Monday, October 31, 2011

Your reluctant reader won't pass this up....

I have to give the credit to my once reluctant, now engaged, reader and oldest son, Josh for getting his brother into Brian Selznick's Wonderous world of Invention. Thanks to Josh for picking this book, his younger brother has now experienced that excitement of loving a story and completing an entire novel for the first time. What's so fascinating about this book is that it's 533 pages but only 1/5 of the book is text, the rest is told through images. So his month long assignment-crammed into four days-to read a 100 page novel felt like he read a Stephen King sized book without all the brain-ache. This book was on of Al's pick's on the Today Show Book Club and is soon to be a 3-Dmovie directed by Martin Scorsese (link to trailer) .

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

 (Goodreads description and link)
Orphan Hugo Cabret lives in a wall. His secret home is etched out in the crevices of a busy Paris train station. Part-time clock keeper, part-time thief, he leads a life of quiet routine until he gets involved with an eccentric, bookish young girl and an angry old man who runs a toy booth in the station. The Invention of Hugo Cabret unfolds its cryptic, magical story in a format that blends elements of picture book, novel, graphic novel, and film. Caldecott Honor-winning author-illustrator Brian Selznick has fashioned an intricate puzzle story that binds the reader like a mesmerist's spell.
On behalf of my two boys, I give this book Photobucket 5 stars!

Check out Brian Selznick's other books we've been collecting.....

The Robot King

Just in time for Halloween stories
Houdini - wow!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We've been Boo-ed!

A new activity has kicked off the fall season with the kids - Booing!  It's like Trick-or-Treating in reverse. While I was at work the family heard a knock, opened the door to see not a person but a poem with some candy attached:

Here's the link
BOO Sign/Poem - Ghost SilhouetteThe poem explains how you go to a neighbor's house, leave the treat with the poem and ring the bell and hide. If they hang the We've been Booed! sign then the rest of the neighborhood knows they've already received a Booing and could possibly be Booing next.

The kids are having a lot of fun with it and maybe it's not such a bad thing to practice giving rather than just Trick-or-Treating. Just think what you could do with this poem if you reworded it to reflect the giving spirit of Jesus just around the corner at Christmas rather than Halloween spirits...............

The air is cool, the season Fall
Soon Halloween will come to all
The spooks are after things to do
In fact, a spook brought this to you
"BOO" is a shield from witching hour
Just hang it up and watch its power
On your front door is where it hangs
It wards off spooks and bats with fangs
The treats that came with crypted note
Are yours to keep, enjoy them both
The power comes when friends like you
Will copy this and make it two
Then others here among our friends
Will give warm fuzzies that do not end
We'll all have smiles upon our faces
No one will know who "Boo"ed whose places
And don't forget a nifty treat,
Like something cute or something sweet
Please join the fun, let's really hear it
And spread some "BOO"s and Halloween Spirit
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: To Stand With Angels by Caitlynn J. Gabriel

Before there were Cowboys and Aliens, there were Cowboys and Demons.....

The first thing I thought at the end of Cowboys and Aliens was that they must have read this book before they wrote that movie!

I'm so excited to share with you a fantastic book released in 2010, "To Stand With Angels" by Caitlynn J. Gabriel.  This book a mystical thriller and romance set in the lat 1800's old west town of Laramie, Wyoming.  This story has it all: Good vs. Evil, Angels and Demons, Cowboys and Romance!

Caitlynn J. Gabriel laces it all together with a myriad of descriptive words that transport the reader right in to the story.  The story starts off with a bang. The characters reveal their personalities and admit their past sins. Next, the story builds up to an intense battle between good and evil, all along revealing a story, within a story, within a story.   The story continues to escalate, shock-and-awe you with twists, turns, colors and imagery.  I enjoyed this story so much, it gave me goosebumps AND warm-fuzzies. It's not going on my "must-reads" shelf , but my "must-read-again" shelf!

I hope all my readers will grab a copy - it's a fabulous read!  Be watching for the sequel, "At the Devil's Right Hand".

I give To Stand With Angels
5 Stars!

