Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Well, if you read my blog...which not many do, you might be wondering why I still have one one book to go. I should be at 50 with the last two books, but if you read my blog, which not many do, you might have noticed that I have a book listed twice on my list of 2006 completed books. That makes one more to go!

I have been busy getting ready for Christmas, changing the baby, burping the baby, feeding the baby, playing with the baby, sleeping, and listening to a baby scream from reflux a couple hours each evening and almost all night. I have also been busy trying to keep the place clean so the ants will go away. I have also been trying to blog! (must keep my priorities straight) I don't know what to read next! I am trying to read Standing for Something but it doesn't have any adventure or romance in it. I was thinking of going to the library but dragging 4 kids with me this early in the game is suicide in the library!

For instance: Today I attempted to try again to get to Target and pick up my pre-ordered Christmas cards. I thought it would save some time by ordering online....I thought it would be easy and fast! I was supposed to pick them up yesterday, of course the only Target with the picture place is the one on Hesparian in Hayward. I live further then you think from this part of the world...there isn't even a straight shot to this Target from where I live. So of course I set out to do a few errands on the way. First we stop at the recycle place so the kids can get money for last minute presents. Then we head to the bank...the line is longer then heck. Then we go to the theatre to meet Mike, but I got the time wrong for the movie so cancel that idea and everyone is in tears...then we go to the dollar store so the kids can spend their money on presents, oh and the 4 year old needs to use the toilet so we go out of our way to get to one but she piddles her pants right before we get there. After that we head to the pizza place to make up for missing the movie. (it is my sons Birthday and the movie was the thing we were doing for that.) After the pizza we head home to cook it and have Family Home Evening and Birthday. Four year old piddles her pants again right before we get home. Of course I am sick of cake so I didn't make one but luckily I have some rice crispy treats left over from the wedding last weekend and surprise surprise the ants haven't found them yet in our kitchen. Almost suicide.

So today we try to run the errand again and see the movie...this time I got the right time. We meet up in Dublin and the movie is good (not as good as the book but good enough). Then we head to the bookstore, then back toward Hayward but of course now there is lots of holiday traffic. I am determined to pick up the darn cards so we plow forward. We only make it to Castro Valley and the baby is screaming. We pull over to feed and reassure her we still love her. Then we make it to Target, FINALLY!
They don't have the complete order. The nice lady looks everywhere and they decide somehow it got lost in ciber space...they have on record I made an order but the order didn't come through. Now the baby is crying. The pacifier works sometimes. We decide to do the whole thing over right there in the store with the picture employees help. Only it isn't working on the computer touch screen thing. The kids are getting out of hand...they all need to use the bathroom. They are bored. I am trying not to spank any of them and use my nice voice but they are really pushing my buttons. By now the baby is screaming and I am just trying to finish the order...everyone in the store is giving me those mean looks like I am the worst mother in the world....So two Target employees are helping me with my order and two employees are trying to get the baby to stop crying. AND the kids need to use the bathroom again! Long story short...I didn't kill anyone and the baby stopped crying and I got my cards and they gave me a discount for my troubles...almost half off. I grabbed them and ran....fed the baby...started driving home...got stuck in more traffic...baby starts screaming again...pull into a Taco Bell. I feed the baby again and run in and buy some tacos for the starving kids. We are almost home...the baby is screaming again...we pull into the carport and she falls asleep. WHEW!

I am so hungry!

I just don't think I can go to the Library this week. Tomorrow I will take a day off...NO ERRANDS! I guess I just try to put too much in all at once but there are only 6 days till Christmas and I can't find Parasols! The kids want to go see Santa but that is not a good idea because they will change their wish lists this late in the game and the ELF is done! Well, almost...

Blogging is so therapeutic, I feel much better now. I hope no one starts throwing up!

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Here is a real delight! A children's book about nonsense with a little logic and humor.

A little boy goes to the jungle to rescue a baby dragon. Of course he has a cat to help him pack and plan for the trip. He out smarts most of the wild animals in the jungle. Good thing he had a bunch of gum with him, a toothbrush, magnifying glass, comb and a lot of lollipops!

This is an exciting adventure and even has cool illustrations to go with the story. I can't wait to read the other two books in the series! The dragon is so cute.

Whole Book!

Persuasion by Jane Austin

Whole Book. I loved this story! It was like Pride and Prejudice but takes its own twists and plot turns. Of course it was a happy ending and it was romantic but it wasn't sappy romance.

I always get all the characters mixed up when reading books so I made a list of the characters with a few facts next to their names as I went. There are just too many Jane's, Elizabeth's, Anne's, Marys, Captains, Charles and Frederich's too keep straight. Okay so I exaggerate, but still I got them all mixed up because first off, Jane Austin makes the longest paragraphs. She doesn't make it simple like, saying a quote and then saying it was said by so and so then starting the next sentence on the next line. IT is all lumped into one paragraph!

Second, I only got to read the book for 2 min. stretches because I was trying to read while I nursed the baby and she kept needing to burp or choke or spit up or something so my reading was all broken up and hard to keep track of what was actually happening. I ended up reading some parts over and over again.

This book was pretty short. Only 117 pages...not like other Austin books. It also took me a while to figure out what they meant by BATH. Everyone was going there, to take a bath? I was very confused at first. At least everyone was clean.

If you are a Jane Austin fan and haven't read this one...go find it and read it! Well worth an afternoon.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Innkeeper's Wife by Lynda M. Wilson

This is a special Christmas book. I really like it because it is written from the perspective of a midwife at the birth of the baby Jesus. Of course it is fiction, we don't know if a midwife was there or not. It makes me feel good to think that someone was there to help Mary as she was in labor and to coach her in delivering her son. Maybe there were Angels there, maybe Joseph was inspired to know what to do...we don't know.
This story has the innkeeper's wife there to help them. It is a beautiful testimony of that night and the Shepard's coming afterwards to see the baby because of the angels appearing to them on the hill. I love it!
If you haven't read it, next time you are at desseret books or seagull book and tape grab a copy and take a few minutes to read this short story! I also like the illistrations too!
Whole Book

50 books in the year 2006!!!

Well, so much for 100 books...I will reach the 50 book goal. I'm reading Persuasion by Jane Austin and will have it done before the new year. Also Standing for Something by Gorden B. Hinckley and A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion by the Demille and Diann Jeppson. (I don't know if I will finish that last one it isn't exactly one to read straight through.) That will put me at 50 I believe...the new baby is slowing me down!

I didn't read all the books I had planned for the year...I got distracted with a few series and of course that whole Gary Paulsen spurt...he is a really good author, what can I say?

Most of my books are children's classic fiction. I didn't read anything too heavy this year. Next year maybe I will tackle more adult classics. My book clubs have some pretty interesting lists made for the new year.

