Friday, January 31, 2014

What I’ve Read this Month- the January 2014 Edition

As a middle grade/intermediate school librarian, I am constantly reading. I spotted this post over on Stephanie Howell’s blog and it caused me to think about what I read. 

Before I became a librarian I read a lot of adult fiction, but these days I tend to read more of what my student’s (5th and 6th graders) are reading. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE middle grade books, but as I read Stephanie’s post I realized how much I miss adult books.  So this month I challenged myself to read at least one adult book.  Thanks Stephanie, I needed someone to get me back to the adult fiction world! I forgot how much I loved it!

In the past years I have kept track of what I am reading using the Good Reads website. This is a wonderful website that I find very user friendly and full of good reviews of books for all ages. I haven’t always been the best at keeping up with what I am reading, but with Good Reads help I have been making a better effort going into 2014.

This month I have read:



Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (Just won the Newbery Award, Yay!)

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale  by Carmen Arga Deedy

39 Clues Series books #2-#9

2. One False Note by Gordon Korman
3. The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis
4. Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
5. The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
6. In Too Deep by Jude Watson
7. The Viper’s Nest by Peter Lerangis
8. The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman
9. Storm Warning by Linda Sue Park

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson

Henry and Mudge: The First Book by Cynthia Rylant

Dear Mrs. Larue by Mark Teague

I also started Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner & planned to finish it, but it just didn't happen.

What I’ve noticed this month about what I’ve read is that..

 1) Once I start a series it is very difficult for me to stop reading it or read anything else until I finish the whole series.  That’s why I get so frustrated when I finish a book in a series and realize the next one has not been published yet… MAKES. ME. CRAZY!!

2) I know I’m not reading enough with the boys. This month Ethan only read me three books, which is not enough for a second grader! Carter reads every night, but not usually to me. He reads every night as part of his reading requirements for his literacy class at school. I began the year having him read to me from his book, but that has dwindled since we are in the middle of basketball season, Jess is gone so much & I spend the majority of my evening cooking/cleaning and maintaining the chaos that is three little boys.

3) I have read a lot more this month than I have in a while. I’m not sure if it is because I am keeping up with it better & holding myself accountable, or if I am just enjoying reading a series… Who knows, but I am really enjoying it. I notice I am spending less time in front of the t.v. at night & more time in the bed reading myself to sleep. I am more rested and happier.  

4) My taste in adult fiction tends to be more of the James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Lisa Gardner, Michael Conelly variety, full of murders, mysteries, detectives, and lawyers.  I also tend to gravitate towards the books that are part of a series, usually with a main character  you see in all the books. Alex Cross… Kay Scarpetta… Harry Bosch… D.D. Warren.  Because of this fascination with characters I now have a long list of adult books I want to read or reread. I’m not usually a re-reader, but I know I’ve missed or forgotten some things about my favorite characters and I need to go back and make myself familiar with them again.

4) I need to actually review the books I’m reading using the Good Reads site, but I’m a little timid to do so. I know that sounds crazy, but as a librarian I feel like I should review a book using all kinds of good literary terms. In reality, I tend to go with my gut feeling about a book when I read it and that makes it harder for me to write a review. 

Thinking about books for February, these are on my current to read list:

Middle Grade:

The Rest of the 39 clues series
The Boy on the Wooden Box
Prisoner B-3087
The Real Boy
Breaking Stalin's Nose
Half Brother

I also want to read as many of the books on this list as I can before School Library Journal Battle of the Books begins. This is something I will share with my students and I want to have read as many as I can to promote and share them with the students.

D.D. Warren series by Lisa Gardner  

For My Own Boys:
To encourage their own interests in reading, to just listen to Carter read from his assigned book, to sit and let Jude just flip through his board books and attempt to read books to him from his book shelf, it he will sit and let me.  I did recently run across an email from Scholastic that has lists of books that are good for students depending on what grade they are in. I’ve marked the ones we have or have access to and Ethan and I are reading through some of them as well.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wordless-ish Wednesday

Jude is very interested in climbing. Last week I turned around to find him sitting in his toy box. Evidently he could not reach the ball he wanted, so he climbed in and made himself comfortable. Climbers...Ughhh! Hide the breakables!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Twelve Things on the Twelfth...Well the Thirteenth

This post should have gone up yesterday, but I had already posted PL week 2, so I waited until this morning. I can totally live with it being a day late...I think...


