Jan 25, 2011

Courage and Faith

Adam's class has recently held some impromptu discussions on religion.  Last Thursday, Adam came home and announced that he was going to give a Book of Mormon to his teacher.  We pulled a Book of Mormon from the shelf and talked to Adam about his testimony.  He spent a couple of days thinking and praying about what he wanted to say.  On Sunday, he wrote his testimony in the front of the book and on Monday he gave the book to his teacher.  She was surprised that he wasn't just lending the book to her, but that it was her copy to keep.  She promised Adam she would read it.  I could only hope for the same kind of courage and faith he exhibited this week.

Jan 15, 2011

Books I'd like to read...

I read quite a few books last year and I wish I would have kept a list of the books and authors.  I did read the "Hunger Games".  I also started a series called "City of Ember".    This year I have a list of books I would like to read, including these:

Okay, the truth is: I have already read "Tiger's Quest" by Colleen Houck.  It is book two in her tiger series.  The first book is "Tiger's Curse" which I started and finished the day after Christmas.  I neglected all my other responsibilities while reading both books.  These books are labeled young adult ficiton, making them both a quick read.  To find out more about these books or the author, go here.  For the record, Colleen currently lives in Salem, Oregon but grew up with her family in Tucson, Arizon, in Steven's ward/stake.  Congratulations to Colleen who originally self-published "Tiger's Curse" before being picked up by Sterling.  Just last week, she was #1 on Barnes & Noble Topsellers for teens.  Quite a journey.

Second truth: Andrew was sick this week and just wanted mom to sit on the couch next to him.  I took advantage of the time and read "Charlie St. Cloud" by Ben Sherwood.  I've been wanting to see the movie, but I like to read the books first.  As is almost the case for me, I'm glad I read the book first.  Steven brought the movie home from Redbox on Thursday and we watched it.  I have a friend who loves reading but when she gets to a part in a book that takes the book from PG to PG-13, if she owns the book, she'll get out a black sharpie and cross it all out.  If I owned "Charlie St. Cloud", I would have crossed out chapter 25.  The movie was not as revealing as the book in this case but both were decent entertainment.

I looked at the "Smoothies" recipe book.  Most recipes called for gin, tonic, or caro.  It's already gone back to the library. 

Not pictured are two more books I have already read: "Paint the Wind" by Pam Munoz Ryan (LOVED IT!) and "Diamond Willow" by Helen Frost.  These books are included in the Oregon Battle of the Books list for grades 3-5.  Adam read 15 of the 16 books.  I've tried to keep up with him.  It's a great way to read more authors and genres.  We've enjoyed reading the same books and talking about them.  He just finished "Theodore Boone" by John Grisham.  Yes-the same John Grisham of adult books but this one is for a younger audience.  It's now sitting on my nightstand waiting for me.  Adam tells me the end is a cliffhanger.  Hmmm...another book on the way?

So there you have it.  My beginning list.  I'm planning to write a post for book reviews.  Feel free to share your favorite reads.  And for the record-I'm halfway through the January Ensign.  :)  I also recommend it.

My Book List...

Books read in 2011:
Update as of October 3, 2011:
The Seventeen Second Miracle by Jason F. Wright
Cole Connor has become a patient teacher, and now he has invited three struggling teenagers to visit him on his front porch to learn about Rex Connor--and the Seventeen Second Miracle. Together they will learn how Rex Connor could have allowed seventeen seconds to destroy him, but instead he chose to live every day believing the smallest of acts could change the world for good.

I was disappointed with Jason's last book, "Recovering Charles" but I had loved "Christmas Jars"  and "The Wednesday Letters" so much I was quite willing to read this book.  I was not let down.  Seventeen Seconds...How many of those have I let slip away?  Clean read, good story, great moral lesson.

January 2011:
Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck
Kelsey Hayes takes up her college life again in Oregon, after having left India and the Indian prince she loves. She had saved him from a curse making him live in the form of a white tiger, but she had to leave him. Very soon, however, she is drawn back to India and Ren.

A young adult fiction book, easy to read, easy to get attached to so that when you start reading your house doesn't get cleaned, your family goes hungry, and you lose sleep until its done.  Yes, I liked this book.  It is a little bit Indiana Jones style adventure with some love and might I say, passion.  I appreciate that Kelsey is not a ditsy girl and the 3 male characters, Ren, Kishan, and Mr. Kadam are so respectful.  To learn more  about Colleen and her books go here.  Big congratulations to Colleen.  She self-published this book to begin with and just last week was #1 on Barnes & Noble topsellers!  You can see an interview with Colleen on the B&N website.

Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
The powerful bond between two brothers--one alive and the other killed in a terrible accident--unexpectedly transcends the barriers of life and death, and it is up to one woman to make their world right.

Good entertainment.  Glad I read the book before seeing the movie, but both were good.  I have a friend who also enjoys reading and when she gets to a part of a book that is not necessarily appropriate, she uses a sharpie to cross it out.  I didn't own this book, it came from our great library, but if I owned it, I would have crossed out chapter 25.  Some people might say, however, that without chapter 25, there would not have been such a connection, a bond, a reason for Charlie to make the decision that he did.

Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan
After her overprotective grandmother has a stroke, Maya, an orphan, leaves her extremely restricted life in California to stay with her mother's family on a remote Wyoming ranch, where she discovers a love of horses and encounters a wild mare that her mother once rode.  Maya learns the importance of honesty, trust, and family.

Juvenile fiction, but so good. I think I'll find more of her books to read.

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
Juvenile Fiction. 
In a remote area of Alaska, twelve-year-old Willow helps her father with their sled dogs when she is not at school, wishing she were more popular, all the while unaware that the animals surrounding her carry the spirits of dead ancestors and friends who care for her.

I love how this book is written.  The words in each page look like a diamond shape and Helen Frost has bolded words within the diamond to form another sentence implying Willow's real thoughts and feelings.  Clever.

Life Between the Keys: The (Mis)Adventures of The 5 Browns.
Biography.  This is simply a collection of stories written by the Brown siblings.  Not too enlightening.  But when it comes to their piano playing, they are a talented group.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
With two attorneys for parents, thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone knows more about the law than most lawyers do. But when a high profile murder trial comes to his small town and Theo gets pulled into it, it's up to this amateur attorney to save the day.  Thankfully, at 13 he is wise enough to realize he can't fix everything on his own.  Looking forward to book 2. 

The Color of My Words by Lynn Joseph
Juvenile Fiction
Twelve year old Ana Rosa wants to be a writer, but growing up in the Dominican Republic, a country where words are fears, proves a challenge.  Ana Rosa is the youngest member of her family but it is clear she is sincerely loved by her older siblings and parents.  In return, Ana Rosa is quite intuitive about her family, specifically her older brother Guario.  He works hard for the family and Ana Rosa wants to help him as he searches for his future.  Ana Rosa realizes the power of her words can transform the world she knows as well as help her comfort her as tragedy surrounds her.  Quick read-I read it while walking on the treadmill, but thoroughly enjoyed it.  My heart ached for Ana Rosa and her mother, Mami, as I read.  This was a recommendation from my 5th grader.  I'm looking forward to having a book talk with him when he gets home from school today.

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Rick Dockery, a NFL player, lets his hopes of playing in a Super Bowl slip away when he leads his team to a terrible loss.  His career in the NFL is over until his agent gets him a spot on a team in Parma, Italy.  I didn't ever get so attached to this book that I couldn't put it down, but I did eventually finish it.  I found this book to be a bit wordy and kept wondering where Grisham was headed.  His descriptions of Parma, Italy as well as the food gave me a desire to visit the region and find some good pasta. 

Books I hope to read:
The Help - I recommended this to my sister and she finished it before I've had a chance to even pick it up!
Fisher of Men series
The Diamond of Darkhold:  book 4 in the Book of Ember series
Eat, Pray, Love - maybe. I can't decide if I want to read it or not.    I have decided this book would not be worth my time. 
A good classic- maybe some Jane Austen.

Jan 7, 2011

What I feed my kids for breakfast

Benjamin: What cereal is that mom?
Mom: Well, it is called Fiber One Raisin Bran.
Benjamin:  I'll try it. 
Benjamin: (after taking a few bites) nevermind Mom, it has rocks in it.

Another time...
Benjamin (while looking through all the cereal options, and then looking at regular Fiber One):  hmmm, twigs.

Andrew: I'll have the Grape-Nuts please.
Andrew: (4 bites in to the cereal)  Mom, I don't want this cereal, it tastes like dirt.

So there you have it.  I feed them rocks, twigs, and dirt.