Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ready or Not

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Ready or Not

By Meg Cabot

Ready or Not is another one of Meg Cabot's classics.  This book is a sequel to All American Girl, which I really liked.  The main character, Sam, is back and making waves again.  In AAG, she accidentally-purposefully saved the President of the U.S. while ditching her art class and then falls in love with his son, David.  In this book, Sam is still drawing...except this time it's life drawing and she contemplating spending the weekend at Camp David with David for Thanksgiving.  More than that...she's contemplating having sex for the first time.  This is something that Princess Mia struggles with in the Princess Diaries series.  You'll have to read to find out if she is ready or not!

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

By Wendy Mass

I didn't even have time to put this book up as a book I was reading because I finished in one whole day while I was at jury duty!  I didn't end up being called in for a jury so I just sat there all day.  Anyway...this is a cool book!  I have read a lot of good books lately with boy characters.  I love girly girl characters so I'm still getting used to the male characters.  Jeremy is a quirky kid who gets a really neat box in the mail about a month before his 13th birthday.  The box is from his dad, who died when he was eight and it needs four keys to be unlocked.  The only problem...the keys have been misplaced.  This leads Jeremy, and his best friend and neighbor, Lizzy, on some fun adventures.  I love to idea of a real-life treasure hunt.  Bonus, you do really get to find out the meaning of life!  I think I agree with the book and what the author decides to reveal as the meaning of life.  It makes me realize how important my scrapbooks and my blog is.  I don't want to ruin have to read it to find out the secret!  

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

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The Tail of Emily Windsnap

By Liz Kessler

This was a very fun book about a girl, Emily, who goes swimming for the first time ever and finds out she becomes a mermaid when she is in the water. She lives on a boat on the ocean with her mom. Her dad totally disappeared when she was a baby and she knows nothing about him. When Emily realizes she is a mermaid, she goes swimming in the ocean and meets another mermaid her age, Shona. Shona shows her lots of tricks and becomes her best friend. Emily tries to find out more about her dad but her mom can't's a fun adventure.  I love the mermaid slang in the book, like "That's so swishy!"  Very cute, easy read.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jordan Update

We had a nice Memorial Day weekend.  It was very relaxing really.  We pretty much hung out at home, my parents', or friends' homes all weekend.  We've been outside more now that the weather is nice and Jordan doesn't put everything in his mouth...although lots of things do still go in his mouth if we don't watch him.  

Here is Chad walking around in the yard with Jordan.  He loves to point out things he sees and talk about them, even though we have no idea what he's saying.  

After dinner tonight, Chad was making Jordan laugh by making armpit farts. Seriously, why do all boys think that's funny?  Jordan thought it was hysterical.  I guess it's the simple things.  

When we took the tray off of Jordan's highchair he had tons of goodies that missed his mouth as he was eating.  (This is nothing new.)  Tonight though, Chad looked down at Jordan's belly button and he had a pea stuck in his belly button!  Who does that?  And how!?!  We got a kick out of it and had to get it a picture and a video. Jordan didn't really seem to understand what was so funny, but he was still so cute. It's kind of hard to see the pea, but it's there.  (And, yes, he was eating dinner in a diaper only, but it was HOT today!)

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By Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors!  He has written great books like: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, and The Witches.  Boy is a fun, autobiography.  An autobiography is a story that a person writes about his or life.  Roald Dahl doesn't tell boring details about his life growing up, instead he writes interesting stories that he remembers from his childhood.  There are some unbelievable things that he writes about because he grew up in the early 1900's.  The one story that shocked me the most was when he was in a car accident and his entire nose was almost entirely sliced off...but then sewed back on, phew!  You might be interested in reading Boy to learn more about Roald Dahl.  After reading this book I definitely have a better understanding of how he came up with his awesome books.  I suggest you check out his website at where you can play games and learn more about the author.  Did you know he had a special writing hut where he wrote most of his stories?  You can see what's inside!  You may want to read some of his books that I listed above, the entire list is on his website.  If you do...let me know which you chose to read and what you thought! 

Saturday, May 24, 2008


If you look on the left column of this blog you will notice that my favorite books are the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.  Twilight is the first in the series, then New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn (out August 2nd, 2008).  It looks like the movie will be out in November of this year!!!  Here is a picture of the cast for the movie.  I can't wait!

Honestly, I heard about Twilight at a workshop and I checked it out from the library not really knowing that much about it.  I was listening to it on CD and after a short time I was clutching the box trying to figure out what exactly this book was all about.  You wanna know what it's about?? Vampires!  Sounds freaky, but trust me, it's awesome.  I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like the series...and if that's you, please, comment now! 

Twilight is an insane love story of Bella and Edward.  Edward is unfortunately a vampire, a vampire who's blood-thirsty body thirsts for Bella more than any other human.  Can you see how this would make having a relationship hard?  I dare you to read it!  And then, read the whole series so you can come to the midnight release party with me and my other Twilight-obsessed-friends on August 2nd AND to the movie in November!  

 Here I am at Borders with my friend, and equally obsessed Twilight-reader, Veronica, at the Breaking Dawn display.  You can be there with us in August!


