Saturday, April 7, 2018

Reading List

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

It seems like people have either loved or hated this book, although I fall right in the middle. It was an enjoyable read but what really grabbed me was the charters. The characters really came to life for me.

A charming, warmhearted novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller A Man Called Ove.
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

I really loved this book and love the way Backman tells a story. This book is endearing, funny, sad and even a bit strange. the characters in the book are well written. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the stories within the story, there were too many but I loved the book in-spite of that. 

 We are not quite novels.

We are not quite short stories.

In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn't take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.'s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see coming.

This was a great book that pulled me in immediately. Go read it now!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween 2017

This year Brody wanted to be a whack a mole game for Halloween, except he thought Whack a Brody would be better.  I agreed.

Sammy and Sadie loved the can can dancers on the Small World ride at Disneyland so much that they decided that's what they wanted for their Halloween costume.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Bonneville Salt Flats with the Family

I made my first trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats during Speed Week. It was every bit as cool as everyone says. I want to go back next year!

The Bonneville Salt Flats (for those that don't know) are found west of The Great Salt Lake in Western Utah, covering over 30,000 acres. The Salt Flats were formed when the ancient lake Lake Bonneville dried up leaving behind all of that salt.

 A few things to keep in mind when visiting the Salt Flats.

-The best time to visit the Salt Flats is in late summer when there is no water on the flats. You do not want to get stuck.
-Bring sunglasses it is incredibly bright.
-Wear sunscreen.
-Bring lots of water.
-Salt will get everywhere so plan to wash your car after your visit.

We brought some things to keep the kids entertained. The kids loved driving their remote control cars and Power Wheels truck in the wide open space. Of course the kite was really fun and they even tried throwing salt balls at each other. I shut that down fast. Ha!

If bringing kids I would also recommend bringing bandages. Sammy tripped and scrapped up her leg pretty bad. The salt is rough and stung her scrapes.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Fossil Safari at Warfield Fossil Quarry in Wyoming

Our family went digging for fossils, yes real fossils. It was seriously so cool!

 Fossil Safari at Warfield Fossil Quarry in Wyoming was so amazing! They provide all the tools and teach you everything you need to know.

All you need to do is pack water, food, sunglasses, sunscreen, packing materials to bring your fossils home safely and gloves.  Also a hat, it is really easy to get sunburned there. You travel quite a way on a dirt road so make sure you have a full tank of gas. Fossil Safari does have an outhouse available.

When we first arrived at the quarry we were given our tools and then we were given a tutorial on what to do. Sammy and Sadie liked watching for awhile and then got bored since they were a little too young to be using a hammer and chisel. Travis and Brody could have spent the whole day there but we only stayed for an hour. In that hour we came home with over a dozen fossils.

Tip: keep your fossils upright instead of laying them flat. This will help keep them safe of the drive. Place towels or newspaper between them so they don't bump together. Bringing a large box to place them in helps.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Craft Kits for Kids

My kids love doing little crafts for the holidays but I don't have the time to search all over for ideas and supplies. I love that Oriental Trading Company has Christmas craft kits all ready and assembled. It makes life easier on me and my kids get to do little crafting projects that they love.

This year we have loved assembling these little felt mice candy cane kits.

And another favorite of my kids are the foam gingerbread houses. They spent so much time decorating their houses and then loved displaying them in their bedrooms.

What kind of activities do you like to do with your kids?

Disclaimer:This is a sponsored post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am Thankful

This Thanksgiving I am reflecting on a few of the things I am thankful for in my life.

-My loving and supportive husband. I am even thankful for some of the hardships we have gone through because they have made us stronger and let us lean on one another.

- My children. They give me (and let me give them) unconditional love and teach me pure love, forgiveness, and patience. Being a mom has taught me so much about the important things in life.

-Good health.


-Family and friends. There have been many friends and family members in my life who have shown my family so much love and support through the years.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Great Songs!

Here are two really great songs by The Avett Brothers I am loving right now!