Becky's Book list completed 2006
The Innkeeper's Wife by Lynda M. Wilson
Early Morning Cemetery by Patricia Wiles
Calling On Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
The Island by Gary Paulsen
Funeral Home Evening by Patricia Wiles
The Rifle by Gary Paulsen
Snicket #10
Snicket, #9
The Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen
The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
The Boy That Owned the School by Gary Paulsen
Dogsong by Gary Paulsen
Boys Who Became Prophets by Lynda Cory Robinson
How To Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward
The Winter Room by Gary Poulsen
Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler
Chocolate Fever by Robert Kinnel Smith
River Secrets by Shannon Hale
My Mom's a Mortician by Patricia Wiles
Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen
The River by Gary Paulsen
Series of Unfortunate Events-book 8
Series of Unfortunate Events-book 7
The White Mountains #1
The City of Gold and Lead #2
The Pool of Fire #3
When the Tripods Came #4.
The DeVinci Code by Dan Brown
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kinsolver
White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
The Princess And the Pauper by Mark Twain
A Murder, A Mystery And A Marriage by Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Prairie Dog Town by Janette Oke
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Man Of The Family by Ralph Moody
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of the Island (book 2) by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Avonlea(book 3) by L.M. Montgomery
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
The One Minute Teacher by Constance Johnson
Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
The Innkeeper's Wife By Lynda M. Wilson

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Early Morning Cemetery by Patricia Wiles

Whole Book
This is the 3rd book in the Kevin Kirk Chronicles. It was silly as usual. This time Kevin has to deal with all kinds of things...like a psycho lady that threatens him, a seminary class that goes on field trips to cemeteries and they do gravestone rubbings, the death of a loved one...telling the truth, dealing with people that judge you because of your religion, and learning to drive also a mystery to solve...
The Kirks pretty much show what it means to be a family and stick together.
What is really funny is I forgot to read to the end of the book before this one and had returned the book to my sister in law thinking I had finished it. Then she mentioned something that happened in the book and I said...that must be in the 3rd book because I don't remember reading that. Well when she loaned me the 3rd book she also sent the 2nd book back because there was my bookmark still in it but 5 more pages to go till the end. So I read them and it all made sense about him losing his finger...it was in the last 5 pages! Silly me...you can tell my mind wasn't really in the book....must have been pregnant or something...Ha Ha.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Scared of Santa


This is a very disturbing website. I think the Santas are very underpaid if this is what they do in the mall all month!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Calling On Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

This is the third book in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I started these a while ago but then got distracted and never found the next book at the library. These are simple and funny books about a princess that has adventures with dragons and witches.
This book is mostly about a not very typical witch and her cats as they all go on an adventure to retrieve the stolen Enchanted Forest Sword. Queen Chimorene, she used to be a princess, comes along too and they have all kinds of trouble with wizards. They meet a fire-witch and he helps them get the sword back. The dragons fight a war with the wizards. (wizards are bad) Anyway it was pretty silly and I loved the way the cats are so sarcastic. Can't wait to check out the last book in the series.
This is a WHOLE BOOK and was a fast read.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm thankful for Babies!

Baby Harmonica is home and doing well!
She is my true Mexican baby girl. Look at all that beautiful dark hair!
Thanks for the prayers and the love sent our way!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am thankful...

In an attempt to NOT start screaming profanities at everyone that I see at the moment as I sit here and feel oh so sorry for myself and because I had the worst thanksgiving...well sadly the only one that I see is Mike because he is the only one here at the moment and would have to take the wrath of hormone changes, sorry Mike...I will attempt to make a list of all the things thatI am thankful for. I hope this works...

I am thankful for...
1. family
3.breast pumps
4.God, priesthood blessings
6.squirt bottles and stool softener
7. a very competent and loving midwife
8.the midwife apprentice that followed her gut feelings and wasn't afraid to ask a question
9.my husband mike who was here for the whole thing and did excellent counter back pressure
10.chubby arms and legs and lots of hair on top
12.my bed
14.thanksgiving to look forward too in the future that aren't like 2006 or 1999
15.visiting teachers and friends
17.Hawaii, I hope to go there someday
18.sister in laws
19.hot chocolate...maybe I will make some
22.whoppers (Burger King)
23.cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Island by Gary Paulsen

Wil Neuton is fifteen, he is a pretty confident kid. His family moves to a new place and he finds an Island in the middle of a lake. He can go there and be alone and learn about himself and nature. His parents think he is nuts. They don't understand. He just wants to paint and write while he watches the fish and the loons and ants on the island. He decides to stay there for a while, just camping out and thinking and that is when it all goes crazy. Reporters come and do interviews, his parents send out a doctor to evaluate him, a girl he makes friends with falls in love with him and all he wanted was a nice quiet place to think, write and paint for a short time in the summer.
It was a good read. Kind of for a more mature teenager and a bit deep for a kids book but overall I thought it was interesting. Some of the water color paintings were in the book and a bunch of his short essays he wrote. He is a funny kid just trying to figure adults out and other people and the things around him in the world. Totally innocent but so sad that so many people freak out about the idea of a boy staying on an island all by himself.

Healing book almost Whole.

Funeral Home Evening by Patricia Wiles

This is the 2nd book in the Kevin Kirk Chronicles. It was pretty good, a lot more serious then the first book and seemed like a little episode in the life of Kevin. I liked it. Very fast read.
This kid is LDS and his family is starting to be active again...he learns lessons in life like taking care of babies and lying, that it isn't nice to judge others, not to push religion on others and how to be open to learning not just sharing what you already know all the time.
Can't wait to read the 3rd book...

This was a Whole Book.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Rifle by Gary Paulsen

I just don't get it??? This book started out as a really great book about the making of the sweetest weapons used in the Revolutionary War. The details were so awesome I could see the rifle taking shape in my imagination from the melted steel, to make the barrel, to the hard well dried maple for the stock. The details and love and time that went into this piece of art were so awesome it almost made me cry.

Then the story takes you on a journey, a journey the rifle lived and the people the rifle came in contact with and even killed. There was some beautiful history which came to life...
The end was just too weird...it sounds like guns are good then it comes to an abrupt end with the death of a young boy killed by the gun, on accident, because no one knew it was loaded for over 200 years. The author leaves you with the lingering question in your mind...guns didn't kill people, people killed people, is this true or false? The boy that dies in this story was killed by the gun...or the people?
Interesting enough he also makes fun of people that love the constitution and the second amendment and guns but don't know a lot about history or the cold hard facts of why we have them in the first place. He makes fun in a way of people that are uneducated in what they claim to believe. I hope I don't fit in that category!
Over all I think it was a book worth reading and I wonder if the author lost a friend in a gun accident?
Broken BOOK

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Snicket #10

This one was a lot better then the last...not so depressing. I love the Snow Gnats and all the inventions everyone was coming up with. The little girl has a boyfriend!
Very cute. Too bad he didn't make it out of the river with them at the end of the book.
We went to the library today to get #11 and it wasn't there!!!!! Oh the suspense will kill me!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Snicket, #9

These books are so depressing and sad...finished another one and I checked out the 10th one today at the library.

I need a happy book to read next!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen

This was a good book. Not for little kids but 12 and up could handle it. The FROG is a sailboat. The story is about a boy named David. The sailboat belongs to his uncle. His uncle dies and his last request was that the David scatter his ashes out to sea where you can see no land. Also he leaves the sailboat to the boy.
Well, David has a wild adventure after being surprised by a storm. He survives and keeps his head. He is hungry and thirsty but eventually starts on his way back to the cost of CA. He gets to see beautiful wondrous things in the Ocean, whales, dolphins, glow fish...
He also has a lot of time to think about his uncles death and come to terms with the whole sad thing. They had been really good friends and he misses him so much.
This was a good WHOLE BOOK.

I also read a funny book right before this called Molly McGinty Has A Really Good Day. Also by Paulsen. This book was just silly. That is all I can say.

Here is a website that has all of Gary Paulsen's books.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ivon passes the 100 book goal for the year!

This is Ivon's 2006 completed books list. We started keeping track around May, before that he read almost all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series and other books we just couldn't remember if they were this year or last year....so we didn't include them. All the books are chapter books ranging from 100 to 680 pages long. Thin to whopping thick books! GREAT JOB KID!!!!!!

