Wednesday, April 11, 2018

First Quarter Reading

It was a good quarter of reading for me. My book club changed from being an "official" Relief Society group to just being an informal group of friends and it has been the best thing ever! We meet once a month at night after our kids are in bed and talk for hours - usually 5 minutes or less about the book and the rest of the time about whatever we want. It provides just enough motivation for me to read the books, but isn't too serious for those who aren't totally in it for the books, but just want to hang out.


1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Convicted killer, Sirius Black, has escaped from Azkaban and many believe he's out to get Harry. This is the only book I read with the kids that I'm counting toward my personal reading goal since it's much longer than the other books I read with them. As always, it was fun to experience the next Harry Potter in the series with the kids for their first time.

2. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. The Oregon born-and-raised creator of Nike tells the story of his world famous shoe company. I listened to this one while quilting and consequently found a lot of time to sneak away to my craft room. I feel like I would have liked it before I moved to Oregon, but I did enjoy it even more knowing a lot of the places he talks about - especially Hayward Field since the kids and I got to run on that track last year.

3, 4, 5. To All the Boys I've Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han. The letters Lara Jean has written to five boys she has loved over the years (and stowed away for herself) somehow get sent out and suddenly her love life goes from imaginary to out of control. Janssen talks about these books constantly on her blog and Instagram and I finally got around to reading them when we chose to read the first one for our book club. Then I decided not to read the book we chose to read last month and read the second and third ones instead. As I was getting close to finishing I was worried I wouldn't like how the third book ends, but happily I thought it was the perfect way to wrap up the series. I finished and immediately wanted to read them again, so the Easter bunny put them in my Easter basket.


6. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Each year near the end of October, the water horses start to emerge from the ocean signaling the start of the yearly Scorpio Races. Puck never intended to become the first female racer, but soon she finds herself training to race for her very life. This was a book club pick that I was not expecting to like at all. I didn't even start listening to it until a couple days before book club and then I was quickly sucked in and found every opportunity to listen (and came very close to finishing before we met).


7. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Annabel's life is basically a total mess and she's holding in a terrible secret. When she has no one else, Owen comes into her life and makes all the difference. I suggested we read a Sarah Dessen book for book club and since I haven't read all of them, we decided to read one I hadn't read yet. This one came up when we googled "best Sarah Dessen books," so we went with it. It ended up being kind of intense and I don't think any of my friends liked it. It wasn't my favorite book of hers, but I didn't hate it either. I begged everyone to giver her another chance before giving up on her since The Truth About Forever, Once and For All, and That Summer were among my favorite books I read last year.

After we listened to Wonder last year, the kids wanted to listen to more books in the car. We got Auggie & Me and we've pretty consistently had a book we're listening to in the car since then. We only listen when Corbyn, Peyton, and I are all in the car together. (And poor Rog catches random parts when he's in the car with us.) Since we're always listening to a book and both Corbyn and Peyton always have a chapter book that we're reading together, we've been getting through a lot of books! I'm not counting all of them towards my personal reading goal, but listing them here for memory sake.

Books We Listened to in the Car

Auggie & Me by R.J. Palacio. Stories that give a look at Auggie’s world through three new points of view. It was especially interesting to hear Julian's side of the story.

The One and Only Ivan by Catherine Applegate. Ivan is a gorilla who lives in an enclosure in a shopping mall who paints pictures that make a big difference. We listened to most of this book while we were driving around California after the Disneyland part of our trip. It was a little sad, but it has a happy ending.

Crenshaw by Catherine Applegate. A story about Jackson, his family, and an imaginary friend who comes to help Jackson while his family is going through a difficult financial time. We have a lot of homeless people who live in Oregon and this book made me stop and think about their stories. I think if we knew more about their lives, we probably wouldn't judge them so harshly.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Winn-Dixie is a dog who helps India Opal Buloni make new friends when she moves to a new town. I didn't love this book, but it wasn't terrible either. 

Corbyn's Picks

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl. A fun short story about a giraffe, a pelican, and a monkey who clean windows.

Secrets of Disneyland by Dinah Williams. I got this for Christmas and meant for us to read it before Disneyland, but we were reading Harry Potter, so we didn't get to it until after Disneyland. Most of the "secrets" we already knew, but it was still fun to read and it did include some facts we didn't know - like that it costs $75,000 to produce Fantasmic each night! We definitely need to read this again before we go to Disneyland, so we can look out for some of the things included in the book while we are there.

Who Was Walt Disney? by Whitney Stewart. We also read this after Disneyland while we were still on a Disney high. It was fun to learn more about Walt Disney's life.

Peyton's Picks

Meet Kirsten
Kirsten Learns a Lesson
Kirsten's Surprise
Happy Birthday Kirsten
Kirsten Saves the Day

My sister had Kirsten (the American doll) when we were growing up, so after we finished Samantha's books we started Kirsten's books (by Janet Shaw) and we made it through the first 5 this quarter. Kirsten is a girl who comes to America with her family from Sweden. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Flashback Friday - October 2016

In addition to our Utah Trip and Halloween, this is how we spent our October in 2016.

It was our first Conference away from Utah (and thus the Ririe Waffle Breakfast), so I made Waffle Love waffles with strawberries, homemade lemon curd, and whipped cream.

When there's a will, there's a way. Smart kids!

Corbyn and Rog enjoyed Donuts with Dad hosted by the PTO.

They had to leave earlier than the bus normally picked Corbyn up and I realized after they left that I had forgotten to pack Corbyn's snack in his backpack. So I loaded up Logan and Peyton and we drove it to them.

Peyton and I didn't want to be left out of the donut fun, so we got donuts at Krispy Kreme later that day.

Corbyn played soccer and we got to brave some rainy games to watch him.

Cougar Run training.

Date night swap with the Yates.

Beckett and Logan make a cute little pair!

Poor Peyton is a little outnumbered when the Yates are over.

I finally finished binding this quilt for our bed and took a bunch of pictures of it. It's this quilt, but doubled to fit on top of a king. 

We went to the East Portland Community Center for playgroup.

Rog surprised me with flowers.

He always gives one to Peyton and of course she loves that!

Corbyn ran in the jogathon and Peyton, Logan, and I got to go cheer him on. It was outside which was much better than it being inside even if it was a little foggy/wet.

His goal was to do 5 laps and he did 6!

I had to wear my glasses for a few weeks before my LASIK consultation. Running with glasses was not my favorite thing!

We had a funny, impromptu sumo wrestling match with our big stuffed animals as padding. 

Since Peyton was not in preschool, she worked on workbooks most mornings.

This Pp drawing cracked me up!

Brave kiddos for their flu shots.

Rog was a good sport to coach Corbyn's soccer team despite never playing himself. He was definitely ready to be done by the end of the season!

Go Flying Squirrels!

Life was a little simpler back then.