Available at Eternal Press and
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Goodreads Reading Challenge

So all you hardcore are your reading challenges going? Anyone reach their goals early? Anyone wondering  what they were thinking posting 100 books for the challenge? I posted 50 for the year and read about 20 by July. I was thinking," yeah, so Goodreads is bugging me that I'm behind, but I'm doing great - surely 50 by Thanksgiving.."Then came the return of the school year and it's nothing but textbooks and The Communist Manifesto while the shining stars of my TBR pile are taunting me.

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Montanamarynotmartha has read 20 books toward a goal of 50 books.
Please tell me someone else out there is behind by half and dying to catch up.....

If you don't know what Goodreads is and are a lover of all things book-ish.....we gotta talk! I will happily introduce you to your newest addiction.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Word of the Day - Urban Dictionary

If you are a parent and sometimes wonder if there's an underlying meaning behind a t-shirt logo, an abbreviation in a text or can't figure out a slang word used by a hipster, then the Urban Dictionary is your friend. It's written by anyone, hence the bad spelling. Be warned, not all definitions are for young eyes but when you have kids, sometimes you just gotta know. I hopped on the webpage the other morning to look up a weird T-shirt saying I saw at work and the word of the day was just too funny.......

Think this guy...
Urban Dictionary
October 10, 2011 Urban Word of the Day
noun: A man of any age that shirks adult responsabilities.
If you want to see a hilarious video example of a manolescent and his awesome mom, go here, (but maybe cover your ears because his music is a bit vulgar.)
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Frappaccino 6th Graders Club

A strange new phenomenon is sweeping through the sixth grade. While energy drinks may be a status symbol among youth, coffee is their newest game. Imagine looking over at the kids getting off the bus at school with their coffee mugs in hand. My son claims that his friend even has one of those REI mugs that is also a French-Press (retail $29) that releases a double-shot of caffeine. The strange thing is this is only at the 6th grade level - not 7th. Even stranger is that the school is creating guidelines and pretty much allowing it.

So let's look at this from a parent's perspective - my son's friends are getting hooked on coffee before they are done growing. Could this mean a new generation of short guys? Are we nurturing our future baristas? Will they take coffee to new heights in 10 years? Will they replace the empty coffee can or leave us hanging?

Let's look at it from an educators perspective - well, at least they are not drinking RockStar's which the parents would complain about. And students falling asleep in class is a thing of the past. The classroom smells like home. Maybe one could bring a refill for the teacher?

For now, my son will have a cool metal mug to tote around - filled to the brim swith creamy, steaming hot cocoa. What do you think, would decaf coffee be just as harmful as full-caff to a young body? Should I embrace the trend knowing I won't have any more notes from the teacher that he fell asleep?
Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday........the cure for

Temporary Homework Amnesia.

UGH, why is it that Monday reveals all the truths hidden for the last three days? Suddenly memories work retroactively..........

 What, you have a test today? You have to know how many states and capitals? Why weren't you studying this weekend?  What, you don't have time for a shower? Why didn't you get up when I woke you and take one? What about last night? 

I declare next Sunday to be Monday. I will wake them all up and announce that they need to get ready for school - showers, lunches, sudden revelations that homework spontaneously generated on their bedroom floor - Brrrring It!  Then, when we get up the next day, I won't feel like this.....

Saturday, October 1, 2011


A bittersweet goodbye to the swingset

This isn't the actual one. Ours has been chop-sawed and stacked for hauling. We got it for Josh's second birthday. I remember teaching all the boys how to pump their legs. Pushing them until they  announced they no longer needed me. I remember Josh growing so big that the back legs would pop up if he was swinging too hard. When we moved cities, I begged to bring it along to our new yard to make the boys feel at home.

And then it happened....they outgrew it. I was walking the dog and kids to the new playground in our neighborhood and could see it from the path, the seats on the tete-a-tete broken and slanting sideways, slide halfway off. I have scarcely seen a boy actually swinging on it, rather banging on it with some improvised tool. So, coming back from the new playground with the good swings, asked my youngest son if we should take it down. Surprisingly, he said yes. Almost like it was a milestone for him growing older, he was eager to take it down. We made it a group project so I wouldn't feel like I was taking away their toy.

Next thing I know, we are discussing that the trampoline needs to be replaced and my younger son pipes up, "Lets take it apart!"  NO Way! Not so fast - I want to see my children bouncing out there for years to come. There's no such thing as outgrowing the trampoline and they better not try to grow up so fast......

What items have you laid to rest as your children grew?