Thursday, August 27, 2009

Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker's Daughter

Most Recently Read Book:

Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker's Daughter

By Liz Kessler

Love this book! I read and reviewed Canned earlier this year and this book reminded me of Canned. The characters are fun in this book...although it's a little tricky to believe Philippa has such a great relationship with her parents. I was enjoying the book until it really got exciting and then I was so anxious to read just to find out what was going to happen. It was totally unexpected because I have read The Tail of Emily Windsnap by the same author and that book was anti-climatic for me, not in a bad way, I just expected more. Anyway, I definitely recommend this book. I have to warn you, it is the second book in a series that you can read without reading the first one but there is a first one in case you want to read that one first (although, I haven't read it so I can't speak for it).

Krystie, I think you and/or Sophia might like this one! :)

You can read my review at The Picnic Basket.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Racine Zoo

As part of our desperate efforts to get in fun stuff before having to go back to school, we went to Racine Zoo with Kathy and Maddy last week. I hadn't been since high school and Chad didn't even know Racine had a zoo so it was like a whole new zoo to us...and Jordan had never been either (obviously).

It is a small zoo but it is way nicer than I remember so they have been taking care of it nicely. One of the things we really thought was cool is that they had lots of things to do to interact with the animals. We just so happened to walk right up to the giraffe as they were starting the Giraffe Encounter where you actually get to feed a giraffe! I was all about it, lately I think that I am much more likely to fork over the $5 to do something that's cool just so I don't regret it later. And guess what, I so don't regret that I did this. It was pretty cool to be that close to a real life giraffe. I put my hand out to touch the giraffe's whiskers after he took my cracker. How cool is that? This was the coolest part of the zoo for me! (So cool that I moved it right to the beginning of this post, so the pictures are kind of out of order.)

I love seeing Maddy and Jordan play together. They have a lot of fun with each other and they are just so cute with each other. These are pelicans!

Chad with mountain goats! You kind of have to look closely at the picture but they are lounging up on the top of the rocks.
Meerkats! It was fun to watch them digging!
I thought these guys were pretty cute.
There were peacocks wandering around all over the zoo. We didn't get to see any show its feathers, but they are still beautiful just sitting in the grass. Oh, and if you are one of those kids who we saw chasing the peacocks, stop. And if you are one of the parents of the kids who were chasing the peacocks, please tell you kids to stop. Seriously.
How cute are these penguins! I love that they were all lined up waiting for fishies. I love penguins.
I think Maddy was doing something funny with her face or plugging her nose or something but it had Jordan in complete hysterics. He was cracking up. It was so cute to hear his little laugh. I love it.
I so love this picture! I feel like we don't take that many "group" pictures or pictures of us with the kids and with each other and this one is just a great picture. I'm so printing it out. It's me, Maddy, Kathy, and Jordan.
Chad took Maddy and Jordan on this train around the zoo while Kathy and I sat on a perfect bench in the shade for a few minutes. Ah.
They even had a playground area with two different climbing places. It was small but these kiddos were having fun!
That was our Racine Zoo experience! It was a great one! I think it was the perfect size and so relaxed and nice. Check it out!

Jumping Pancake Airplanes!

After Thomas, we went to stay overnight in Rockford. Saturday afternoon we took Jordan to play at Monkey Joe's, which he loves. There are tons of jumpy inflatable slides and obstacle courses.
Bubba and Jordy
On Sunday morning we went to the Poplar Grove Airport for a pancek breakfast that was the allstar of pancake breakfasts. We got to see real airplanes up close and Jordan got to get his face painted and to do even more jumpy jumps!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tattoo Giveaway!

Hey, guess what??? I got another package today from Knopf, my friendly-generous publishing company. They sent me The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo tattoos!!! I am super excited. I'll be contacting everyone who entered for the giveaway for the book The Girl Who Played With Fire so I can send them their cool tattoo! Anyone else who is interested in an oh-so-cool dragon tattoo, post a comment and tell me if you have a tattoo, or two, or twenty-seven, and tell me about it OR if you don't have a tattoo, tell me what kind of tattoo you would want and where you would get it if you were to ever get one. The first ten commenters get a tattoo!!! Cool, huh?

I have to tell you that I don't have a tattoo. I've thought about it. I got my belly button pierced in college but that's about as crazy as I get when it comes to such bodily fun. I had to take my belly button ring out when I got pregnant with Jordan so I don't even have that any more.

If I could get a tattoo I would definitely want a colorful one...not a black one, which Chad always points out are really green...but I pretend they are black. I think I would want something swirly, like the cool drawings/doodles my sister does with lots of fun colors. I think I would want it on my foot or my ankle, but then I could never wear sandals or capris at work because I would feel self-conscious about my tattoo and I've heard that it hurts if you get it where there is basically just bone there SOOOO that's why I don't actually have a tattoo. But I do like remove-able tattoos!

First Blog Giveaway Results!

Just now I entered the numbers for the giveaway and did a random number generator from I wanted to put the information here on this post...but I really couldn't figure it out. BUT, here are pictures of my computer when the screen came up!!!
If you look closely you can see the number...
Congratulations to...drumroll...Stephanie from Call It A Clan! I will be sending Stephanie her very own copy of The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson!!! (And then, hopefully, she'll let me borrow it!)