  1.  has obviously matured a lot when it comes to being on the basketball court. He shines as a leader and encourages the other kids on his team. So proud of him!
  2. has started reading while using the bathroom, resulting in longer times spent in there. He is a man in the making. When I asked him about it he said it's quiet in there and his brothers don't bother him.
  3. made all A's this 9 weeks! His semester grades were also all A's. He was so excited! Super proud of him!
  4. is looking forward to baseball season and going through the draft again. He is a little nervous about the team he will end up on.
  5. is a Band-A-Loom fanatic. He and Ethan have started a business called Swag Brother's Bracelets and are taking orders from classmates for bracelets. They sell them for $.50 each.
  6. is still hard headed and prefers things his way.
  7. is eating more and more all the time and growing taller every day.
  8. loves watching Duck Dynasty and Alaska: The Last Frontier.
  9. and his Daddy discuss and watch sports together a lot.
  10. wants an iPod Touch for his birthday in May. Then he wants an Instagram account. 
  11. likes going to bed early and getting up early, like his Mama.
  12. loves eggs in a hole for breakfast.


  1. is a pest. He enjoys irritating & jumping out and scaring his older brother and picking at his little brother until he screams.
  2. has been whiny and moody lately. Not sure what is the deal with that.
  3. is enjoying basketball this year. He is a little more aggressive than last year and more confident with his playing.
  4. is obsessed with technology. He loves being on the computer, the Wii, the xBox, and the Kindle. He pesters us about it constantly.
  5. did really well on this 9 weeks report card. He is on or above grade level in both Literacy and Math. He won't start making letter grades until he is in 3rd grade.
  6. loves the color pink lately. 
  7. is playing rougher with Jude and getting in trouble for it.
  8. is making plans for his 8th birthday party in March.
  9. wants an iPod Touch for his birthday too. Great more technology...
  10. needs new basketball shoes. 
  11. is growing taller, but not eating as much as he should. He is more of a junk food-snacker.Ughhh
  12. likes going to be late and getting up late, like his Daddy. But it makes him grouchy.

  1. will be 13 months old on the 13th.
  2. is fascinated by balls. He has one in his hand or is asking for one 99% of the time. He even sleeps with one and won't lay down until he has snuggled up with it. 
  3. is a few weeks shy of being able to run.
  4. follows his big brother's around constantly.
  5. gets his feelings hurt when they close their bedroom door and he can't get in.
  6. loves to play on the high school basketball court before games.
  7. has begun dancing. It is sort of an up and down wiggle. So cute!
  8. has a fat, little belly. His older brother's were long and lean. 
  9. calls most food "nana" and wants to eat all.the.time. This could be part of the belly issue.
  10. loves the cat and calls all animals "kitty."
  11. is wearing 18 month old clothes easily and could probably wear some 24 month clothes.
  12. is constantly snotty. Thanks to day care. Grrr.

  1. doesn't get his picture taken very often. He is not a camera guy.
  2. is in the beginning of conference play with his high school basketball team.
  3. is not stressed about the season quite yet.
  4. is trying to keep his girls under control, which is difficult coming off last years State Championship win.
  5. may be getting a kidney stone, due to some stress and overage of Mt. Dew. He won't discuss it. I dread it.
  6. is excited since Oaklawn Park opened live horse racing this weekend.
  7. snores. It makes me nuts.
  8. gets frustrated watching the boys play basketball because the referees are awful.
  9. is an avid newspaper reader.
  10. makes jerky constantly. Some he sells, some he eats or gives away.
  11. needs to exercise. He hates when she tells him that. 
  12. needs a new cell phone. He has a Motorola flip Razr that is taped together to keep the battery in. 

