Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
by Mary Ann Shaffer
My rating: 5 of 5 starsOne of the few books that I didn't hesistate a moment to give it all 5 stars. Truly wonderful from start to finish. Comprised completely of letters, telegraphs and journal entries, this book follows a writer in London just coming out of WWII. Juliet recieves a letter from a man living on the small island of Guernsey, which had been occupied by German soldiers during the war. From an inquiry he poses to her about an author they form an aquaintance and then a friendship as she learns about the book club that formed from dire circumstances and kept its members sane in wartime.
Charming, interesting, and so real I felt like I was reading real letters from real people. I couldn't put this book down. The main character, Juliet, is witty and sweet and cutting, especially when it comes to her own faults, and the people on the island of Guernsey are so lovable and palpable that I want to go there and visit them. This book is filled with places and people that I want to return to again and again.
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/788935-mandy">View all my reviews >>
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tomorrow night I'm throwing a birthday party for a friend of mine in our backyard and we are going to project a movie onto the side of our garage. Yes, we tried doing this on the 4th of July and got my father-in-law's projector stolen while we were watching fireworks. No, we will not be letting the projector out of our sight this time. But I'm super excited! I love doing stuff outside on beautiful Summer nights (just because I'm excited for Fall doesn't mean it's here yet. I made that chicken stew in 90 degree heat yesterday) and I hope Nathan is excited for his 18th Birthday bash!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
She's been doing that so often lately- she assigns everything (especially inanimate objects) emotions and types. The other day we were at the park playing on those plastic animals on springs that you can rock back and forth on. You know what I'm talking about? Anyway, she was riding the dolphin (saying, "Giddyup, Dolphin!!"), she climbed off and went right up to its little face, looked at it and said, "She's sad, mommy." Then she gave it a hug and a kiss and said, "AWWW SHE'S HAPPY MOMMY!!" Or she'll see the alligator at the zoo and say, "DRAGON!!He's scary." with a little shudder. I'll say, "Yeah, he looks a little like a dragon, but that's an alligator and he's nice." Then she'll say, "Oh. Alligator. He's nice." haha. It's amazing to watch her mind work. She's so smart and sweet. Lately she's taken to hugging (and even kissing) everyone before we leave somewhere, whether it's her cousins or our neighbors. We were at the Chandlers on Sunday evening for a few minutes and she went in a circle around the living room hugging everyone and saying, "Bye! See ya!"
Then on Saturday evening the Idaho Falls Symphony held a free(!!) concert on the river in Freeman Park. It was a really nice, perfect evening. We brought a picnic dinner of things that Avery and I purchased at the Farmer's Market that morning; Artisan bread, Gruyere cheese, ham, blackberries and fudge (Amish Sour Cream- sounds weird but it was SUPER yummy). Mandy and Troy and their kiddos joined us and we all had a great time laying around on blankets, listening to the music and chatting and eating. Avery is just obsessed with her cousins, especially Milo. Those two become 10 times more mischevious when they are together, and they love to play and giggle. It's so fun to watch. Rocky came with us as well, and he was so excited and hyper and crazy that when we got home around 7:30pm he passed right out for the night!
Monday, September 14, 2009
I look at all of these mothers who have no problem getting pregnant, no problem with delivery, and have done it over and over again. It's hard to wonder what that would be like and not be jealous. And I go from feeling sorry for myself to ENRAGED when I hear about people who irresponsibly reproduce and the messed up lives they create for their children. Or worse yet, speaking to anyone who believes that people should have the right to choose to abort their babies. That's like saying that I have the right, consequence free, to murder someone! If you think that a little fetus doesn't count as a person then I hope that you never have to suffer a miscarriage (that'll change your mind). Either that or I hope you enjoy your luxury suite in hell (am I being harsh? NO!... Okay, maybe a little.). Anyway, I believe that you are free to choose- but your freedom stops at this decision: To have sex or not? After that, you need to own up. There is birth control and abstinence and a whole host of other ways NOT to get pregnant (playing tennis, riding a bike, keeping your legs together, etc.)- Abortion is wrong. And not only do we have a President in office who has condoned partial-birth abortion (see here- the sixth paragraph down will make you want to vomit), but this Health-Care bill would FUND abortions (see here)!! It's INSANITY! I swear I'm constantly on the edge of my seat just waiting for the fire and brimstone to rain down.
Anyway, all of that political stuff doesn't have much to do with my glum day. Just feels good to rant every once in a while. But I should be struck by lightning just for whining. I have Avery. She is so perfect and wonderful and I love her so much, and I am so lucky 1) to have her- so many good people who would be great parents aren't able to have kids and 2) that she is alive and healthy and just so so so perfect- with the way she started out in life things could have wound up so different for her. So... I am going to think of how lucky I am to have her, my wonderful hubby, and about what a busy week we have lined up (swim lessons start this week! Plus I have signed up for a class at a local college and I'm super excited!) and forget about my despair that I don't always get everything I want.
But did you expect it to be THIS good!? Me neither. Ah-ma-zing. I think I switched to Team Jacob and back to Edward again about 8 times during this preview. Klayton asks me, "Wait, is there still a Team Jacob? He lost."
Just watch this preview and you tell me. I say Team Jacob is alive and well! But maybe that's just because I'm sick of seeing Edward in that sport coat and seeing real life Robward being such a grungy tool with his plaid shirts and chain smoking. Still love him, though! Love it all!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I look up, and, sure enough, there are 5 or 6 pigeons hanging out up there. I say, "Yeah! Look at those birds!"
Avery then says (very matter-of-factly, I might add) "I want to touch it."
I laugh and say, "You can't touch the birds. They are too high."
She thinks about it for a second and then says, "Fly."
"Yes, they can fly!" I say, super proud of my lil girl (the smartest child in the Universe).
"No, I fly."
Time to stop watching Peter Pan or one day soon I might catch her trying to jump off of the roof with a teddy bear and a top hat.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
It's a beautiful September day. I'm at home baking a peach galette (see pictured- THIS is what it looks like when you are nice to me.) for a neighbor who was really vocal during my first-ever Gospel Doctrine class (I'm the teacher now! Craziness but I'm actually sort of enjoying it. So far.) when everyone else was sitting quietly, content to let me sweat it out.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Here's what I had to say about The Hunger Games on goodreads.com:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Hunger Games is amazing. I can't believe I'm actually going to type this, but when I finished I was hungry for more! haha. Written in first person perspective in the present tense, I have never read a book where I felt more involved from the first chapter, even though I have practically nothing in common with the heroine of the story. Katniss is a young girl who lives in a dystopian society where the government's oppression is somewhat remnicent of 1984's "Big Brother". To save her little sister she chooses to participate in the bloody, last-man-standing battle between Districts held every year called The Hunger Games. This book is riveting and if you haven't picked it up yet, do. Now.
I just read this book again, this time aloud to Klayton. Now that I was familiar with the story, the characters came more alive than ever, especially Katniss and Peeta and their twisted relationship. I quite literally cannot wait for Catching Fire to come out in a couple of months!