Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book #61 - Wondrous Strange

Wondrous Strange
Lesley Livingston

Blurb: 17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks... In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley's off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.  (from Goodreads)
Length:  Medium - 336 pages

Notes:  There must be a lot about mythical creatures that has been written that I don't know about, because I'll think that one author made something up just to read something similar in a different book by a different author.  This book is another filled with mythical creatures from another world - I can't believe how many of these I've read this year!!  And really, I guess I can say the same thing about most of them - they are good books.  I'm not going to say it was the best book I've read this year, but it definitely had it's moments and kept me reading.  Once again, a little bit predictable, but the ending was not quite as I predicted.  I know there is a sequel, and maybe more than that?  But I do plan on reading the sequel!

Random quote : "Believe me, Kelley. If I’m not…it’s because I’m already dead.” He stroked her hair, and she could feel his breath warm on her forehead, like a kiss. “Because anyone that would seek to hurt you would have to kill me first."

Recommend: yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finally Legal

Today, our 2nd car went from this:

to this:


With Josh's last job, he had a company truck, so our 2nd car sat in the driveway the whole time, never getting used.  We actually contemplated selling it, but never did.  And then when he lost his job, we were both at home, so we would just use the 1 car, not needing the 2nd car.  And by this point, we were really watching our spending, so licensing this car wasn't on the top of our priority list.  But then I started working, and it was a whole different story.

Josh was home most days with Abbi, but I hated leaving him stranded.  He would take me to work sometimes, I would take the car, leaving him stranded sometimes, and yes - I did drive illegally a few times.  But today, Josh was feeling really sick, so I stayed home from work to take care of Abbi.  First thing on my agenda - licensing the car!  I had actually been working on it for a few weeks, but first of all, it didn't pass safety.  I had to get something fixed on the muffler, so it took me a few days to get that taken care of.  Then I had to go and have it re-tested.  And then I knew I'd have to drive down to the DMV to get it licensed.  (Do you understand now why it took so long??)  But today, we have 2 cars that are legal and I no longer have to worry!

Monday, September 27, 2010

16 Weeks

This week, the baby is about the size of an avocado - 4 1/2 inches, and weighing in at about 3 1/2 ounces.  But the biggest news is:

It's a BOY!!

I got a surprise ultrasound at the doctor last week, and we were able to find out the sex of the baby!  It was kind of a fluke that I even got an ultrasound.  I was talking to the doctor, and I asked him what the chances are of him finding out that there are twins before an ultrasound.  I didn't think I had twins, but I had lots of twin dreams at the beginning of my pregnancy, and so I was just curious.  He stepped out into the hallway for a moment, and pulled in the portable ultrasound!  He said that it was sitting out there, so we could check, just to make sure.  After verifying that there was only 1 - which I really knew there was only 1 - I told him that I did think it was a boy, though.  He said that he would see if he could tell, but since I was only 15 1/2 weeks along, he wouldn't give me any guarantees.  But the baby cooperated, and we got a good look!  The doctor still said he wouldn't give me a guarantee, but he'd give me a 90%!  I was so excited, but a little sad that Josh wasn't there with me when I found out.  I quickly called him when I left to tell him the news.  I don't think I could have given him better news!  We are both so grateful to have this little guy join our family.  Now to go and think of boy names...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finn's 2nd Birthday Party

 I can't believe that little Finn is already 2!!  We celebrated his birthday with a party with his cousins - and wow - did they all have fun!  The afternoon was filled with fun, food and games.

Of course the day had to start off playing outside.  Abbi loves the swing!

And so does Sydney!!

There was fun in the bounce house.

Although Abbi's not really a fan.  She lasted about 15 seconds in there, and won't go back in now...

And of course there was food.  No baseball party is complete without peanuts,

Cracker Jacks, hot dogs

and soda!

I love that these kids all love hanging out with their cousins so much.

Then the games started!  First up - throwing the bean bag.

Then a game of Pin the Ball on the Baseball Field!

Kirra got a little turned around!!