(My Side of the Mountain)
Far side of the mountain
Frightful's mountain
Chocolate Fever
Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
Boys Who Became Prophets by Robinson

Star Wars Jedi Apprentice:
The Hidden Past
Star Wars Adventure:
A New hope
Star Wars Junior Jedi Knights:
Anakin's quest
Vadaer's Fortress
The Golden Globe

Box Car Children:
The Boxcar children #1
The Mystery of the Midnight dog #81
The Mystery of the empty safe #75
The Mystery of the queen's Jewels Special #11
Mike's Mystery #5
The Mystery of the stolen sword
The Mystery on Ice special #1
The hockey mystery #80
The Pet Shop Mystery special #7
The midnight mystery #95
The Disappearing Friend Mystery
The Candy factory mystery
The Mystery at Camp Seagull
The Mystery of the Back Raven
The Screech Owl Mystery
The Mystery cruise
The old motel mystery
Bus Station Mystery
The gymnastics mystery
The Mystery of the pirate's map
the mystery of the spider's clue
The Great Bicycle Race Mystery
The windy city Special #10
The guide dog #53
the Honeybee Special #15
The Blue Bay Mystery #6
The Mystery Ranch #4
The mystery at the ballpark Special #4
The Mystery behind the wall #17
The Bicycle Mystery #15
The Tree house mystery #14
The woodshed mystery #7
The ice cream mystery #94
The sword of the silver knight #103
The growling bear mystery #61
The Mystery in the sand #16
The Mystery at the crooked house #79
The Cereal box mystery #65
The home run mystery Special #14
The Mystery of the hunted boxcar #100

A Jigsaw Jones Mystery:
The case of the Great sled Race
The case of the spooky sleepover
The Case of the Ghostwriter
The case of the food fight
The Case of the Snowboarding Superstar
The Case of the Double Trouble Detectives
The Case of the vanishing Painting
the Case of the perfect prank
The case of the glow in the dark ghost

A to Z Mysteries:
The Absent Author
The Empty Envelope
The gooses Gold
The Bald Bandit
The Absent Author
The Haunted Hotel
The Yellow Yacht
The Talking T. Rex
The falcons feathers

The Secrets of Droon:
The Sleeping Giant of Goll
Into the Land of the Lost
Under the Serpent Sea
Franny K Stein Mad Scientist:
Attack of the 50 ft. cupid
The Invisible Fran

The Message
The Mutation
The Hork-Bajir Chronicles
The Predator
The andalite chronicles

Jackie Chan Adventures:
Jackie chan super special day of the dragon
A New Enemy
Sign of the Ox
Enter the Viper #4
The Dark Hand #1
The Power of the Rat #8
Shenu Escapes #5
Revenge of the Dark Hand #7
The strongest evil#12
The Jade monkey #11

Cam Jansen:
Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Circus Clown
Cam Jansen and the mystery of the Monster movie
Flat Stanley
A mouse Called Wolf
Henry and Mudge and the long weekend

Encylopedia Brown:
Case of the secret pitch
Horrible Harry and the locked closet

togepi springs into action
pikachu in love

Magic Tree House:
Dinosaurs before dark #1
Knight at dawn #2
Mummies in the Morning #3
Pirates past noon #4
Night of the Ninjas #5
Tonight on the Titanic #17
Viking ships at sunrise #15
Stage fright on a summer night#25
Stanley Flat Again!

The Hardy Boys:
The secret of the pirates hill #36

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

Great book! Great Adventure! There are these two princesses, they are sisters. They are opposite, one brave one afraid. The one that wants to go on adventures and slay dragons ends up getting sick. The timid sister has to pretty much slay dragons and find the cure before she dies. Not a predictable happily ever after ending. Very creative and full of adventures and even love.

The author, Gail Carson Levine also wrote Ella Enchanted one of my favorites, the book NOT the movie.

This book is a WHOLE BOOK. Great for 9-10yr. old girls, I don't think my son would want to read it. I loved it!

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara

This was a wonderful Classic, a Whole Book.
It is a story about a 10 year old boy that hasn't learned to be responsible yet. He lives on a horse ranch with his family in Wyoming. He loves to day dream. He is always breaking things on accident and forgetting things. His dad doesn't know what to do with him but is very disappointed. His brother on the other hand is a few years older and perfect. So of course they keep comparing Ken, the younger boy to Howard, his older brother.

Ken wants a colt of his own more then anything. He finally gets to pick one after his mom stands up for him to his dad. His dad is a serious Captain from the Army or something. He is strict and always gives the first and last word. Ken picks a wild mare born from bad blood. Her mother, Rocket, was a very fast horse but was never ever truly broken in. They called her condition, "loco". This means insane and useless. She would run right through wire fences and crash through wooden fences and they could never keep her in a pen long enough to train her. She didn't even care about the injuries from escaping. Her blood was bad and eventually every horse on the ranch was rid of so the bad blood line would be stopped.

Flicka was the only horse allowed to live because she belonged to the boy. They didn't know if she was crazy like her mom or not. She also had the blood from her dad, Banner. He was a good brave and smart Stallion.
So eventually from caring for the horse the boy learns all kinds of important lessons of responsibility and he grows up. Flicka, which means little girl, eventually becomes very sick with an infection from a cut on her leg when she ran through a fence. They are going to shoot her instead of have her suffer but the boy saves her life by sitting all night with her in a river. He then becomes very sick and spends the rest of the book close to death with everyone talking about him...

There is also a scary mountain lion in the book! There are also quite a few guns mentioned. They are a necessity on the farm. The two boys always have their 22's with them and shoot rabbits for supper weekly. The big rifle is the Winchester which the dad keeps in his truck and on hand for shooting sick horses and wild animals. The Express rifle finally gets the mountain lion in the end. And the mom sometimes has the revolver just in case she meets some wild animal while walking around on the ranch.

I read this book because Oct. 20th the 2006 version of the movie is being released. That is this week! Only the movie this time around will have Alison Lohman, a college girl, as the main character. She will of course have a boy friend, be stubborn, tom-boyish, ride horses like the other wranglers and want to keep Flicka even though her father forbids it. So even though the story is changed it has a lot of similarities to the original book and looks like a good flick...Tim McGraw, the country western singer, will be staring as her dad. Also the theme song is sung by him - My Little Girl.

I found out this book is actually a trilogy. This explains the abrupt end and leaving you hanging feeling on the last page. This book also was a TV series shown on Saturday mornings back in the olden days. It also has had a few movies already made based on the book, all with the main character Ken played by a boy. The trilogy books have also had movies made. It would be fun to track these down and watch them with the kids. I wonder if they are in black and white or color?

I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves horses! If anyone sees the movie this week let me know if you like it! I will have to wait till it comes out on DVD because it isn't my Birthday :(

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Boy That Owned the School by Gary Paulsen

Okay, finally I have found a book by Gary P. that doesn't even come close to his other wonderful books. This book stinks. So I don't even want to spend time on writing about it. All his other books were deep and had something to do with nature and this book was I guess his attempt to write about something else. Well, he failed in writing anything good. So that is that...on to something better.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dogsong by Gary Paulsen

Another one? You might think I am going a little crazy with Paulsen's books...well he is a really good young adult author and I just can't get enough!

This was a very intriguing book. It is a Newberry Honor book for 2000.
It is a book about an Eskimo. Not the fake Eskimos you watched on cartoons as a kid but a real Eskimo from the old days. It is about traditions, and about a boy becoming a man. This book was completely unpredictable. It helped me appreciate the coldness of Alaska and the brave people that live there in extreme conditions yet are so happy to be blessed by the land, the ice the animals and the wind and sea.

There was an old Eskimo shaman Oogruk and he helps a boy Russel Suskitt take a dog team and sled to escape the modern way of his village and return to the old ways. It is a book of self-discovery and adventure. There is poetry in this book and a song, the boy becomes the song.

I like winter/snow camping but that is nothing compared to what the boy in the story does. 40 below most of the time and yet it is a way of life.

This is a HEALING book.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Boys Who Became Prophets by Lynda Cory Robinson

My son received this book as a gift from a dear Aunt when he was baptized last year. It was lost in the move and smelled of smoke. After airing out for half a year it doesn't smell too bad and we of course had to chuck the book cover. He read it all the way through really quickly and kept saying, "Mom you have got to read this book!"
When he finished it I asked him which latter-day prophet was his favorite. He thought for a long time and then started reading the book over again. This time a bit slower and taking in more details. His favorite prophet is Ezra Taft Benson.

