Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Waiting to be Read...

Received some gift cards to the bookstore for my birthday and now I can't wait to start reading away...

The False Prince:  Sage is a street-savvy orphan, and along with two other boys he is recruited by Conner, a nobleman who wants to remake them in the image of their country’s lost prince, a victim of pirates and presumed dead. The task is urgent, as the rest of the royal family has been murdered and civil war seems imminent. As the boys, chosen for their passing resemblance to Prince Jaron,who was killed by pirates, compete to assume a new identity and the throne, Sage discovers some unpleasant truths about their host, beyond his treasonous plans to pass one of them off as royalty.

Since taking this picture, I have read this book and it only took me three days. It was a page turner and had several plot twists...which I love!  It is written for fourth to seventh grade level, but as an adult, I pleasantly surprised by the excellent twits that I didn't see them coming!  It is actually a trilogy and after I finished this book, I headed straight to the library for the second book, The Runaway King.

(Well, I really didn't run straight to the library. I had to wait a few days until it was bring a can for every dollar you owe on a library fine. i was glad to see that I wasn't the only one carry a sack full of non-perishable goods around that library that evening.)

The Shoemaker's Wife: The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.

Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso.

I love epic novels that spans over many years...I think this may need to be my summer read! I can read with one hand and throw balls to Moose with the Sam-a-pult in the other hand!

The Light Between Oceans: After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

My  mom read this and said it was very interesting and grabs your attention...

Reconstructing Amelia:  Litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron is stunned when her daughter's exclusive private school in Park Slope, Brooklyn, calls with disturbing news: her intelligent, high-achieving fifteen-year-old daughter, Amelia, has been caught cheating.

Kate can't believe that Amelia, an ambitious, levelheaded girl who's never been in trouble would do something like that. But by the time she arrives at Grace Hall, Kate's faced with far more devastating news. Amelia is dead.

Seemingly unable to cope with what she'd done, a despondent Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of "spontaneous" suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. And overwhelmed as she is by her own guilt and shattered by grief, it is the story that Kate believes until she gets the anonymous text:

She didn't jump.

Sifting through Amelia's emails, text messages, social media postings, and cell phone logs, Kate is determined to learn the heartbreaking truth about why Amelia was on Grace Hall's roof that day-and why she died.

This book is said to be the Gone Girl book of this summer.

The Twelve: A small group of survivors clinging to life amidst a world transformed into a nightmare. In the second volume of this epic trilogy, this same group of survivors, led by the mysterious, charismatic Amy, go on the attack, leading an insurrection against the virals: the first offensives of the Second Viral War.

To do this, they must infiltrate a dozen hives, each presided over by one of the original Twelve. Their secret weapon: Alicia, transformed at the end of book one into a half human, half viral—but whose side, in the end, is she really on?

This is the second book of a trilogy. The first book, The Passage, is one of my top 5 books! I can't wait to read this one!!

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Boy and His Suitcase...

My dad gave Jack and old attache case that he was no longer in need of.

Jack LOVES this suitcase.  He takes it everywhere and puts random things in it.

On Saturday we went shopping and Jack brought his suitcase in the car.

Just in case he bought anything, he could keep it safe in his attache case!

This night, he was headed to bed and pulled his blankies out of the suitcase where he had been keeping them. He does have to tell us what he puts in his suitcase in the event that he would forget what he had put in there.

Because he wouldn't be able to open it and look inside the suitcase.

And because Jack has told us many times, "I have short term memories, mom."

Yes, memories.


Friday, April 26, 2013


I am driving out of our lane.
 I stop and look left
and then I look right...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

This BIG NASTY earthworm was on my windshield!  Totally gross! I got a pen and flicked it off into the grass. I called Jason and told him my theory of one day a snake being able to crawl on my windshield could really happen because I just flicked off a ginormous earthworm. 

His response, "How did it get there?"


"It flew, Jason."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Eyes...

When Sam wears a blue shirt, his eyes look SO blue.

Jack had this little number on the other day and sits down and asks me a question...in all seriousness.

"Mom, does this tie bring out the color in my eyes?"

Before I can say anything, Sam tells him, "Yea, if you want to have purple striped eyes!"

Got to love an older sibling.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Grand Blue Mile...

Last night, our family headed down to Grand Avenue to participate in the Grand Blue Mile for the Drake Relays.