Then all the kids got to draw different kinds of balls.

It's art time!

And the star of the show?  The baseball pinata.  The minute it came out, these kids were excited!

The birthday boy got to go first, then all the kids got to swing at the ball, starting at the youngest.

When it finally came to Megan's turn, she bashed that ball until it no longer was a ball!

The kids went crazy over the candy.  (You should have seen Abbi gather up that candy.  She ended up with a bag full!)


And last but not least was blowing out the candles on his baseball cake.


Happy birthday Mr. Finn!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

{Abbi-a-Day} Days 260-266

 It's bath time!

 Showing off her new shoes.

 Playing with Finn through the glass door.

 This is what happens when you put Abbi in the vicinity of any bush with berries.  Juice everywhere!!

 Super bad quality picture, but I love it anyway!  Love that smile!

Silly girl!  (And no, I didn't dress her in that!)

Abbi loves to be outside, even if she is fenced in!

Monday, September 20, 2010

15 Weeks

I haven't been that great at keeping notes on this pregnancy - probably because my life seems so crazy busy compared to the first time around!!  I actually can't believe that I'm already 15 weeks along.  This baby is going to be here before I know it!  So I thought I'd try to keep a weekly update on how the baby and I are doing and progressing.

This week, the baby is about 4 inches long - the size of an apple - and weighs 2 1/2 ounces.  You would think this baby is a lot bigger by how big I feel!!  My clothes are already incredibly uncomfortable, so the maternity clothes are starting to come out.  I'm feeling a lot better - not nearly as sick.  It's been a relief to not have to feel like I need to eat every 10 seconds - now I just have to eat every hour!

I have a doctor's appointment this week - can't wait to hear the little heartbeat!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book #60 - Hearts in Hiding

Hearts in Hiding
Betsy Brannon Green

Blurb: Devastation, betrayal, self-pity, anger- none of these words do any justice to the tangle of emotions Kate Singleton is experiencing. Married just over a year, with a baby on the way, Kate learns that her husband, and FBI agent, is dead. To top it off, the same people who murdered her husband have a contract on her head.

With the help of the FBI, Kate flees with little more that the clothes on her back. And in no time at all, they provide her with new clothes, a new home, a new name, and. . . a new husband.

But this is only the beginning of Kate's adventure. Before it's through, there will be a kidnapping, true love, and enough suspense to keep any reader turning pages long after bedtime. (from Goodreads)
Length:  Medium - 299 pages

Notes:Ok, I first have to say that this is a total LDS book.  There are many "missionary moments" that some people might find kind of corny - but it is definitely LDS fiction.  But it was really entertaining.  Perfect for an audio book because it wasn't really deep, but the story kept you interested.  It was predictable and unpredictable, all at the same time.  A super clean, just fun book.

Random quote :Well, I don't have one! I returned this before I did the review, and I can't find any online!

Recommend:  yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

{Abbi-a-Day} Days 253-259

 She loves following her daddy around!

 You can't really tell from this picture, but this is how meal time normally is for Abbi - food all over the place, including in her hair...

 I so wish this picture wasn't so blurry, because this was hilarious!!  She wanted to go outside, so Josh told her that she needed to get dressed first.  She disappeared into her room, and came out wearing swim diapers on her arms and legs!!  What a silly girl!!

 Going for a walk.

 I obviously didn't take this picture, but Josh stole this shot when Abbi and I had fallen asleep in the chair together.  I guess we were both exhausted!

Playing on the bed - trying to put on any clothes she can find!

Hanging out at Nana and Gump Gump's house ready for bed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Whole Story

I've been working on catching up on my blog, so please excuse me while I do a current post right now. I have some posts that I need to back date to completely catch up, but I just had to get this off my chest while it is on my mind and heavy on my heart.

I got a comment on here just a few minutes ago. On my post where I announced that I am pregnant. And it made me cry. It made me sad. It made me wonder why people judge without knowing the whole story.