When he was finally finished, I started reading it. I read it in about 2 1/2 hours. It was really good. It is also historically correct. The author had a primary class and they wanted to be able to relate to the scripture stories. They loved it when she shared about the prophets when they were children. It really brought them to life as a real person. She decided to research all of the prophets and compile the book especially for the children in her Sunday School class to read. She also wanted to include the girls not only the boys in the class so she made sure there were things about the prophets sisters and mothers, not only about the prophets or their dads.

I think Howard W. Hunter will always be my favorite prophet. I saw him in person when I was at the MTC in Utah right before leaving on my mission to Germany. I know he is a prophet called of God. I know that the gospel is restored in the our day and the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I know this without a doubt. After reading this book my testimony of all the prophets has only increased.

I think the most curious thing I got out of the book was the realization that the advisory didn't want these young people to grow up and be prophets. Wilford Woodruff had so many accidents, broke so many bones and barely survived childhood. It is a miracle that he ever grew up to adulthood because he was so close to death so many times. He could have easily died and then who would have been the prophet in 1889? That reminds me of the scripture, something like many are called but few are chosen. Are there lots of children living right now chosen and because of the choices they make they don't reach their full potential and another has to step forward to fill that place? Each one of these boys mother's and father's had such an important part in preparing these young boys for great things. What if the mom chose to be a lazy drunk or just gave up? Would they have still been able to learn the things that prepared them to be a leader in the latter-days? Many of the prophets lost their mom's or dad early in life. The spouse left could have given up and all the children sent to an orphanage or something...would that child still be prepared for serving as a prophet of God later on?

I think our lives are all intertwined. There are children all around us that are chosen for great things and they need us to help. We are chosen to help them or to be in the right place at the right time to help them learn something or feel the spirit or gain a testimony of some gospel point. If we aren't there will it have to be someone else to help or prepare them? It all comes to choices, choosing right or wrong...setting a good example and doing the best we can do.

I like the new apostle Elder Bednar. He was an ordinary boy growing up not too far from where I grew up, San Leandro. He played football...what made him so different then the other boys around here? Anyway...these things and other things are interesting to ponder. I'm sure God has it all worked out. I just don't know if I am really doing my part to the fullest I can...how many of those little children in my Sunbeam class are going to need to be prepared for wonderful things in life? All of them! They are all Heavenly Father's children. We are all living in the best of times, the latter-days...preparing for when Jesus will come again.

Anyway, if you get a hold of this book, read it. It was really worth it for me and my son!
I would say it was definitely a WHOLE BOOK.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How To Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward

This was a very sad book. A little girl, five years old was kidnapped. Her family couldn't get their lives back together. They didn't have it together in the first place but now it really comes apart. They are all alcoholics.

The mom and oldest sister never gave up that she was still alive. The father dies, drinks himself to death. One sister blames herself so much after she gets married she tries to find closure. She is seeing a psychologist and hires a lawyer to declare her little sister dead. The oldest sister finally comes to a point in her life where she needs to do something besides just sit around and miss her sister. She was working as a waitress in a bar after she passed up a full ride to Juilliard school to play piano. So after loosing her job and her mom dies she goes on a long trip to find her in Montana. It is a wonderful story of a family pulling itself back together and learning to love again.

The book was very clever in the way it was written. There were these mysterious letters written by someone named Agnes in between the chapters about the family. And this old boy friend of the mom's kept coming up in the book. He had lost his daughter when she was swept out to sea from a beach. So you can guess what might happen. Psycho old boy friend, dead daughter, kidnapped daughter, mysterious person named Agnes, lots of drinking and disfunctional families, and a search for the lost sister = ???

The book ends happy. Yet the book ends abruptly...Which I didn't like. I kept turning the pages for more but it was simply over, THE END!

This was a BROKEN AND HEALING Book. I do not recommend it to anyone that is looking for something uplifting to read. It was a very well written book and I couldn't put it down. The story captivated the reader and you just had to know what happened next. It took 6 hours to read. I started it in the morning on Monday and took a break for life then finished it before bed that night. I read it for a book group which was Tuesday, the next day.

I'm glad I read it. I learned a lot about the world that I don't usually spend anytime thinking about. Alcoholism is an ugly vice. I really like living in my bubble. I don't think I will EVER embrace this lifestyle but it is nice to be aware of it. Drinking and swearing and sleeping around is wrong. It will always be, no matter how much the "world" embraces it, it is still wrong. There are also sick people in the world that take children that are not theirs and brainwash them never thinking about the consequences of their actions or the way it will affect other people, changing so many lives forever.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Winter Room by Gary Poulsen

I know I know!!! Another book by Gary....He is really truly a great writer! So I came across this little book by him called the Winter Room so I checked it out. It sat in the library box here at home for about a month...Finally I picked it up and read it. Took probably 3 hours...Which I didn't use all at once....
It was about a little family living on a farm and the written from the youngest boys perspective. The mom and dad and two uncles were from Norway. During the winter the one uncle would tell stories about the old country. There were lots of logging stories, Viking stories and a love story. (very innocent and sad story about a girl that died). The book also described how hard it was working on the farm and how the boy hated the slaughtering of the animals in the fall. (yucky details but puts it in perspective because this was the cycle of life on the farm to survive.)
I would say this was a WHOLE BOOK. I enjoyed the short read and the country I never really think about...Norway. Interesting.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler

Walking the Bible- A Journey By Land Through the Five Books of Moses

This is such a classic. I really enjoyed reading this book. It took me all summer but I finally finished it last night, all 450 pages! Whew.

This is a book written by a Jewish man that wasn't really a practicing Jew but had questions about God and the Bible. He takes a journey to the Middle East to find some answers and in the process has a great adventure and a spiritual awakening in his life. He reconnects with the bible by actually seeing, feeling, experiencing the Bible in a new way.

He wrote the book in 2002. He actually retraced the steps Moses and Abraham took in the bible. He is using the Torah, English translation. It was a 10,000-mile journey and archaeological odyssey. He visited the places like, The Red Sea and Mt. Sinai, the burning bush, The pyramids, Turkey, Israel, Palestinian territories, Egypt, and Jordan. Sometimes he traveled by foot, sometimes by jeep and he even had to ride a camel in a few places.

He talks to so many interesting people on the way. His friend Avner Goren was by far the most interesting person in the book. He is an Israeli archaeologist. He really knew the bible but also knew a lot about traveling, the people and diplomacy. He was also very wise but also funny. He takes the journey with Bruce F. just for fun.

Somehow the book helped me understand how to connect myself with the abstract parts of the Bible I always just skipped over. I feel closer to my God after reading about Bruce Feiler's experiences. I learned about the land, geography, the people, their history and a little bit more about why there is so much fighting down there still.

I would like to travel to the Middle East and experience the dessert. I think the Bible is somehow deeper then faith or science. I'm not sure how to explain that.

The funniest part was when they are visiting Mt. Sinai and it is a very isolated spot. The monk they are chatting with mentioned that he sometimes has problems getting connected to email when people send really big files to them that take days to download. This is what Bruce F. is thinking, "I was stunned: downloading problems at Mount Sinai, the place of the most famous download in history. The irony was too rich to contemplate."

So I don't know a lot about Egypt but I found this part the most fascinating. I always just thought of Pharaoh as a Pharaoh, like in the Hollywood movie about Moses escaping with the Israelites. But, duh, there were lots of Pharaohs over history and they don't actually know which Pharaoh it was that chased after Moses. Was it Rameses or a Thutmose or a Merenptah. The book suggests that maybe the name isn't important or maybe it is important so you would have the conversation and relive the Exodus. Advar says, "We need to understand Egypt. We should understand that the Israelites lived here, they were part of this culture, but that they left here, hoping to find a better life."