It is a fun run, meaning that you don't have to run it...just go at your own pace!
Needless to say, Jack's pace last night was no way, Jose, am I going to run.
So, Jack and I were spectators. 
Which was okay by me. I'd just take pictures of the entire event.

Sam and Jason did participate!  It was cold cold cold!!

So I didn't want to take my mittens off to take lots of pictures. 

I know...lame.

Jack and I watched from the starting line...to the finish line...

At the starting line, I saw a friend and missed the boys run by due to my talking!

At the finish line, for some reason, I did not see them cross over. 
At one point, Jack suggested that we get a bit closer to the finish line and I believe that is when Sam and Jas crossed.

I know...lame.
So these are all my pictures of the Grand Blue Mile.

Sweet Sam, "There's always next year mom."


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cheer Us On!!

Tonight we are to run the Drake Relays Grand Blue Mile!

Actually, Jason and Sam are going to RUN the mile.

Jack and I are going to follow the advice on the t-shirt...."YOUR PACE."

Which means Jack will run an all out sprint for about 100 meters and then walk the rest of the way.

Which means I will try to keep up with him, yelling "JACK!! JACK!!! Wait for me!!"

Then I'll  be super happy on the inside when we start to walk or skip the rest of the way!

Monday, April 22, 2013


First, I want to take this opportunity to apologize to all the parents who had me as their child's teacher.  If I were to do it over again, I would NEVER have given so many projects to complete at home! My sincere apologies!!

Sam comes home and announces that he needs to make a simple machine...by Monday.
Seriously?? we already had to make the leprechaun trap simple machine in third grade!
Now I can do posters, speeches, articles...but I draw the line when we have to build something.  Jason...your turn.

Off I went to work at Memory Bound and when I got home, Sam and Jason had created a pretty amazing catapult made specifically to toss balls for Moose! It was fabulous and actually very light to lift! Important when having to carry to and from school!

Sam was very proud of his invention (oh...mental note...keep catapult for future invention unit, just spray paint it!) Moose ran after so many balls this day, that she can barely keep her eyes opened!

The proper way to shoot a tennis ball from the sam-a- pult!

Moose gets so excited!!!

And look how far it goes!!

This will be awesome to have when sitting in a comfy chair on the patio, with a cool drink and some music playing in the background.

Now I just need to get Moose to bring the ball back.

Or, buy a ton of tennis balls.

I am going with option two.

Friday, April 19, 2013


To make moose's bed more comfy, we stack blankets on her bed.  She LOVES the white vikings blanket, but DOES NOT want the fleece!  She will pull that blanket off every time it is on her bed. 

Jack saw the fleece blanket in a little pile after Moose had laid down for bed. He thought she would enjoy a good, nice, tight "tuck in"...with the FLEECE!!

She was not happy. She didn't move.

"Oh please, get this off of me."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Steve the Egg...

Remember Steve, the egg, from Easter?

He made a surprise visit!

In Mooses' treat jar!

"OH NO!  Help me!"

Actually is was a muffled sound, "oh no! help me!"

We need warm weather.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Look at me...please.....

Moose....I REALLY don' t want to do this to you!

It's for the best.

PLEASE look at me! Please!

 Moose has loved her freedom of being able to roam freely around our yard. We loved that she was able to roam around freely.  Unfortunately, her buffalo roaming days are over. When Moose roams, she roams for two hours. Then she won't eat when she gets home because she has filled her tummy with...something. And then she gets sick about 24 hours later.  Not just sick, but SICK SICK SICK. Major accidents in the house, which is SO not like her...unless she has been roaming the range.

Moose...this is for your own good. 

PLEASE look at me!!!

When she roams, she goes off and ends up eating something.  I have no idea what it is that she was eating. I could be a dead deer or dead antelope. It could be food from the raccoon traps our neighbors set. What ever it is, I don't like the way it come out of her body after 24 hours.

She was so sick last time, that we decided it was time to chain her up. So, if she goes outside on her own, she has to be chained up.  I HATE THIS!! But, we are afraid she is going to eat something that will make her very sick and she won't get better.

So when she goes outside, she won't look at me.


I yell, "TREAT!?"

HAHA!! Got you to look at me, Mo Mo D!"

(Mo Mo D. is Moose's rapper name that Jack gave her.
Short for Moose Moose dog.
Not to be confused with goose goose duck!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Swing Batter Batter...