I've been thinking a lot whether or not to post about our pregnancy story. It's very near and dear to my heart, and has been one of the most spiritual experiences I've had in my life before. I hesitate only because it is a personal, spiritual experience, and I know that some people that may read here may not share the same faith as me. I would hate for someone to discount my faith and my beliefs and make little of something that is close to me. But after that comment, I decided that I do need to share.

So here it is - the whole story.

Josh and I have loved being parents. Abbi is the greatest thing that has ever come into our lives, and I cannot imagine being happy without her. We've both said many times that if we knew how wonderful being parents was going to be, we would have started a long time ago! Since neither of us are spring chickens, we decided to try to have our kids about 2 years apart. That way, we could complete our family before our late 30s. But when it came time to start trying for #2, we found ourselves in a situation that wasn't particularly ideal. Josh was unemployed, and life was hard. We tried for a few months with nothing happening. And then one month, a particularly hard month, we both sat down and had the discussion - now was not the time to be bringing a child into this world. We were barely making it on our own. There really was no way to have a baby in these circumstances.

That night, I cried. I was sad. Sad because of the situation, sad becasue our plan wasn't working out like it was supposed to. But while I was busy being sad, a scripture that Josh had read outloud the previous morning - well before our conversation - kept coming into my mind:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do
the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no
commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
(1 Nephi 3:7)

At first, I didn't realize why this kept coming to my mind. But after a few moments of being stubborn, it made more sense. In our church, we believe that we are supposed to bring children to this earth, that it is all part of the Plan of Salvation. It is a commandment. When I put 2 and 2 together, I prayed. And then I knew. I knew - plain as day - that we were not supposed to wait. I knew that there was a child up there waiting to come to us. Not waiting until next month, or next year, but now. And I knew that Heavenly Father would "prepare a way."

So needless to say, without really trying, 2 weeks later I learned that I was pregnant. And honestly, I wouldn't have even had to take a pregnancy test - I already knew that I was pregnant. I knew that this baby was sent to us at the right time. Even though the timing seems so wrong because of the situtation we are in, Heavenly Father knows that the time is right.

Now, I'm not perfect, and this has truly been a trial of my faith. I know that I need to have faith that everything will work out, and some days I really struggle with that, but I can't doubt the divine circumstances in which this baby is coming to us.

The comment that I received, (which I deleted because this is my happy place and I really don't want things that make me cry on this blog), commented about how we are being irresponsible and how it's not right that the taxpayers are going to have to pay for this baby. I just want to point out (and maybe I'm being prideful and shouldn't even care what people think), that I have my own private insurance, that I have been paying for since I lost my insurance at my last job. I am paying for this baby, the government is not. I am not on food stamps, and I recieve no government assistance. I am working. Yes, it is only part time, but I took what I could get. I also make a small amount of money from my food blog and from my photography. We live in an old, small house, we do not spend lavishly. We are doing everything in our power to get out of this situation. Josh has several job interviews set up this week, and hopefully, we'll be up and back on our feet long before this baby comes. So no, I don't think we are being irresponsible at all. And no, the taxpayers are not going to pay for this baby. And yes, the situation isn't ideal, but it is right. Maybe everyone won't agree, but I know it is right, and that is all that matters to me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book #59 - Specials

Scott Westerfeld

Blurb: "Special Circumstances."  The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor -- frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.  And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.  The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.  Still, it's easy to tune that out -- until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same..(From Goodreads)
Length: Medium- 372 pages

Notes: The was originally called the last of the "Uglies" trilogy, although it looks like there is a fourth book, but just following different characters.  I liked this one better than the second book, but I still think I liked the first book the best.  This was entertaining, but the ending still felt pretty wide open.  I'm glad I read the whole series, though!

Random quote : "Be careful with the world , or the next time we meet, it might get ugly."

Recommend: Yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

{Abbi-a-Day} Days 246-252

I think that the longer I do these pictures, the worse they are getting! Probably because I quickly snap a shot or two in the evening... Like this one. Blurry, blurry.

Oh, my crazy haired girl. I just can't control this mane!