This is a Whole and Healing book. I will consider it now a classic in our family. I really liked reading it, even if I didn't understand a lot of it because of my limited understanding of the Bible and the Middle East and History. At least it is a start. Now I want to know more!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chocolate Fever by Robert Kinnel Smith

I love this book. I remember reading it in 2nd or 3rd grade. I tried to get my 8 yr, old to read it but he wouldn't. I tried to get the 6 yr. old to read it but she can't so I finally just read it to them in about an hour one night before bedtime. They both loved it.
It is a funny book about a kid that loves to eat chocolate and pretty soon he breaks out in brown spots. It looks like chicken pox but the spots smell like chocolate. After having a bunch of doctors poke him he runs away and hitchhikes with a trucker, the truck gets hijacked by a couple of dumb robbers...they eventually escape. Now this is the part that really does not make sense...a bunch of dogs come and create all chaos because they can smell the chocolate, okay, if he smelled like chicken then I understand this funny part but dogs don't eat chocolate. It is poisonous to them so this was a bit mixed up.
The story has a good message...it is about self control and the boy learns not to eat so much chocolate...he finds balance in his life. It was really funny and a good quick read. I personally do not approve of hitchhiking but other then that I loved the book!
I would say it was a WHOLE book.

Friday, September 15, 2006

River Secrets by Shannon Hale

Oh, yeah this one is a good one! Shannon Hale does it again! This book is full of mystery and innocent romance. The mystery is easy to figure out but I like the way she takes it through the steps of how it was figured out by the main character.

The whole book is written from the perspective of Razo. He was just a forest boy, poor and just a nobody...until he helped the goose girl in a previous book become princess and he helped Enna in the other book. Now he is part of the kings army, "Bayern's Own". He is brave and sneaky. He plays a major roll in helping Bayern and Ingridan stay peaceful.

Of course there is another person that has a special talent. This time it is "water speach". I don't know if any of you have watched the cartoon Avatar, but it is funny how the powers are the same, Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind. This book just takes it a bit more seriously then the cartoon, which is pretty silly.

There are some scary parts in the book and some really cruel parts because they are dealing with bad guys/soldiers. Nothing gets as bad as the last book where the scary parts were pretty intense when Enna was burning. So aside from the scary parts which kind of have to be there I guess the book is great!

I wish it had developed some of the other characters a little bit more instead of mainly focusing on Razo but oh well.

I think this book is a Healing book and I can't quite decide if it is a whole book or not...

So who wants to borrow it first! I can send it to Utah next week!

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Mom's a Mortician by Patricia Wiles

FUNNY, yep super funny and a must read! This is the first book in the Kevin Kirk Chronicles. The author is LDS.

So this kid has to move to a funeral home. He has to sleep in the same house as dead bodies. He misses his friends and only has one after he moves. Just so happeneds that she is the Stake Pres. daughter. While he is helping his parents run the family business the "deceased" start appearing to him and giving him advice. Of course there is also a bully at school that he has to deal with. He starts finding out about a few secrets kept from him...he finds out that his parents are Mormons! He falls in love, he gets a new older sister...and he might get to go fishing! There are a few more books in this little set so it doesn't all happen in the first book.

I don't want to give it all away but it is a really good book. It made me laugh and two parts I couldn't help but start crying, they were really really sad. I also like that Kevin likes nature and is keeping a nature log of the animals he sees in his backyard. The Armadillers (that is how the towns people say it)are funny and especially Kevin's grandparents that make jokes about running them over with the RV.

This is also a Whole and a Healing book.

Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

This is the 3rd book in the series. I actually found a 4th too.

It was really good! I couldn't put it down, had to for sleep but resumed second thing in the morning. I think this is a Healing and Whole book.

The Author rewrote the ending to the first book. Instead of just surviving through the summer after the plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, this book has him survive through the whole winter!

Without giving too much away...the book really made me hungry and cold. He had to kill to survive but realized that everyone in the forest needed to eat to survive. Life depended on it and revolved around it. Every time he killed a rabbit he would say sorry and be really glad that it died quickly. He was also very thankful and made sure he didn't waste anything for the life he had to take to go on living. He also gave God a lot of credit for helping him.

It was a great book! I love to hear about taking it to the limits and making it when everything is stacked against you! What a brave kid.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Any Day Now...Counting down...

There are two books that are taking forever to be released...I can't stand the suspense.

First is the 3rd book by Christopher Paolini in the Inheritance Trilogy. It was supposed to come out Aug. 25th but I heard a rumor that it isn't being released for financial reasons. What? Not fair! I'll give him a dollar, come on I need to read the third book!!!!!!

The second one I'm waiting for and already pre-ordered on Amazon. com is by Shannon Hale, River Secrets. I can't wait for this one...it is coming out Sept. 5th 2006!!!!Just after labor day weekend...and mine will just come in the mail one day like a little surprise! I can't wait.

okay, I'm still waiting...I need to read something interesting soon! Oh I just got the My Side Of The Mountain trilogy by Jean Craighead George. But my son swiped it and is reading it so I can't till he is done. I guess I will have to swipe it back when he is asleep.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The River by Gary Paulsen

I just read the sequel to Hatchet. It was really good. I wanted something more after finishing the first book and I guess a lot of fans did too. The author had 60 letters a day asking him to write another book. So he finally did.

The boy in the story goes on another adventure. This time on purpose but then unexpected things happen and he is forced to use his survival skills to make it out of the wilderness alive. He is also not alone this time. I love how the author totally get in his head! His thoughts and actions are from his point of view with feeling and fear. Then he conquers fear and presses on...

This book would be great for boys but I'm a girl and I really liked it too.
It is a Healing and Whole Book.

Great news there is also a continuation of the first book Hatchet called Brian's Winter...The story takes off right before he was rescued and he isn't rescued. He has to survive the winter in the Canadian wilderness instead of just 54 days of summer and fall. Can't wait to get that one!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Window Pains

I have this unsightly small window right behind my stove, but not centered behind it. It is the only window left in the house without a curtain. Every time I walk to the bathroom late at night I have to go past it. I am always imagining bad guys peeking in at me. I have tried to find something to cover it that would fit the dimensions of the window but with no luck. I can't hang a cloth curtain because it would probably catch fire being so close to the gas stove flames. It still wanted light to come through the window because the window is very dark. I didn't really want to put mini-blinds because they would be a pain to clean from cooking splatter and grease...so I remembered I had some window paints somewhere...but I hadn't seen them for a while. I didn't want to buy new ones if I already had some.

I found them! They are very user friendly. They were from the KLUTZ company. They make great kid things and crafty things. These paints are so easy and they peel right off later if you hate your picture. Or if you mess up.

So my daughter and I went on line to find a pattern to draw on the window. We looked at the stain glass sites. I finally found almost the most perfect one...it was a yellow sunflower design. I needed something simple and yellow because the curtain over the sink is also yellow and the curtain to the kids room at the opposite end of the kitchen is yellow.

We then downloaded it and printed it out. Then I drew it bigger then it was, but I am not talented to draw it big enough for the long window...so it will have to do.
Then we traced it on the window in black.

After that dried we colored it in.

It looks cool!

How about like this?

NOW what should I do with the extra space under and above the part we colored? It is about 5" by 7 ". I need a design that doesn't take away from the lovely one we already have.

Series of Unfortunate Events-book 7

Okay so it has takes me a while to read these. They are so depressing and funny at the same time! This book was sad and you had to use your imagination for the unreal things the kids did...like getting out of prison with a stale piece of bread and some water. Silly.

These books are very BROKEN. Grown ups are the bad guys and they never listen to the kids. They are on their own...literally. They are orphans and people are always getting murdered. There is a mystery, well a few and that is probably why I keep reading them....I have to know what happened to their parents and the fire!

I'm reading book 8 right now....so far I think it is the best one...we will see.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Tripod trilogy

I just finished The Tripod trilogy. Which is a bit misleading because John Christopher wrote 4 books so technically it isn't a trilogy. He wrote one, two and three then went back and wrote a prequel. I think you could start with the prequel and it would still all make sense, sometimes the prequel is like a sequel but just out of order but he did a good job with this one.