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By Scott Westerfield

Pretties is the second book in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield.  I didn't choose to read this series for a long time because I thought it was going to be about people only judging people by their looks instead of who they are on the inside.  When a friend recommended the series I finally decided to read it and I was really wrong about judging the book from it's cover!  I guess I should learn my lesson.  This series is actually a science fiction series because it is set in the future during a time when all kids are called "littlies", all 10-15 year-olds are called "uglies", and everyone who has turned 16 are called "pretties" because of an operation they go through.  Everyone becomes pretty in every way...does that sound like it would be good or not?  Sometimes people think it would be nice for everyone to be the same and not to have competition, but what would you have to give up for a life like that?  Read the books to find out!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

By Sherman Alexie

This book is a semi-autobiographical story about a boy growing 
up on an Indian reservation in Washington state. It's a sad 
situation still today in some of these reservations. I really 
liked this book because it was so truthful and written in such a 
great way. It's a funny story because it's about a 14-year-old 
and it sounds like a 14-year-old talking. There is some 
mature content in this book, but I thought it was a hilarious-
serious account of one boy growing up on the res.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Go, Cubs, Go!

Outside the friendly confines of Wrigley Field!

Here I am with my peanuts!!!

Phil Donahue sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at the 7th inning stretch!

Gotta love Cracker Jack!

I went to my first Cubs game ever on Thursday!  Veronica, one of my friends from work, invited me to go.  It was an overcast day but it didn't matter because we were at the Cubs game!  We had seats way up high, near the announcer's box.  We ate hot dogs, and peanuts, and Cracker Jack!  Best of all, the Cubs won!  Ryan Dempster, pitched a career-high 12 strikeouts and Kerry Wood closed the game for the Cubs to win 4-0.  Go, Cubs, Go!!!!

Chicago Bears Celebowl 2008

Wednesday night, Chad and I went to the Chicago Bears Celebowl for the Jason McKie Foundation.  It was pretty cool to be hanging out with lots of Bears players.  Each Bears player was bowling on a lane with people who had signed up (and paid) to bowl with a player.  We were observers but were able to talk to the players, walk up to them while they were bowling, eat the yummy food, and, most importantly, get autographs.  Here are some pictures...there are way too many to post them all!

Jen and Lovie Smith, head coach for the Bears (above)

Jen and Garrett Wolfe, running back for the Chicago Bears (above)

Jen and Adrian Peterson, running back for the Chicago Bears (above)

Chad and Rex Grossman, quarterback for the Chicago Bears (above)
(According to Chad, the best quarterback in the NFL
...e-mail him, not me if you disagree.)

Jen and Devin Hester (above)...and lots of other people clamoring 
to get his autograph as he was trying to get out of there.  

Here we are after it was all said and done...somehow still smiling.  
It was a crazy night!

Happy Mother's Day 2008

For Mother's Day this year Chad and Jordan gave me beautiful pinky-orange tulips, my favorite.  We had a fun lunch at Panera, another of my favorites.  Finally, we went to Color Me mine to paint a hear-shaped plaque with Jordan's handprint on it.  I can't wait to go pick it up!

Rainforest Cafe

Saturday night, we went with some of our family to Rainforest Cafe to further celebrate Jordan's birthday.  He had fun looking at all the fish swimming around the tank.  He wasn't a big fan of the life-size elephants or the roiling water in the fountain.  I love the Rainforest Cafe because it keeps the kids busy and entertained so everyone else can eat.  They also sang Happy Birthday and gave the birthday boy a free sundae!  Gotta love it!  Kudos to the Rainforest Cafe!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


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Carolyn Jessop

This was the book we chose for The Chicks With Books book club this month.  Escape is the true story of Carolyn Jessop, a woman who was living in the FLDS cult, and how she escaped with her eight children.  It is really hard to believe all that happened to her and the life she led for so long is still going on today and didn't happen all that long ago.  She was the fourth wife to Merrill Jessop, one of the top leaders in the FLDS.  She was abused in so many ways and dealt with so much.  Even more heart-wrenching is to read what her kids went through as well.  It's good to know she was able to escape and has made a pretty good life for herself.  Hopefully her story gives hope to other women in the FLDS.  It definitely made me think about the rights I have as a woman and how much freedom I have in my life.   

See The Chicks With Books blog to see what we talked about at book club!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jordan's 1st Birthday Party!

Late Saturday morning/early afternoon we had Jordan's 1st birthday party at a park near Chad's school.  It turned out to be a gorgeous day.  It was cool but not breezy.  We had space to be inside and outside and the kids seemed to really enjoy the park.  We had food catered from Ferentino's, which seemed to be a big hit.  Jordan loved his chocolate-chocolate cake (proof that he is definitely my son, in case there was even a question).  Opening presents was really fun...almost as fun as getting them home and being able to play with them.  The favors were bug cans, bug jars, bug bites (bug-shaped graham crackers), bug-shaped chalk, and bug nets.  They seemed to be a big hit.  We were so happy our family and friends could all come join us for this party.  It could not have been a better celebration in honor of our favorite one-year-old, Jordan!

Best Foot Forward

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Best Food Forward

By Joan Bauer

This book tried to accomplish so many things at once, I'm not sure it did any of them justice.  Jenna, the main character, is an Alanon member, a member of a group for relatives of alcoholics.  I thought it was neat that this was addressed in this book.  I'm not sure how many people, let alone young people, are familiar with Alanon.  Jenna finds herself dealing with the stress of her life by making herself productive at her summer/after-school job as a shoe salesperson.  She helps another troubled teenager get himself back on track while also investigating recent company changes in the shoe store since the merger with a discount shoe retailer.  She also finds love in a doughnut baker.  Lots of things going on, right?  Overall it tied together fairly well, but I kind of wish the author would have really made a case for one of her interesting storylines instead of having so many with little emphasis on any of them.   

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Jordan!

Yesterday, May 10th, 2008 was Jordan's 1st birthday!  He woke up all smiles in the morning.  We went into his room to get him and sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  We had scrambled eggs and cinnamon toast for breakfast.  It was a sunny cool but warm day, perfect for a birthday party!  Happy Birthday Jordan!  You are one!