Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Latest Reads

This is the best book I have read for a LONG time. It's Lord of the Flies meets Survivor. In a futurist society, two teenagers from each of the 12 "districts" are required to fight to the death on reality-TV. It's creepy, compelling and yet inspiring (and since it's Young Adult fiction the gore is kept to a minimum.) Hunger Games is a major page-turner and I can't wait for the sequel.

From the author of The Notebook, I recently read The Guardian. While I found the plot to be a bit predictable it was still an interesting read. The gist of the story is that lead characters Julie and Mike fall in love in the midst of Julie being stalked. It's an easy, mind-candy type book.

And as I promised, I have finished off the Shopaholic series. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister and Shopaholic and Baby. My favorites were probably Ties the Knot and Baby. These books are total fluff, but fun. If you turned Lucille Ball into a avid shopper - you would get the Shopaholic series.

Next on my list is a book my sister lent me: T is for Trespass. I'll keep you posted!

Bermuda, Bahama, Come on Pretty Mamma...

It pays to marry a clever man.

Our free airplane tickets are valid only inside of the Continental US, but Diamond figured out that we could fly into Miami, and from there take a cruise. We added up the cost of hotels and food and figured out that we could take a cruise for not too much more than that. So the final decision? A three day cruise to the Bahamas on this boat:

While I do love the Northwest (Diamond is actually from Seattle), and California is both beautiful and relaxing, I just couldn't turn down a chance to sail the Caribbean.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

Friday, February 20, 2009


When Diamond and I went to Vegas last year we were able to earn two free plane tickets simply for taking a flight that left two hours later than our booked flight. We were originally planning to use those tickets for our family vacation to the beach, but we got such a great deal on our flights to Florida, we decided to hold onto our free tickets for another trip.

So, where should we go?

Here are the details:
1. We're looking to travel in April or May.
2. We are going without the kids! (Yeah mom and dad!!!)
3. The number one goal is to RELAX!
4. We want to fly somewhere we can't easily drive.
5. Continental US
6. We can only stay three-ish night. (see #2)

What do you think? Where would you go?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


How is it possible that a family of five can have NINE boxes of cereal open simultaneously?

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Beach

Growing up in New York, our family vacations were often spent along the Atlantic Coast. I loved it! We'd play in the waves and the sand all day, and then stay up late playing games and eating snacks It was heaven.

To this day, there is something about the beach that brings me back to my childhood.
While we have had the opportunity to take the boys to the beach a time or two, it's been awhile.

2008: Other than our annual migration to see family in Utah, we didn't get much of family vacation in - too much time and money was being devoted to putting in a yard.

2007: Between preparing our house to sell, looking for a new home, living in my parents basement, moving into our new home, etc. we were too consumed to work in a good family trip.

I have been itching for a family vacation, like the kind I had when I was kid, for a good while now. This past week, Diamond booked everything for our family to go here:

I CAN NOT WAIT!!! The thought of seeing the boys playing in the surf, reading a good book on the beach, and enjoying late night games and snacks...

112 days and counting.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

25 Random Things

I've decided to take the Facebook Challenge back to my blog, so here goes:
1. I am NOT a morning person. I wake up slowly and usually a bit grouchy.
2. I LOVE to travel. I have been to over a dozen countries and all but six states.
3. Diet Coke with Lemon and extra ice from Sonic is my treat on a bad (or good) day.
4. While I have now lived in the west for as long as I lived in NY, I still consider myself an easterner. I love the sarcasm and honesty of the east.
5. I love to teach. I taught eight years of high school social studies and can’t wait to return. There is something magical about watching a mind stretch.
6. I am a big reader. I read all types of books, but my favorites are historically based.
7. The beach fills my soul. I could spend hours standing by the water, listening to the waves and feeling the air. I hate that we’re so far away from the ocean.
8. Believe it or not, I was really, really shy as a child. .
9. I am a bit of a dare devil. I’ve parasailed, bungee jumped, cliff jumped and white water rafted.
10. I love learning. I am a very curious person, and turn into an information junkie whenever I am faced with a problem.
11. I have tasted poo. It was NOT tasty.
12. I can’t stand clutter. Dirty doesn’t bother me so much, but clutter makes me crazy.
13. I’m opinionated. I work at not bowling people over with my views, but when I feel strongly about something I can come on a bit strong.
14. My favorite day of the entire year is Christmas Eve. It always feels so magical and mysterious. I’d take Christmas Eve over Christmas day anytime.
15. I love looking through old scrapbooks and photo albums. I’ve scrapbooked all of my life, all of Dave’s life and most of the kids. (Although I’ve really fallen behind over the last few years.)
16. I seem to put my foot in my mouth - a lot – and then I agonize over it after the fact.
17. I don’t eat very healthy. I’ve got a bad sweet tooth, and I give it way too much control.
18. I enjoy humor and I respect hard work. Dave is both, that’s at least part of the reason I married him.
19. When I was in high school, I became an exchange student and lived in Norway for a summer.
20. One of my favorite parts of being a mom is cuddling with my boys. I also love how much my kids make me laugh.
21. I have a really loud voice that carries over a crowd. Helpful when teaching, not so helpful in many other settings.
22. I hate my size 11 feet.
23. I’m paranoid when it comes to my kids and trust very few people with them. I worry constantly that awful things could happen to them.
24. I love voting – regardless of the results. I pull my kids out of school so they can vote with me and then I get choked up as I explain to them how grateful I feel for that privilege.
25. I could never go on a low-carb diet. I have been known to make a meal out of nothing more than bread, cookies, crackers etc.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Last night I attended a baby shower for a friend of mine. She already has three boys (sound familiar?) and we've had many conversations about how much fun a house of boys is, but how much we'd both love to enter into a world with a least a smidge of princesses. So when she had the tell-tale ultrasound and found out she is having a girl, I was beyond excited for her. I told her that she was "livin' the dream!"

While I have been "done" for a good while, there was a part of me that thought that if I could be GUARANTEED a bundle of pink, I might just be willing to try one more time. Of course there are no promises in this business and since I soooo couldn't handle a house of FOUR boys, by default, our family was finished.
Last night at the baby shower there were so many darling girly things. Fluffy dresses, red polka-dotted legging and trendy brown and pink outfits. There were hair bows and sparkly shoes and the whole lot. Historically those kinds of events have made me ache. But last night, heh, nothing.

NOTHING! I'm done. Totally done. At this point, even if I knew for sure that I would have a girl, I still feel done. It's so freeing! So liberating!

I think I'm going to go now and sleep through the night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

Last night was the Blue and Gold Banquet - celebrating the Cub Scout program. In keeping with tradition, our pack had it's annual Father/Son cake decorating contest. This is what Diamond and Big Boy #1 came up with:

Pretty cool, huh? A pirate's chest, complete with candy treasure. Here's a close up:
I figured we were a shoe-in for Most Creative. That was until we got there.

There was a race track cake like this:

A fishbowl cake that looked a lot like this:
And even a airplane cake that looked just like this:

And the crazy part was that none of those cakes won most creative. Ours included.

The cake the won Most Creative was a WORKING volcano cake. There was a cup in the center of the volcano that had water and dry ice billowing away. It really did look cool.

On the drive home, Diamond was talking about next year. "What you need is some kind of robotics in your cake. If we could just figure out how to make part of the cake move..."

Umm, good luck with that honey. But I think I'm giving up!