  1. is suffering from a bad sinus infection. Antibiotics are working slowly, very slowly.
  2. is cleaning house constantly at mom speed. It will catch up with her and she will collapse because she is exhausted. 
  3. would love to hire a house keeper, but know she would clean before the house keeper arrived. So what's the point. 
  4. is enjoying blogging again.
  5. is 13 days away from turning 38.
  6. currently has problems with acne on her chin, due to the cold weather, dry skin, and decongestant meds. Ughhhh.
  7. is never far from her phone.
  8. got a Silhouette Cameo and a nice, big set of plastic canisters to use in her pantry for Christmas. Neither have been opened. :(
  9. weighs 30 pounds more than she'd like.
  10. prefers yoga pants to dress pants. (see above for reason)
  11. wore leggings for the first time last week, with boots, and a long tunic. It was cute, she needs more tunics and another pair of boots. 
  12. is voraciously reading The 39 Clues series (book series for middle grade students) & plans to read an adult book before the month is out. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Project Life 2014 (January 5 - January 11)

Thoughts of the week:

This week was all about getting back into a regular routine. Fresh off a two week break, you would think that we would all be renewed and ready to go back to work and school. I think that this is true for the boys and Jess. Jude and I on the other hand were not so ready to go back . Jude has reached an age where he understands that I am going to leave him at daycare each day and he has begun to cry a bit when I leave. That hurts this Mama's heart every.stinking.time. :( Luckily I think much of it is for show, since he stops soon after I leave and is happy to find toys to play with. His current toy of choice is a small ball that fits in his hand. Evidently he carries this particular ball around with him most of the day and if some other child makes a move to take it, he throws a fit. Good grief!

Like Jude, I was not ready to go back to school either. For one, I hated sending my kiddos back to school and daycare. I am sadly aware of how quickly all three are growing and I love having them around me. It's hard with Jess and I both working, especially this time of year, to have quality time with the boys. The other reason I hated to go back was that I had gotten very little accomplished over the break due to the fact I was and still am battling a nasty sinus infection. One of the worst I think I have ever have. I waited too long to get on medication to get rid of it. Because of feeling so lousy I didn't get the house as clean as I would have liked before starting back to school. I already felt behind and it was just Monday. *Sigh*

Highlights of the Week:

Monday night I met Mom to get the kids back and have supper. She went to our old meeting spot and I was waiting for them at our new meeting spot. So we had about ten to fifteen minutes of waiting and confusion before we met up. Very typical of us!

Everyone was back on a normal schedule Tuesday and headed back to school. The only problem of course was the crazy Polar Vortex which had made being outside next to impossible. The school has a policy in place that requires the temperature to be at least 32* before students can go outside for recess. Being in the South we don't have auxiliary gyms/rooms for students to play in so students are kept inside. This makes everyone cooped up crazy, especially Carter and Ethan who need lots of physical activity, otherwise they act nutty once they get home.

 A cold, rainy front began moving in Wednesday morning and the drizzle began freezing on overpasses and bridges around town by mid-morning. Because of the freezing precipitation school let out at 2 o'clock so people could get home safely. We came straight home and relaxed in front of a warm fire.Around the time we finished eating dinner the power went out due to a wreck on the highway. This led to an early bedtime for all of us.

The highlight of Thursday was getting Jude into the bath without him throwing a screaming fit. I have know idea why this time was different, but it was heavenly. Considering that most baths are nothing but a clingy, wet race since he screams the whole time.

The big boys both had basketball again Saturday. The three games were spread out starting at 10:15,  & 11:05 for Carter and 1:45 for Ethan. We had to be there early for team picture, so it made for a long day. I don't mind sitting in the gym, but Jude on the other hand struggles with it. He is a busy boy and many times the games fall during his morning nap making for a grouchy, fussy boy. Today he finally gave it up and napped in Jess' arms for about 15 minutes and then napped later in his car seat while I ate lunch at Sonic. Not my first choice of a lunch place, but it did give him a 30 minute nap before we headed back to the gym for the last game. We are adjusting to having him at games and the big boys are good to help corral him to keep him off the court and from stealing the game ball.

These two love playing basketball. They have both improved from last year and we can see an improvement from last week to this weeks games. Having boys who are athletic and enjoy physical activities are a blessing. 

Until next week!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wordless-ish Wednesday

Yep, that's a tangerine in his hand. He thought it was a ball, then realized it was food and bit into the skin. He wasn't happy with the taste or the fact that his mean Mommy took it away from him.

This kid will eat any and everything. If you are eating it, he thinks he needs a bite. If a stranger is eating near him, he thinks he needs a bite. He wakes up every morning and I hear him asking for "nanas" over the baby monitor. Nana is his word for food... any food, he especially likes bananas.