The books are basically about an alien invasion and brainwashing of all mankind by gigantic machine like things with 3 legs. Some people escape and form a resistance group. They are the only humans other then children under the age of 14 thatare free to think for themselves. The main character in the books is Will. He is a young boy that doesn't want to be like everyone else under the aliens powers. He finds the resistance group after a long adventure to their hiding place. He is joined by his cousin and another kid on the way and they become good friends thoughout the series.

The titles of the books in this series are: The White Mountains #1, The City of Gold and Lead #2, The Pool of Fire #3 and the prequel When the Tripods Came #4.

The Second book in the series was the best. The City of Gold and Lead. I liked it because it actually took you into the place where the aliens live. It was very creative and interesting to read about how they interacted with humans and what they ate. The part that stuck in my mind the most was how they thought some humans were beautiful and they killed them and put them in a glass case on display in a museum. They had them cataloged and labeled just like we might have a collection of butterflies. The aliens live so much longer then a human would so they probably thought that since there are so many of us and we don't live long anyway they could preserve the history of humans to look at long after our race is wiped out. Just like we think about butterflies. They also wanted to make a zoo where they kept people in their natural environment with air and water. Then the tripod aliens could come and look at them for years after the rest of the humans on the earth were long gone or extinct.

The last book, #3 is kind of depressing. Humans get rid of the aliens(tripods) and then start fighting again. One of the advantages of the aliens being here was no more wars between countries, everyone was united in worshipping the tripods. When they were gone we all went back to our differences and fighting. Sure this is agency working but it sure would be nice to just get along without aliens taking over the world and justifying it as being helpful to mankind.

The books were short and sweet. I would almost say they were WHOLE but I will go with HEALING. Oh I can't make up my mind, what do you think?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's been a long time....3 books later...

Books I have read but haven't had time to blog about...The DeVinci Code by Dan Brown, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kinsolver, and White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
They were all interesting but I would only recommend the Poisonwood Bible. The other two are weird.

I started reading The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.
Well, I'll tell you about them all later.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Nothing or everything?

We don't have much but we have each other...

Do you ever just sit and count your blessings? Do you ever wonder what would happen if you lost everything of earthly value? Would you be able to see the positives in your life? Where would you be without your precious junk?

hmmm, life makes us asks ourselves these questions and many more without our consent...today, tomorrow...just remember to count your blessings...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mark Your Calendars

Sacromento temple, CA


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Whole Book.
Well, I have wanted to read this book for a while but didn't actually have it. The other day I found a new copy for .49 at a thriftstore. Tonight I didn't feel like doing anything so I ignored the world and in 5 hours I read it from cover to cover.
It is about a boy that gets in a plane wreck and has to survive in the Canadian wilderness with only the hatchet his mom gave him right before he got on the plane. The hatchet comes in handy for everything. I wish I had a hatchet.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

Whole book. This is a take off from the classic the Prince and the Pauper.
Prince Horance is a really bad spoiled prince. They call him Prince Brat. He is not allowed to get spankings when he does things that are wrong. So an orphan boy named Jemmy is taken from the streets to be whipped for him.
Prince Horance runs away and takes Jemmy with him. The boys have a wild adventure and get caught by two thieving cutthroats. Jemmy has to use his knowledge of the streets to get them out of all kinds of predicaments. Prince Brat is so spoiled that he doesn't even have common sense. He learns a lot about his kingdom and subjects. He learns what friendship and loyalty really mean. He has some very valuable life experiences on the streets and I hope he is at better king because of it someday!

The Princess And the Pauper by Mark Twain

WHOLE BOOK. I think it has a bit of HEALING in it too.
I liked this story. We listened to it on Tape so it had all the voices and parts. It was a story also filled with adventure! The princess and a boy from the London streets switch places on accident. Next thing you know they are on there own trying to survive in a foreign way of life. Both learn a lot about human nature and life. Both grow up quickly and take on responsibilities a boy of that age shouldn't have to have.
I was very moved by the compassion of one character that took the prince under his wing and tried to help. He didn't believe the boy was the prince. He thought he was just loosing his mind. Ironically the man also wasn't believed to be who he was when he tried to return to his home after being away for over 10 yrs.
Where is the seal? That is the reoccurring question that keeps popping up? I didn't know what it was and either did the pauper. I would read this one again and again. It was funny and imaginative and realistic.

I am on a Mark Twain spurt...I just can't get enough. I want to read the one about the jumping frog next...if I can find it. I am also looking for the book called Letter's from the Earth...our library doesn't carry it.

A Murder, A Mystery And A Marriage by Mark Twain

This was a very funny book. It started out as a project by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, pen name: Mark Twain. It didn't ever come to much. It is a short story and keeps you guessing throughout the whole thing.
A man appears out of no where in a field buried in the snow...a greedy father won't let his daughter marry...an uncle writes a will leaving a large sum of money to the daughter of his brother, the one that won't let her get married yet...a feud...a fast talking stranger...a murder... and eventually someone gets married!
Read it and find out for yourself what makes it so funny!

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

This is a Whole and Healing Book. I really enjoyed reading this one. Mark Twain has an interesting way of telling about serious things in a funny way. This story is a classic in American Literature. It takes place before the civil war.
The main character is a boy named Huck. He is telling the story from his own perspective. He is the son of the town drunkard. He is a very realistic child, doesn't have a sense of humor and is very literal when faced with problems and life in general. He has common sense and this helps him tremendously as he gets into trouble or out of trouble. He doesn't want to conform to society and sets out on a lovely adventure to escape his dad (beats him all the time), the Widow Douglas (Huck's unofficial guardian that wants to civilize him), and being bored. He makes friends with a slave named Jim. He eventually comes to the point where he respects and admires Jim and would even go to "HELL" to help him. Even though he is a slave.
I liked this book because it was so well written I could imagine what it was like to actually be there myself. Floating down the Mississippi river on a raft and meeting people, or avoiding people, carefree...too bad Huck had to go back in the end. I bet he didn't stay for long.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Prairie Dog Town by Janette Oke

This was a fun book. It is a WHOLE book. (Please refer to previous post to see categories for books, Whole, Broken, Healing and Bent.)
This whole book is from the eyes of a young prairie dog. His first trip out of the hole, eating grass, making friends, weather conditions...dangers from stampedes, hawks, coyotes...It was really cute. He has a curious little attitude and gets a little rebellious when he hits his "teen years". He learns to trust his parent’s advice and also to be humble and apologize to others when he is wrong. He has many adventures and I think it was very creatively written for a book about prairie dogs!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Whole Book!
This is the 5th book in the Little House in the Prairie series. I loved this one just as much as the others. She finally gets her teachers credentials and Almonzo starts to court her. This book took a couple months because we were reading it out loud at night and it was hit and miss for a while.

Man Of The Family by Ralph Moody

Whole Book!
This is the second book in the Little Britches series. I loved it. There are some sad parts and some hard parts and a lot of love and sacrifices in a family after their dad dies. The boy needs to grow up fast and take on responsibilities like earning money and caring for his mom, siblings, the livestock...he tries to get out of going to school but his mom insists that he get an education instead of working all the time. She is inspired to start home businesses that pay the rent and make ends meet. The boy always works hard and has a great reputation for being good with horses. I loved this book almost as well as the first. I already read the 3rd book by accident last year and it was good too!

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Whole BOOK! The kids loved this one. It is about a dog and a boy. He really gets in a bind when he lies and then he needs to lie to cover up the lie and from there it just gets worse then the truth finally comes out he has to pay the consequences It was a Great read for all of us!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Which Sci Fi character are you like?

Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. You can read more about her at the Galadriel Worshippers Army.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I'm so glad I wasn't someone from the Harry Potter series! I was hoping for a character from Star-Wars like my cool Kim sister. Lord of the Rings is okay too.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

This is a book that I hated at first, then surprisingly to me I started liking it near the end. It takes place in Russia in the 19th Century. It is over 800 pages long and I got stuck in the middle for a while.

At first I thought it was a very BROKEN BOOK. It started out as a romance novel with a few affairs. At first one of the main characters Anna, was made out to be a good person and despite having an affair she was in the right.