Pretty girl ready for church

Stealing fruit and playing with the dogs in Nana and Gump Gump's yard

The cheesy face!

She loves muffins!

Abbi's newest favorite thing is watching Dora on the computer. She always wants Dora!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Book #58 - A Great and Terrible Beauty

Libba Bray

Listened to the Audio Version

Blurb: Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.(From Goodreads)

Length: Long - 403 pages

Notes: This is one that I actually think I would have liked better if I would have read the book instead of listening to the audio version.  The narrator was British, which fit since the characters were British, but something about her voice really started to get to me about half way through the book.  But it was a good book.  Not great, but entertaining.  Good enough that I want to continue reading the series, though, and see where it leads.  This is classified as a teen book, but I would not recommend it for teens.  There are a few parts that are a bit questionable, and one scene in particular that even embarrassed me a little bit.  

Random quote : "How I'd love to get away from here and be someone else for a while in a place where no one knows or expects certain things from me."

Recommend: Yes

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Minute to Win It

 For Labor Day, my family went camping.  I had a photo session that weekend and just too much going on, so I wasn't able to go, but I did join them for some fun on Sunday afternoon. 

On the agenda was:

Minute to Win It games!

We had a lot of fun and some good laughs playing the games!

Game #1 -Face the Cookie

1) When the clock starts, player may grab the first cookie and place it on the forehead.

2) The cookie must remain in contact with the face (i.e. player may not toss the cookie from the forehead and catch it in the mouth).

3) If a cookie falls, player may reset an intact cookie on the forehead for the next attempt.

4) To complete the game, the player must hold an intact cookie 3 times with his or her mouth within the 60-second time limit.

Game #2 - Movin' on Up

1) Set up the stack of cups so that there's 1 red cup with 39 blue cups stacked on top of it.

2) When the clock starts, player may grab a single cup from the top of the stack and place it on the bottom of the stack.

3) Player must use 1 hand to grab each cup, and must alternate hands with each cup.

4) If more than 1 cup is removed at a time, player must place all cups that are outside of the stack back on top of the stack before continuing.

5) Player must play the game from a standing position.

6) To complete the game, the red cup must be placed on the bottom after traveling through the stack, and the stack must be held in 1 hand at the red cup within the 60-second time limit.
 Game #3 - Hanky Panky

1) When the clock starts, player may grab the first tissue.

2) Player must use the same hand to pull the tissues for the entire game.

3) Player's fingers may not enter the box.

4) To complete the game, player must empty the box, pulling the final tissue within the 60-second time limit.

 Game #4 - Bobblehead

1) After the headband/pedometor is on the head, the device is set to zero in steps mode.

2) When the clock starts, , player may begin head and body motion without touching the pedometer to register "steps."

3) If the pedometer/headband moves, the player may stop motion to prevent it from falling off, re-adjust the headband, then continue.

4) To complete the game, player must record 125 "steps" within the 60-second time limit.

 Game #5 - Junk in the Trunk

1) Fill the tissue box with ping-pong balls, then attach tissue box to the back of belt. Put on the belt with the tissue box sitting at the small of the back.

2) When the clock starts, player may begin moving body to shake the ping-pong balls out.

3) Player's hands or arms may not touch the box or belt.

4) Player may only touch the floor with his or her feet.

5) To complete the game, player must get all 8 ping-pong balls out of the box within the 60-second time limit.

Game #6 - Bite Me

1) Set up the game by cutting each grocery bag to a different height (10", 8", 6", 4", and 2") on the floor, right side up.

2) When the clock starts, player may attempt to pick up the tallest bag and may only touch the floor with his or her feet.

3) If player touches the ground with some body part other than the feet while attempting to grab a bag, he or she must reset by standing up before making another attempt.

4) To complete the game, player must have all 5 bags concurrently on the table within the 60-second time limit.

Even Asher wanted to get in on some of the fun of this game!  It's funny how little kids really do mimic what other people do!

And just because she's so cute, I had to stick a picture of Abbi on here!!