I fear for his future waistline. Crazy boy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What I See

Earlier this week I downloaded our Christmas pictures in an attempt to finish my December Daily 2013 album. While looking at this year's photos I was struck by how much the boys have changed over the past year. I know, I know days pass quickly and children continue to maybe I notice it more because Jude is a baby and babies change so much the first year. Whatever the reason I really see differences in all three boys from Christmas 2012 to Christmas 2013.

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2013

Jude of course has grown so much in the past year, but Carter and Ethan have as well. Carter is still in a non teeth showing phase...wish he'd get over that. Ethan has now lost those front teeth and the new ones are continuing to grow in...those take forever! Man I love these boys! Some days I wish I could freeze time, but I know that is not really possible. So I will continue to snap pictures, take notes, and try to get it all recorded so that one day we can look back and remember all these fleeting moments. 

I also have GOT to work on my camera skills. That AV mode, which I love, is killing me! Especially in our dark house while trying to photograph fast moving little boys! Grrr

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Project Life 2014 Week 1 (December 29 - January 4)

Okay, I'm going to try Project Life again. Does it count that I have collected supplies and mentally done it for about three years?? Good Grief! I am actually very physically prepared (I have lots of stuff) and I know how I want to get it accomplished, so lets do this thing!

I think the best way to keep up with each week is to blog it. Will I consistently do this? Doubtful, but I'm willing to give it a try. I really just need to get a weekly plan going and then find time to physically do it. That's next on my agenda after recording it here.

Now let's get on to the first week.

Thoughts on the week: This week was actually pretty calm. I have been waiting for this week for months. Once November arrives our schedule picks up due to holidays and the beginning of basketball season for Jess' Senior Girls and both Carter and Ethan. We end up traveling lots and being out later each night for this practice and that game. After Christmas we have a week that I use to just relax. I seriously do very little. I am very sloth like the whole week. It is an opportunity to catch up on rest and prepare myself for  the beginning of the next few months, which are as busy as November and December.

Sunday our family lit the final Advent candles of the Christmas season. It was nice to stand up in front of a congregation that we love and to share the scriptures that go along with the birth and celebration of Jesus Christ. The boys did great, Carter and Ethan both read out loud and Jude did great sitting still in Jess' arms. I was fearful that he would decide he wanted down and would cause a cute little scene, but he did good. The bad thing is I didn't ask anyone to take a picture of us. Oh well.

Monday Jess had his final game in the Summit Bank Shoot Out in Hot Springs. Since the team didn't make it to the finals I chose to keep the boys home. This is rare for us because we always travel to games, but we were all tired, it was pretty cold outside, and Jude and I were both suffering from sinus junk. The big boys were not happy at all, but got over it rather quickly when they realized they could play their new XBox.

Tuesday we stayed home for New Year's, as we have the past few years. I spent most of the day sleeping and taking meds for my sinus infection while Jess and the boys watched tv and played. The boys stayed up to watch the ball drop with us and then went to bed.

Wednesday Jess went home to visit with his dad and get more firewood. The boys and I huddled up around the fireplace and spent time playing games, working Legos, and playing on technology. I cooked a ham, black eyed peas, and cabbage. Because you have to have those on New Years Day.

Thursday went pretty much the same. Lots of play and technology. The boys also bundled up and spent some time playing outside. Their favorite activities right now are shooting cans with their bb guns, playing football and basketball. Outside play only last an hour or so and then they are back in to warm up. Thursday night both boys had basketball practice, so Jude and I sat in the cold gym for nearly three hours while the each practiced/ then played while the other practiced. Not my favorite way to spend the evening.

Friday I cleaned house with some help from the boys. Jess came home and then headed back out to practice. My parents came over to spend the night and brought cousin Beau with them. The boys were so happy to get to play with him and show him all their new stuff.

Saturday we had four basketball games in a row. FOUR...FOUR!, but it could have been worse. It could have been four games spread out through the day, luckily ours were back to back. Both boys played pretty well considering it was the first games of the year. After the games all three boys loaded up and went home with my parents for the rest of the weekend and Monday. I went home and took a nap!

This is our first week of the new year. Not a bad week at all. I don't feel overly accomplished, but I am okay with that, because I have realized that I need to slow it down and enjoy being a bit lazy on occasion.

Now I'm off to print photos, pull PL supplies, & check my social network sites for extra tidbits to add to this week's spread.

Happy week to you!