She eventually is exposed and tormented in her soul for what she did. She has choices to make that are hard because of the choice she made to sin. There are repercussions or cause and effect to everything in life. Her choice affected so many other people’s lives. She doesn't really realize this because I think she was selfish but the author tells the stories of all the other people too that were related to her or that somehow were touched by the domino effect.

The book becomes WHOLE and HEALING somewhere past the middle. Anna kind of goes crazy in her head because she is unhappy living in sin. She suspects her guy doesn't love her anymore, she starts taking Opium. She doesn't care for her baby, can’t see her son. She is all alone in her tormented soul and has no faith in God left.

While all this is going on the other main character is Levin. He is a rich land owner and farmer. He is interested in the peasants and the philosophies of man. He finds God in the end. He thinks about suicide but finds a higher purpose in life to live for. I liked to compare him and Anna to the main character Jean Valjean in Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. They both find out for themselves how to survive and how to understand religion in their own minds and hearts. It is hard and takes a life time for some. The over all theme is that human nature makes us imperfect and selfish but it also has passion and promise if we endure to the end.

The book was extremely interesting to me because I don't know that I have ever read anything by a Russian author or about Russia. It was full of different philosophies and Christian themes, bureaucracy, government, love, death... It had stuff about the social part of Russia that I never heard about. This was before it was a communist nation I believe. The poor were really poor and the rich were ridiculously rich. I don't think it has changed much even today. I don't know. I learned for myself how naive I am about other nations and cultures. I don't know anything about Russia except they have good gymnasts and ice skaters in the Olympics.

This book is a HEALING book because it inspires me to not have an affair. (HA HA) What a mess it would be. NO really... it also makes me think about God and the purpose of life. When we are unselfish and do things because we serve God we are filled with a joy and peace. If we just do things because we have too or with a bad attitude or just to get gain for ourselves we will feel empty. We all need to find religion and comprehend it in our hearts a different way, and different time. It is for all of us but it can't be forced. Anna gave up. Levin kept going, kept searching, till he found it himself.

I would recommend this book to anyone that has a lot of time on their hands to read a long book...after you get past the first 400 pages it starts coming together and the characters all intertwine. It was the best in the last 10 or so pages for me. So read it to the end!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Weekly Trip To The Library

Each week we brave the outside world and take a trip to the Library. You might not think this is any big deal but you aren't Me and you don't have my three kids!

1.We have to cross a street. It is a busy street and my kids do not hold hands. They are all in their own worlds dancing around and looking in all different directions. I am the mother hen. I am freaking out and trying to keep them all next to me and under my wings so they don't step off the curb and get ran over. Or so they don't bother the other people crossing the street too. The people sitting at the bus stop are always watching us. The light changes to walk and everyone gets so excited. Some of my children can walk in a straight line and stay in the cross walk but some of them do not understand what that line is for and which side is in!!! I always give a sigh of relief when we get to the other side.

2. We then have two pathways to choose from. They both end at the same spot, the entrance for the Library. The right path goes under some trees that drop plops of the raunchiest smelling seed pods. They are all squished on this path and then your shoes stink. I like to try and not step on them and I like to enjoy the trees and greenery on this path. I usually see a squirrel on the way. The left path goes right along a planter box type thing made out of cement and it is wide enough to walk on. It is only about a foot and a half off the ground so the kids like to run along this instead of the path. Usually this is where homeless people hangout and they sit on the cement path thing. So as my kids are running along they either have to jump off or go around the homeless people. The homeless people sometimes ignore them and sometimes make a comment or two. Sometimes they are annoyed at a flock of children running right at them as they just try to sit there and rest. Occasionally there are some teenagers hanging out or a drunk or two. My littlest one usually always lags behind and is known to fall off the cement wall as she is running along. No one will hold my hand; they all have to do it themselves.

3.We enter the library and we need to be quiet. We return any books we have through the little slot and someone always takes off before we are through. To get to the children's room we go up the stairs. The elevator is OFF limits. This rule is finally followed after a few kids got in the elevator and the doors shut. Very scary. They all stay off the elevator now.

4. My oldest heads right to the mystery books (Fiction), Nancy Drew and Box Car Children, Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown. I don't worry, I know where he is.
My next child goes right to the videos. She always wants a Pokemon video. She comes and finds me and whines and bugs me and tries to get me to say yes to the video she picked out. I would rather check out videos that are educational or more family oriented. I usually say no to the first 5-6 choices she comes to me with.
The littlest one always runs to the puzzle corner. She can pull out more puzzles in one minute then a monkey using its hands and tail. She also thinks the rocking horse is hers. If another child is on it she will stare at them until they get off. She always finds the little hard cover books and carries them around. She also is a magnet for the computer. She will probably work in a button factory when she is older. Sometimes I find her talking to the librarian. They are always nice and they can't understand most of what she says. On the librarian's desk is a container of scrap paper and the cutest just the right size pencils. She takes a pencil and a paper and writes on it. When we leave she puts them back, the paper that is scribbled on too. I can keep one eye on her and whatever I'm doing and it is small enough that I can always hear her.

5. My kids love to talk to strangers. I say, "Don't talk to strangers", but they love to talk to everyone. They don't know the difference between a stranger and a STRANGER! My kids can strike up a conversation with most anyone. Especially if they are near the line, (notice I didn't say IN LINE. They don't stand in line they dance around and wiggle but I have yet to see them stand in line), everyone is fair game to them. I can't believe the plethora of information that comes out of their mouths. By the time we part with a stranger they have told them EVERYTHING about our family and even our fish and cat that adopted us.

6. Today we ventured down stairs to the main floor. This is a much quieter place then the children's section upstairs. I went right over to the back of the library and grabbed the book I needed. The kids were trailing behind me. It took less then 2 min. We walked back to the front of the library to check out. In that short time Amy somehow along the way picked up someone's soda and took a sip. I found this out from a lady that came running after us and loudly saying, something like EXCUSE ME, Your baby just drank my soda, I wanted you to know because I have a cold. She said this very loud and kept repeating it. I was so shocked and stammered something like Sorry after I figured out what and who she was talking about. I didn't know what to say to her and it was embarrassing. I hope she doesn't catch Amy's cold either but I didn't tell her this. I hope the lady didn't have anything deadly or have Herpes! So I told my daughter not to drink other peoples stuff and she will get germs. Of course she didn't really understand or care. It is funny now but in the library I was still in shock. YUCK.

7. My little monkey always climbs on the metal detectors at the entrance while I'm distracted trying to check out. The librarian has to say, "PLEASE GET OFF OF THERE!" and all the mother's looks to see if it is their child. Itisn't, it is my child again. It is hard to get all the books checked out and on our way before the kids are already out the door running down the path. This is me yelling, "WAIT FOR MOMMY!!!" Three bags of books and a crazy look on my face, but also a look of relief because we survived the library!

8. Now to get passed the bums and across the busy street again to the car!

Next week we will brave the Library again. Whew!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables books are WHOLE books.
We just fiished books 1-3.

They are quite fun and take place in Canada. My children loved them and Anne was always having such exciting adventures. She has a great imagination and uses very big words to decribe life around her. The next two books in the series got a little sappy with the thing between her and Gilbert. Romance isn't my favorite but this was sweet.

Anne of the Island (book 2), Anne of Avonlea(book 3) were also fun to read.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

This book as really great and used a lot of imagination. I just wrote a really cool review and then I previewed it and when I pushed the back button it disapeared. UHHGGGG.
This book is about a mouse and she is very resourceful when it comes to saving her family before the plow comes. The Rats are intelligent and honest. It was fun to see life through the eyes of a mother field mouse. The end of the book left you hanging...but it was a good hang where you imagine your own future for the Rats and the mouse family. I recommend this book for families. My kids loved it.

