Archive for November, 2008

Book Review: A Town Like Alice

November 29, 2008

A Town Like Alice
By Nevil Schute
277 pages
Finished 11/28/08


A Town Like Alice tells of a young woman who miraculously survived a Japanese “death march” in World War II, and of an Australian soldier, also a prisoner of war, who offered to help her–even at the cost of his life.

This is one of those “don’t judge a book by its cover” reads. My SIL Carla sent me home with a huge bag of books to read several months ago, and I kept putting this one aside based on the fact that it just didn’t look that appealing. The pitifully short summary on the back of the book didn’t help much either. But, I did find this book to be quite enjoyable. The first half of the book, when you follow the main character Jean through her experience during WWII, really captured my attention. I found that the writing stimulated my imagination, and I had so many images of what things looked like as they took place. The last half of the book was enjoyable as well, but did seem to be a little long-winded….at times I felt like the author could have landed at his destination without including so many day-by-day details of the characters’ lives. But, all in all, I was happy with the way this book turned out–much better than my expectations held!

2008 Page Count: 9411


I must say, I’m impressed!

November 24, 2008

Ryan’s never been one to sit still for very long, which means that he doesn’t spend much time drawing or coloring. We’ve been working to teach him to write his name recently, and it’s taken a long time just to get the kid to not use his fist to hold the pencil! Usually, a few scribbles is enough for him and then he’s done. Today we had friends over and the girls wanted to color. The boys, wanting to be cool like the girls, decided that they’d color too. Imagine my utter surprise when Ryan presented me with his picture, and it actually looked like what he intended–Darth Vader. It’s obviously pretty crude, but he got the general shape right, and the red scribbles are his light saber. I was so proud of him! And at least now I know that there is hope that he might even learn to sit still long enough to write his name before he starts kindergarten!

Not even Twilight could compete with this!

November 23, 2008

Move over Edward! You don’t hold a candle to a giant, blow-up pig with glowing red eyes and kangaroo ears. Sound random? It totally is. But isn’t that what Pink Floyd is all about? For Joseph’s birthday, I bought him tickets to Australian Pink Floyd, featuring The Wall. Pink Floyd is at the top of Joseph’s all-time favorite bands and given that he’ll never get the chance to see the actual group, the Aussie’s are the next best thing. We went to their Dark Side of the Moon show a few years ago and had a lot of fun, so he was really looking forward to seeing them play again. I had an invite to see a pre-premier of Twilight at the same time as the concert, and while I do want to see the movie, I wasn’t too disappointed that I couldn’t go…I was excited for the concert! I enjoy the music, but the real fun was seeing Joseph so excited! And an extra perk was seeing how crazy people got as they downed more and more beer….the crowd was quite entertaining by the end of the night! We had a great time and Joseph is still trying to get his voice back from all the singing and yelling he did!

Setting the record straight!

November 22, 2008

I had two people in the last week ask about us selling our house and moving. I must have looked completely confused both times because they both clarified “I thought I read it on your blog”. The first time I didn’t think much of it, but the second time I realized that somewhere on my blog I have misled people to believe that we are moving. We’re not! I went through some old posts last night I think this one is the culprit….let me clarify that I was talking about a couple of years ago when we were getting Ryan ready to move out of his crib. It made sense to me at the time (don’t you love it when what goes on in your head doesn’t always translate when you try to write it down or say it?), but I can totally see how it could be taken as us getting read to move. It gives me a headache to even think about packing up a house and moving right now, so rest assured that we’re not going anywhere anytime soon!

And, as long as we’re setting the record straight, you all should know that my house isn’t totally clean 100% of the time.  I realize that this doesn’t look that bad, but if I’d had a wide angle lens you’d have been able to see how far-reaching the clutter was that day!

The Boys

November 20, 2008

It’s things like this that make all of the hair-pulling moments of parenthood worth it! Owen is usually pretty quiet, so it’s fun to hear his deep belly laugh!

Book Review: Fairest

November 19, 2008

By Gail Carson Levine
326 Pages
Finished 11/18/08


The fairy Lucinda has once again given a dreadful gift. This time it’s a mysterious magical mirror. The gift is disastrous when it falls into the hands of Aza, who never looks in a mirror if she can help it. In the Kingdom of Ayortha, Aza is most definately not the fairest of them all. Many spurn her. Many scoff at her. She keeps out of sight.

