Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book Review: What a Mother Knows

I was lucky enough to get this book for free from Sourcebooks.  They even mailed me a physical copy!  I hadn't really read the blurb on it or anything; I just saw on their page that they were giving away free copies and I wanted one!  Hey, I will right-out admit that I am addicted to free books. 

I read the prologue.  My better judgement told me that I should put the book down and not continue.  While a sad book can still be a good book, it's also harder to digest, in my opinion.  And the first few pages are sad.  Why is it sad?  Two words: car crash.

Basically the mother in the story wakes up from a coma to find out that her daughter is missing and no one seems to be doing enough to find her.  She also finds out that she wasn't the only other person that was in the car the night that she crashed.  The bad news just starts to pile up.  But I don't want to give it all away.

This story is almost painful to read.  Some books I can't put down because they are so much fun to read.  This book, however, I tried to finish as quickly as I could so that my reader's anguish would stop.  Surely the ending would be happy, right?  Maybe?

I won't tell you how it ends.  If you're up for the journey of an overall sad story, read this one.  It's very well written.  The author did a wonderful job of telling the story.  It's just a bit exhausting to read.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Playing Hooky


Valentine’s Day.

And my 21st birthday.


Just another college day full of classes and more homework than is humanly possible.

…until Jason, my best-friend-since-kindergarten, shows up to take me out for the day.

Like old times: the two of us on a wacky adventure, playing hooky from real life. With his lopsided grin and tickets to a circus full of misfits and monsters, he introduces me to a whole new world—one full of magic and mystery—and turns my reality upside down.

Except nothing goes as planned, and we end up running through the city to find a missing siren before someone brews a love potion with her blood.

Sirens and love potions, witches and elves, and Valentine kisses. Nothing will be the same for me again.

My Two Cents:
The first thing that I need to say about this book is that it's too short!  There, I just had to get that out of my system.  This is a fun novella that needs more.  I need a sequel to this story, in the form of a full-length novel.  The ending was not concrete enough for me, so surely there will be more, right?  I had some unanswered questions at the end.

This story is about a boy and a girl, who have been friends forever, but never delved into a romantic relationship.  And he has a secret.   Then there's a twist.  And along the way, some unicorns show up.  You know, the usual college scene.

If you try reading the book with logic on your mind, Playing Hooky might frustrate you.  The reader needs to just dive right in with an open mind, ready to accept whatever happens in the story.  Are unicorns real?  Probably not.  (If they do exist, I really hope that they poop rainbows)  But for the sake of this short read, let yourself believe.  I mean, elves probably aren't real, but all the people still love Lord of the Rings.  And Hogwarts?  Well, that still exists, and it's quite a happy place.  I haven't been there, but I've heard.

Snag a copy of this novella and let me know what you think.  I read it in one sitting, so it's not going to be much of a time commitment.  And who knows - you might find out that you like a new author!

About the Author:

Leaving the house to go to school, I had schoolbooks spilling out of one hand, the other holding my place in a Nancy Drew novel, and bunny slippers still on my feet. My mom was a wee bit upset.

I haven't changed much. Still always have a book (or two) in my hand or creating stories in my head, and although I don't have any bunny slippers, I love writing in my jammies and snuggly slipper socks.

When I grow up (maybe a hundred years from now), I'd like to be a superhero, but for now, saving the day, one page at a time, suits me just fine.

With my husband TJ (my own cuddly werewolf), I home-school our three girls, who keep us busy with art, science projects, books to read, dance classes, and walks about the park. 



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Friday, August 9, 2013

Daven Says

Potty training continues to frustrate everyone in our house. Daven has great days where he stays dry all day and others where he refuses to use the potty. 

Adam told Daven that if he pees in the potty he can have one piece of candy and two pieces for a poo. I told him that I had already tried candy, as well as stickers and the potty rocks we painted. But we'll give it a try again. 

Daven pooped in the potty tonight!  Adam went to dole out the candy. Daven picked out two pieces. But when Adam went to put away the bag, Daven stopped him. "And one for pee". 

Yep, he did pee in the potty as well, so Daven managed to work the system and get three pieces of candy out of his squat. We might have one crazy kid, but he's clever, too!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Camp Summer: Pirate Day

I wanted to come up with something fun for the last day with the girls before they went back to school.  We also had some extra "campers" for the day, and I knew that I needed to keep them as busy as possible.  So last minute, I threw together Pirate Day.

They dug for buried treasure in the sandbox.  You know those flat marble-looking things that people decorate their flower vases with that you can get at the dollar store?  That's what we used.  Karlyn hid them for me while I distracted the rest of the kids.  After they found their treasures, they buried them again!  I think this is as crowded as our sandbox has ever been!

Another activity that we did but that didn't work out as well as I had hoped was our sinking ships.  Earlier that morning I had filled an ice cube tray with water, added food coloring and stuck plastic wrap over it.  Then I poked coffee stir straws in and stuck it all in the freezer.  I made sails for the boats with card stock.

The problem was, I must have filled the tray too full because instead of having all different colored ice boats, they all looked brown and dingy from where all the colors ran together.  They didn't really float in the water either, since the water table was too shallow.  And the paper sails?  I shouldn't have bothered.  They were immediately worthless.  But even though the activity didn't turn out they way I had hoped, the kids still had fun with it.  They enjoyed watching the water turn colors and how quickly the ice cubes melted outside.

After a bit, I scooped the water out of the side compartment of the table and filled it with bubble solution.  It was a good thing I had a lot of it, because it kept getting diluted mixing with the water.  And I don't think it was that great to begin with.  What they really seemed to enjoy was playing in the suds!

After a long time outside, we went in, got cleaned up, and had popcorn for a snack.

While they were all contained at the table, I set out our pirate craft to do.  I had constructed pirate poppers earlier and they were ready to be decorated.  I also had a bag for each of them to decorate to put all of their stuff in.

Basically, it's a toilet paper roll, balloon and tape.  You tie off the balloon, cut the end off, and then stretch it over the roll and tape it.  We used pom poms as our ammo.  You may have seen this idea online as a marshmallow shooter, but I didn't want food all over the house, so we used something inedible and still safe to shoot around.

The day ended with a treasure hunt.  Karlyn made maps for the kids to follow around the house.  I made each of them a small treasure bag of candy, "treasure" from their dig earlier in the sandbox, and extra pom poms for their pirate poppers.

It was an exhausting day, but I think it went pretty darn well.  All of the kids appeared to have a good time, and I had fun as well :)