The movie The Secret of NIMH wasn't very good. It didn't follow the story as completly as I would have liked. It was very dark in color and feeling. And what does the theme song have to do with the story at all? Well maybe that is why they changed the story so much so they could use that love song...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Personally Calssifying Books: Four Distinctions Per Thomas Jefferson Educaion Model

(p. 73 in A Thomas Jefferson Education, by Oliver DeMille)

1. BENT: Stories portray evil as good, and good as evil. Such stories are ment to enhance the evil tendencies of the reader. (Best to avoid)

2. BROKEN: Stories portray evil as evil and good as good, but evil wins. Something is broken, not right, in need of fixing. Such books are not uplifting, but can be very inspiring. Broken stories can be very good for the reader if they motivate a person to heal them, to fix them. Example: The Communist Maniesto is a broken classic; so are the Lord of the Flies and 1984. In each of these, evil wins; but they can be very motivating if you want to help reverse their message in the real world.

3. WHOLE: Stories are where good is good and good wins. Most of the calssics are in this category. This a good place to spend most of your time.

4. HEALING: Stories can be either WHOLE or BROKEN stories where the reader is profoundly moved, changed, significantly improved by his/her reading of the book.

This year I hope to put each book I read into a classification.
Right now I'm reading:

Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - WHOLE
The Secrect of NIHM - Whole and Healing
Atlas Shrugged by Ann Rahn - Healing, Broken

I think I will probably put books that leave out a christian perspective or God in the Broken category. There might be some truth in the book but not enough if you leave out my creater. So in my mind I will have to take what is good and apply it to my life and leave the rest behind.

This will be fun.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Holding On

I was thinking about a song today and that I really like and though it's simple I find it so profound. Here are the lyrics and the website. You can even listen to a sound bite of the music (MP3). Just to warn you it is very Country and you might need an aquired taste to endure the Twang.

Holding On
by Cherie Call from her Album, Beneath These Stars

If I had to move away, if I had to pack a box todayThere are some things I'd have to let go before I headed down theinterstate. My favorite dress that doesn't fit anymore, and all the papers in my old desk drawer Bad habits and old grudges, I'd take them all to the second hand store. But there's a list of things I'd have to take with meNo matter how long this winding road turns out to be
I'm holding on to the valentinesAnd letters I've read a thousand times that say"We believe in you," and "never give up your dreams."I'm holding on to my own backyardI hope that I can fit it all in my carWhen the whole world's letting goI'll keep holding on
You can't keep a harvest moon, it fades away all too soonAnd even the trees let go of their leaves much quicker than you'd ever choose So many people say goodbye, I see those teardrops in their eyes And I start to wonder how I'd live without loveAnd I'm glad I never have to tryCause hardly anything lasts forever anymoreBut there will always be a few things that I'm gonna keep fighting for
I'm holding on to my father's loveAnd my mother's faith in God aboveShe says "We believe in you," and "never give up your dreams."I'm holding on to my true love's handAnd I know that he will always understandWhen the whole world's letting goI'll keep holding on
Shooting stars and red balloonsIce cream cones and breezy JunesI love them all, I hold them dear, but they so quickly disappearThese are the things I'll keep with me, no matter where my life will lead me A loving word, a gentle kiss, I need nothing more than this
I'm holding on to the valentinesAnd letters I've read a thousand times that say"We believe in you," and "never give up your dreams."I'm holding on to my own backyardI hope that I can fit it all in my carWhen the whole world's letting goI'll keep holding onI'm holding on to my father's loveAnd my mother's faith in God aboveShe says "We believe in you," and "never give up your dreams."I'm holding on to my true love's handAnd I know that he will always understandWhen the whole world's letting goI'll keep holding on

Copyright 2002 Cherie Call, all rights reserved


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Thomas Jefferson Education

This is something I'm trying with my children in our home.

Off the Conveyer Belt

1. Classics, not textbooks
2. Mentors, Not professors
3. Inspire, not require
4. Structure time, not content
5. Quality, not conformity
6. Simplicity, not complexity
7. You, not them

Friday, January 06, 2006

2006 Book List

(This is the list of books I plan to read in the near future, hopefully this year)

Books to read in 2006:

The adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Tom Sawyer
Paradise Regained
The Making of America by Skousen
The Making of America by Toquerville
The Three Musketeers
The Scarlet Letter
Why I Believe
Falling Up
Holy Bible (New and Old Testament)
Shadow of Hegemon
Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Minstry
Robinson Crusoe
The Trumpet of the Swans
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Midwife’s Apprentice
The Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by
Elizabeth Moon
Papa Married a Mormon
Robin McKinley Collection
Calling on Dragons
Talking to Dragons
The Mainspring of Human Progress
The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to
Heal Hearts and Homes
Girl of the Limberlost
How to Read a Book
A Literary Education by C. Levison
Charlotte Mason
The Odyssey
*The Virginian
*The One Minute Teacher
*7 Habits of Highly Effective People
*Great Expectations
*Alas Babylon
*Multiple Intelligences
*The 7 Lesson School Teacher
*A market Approach to Education
*How Children Learn
*Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers
*The abolition of Man
*Understand the Times
*Shakespeare, five plays
*Uncle Tom’s Cabin
*The Forth Turning
The Whipping Boy
Book of Mormon

2004 books: (so good I didn't want to forget these!)

Lonesome Gods
The Little Prince
Laddie a True Blue story
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Glass Elevator
Stewart Little
Tuck Everlasting
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Hobbit series (Lord of Rings)
Charlotte’s Web
Little Britches
Endangered Minds
Pride and Prejudice
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands

2005 Book List

Finished in 2005:

The Chosen
The Fields of Home
Goose Girl
Princess Academy
Enna burning
The Matchlock Gun
The Giver
A light in the Attic
The Book of Mormon
What is Seen and not Seen (Essay)
80 days around the world
A Christmas Carol
Hal’s Moving Castle
Little House on the prairie
Little house in the Big Woods
Farmer Boy
On the Banks of Plum Creek
On the shores of Silver Lake
The long Winter
Narnia-Lion Witch Wardrobe
The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle
My side of the Mountain
Sarah Plain and Tall
Caleb’s Story
The Princess and the Goblin
White Fang
Where the Red Fern Grows
An Education for our time
The Merchant of Venice
Number the Stars
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Jane Eyre
Les Miserables
The return of the King
Treasure Island
Ella Enchanted
The Door in the Wall
The secret Garden
Carry on Mr. Bowditch
Talking with Dragons
Dealing with Dragons
Life of Pi
The Ordinary Princess
Ender’s Game
Ender’s Shadow
Mary Poppins (not Disney version)
The Red Scarf Girl
Harry Potter an the Sorcerer’s stone
Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter an the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
James and The Giant Peach
Rising Tiger
The Hiding Place
The Surrendered Wife

The New Year has begun without me...

I don't know where I was but I wasn't here when the new year started. I think I was still back getting ready for Christmas. I can't keep up.I haven't made even one New Years Resolution. Just a few tiny ones that I don't want to think about or write down yet...

I have been reading a book. It is really bad and really good. Love Hate type of book. I can't stop thinking about it but I wish I could. It is also eternally long. I am stuck somewhere in the middle of over 1000 pages. I keep reading but never move out of the middle of the book. I can't get anything done because I would rather be reading. Some might think it is a mutated form or depression or my mind has been seized by aliens. I think subconsciously I just need to take a break.

I can't take a break the new year has already started!!! I was left behind somewhere and pretend like I don't care but that word keeps coming back, "Responsibility". UHHHGGG. I have a family, 3 kids and a husband, a pesky cat that adopted us on our porch, and a fish. I can't just take a break! Who would feed them? Who would clean up after them and do the laundry and dishes and find their shoes? Who would make sure they thrive?

I'm the chairman of two small organizations and this Saturday it all comes to a critical pinnacle. I need to be ready to present and distribute material for these two organizations to move forward this year. I would rather be reading a book.So I sit here and start a blog about nothing and about something. It is the new year! What have I got to loose? ....oh yeah, time doing my resposibilites...