But in a land of singers, Aza has her own gift, one that she’s come by without fary intervention: a voice that can do almost anything, a voice that captivates all who hear it. In Ontio Castle, merry Prince Ijori is drawn to it, and vain Queen Ivi would do anything to remain the fairest in the land.

In this spellbinding tale filled with humor, adventure, romance, and song, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine invites you to join Aza as she discovers how exquisite she truly is.

I figured that since I had such good luck with the last fairytale-ish book I read, I’d move on to another. This one was just OK for me. The storyline was cute, and the reading was easy for the most part. I’ve mentioned before that I have little patience for made-up languages in books, so when I got to the last half of the book and the gnomes and ogres come into the picture, my irritation mounted. I hate it when you have to skip over entire sentences because they are just a jumble of letters strung together, passed off as gnomish. That kind of stuff is why I avoid sci-fi and fairytale books. Given that the front flap says this book is appropriate for ages 8-14, I can cut it some slack. I definately think a girl in that age range would enjoy Fairest.

2008 Page Count: 9460

Time for a tag!

November 9, 2008

I must admit that I’m a bit behind on all of the tags I’ve received.  I’m still trying to think of 6 quirks to share for everyone that tagged me on that one!  This one was easy, so I decided to do it while it’s quiet around here.  It’s a photo tag and the only rule is NO CLEANING before you take your pictures!

1.  My kitchen sink

2.  My favorite room…right now it’s probably the dining room because I just got a new picture to fill in the wall space over the table.  Also, since we rarely eat at the table, it’s a place that manages to stay clean without too much effort!

3.  Me right now…something you don’t get to see often:  me in my glasses!  One of my eyes has been bothering me a bit lately, so I’ve been taking a bit of a break from my contacts a few times a week.  It’s also bread-baking day, so I’m sporting my apron!

4.  My closet…our closet is a disaster.  We don’t even have doors on it right now, making it easy for everything to just spill out.  And how ’bout that pink trim?  Our room is going to be one of the next that gets overhauled!

5.  My fridge…a little cluttered, but I recenly cleaned off a bunch of Ryan’s preschool art, so it looks much better!  The bottom half has a countdown for Joseph’s little sister who is currently serving a mission in Australia.

6.  My laundry room….someday I’ll have a laundry room worth taking a picture of.  As for now, I’m just happy to have a washer and dryer that work and a closet door to hide them behind.

7.  My favorite shoes…this was a hard one.  I probably should have taken a picture of my slippers, since that’s what I wear most of the time.  These are comfy and versatile though, so they get worn quite a bit.

8. What my kids are doing right now…sorry, no picture for this one.  They are all sleeping, and I’m sure if I try to sneak a picture, naptime will be over!

9.  My bathroom…not very big, but it sure is purty!  I’m so happy with the job that Joseph did on the tile surround!

10.  My dream vacation….really, I’d go anywhere if I could be with my family.  I’m not sure I have a big dream destination, but I can’t wait to see the look on my kids’ faces the day that we take them here!

I’m not sure it’s fair to tag other people when I haven’t done all of the posts that I’ve been tagged on, so I’m just going to pass this along to anyone who wants to participate!

Saw that coming…

November 6, 2008

I saw lots of teasers last week for the lastest “Staying Safe” segment on KSL about blog safety, and I knew that as soon as it aired, all of the blogs on my feeder would “go private” and I would be forced to manually check for updates on a daily basis (because one has to check for updates on a daily basis 😉 ). This post isn’t intended to knock those of my friends and family who have chosen to go private–I totally respect that decision and realize that it’s up to you to determine what is best for your family. The short segment on KSL (which I felt could have done a lot more to share safety tips than it did) prompted me to go back and read a post that I did a few months ago on blog safety. I added a few things to the list since I originally posted it and was happy for the reminder that it gave to me to tighten back up on a few things that I’ve been a little lax on lately, as well as implement some new changes that I feel will help my blog to be a little more safe. If you’d like a review as well, and have anything to add to my list, you can read the post here.


November 5, 2008

The bishop has asked me to teach the 5th Sunday combined YM/YW lesson this month. He wants me to focus on the dress and grooming section in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. I’m sure that I can yap my trap about that long enough to fill the time, but I’d really like to come up with something more engaging….something that will put a fun spin on a principle that the youth have heard time and time again. So, put on your thinking caps and throw out some ideas for me!

Yep, me too!

November 4, 2008

Looks like this is the news of the day around the blogosphere, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon as well.