Thank you to everyone who entered to win and to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book for the giveaway!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Road of Lost Innocence

Most Recently Read Book:

The Road of Lost Innocence

By Somaly Mam

I can't believe I haven't even posted one book at all in August...and that's because this is the only book I have even read in August. It doesn't make sense that during the summer when I don't have to work I can't find time to read. Only a few more days left of summer though, and then I'll be back on track again.

Back to the book, this was our book club book of the month this time around. It's the autobiographical story of a woman who is orphaned as a child only to be taken in by a grandfather who sells her to a brothel. From there she tells of her experience and how she finally was able to get out of the sex trade. It's amazing that this is still going on in the world today, but this woman has set up homes where she tries to rescue girls and give them a safe place to live, go to school, and earn a living for themselves. It's a very sad story but also uplifting to read how she overcame and the good she has done for others.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We have been a little bit Thomas-the-Train-crazy around our house lately! It's all thanks to Thomas coming to the Illinois Railway Museum this weekend. We
took Jordan to ride on Thomas and
Grandma and Papa came with us. We kept ourselves busy until it was time to ride Thomas. Jordan had a blast sitting in a Lego Thomas, meeting Sir Topham Hatt, looking at trains, and, of course, riding the real Thomas! Now loves Thomas even more!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weird Wondering...

I haven't posted a Weird Wondering in a while...although I know I have had some weird wonderings...

This one just struck me today and I grabbed the box to take a picture. Chad picked out Kellogg's Corn Pops and Jordan wanted some when we got home, of course! If you've eaten Corn Pops I'm sure you know they come packed in a fun, silver, foil-lined know what I'm talking about. Now, why are Corn Pops so special that they get the fun bag?

Honestly, I think all cereal should come in the fun silver bag, it seems to stay closed way more easily than the regular bags that other cereals come in. What's the deal? Wierd, huh?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Girl Who Played With Fire GIVEAWAY!

I am happy to be announcing my first ever blog giveaway!!!!

The Girl Who Played With Fire
By Stieg Larsson

This book is the sequel to Larsson's first book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. We read the first book for book club and most of us enjoyed it. After my post, the publisher contacted me about a blog giveaway promotion. I entered my information on their site and they sent me a copy of The Girl Who Played With Fire to give away on my blog!

So what do you have to do to for a chance to win this awesome book? Simply leave a comment about your favorite thriller! (Barnes and Noble lists this book as a thriller.) Tell me the title, author, and what you like so much about your favorite thriller. Please also include your name and e-mail address.

Would you like to increase your chances of winning? Please do one or more of the following (Note: leave a separate comment and email address per entry)

  1. Subscribe to my blog via RSS feed.
  2. Blog about my giveaway and leave your permalink in your comment.
  3. Follow me on twitter @jenni52743 and tweet about this giveaway (can be done daily).

Remember you must leave a separate comment and your email address per entry or it will not count. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The deadline for the giveaway is midnight EST, Monday, August 24th. A winner will be selected via!

Craft Social (Again!)!!

On Friday night, I went to the second Chicago Craft Social with Kathy and Silvia. We went in May and had a ton of fun so we had to go back! This time we made completely different projects but had as much fun! It was just perfect to be able to get some girl time, some craft time, and some away time!!!

First we made Grunge Paper Flower cool are these!?!
From left to right, Silvia's, mine, and Kathy's! I can't wait to wear mine! I am so making more of these...when I get my hands on some grunge paper!
Coasters!! These are cork coasters covered in magazine pages with mod podge. Fun!
This was my most time-consuming project of the night, but I left with something I am so proud of! I sat next to Nicole who helped me make decisions along the way. (Hi, Nicole!)Here I am working on my baby booties! I had a lot of fun. It felt good to be productive and I learned some new stitches!
Ta da! Here are my baby booties! They are going to be a perfect gift topper for a shower I have coming up!
Silvia and Kathy went to make this cute owl wall hanging and keychains while I was working on my booties! Fun!
Can't wait for the next one!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Guise!

Happy Birthday to my aunt, Guise! We celebrated with her this week. I love getting together for birthdays. I love my own birthday and I love being able to celebrate with others, too.

August is a crazy month for us because we have so many birthdays, but I think it's great that we all get to get together and be together so much. One of my resolutions for this year (way back in January) was to spend more time with my family. I think we really have been spending a lot of time with family this year. I think it was always important to me before, but now that we have Jordan I realize how especially important family really is. You never know what life is going to bring so I think it's important to celebrate our family during the good times because we'll need them in the hard times!

Wildlife Discovery Center

Last week we went to the Wildlife Discovery Center to visit the animals, play, and shop at their market! We had a lot of fun! Jordan was really excited by the animals! Afterwards, we went to downtown Lake Forest for sandwiches at Lake Forest Wine and Cheese, went to the Toy Station, and had ice cream at Sweet's! It was very fun! Jordan was excited to have Maddy join us! We love Maddy (and Kathy)!