything about it other that the excerpt from but it sounded good and it wasn't an author I have read so, I decided to give it a read. It was, I'll admit, not the flowers and sunshine I'm used to in most of the books I choose, it was a bit more "detailed". I tend to choose books that are safe, the same author and same style, this time I branched out. What got my attention was the setting of this book, it took place current day and in Nazi Germany during WWII. I'm a bit of a history buff, my favorite time period is the Civil War through the late 1940's. Not really a surprise this would catch my eye.

The story is about Anna's life in Germany with her daughter, Trudie, before they came to the US and the adult Trudie working on a history research project and finding her story along the way. It has a bit of romance, a bit of history, and the interaction/dysfunction of the the main characters. I really liked the story, this one goes on the "may read it again list".