Andie and Jacob Miller

Andie and Jacob Miller
Just Married!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Quite some time....

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     Well it has been quite some time since I posted on this blog. I am hoping to get back into the swing of things, but you never know. I am currently trying to figure out how to use blogger on my phone, but for today, I am at the library using their computers.

     As for an update right now, Mia is now 3 years old. I went through a heck of a time in late spring trying to figure out if we should put her in Preschool this fall or not. It just sounded like so much fun and I know that Mia would love it! But in the end, we decided to wait another year, partly because we would have to walk to preschool, and given the weather in Western Washington, that's not always an easy option.

     We do have a clear rain cover for the stroller which is awesome, and although I do have a waterproof jacket now, it still doesn't make walking nearly 2 miles in the rain each way sound like fun. And then there was the fact that while Mia was in preschool, I wouldn't be close enough to actually go anywhere and get things done. I would have find somewhere to sit for about 3 hours. I would rather have a car and get all of my errands done. We could of course take Jacob to work on preschool days, but he starts work at 6 a.m. and that makes things pretty difficult. I am not a morning person. At least not before 8 a.m.

     So my plan is to make sure that Mia and I do activities to learn many of the things that she would learn in preschool. I already have a few preschool workbooks and I plan to get another one. I try not to force her to do "school" since I want her to love learning, and not hate it at such an early age. That usually means that sometimes we spend 30 minutes learning new things, and sometimes just 3 minutes. Each day is different.

     So if you would, cross your finger that this summer will be full or learning and fun, and not a lot of frustration on either part. And let's continue to hope for sunshine, allowing us to get out for very long walks and play dates. :)

P.S. Do you have any favorite preschool activity blogs or books that you use? Please let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: The Spirit of Lost Angels

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In my quest to read more books set in different time periods, I decided to read a book set before and during the French Revolution. The book that I chose is called "Spirit of Lost Angels" by Liza Perrat. I'm going to give you the official description of the book, and then below that, I will give you my review.

Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her impoverished peasant roots. Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for dommestic work in the capital. Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancient regime of 18th century Paris.

Imprisoned in France's most pitiless madhouse - La Salpetriere asylum - Victoire becomes desperate and helpless until she meets fellow prisoner Jeanne de Valois, infamous conwoman of the diamond necklace affair. With the help of the ruthless and charismatic countess who helped hasten Queen Marie Antoinette to the guillotine, Victoire carves out a new life for herself.

Enmeshed in the fever of the pre-revolutionary Paris, Victoire must find the strength to join the revolutiony force storming the Bastille. Is she brave enough to help overthrow the diabolical artistocracy?

As Spirit of Lost Angels traces Victoire's journey, it follows too. The journey of an angel talisman through generations of the Charpentier family, Victoire lives in the hope her angel pendant will one day renew the link with a special person in her life. Amidst the tumult of the French revolution drama, the women of Spirit of Lost Angels face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse.

My review:

I loved the book! I found it well written and the characters personable. My emotions changed with the scenes and I was thoroughly intrigued. If this author has written other books, I am going to seek them out. Definitely a page turner for me.  But I do wish that the author would put some kind of Pronunciation guide in the book, for those of us that don't speak any French. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: Happy Language Kids La Familia/The Family by Suzy Liebermann

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This has got to be one of the coolest books I've read yet. Not only can I teach my 19 month old daughter about the people in the family, but I can do it in Spanish! And the Spanish is super easy, so even if you are just beginning to learn Spanish yourself, you'll be just fine.

This book is the first in a series of bilingual books for children, and actually works to teach English or Spanish. Also, the book is companion to a free website where you can watch the book in an animated format, and then play games to practice your vocabulary. And it appears that there are a bunch of other books like this one to choose from: The Weather/ El tiempo, Cinderella/Cenicienta, both of which are by the same author, Suzy Liebermann. Some of her other books are about Maps/Mapas, Little Red Riding Hood/Caperucita Roja, and of course her Hugo the Happy Starfish series.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: Cutlass: Ten Tales Of Pirates

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Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates was a super fun read. It's a collection of very well written pirate stories by different authors. The entire book is edited by Rayne Hall. In all of my reading adventures, I have found that pirate stories are some of my most favorite, which was quite a surprise to me. Here is a quick message from the editor, Rayne Hall:

This story collection contains ten pirate yarns, some spiced with sprinkles of realism, others peppered with fantasy, all seasoned with the salt of adventure. While this is a fiction book for adults, the stories are suitable for older children. To reflect the authors' individual voices, you will find both American and British words and spellings in this book. Some stories have been previously published in magazines, ezines, story collections and anthologies. And here is a brief tidbit about each story.

1. KHABALLO by Margo Lerwill Careened on a cursed island, the old captain and her men are caught between warring navies.
2. VICTORIA AND THE IRONCLAD by Douglas Kolacki An escaped slave and a pirate captain race to capture the Confederacy's ultimate weapon.
3. BLIND MAN'S BLUFF by Jonathan Broughton The trickster's reward is deceit. 4. SKRITCH by John Blackport Your enemy may be your best ally.
5. DIAMONDS AND BONES by Kris Austen Radcliffe In space, you may need to deal for the diamonds your bones need.
6. UN HOMME DE COULEUR LIBRE by Liv Rancourt Fate sets Robert's life on a new course.
7. SCYLLA AND THE PEPPER PIRATES by Rayne Hall A spunky young woman sets out to rescue her long-lost lover.
8. BROADSIDED by KJ Kiegan Love can take you off course.
9. THE PENSIONER PIRATES OF MARINE PARADE by Jonathan Broughton Rebel pensioners revolt.
10. THE BOOK OF ADVENTURES by Douglas Kolacki In the Great Depression, two brothers find two kinds of escape.

My notes: I had a lot of fun reading these stories. They were very exciting and quickly became page turners for me. It was like a whole new world was opened to me and I found myself on actual pirate ships! I think that this collection would actually be a fun summer read (or winter vacation) since the stories are not too long, and you get 10 for the price of one. I also liked how strong the presence of the female characters was. Some of the pirate captains were even females! So this book is definitely not just for boys. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Sunset Dreams: A Motivational Photography Book

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If anyone is looking for a motivational photography book for their coffee table, then I suggest you consider this one. It's called Sunset Dreams and is written by Suzy Liebermann. The pictures are beautiful and I think they're from the Bahamas. The quotes in the book as short, but effective and thought provoking, which is just how I like it. If you want a sneak peek at what's inside, check out the book on Amazon and you will be able to have a preview. I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.