Baseball season for Jack is just around the corner. So since the weather has been amazing, we have been outside working on his swing! We told Jack to go get his bat...we waited and waited.  He FINALLY came out of the garage with full gear on...bat, helmet and his new cleats! 

"Mom, this helmet is way too small and hurts my ears!"
I thought he was saying, "What? What? I can't hear you?"

Sam tried to pitch a few balls. I have no idea where the ball is in this picture.  Sam just threw it and Jack didn't hit it...

Jack needed to swing harder, so we told him to swing like he was hitting the head off a zombie!  It worked a little too well. He lost his balance after his big swing!

Jason came in to get the practice under control and assigned us jobs.  Jason would pitch, I was the catcher and would throw missed balls to Sam, who was assigned to stand behind Jason and get hit balls...and ones I didn't quite throw directly to him.  Jack really hung in there and was finally able to hit some balls!

This is our ball girl.  She would go after the balls and actually bring them back. It was awesome!  the only bad thing was they were nasty slobbery.  I knew when Sam would get one of those because he would suddenly yell, "AH! YUCK!!"

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shopping with Jack...

Jack helped me with picking up a few items at the store the other day.

He insisted on putting certain items in his cart.

His cart looks like mine and Jason's did in college. Applesauce, Cream Soda and Margaritas!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mother of Boys...

And I wouldn't have it any different.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Love the boys in their plaid shirts!
Notice how Sam's is all buttoned up nicely.
Jack, on the other hand, has a white tee and not one button is buttoned!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Phi Sammy Slamma..

The weather was great this weekend, so we spent a lot of time outside! Saturday, we did yard work (YUCK!) But on Sunday, we ate dinner outside and then played!!!

That is when Phi Sammy Jamma showed up!!

We put the basketball hoop at 7 feet and started slam dunkin"!

The pictures crack me up, because he is so straight!!
 Moose was sitting with me watching the show and I caught her back in a few pics.

When we were in Junior high a bunch of friends would get together and spend the afternoon Phi Slammin' Jammin'!

I showed my jammin' skills once this evening, and I am still as ungraceful as I was in junior high!

Sam has more skills then his mom...

Here Jason is alley oopin the ball to Sam!

Of course, Jason had to re-live some slammin' memories!

His best Micheal Jordan!

The end...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cinnabon Coffee cake...

Sam has been helping in the kitchen lately.  He LOVES to make mac n' cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. He has learned this from ME!! I believe that everyone should be able to make "staple" lunches. Now on the other hand, Jason has taught him how to bake and some other "advanced" kitchen skills.

For Easter, Jason helped Sam make a Cinnabon Coffee Cake. It was seriously awesome!! It was so good that my dad had two helpings on Easter and then wanted to take some home with him...that has NEVER happened with one of my...I mean one of our dishes!! Even my mom has been after ME wanting to get the recipe...which is included below!  Sam and Jack had leftover cake for breakfast the next morning! It is some seriously good cake.

A close up of this dreamy goodness! Sorry about the nasty pan in the background.  I made egg souffle (I seriously made it!!) and someone likes mushroom soup to put on the souffle.  I don't know who likes the mushroom soup, because I don't think anyone use any!

If you want to try out the Cinnabon Coffee Cake, click on the link below.
 Don't check out the calorie count!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Weekend in KC...

Over spring break, we headed to Kansas City for a long weekend...

The boys were super excited and enjoyed a ride on our cart up the elevator.

We walked around on the Plaza the first afternoon and evening.  It was 82 degrees..perfect!!! We ate lunch at our favorite dive, "Fred P. Otts.' jack enjoyed some ROOT beer.

Sam watched the first day of March Madness.

Since it was so nice, the boys wore shorts to show off their pale scaly legs!! Jack was SO happy!! Just love his super big toothy grin!

That night Jason and I ordered calamari (because we love it) but mostly just to gross out the boys!!

Yea, whatever, Sam!!

Sam practiced tying a tie. Jason had showed him how the week before...he's still practicing.

Jack told Sam, "Just wear one of these. You don't even need to tie it!  I look like James Bond after he goes on a mission!"

When we get back to the hotel, Jack prefers to make a "nest" on the floor beside Sam, instead of sleeping with Sam.

According to Jack, Sam takes  up the entire bed.  Doesn't look like he does!!!

The next day was back to reality with the weather. We walked to the Starbucks on the Plaza and had hot chocolates.

"Make mine a grande," Sam said, then in a lower voice, "but still at kids temp. please"