Sunday, May 17, 2009

Better late than never, right???

So, it's been awhile... School got busy, and I got lazy. What can I say?
I'm now at 31 books for the year. 23-31 are listed below.
23. In the Woods (Pretty good)
24. The Lightning Thief
25. The Graveyard Book (Very, very good)
26. Sold (Really sad, but an easy, quick, good read)
27. Stardust
28. Jellicoe Road (Excellent)
29. ttfn (Stupid... I read it while I was confined to bed b/c of a severe kidney infection)
30. The Sea of Monsters
31. Breaking Dawn (Yeah, I reread it. I don't get what so many people hate about it, because I love it!)

I've kind of been in a reading dry spell lately. The weather's been pretty good for the most part, which makes it hard for me to focus on reading. I'm reading The Titan's Curse right now, and I'll probably finish it soon.

School's out Thursday, and I can't wait. I'm so ready for summer!

Speaking of school being out, my youngest sister, Jetta, graduated today. All of our family came to my parents' house before & after, and we had a blast, as usual. It's always great to see everyone, and we always have fun when we're together. I took a lot of pictures, and some of the best ones are below.

Before graduation began, the whole Senior class was having their picture taken. We kept yelling for Jetta to turn, and she did. I think the picture's pretty funny...

Jetta, Cory, & me

Case, Jetta, & Hayden

So for this next picture, some explanation is required. My grandma smokes like a chimney. We love her, but she does. We were waiting for her to come to the back yard so that we could take her picture w/ my mom & my Aunt Pam. They got tired of waiting, so they started smoking (don't worry, they were only "smoking" sticks:))...

And finally, my whole family :)

If you're reading this, I hope you have a good week. For me, Friday can't come fast enough!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Hunger Games

Read this book. Now. Right now. Do it. It's amazing. I don't have any other words for it; you just have to read it!

Oh, and that makes 22. :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

21 Total

So it's been a week... I've finished 3 books! The first book I finished was House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. It was okay. Not spectacular; not horrible; just okay. In the beginning, it was a good, easy read. The characters, especially the main character, are strong and relatable. The book takes place in the future, and the main character, Matt, is the clone of an all-powerful drug lord. The general public sees Matt as an animal, but El Patron (the drug lord from whom he was cloned) makes sure that he's educated. Matt basically lives a sheltered life of luxury on El Patron's ranch until El Patron's heart begins to fail. Matt learns that he's going to be killed so that El Patron can have a heart, but Celia (his caretaker and El Patron's cook) and Tam Lin (El Patron's body guard and Matt's surrogate father-figure) have been giving Matt arsenic so that he can live (El Patron can't use him for parts that way). Tam Lin helps Matt escape... Then the story lost me. Matt goes off into Aztlan (what was formerly Mexico) and has to work in a communist society... He meets boys his own age... The end of the story just wasn't as good as the beginning. It kind of ruined the whole book for me because it didn't seem to fit with the story overall. The ending was especially annoying, because it was a vague "happily ever after," but there were several problems left.

I'd recommend House of the Scorpion to middle schoolers who are into Science Fiction.

I realized that I said I was done with the Anne of Green Gables books... Well, I wasn't. I ended up reading the final two in the series Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside. I started Rainbow Valley because I couldn't fall asleep to clone adventures, and then I couldn't stop reading them. If you've never read the Anne of Green Gables series, you should. They're timeless.

I'm debating whether to start The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or In the Woods by Tana French.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


My dinner looked so good tonight, I couldn't resist posting a picture and the recipe. I made spaghetti (for Cory) and meatballs. I also made myself a side of sauteed spinach with balsamic vinegar. Here's the recipe for the meatballs...
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
3/4 c. bread crumbs
2 eggs
3 cloves garlic (grated)
2 tsp. italian herb seasoning
pinch red pepper flakes

I mix the ingredients and roll the meatballs, which I put on a baking sheet. I bake the meatballs at around 375 degrees for 25 minutes. The recipe makes about 24 meatballs. When they're done, I take them out of the oven and put them into the sauce (which is mostly Barilla tomato basil sauce with some of my mom's canned tomatoes crushed and mixed in). I let it simmer together for about 5 minutes, and then it's eating time! I grated some asiago cheese on top of my meatballs tonight. It was really really really good! :)

I didn't realize it until just now, but I downloaded some pictures of our cat, Adrienne, with the dinner pics. She likes to sit like a human, and she firmly believes that she is one.

Weird cat...

Done with Anne for awhile...

I finished Anne of Ingleside last weekend, bringing my grand total of books read this year to 18. Not bad, if I do say so myself...and I do! :) The thing I like the most about the Anne of Green Gables books is that they're always able to transport me back to my childhood. When I was young (like from 3rd grade to 6th grade), I used to spend the summers reading my favorite books over and over. My mom used to kick me outside, usually with book still in hand. I read the Anne books over and over. I love that Anne never really grows up. Even as an adult, she keeps the dreams and fantasies she had as a child. When I was a kid, my favorite of the Anne books was Anne of the Island, when she goes off to college. It's the most love-storyish of any of the Anne books, in my opinion. Now, though, I find myself liking Anne of Avonlea more. The things Anne goes through while teaching are things I go through myself, and she seems to handle things so well. Her philosophy on discipline is similar to mine, too. She believes that caring for and investing in students personally will help them to develop a relationship with their teacher, which, in turn, will make them want to behave. I try to practice this as much as possible. It's funny that a book written so long ago can still ring true today...

But enough about Anne! I'm currently reading The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. It's good so far... It's science fiction, which I sometimes like and sometimes don't. I think the reason I like it is because it's so character driven. I'll review it fully when I finish it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A looooooooooong week

So, it's been a long week. My students haven't been particularly well-behaved, which exhausts me... It's all okay though--only 33 days until summer. Ahh, summer. Nothing but kickball played with little kids in the sunshine at day camp. Paradise!

One bright spot in the week--it was my husband's birthday! He got Royals-Yankees tickets, and we're looking forward to going to the game.

And now back to what this blog is supposed to be about--reading. Sadly, I must admit that I haven't finished a single book this week due to the aforementioned exhaustion and birthday (with celebration). :( Surely I can finish Anne of Ingleside this weekend. I'm hitting a lull with the Anne books, so I think that it's time to move on to something else. Comment if you've got suggestions. :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wow... A blog...

So this is what it feels like to blog... Weird... Oddly like typing an e-mail to no one. Anyway, I thought I'd start this (although I'm not sure who will read it) to share my thoughts on books, teaching, cooking, and life in general. I'm doing the 50 book project this year, and I have a lot of thoughts regarding the books I've read. Here's the list so far...

1. Ophelia by Lisa Klein
2. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
3. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
4. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
5. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
6. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
7. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
8. The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
9. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
10. Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulsen
11. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
12. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
13. Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery
14. Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery
15. Anne of Windy Poplars by L. M. Montgomery
16. The Magician by Michael Scott
17. Anne's House of Dreams by L. M. Montgomery

It might seem odd that this list has so much Young Adult Lit on it, and that's no mistake. I'm an 8th grade English teacher, and I sort of have the literary taste of a 15-year-old girl. Can't help it. I keep telling myself that I'll read something of substance eventually; maybe when school's out... Time will tell!

I've been re-reading some of my old favorites lately, which has been comforting...

The only disappointment on my list so far has been Angels & Demons. I really enjoyed The DiVinci Code, but Angels & Demons was a little too unbelivable for my taste. I mean really... The guy parachutes from a helicopter using little more than a bedsheet and somehow survives?! Ridiculous!

Aside from that, it's been really nice to read more and watch less tv.