Monthly Archives: May 2013

WWW Wednesdays – May 31, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “the sign says”. I’m doing this on my photography website, so hop on over to see shameful typos, outdated rules for teachers and a sign hinting at a beautiful love story.

I know, today is Friday, not Wednesday, and I have the nerve to post a WWW Wednesdays update. These past couple of weeks have been pretty hectic for me. I  mainly had to deal with things I’d rather not have to bother with. Fortunately some really good stuff happened to balance out the bad. I missed the past couple of WWW Wednesdays and I didn’t want to wait another week since we’ve read many good books recently. Here’s what’s been keeping us up at night…

My bookshelf

Relic by Preston & Child– What I’m currently reading
Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, the first book in the Pendergast series. I read Still Life With Crows a few months ago and I found Special Agent Pendergast’s character so fascinating, I wanted to read the other novels he’s appeared in.

– What I recently finished reading
Nicholas Saint North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce. I read this first book of the Guardians of Childhood after I read books #2 and 3 because of a long library’s wait. I think it’s the very best of the three so far and I really, really enjoyed reading it and learning more about St North’s past. My eldest loved this book too, along with the others in the series. William Joyce is brilliant at creating magical worlds and amazing characters. Just like his other books, the story just sucked me in from the very first page. I can’t wait till book #4 comes out in the fall and I plan to buy the complete series once all the books are out. A great saga about good vs. evil, magic and belief – a must read for anyone (kids and adults alike) with a sense of adventure!

And Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I first read this book in middle school and then again in high school, so it’s been a long time. And it’s a good thing because even though I remembered the story pretty well, I couldn’t remember the final twist and who dunnit. This really is Agatha Christie at her best when it comes to writing murder mysteries.

Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss. A fascinating book on narcissists and how to recognize them around you. Hint: there are a lot of them, some of them a lot worse than others. The book explains the “seven deadly sins”, i.e. the seven main characteristics of narcissistic people, each followed by advice on how to cope or detach from someone’s hold. Unfortunately for the most extreme cases of narcissism, the only way to get rid of such person is to wait for them to find another victim to latch on and start abusing instead of you. In my case, not something I can see happening soon, so I hope to find more solutions in other books. Narcissistic people are some of the most toxic people to have around. They will try to destroy you to make themselves feel better. Run like the wind if you see one!

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun. Although I’ve always wanting to read one of Lilian Jackson Braun’s cat series, it’s taking me a very long time to finally do so. I decided to start with the first book, so I could understand the origins of the cat. Written in the 1960s, this is a typical good murder mystery. Dark enough to keep you intrigued, not gross enough to make you gag (Preston & Child are geniuses when it comes to force you to keep reading horror books so you know how it ends!). With a nice few twists that kept me guessing till the end, I found this book very entertaining and I’m looking forward to reading more of The Cat series.

– What I think I’ll read next
Running Blind by Lee Child, the #4 book in the Jack Reacher series.

My kids’ bookshelf

Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake by John LithgowWhat they’re currently reading
Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake by John Lithgow. We LOVE this book so much, my kids ask to borrow it from the library a few times a year. John Lithgow, a brilliant actor and a children’s book author with a great sense of humor, retells the story of the gingerbread man using a pancake. The book comes with an audio CD of Lithgow telling the story live to a group of young children and singing the runaway pancake song. Priceless! And believe it or not, this is a song that will get stuck in your head the whole day but you won’t mind, because it’s so funny.
The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce. Yes, another William Joyce book! And this one loosely inspired the new animated movie Epic. When an old woman gets sick and her garden begins to die because nobody waters or maintains it, the doodle bugs call on the Leaf Men to make things right again. A great story of courage with a beautiful ending!

The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda Ferber– What they recently finished reading
The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda Ferber. Tedd Arnold, who writes and illustrates the Fly Guy series, is the illustrator for this book, his brilliant style a perfect complement to the story. Young Leon has a huge crush on young Zoey and decides to proclaim his love on Valentine’s Day. But the Valentine card he designs strongly disagrees and runs away, starting a chase across town. Even my boys, who think girls and Valentine’s day are too mushy, enjoyed this story very much.
The Hoppameleon by Paul Geraghty. A very cute story about a frog who doesn’t know what he is, but just wants to find a friend who is just like him. After meeting so many animals he thinks he looks like, he calls himself a “babylizzyparroturtlehoppameleon”. Quite a tongue twister story, very funny to read!

– What I think they’ll read next I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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Take a seat in the ball crawl, make a friend

A friend of mine shared the Soulpancake video below on Facebook the other day. As soon as I finished watching it, I felt compelled to share it too. I like the idea of this social experiment so much that I’m sharing it with you today on this blog too. If you’ve seen it before or if you’re watching it for the first time now, I’d love to hear what you think.

Put a small ball crawl in a public place. Invite people to come sit in it and make a friend by asking them questions that are printed on the balls. Sounds weird? Just watch the video and see what happens. I’d love to see this everywhere: on the street, at school, heck even on the side of the road during traffic jams! Just kidding on that last one. Or maybe not.

I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge on “in the background” on my photography website. Hop on over if you want to see my photo choices for this theme.

I love to realize there’s a way for all of us to become more aware of the people around. Anything that makes us care and be kind to one another gets my two thumbs up. What about the people who really don’t care and are unkind, you ask? They should be the first ones we throw in there! Maybe not throw but really, encourage them to try to care just a little bit, and see if it makes a difference in their lives. I want to bet it would.

Enjoy this video and have a great Memorial’s Day. A big shoot out to all our troops who have sacrificed their lives to save ours in return over the years.

Goofy Monday: raising a smart ass kid

I think I can safely say that both my kids are highly creative and imaginative, each in their own way. But I have a feeling Son #1 takes it to the next level by also being a smart ass kid. I guess I could say I’m a good teacher, but he’s an even better student. He’s getting better and better at making the one remark that makes you go, haha, good one! I can see Son #2 is practicing hard too. Between the three of us, it makes for some fun days at our house.

Here’s Son #1’s latest example of smart ass creativity. This time it happened at school during one of his writings last week. That day’s theme was “If I had one wish”. And so his first sentence was:

“If I had one wish, it would be to have more wishes and those wishes would be…”

And he had 8 wishes in all! I think he stopped at #8 only because he was starting to run out of room. Here’s his complete list below. You can click on it to see it in a larger format.

If I had one wish writing assignment

If I had one wish writing assignment

But hey, don’t think I’m getting too excited about it. He can surprise me in other ways. Just a few nights ago, we were reading a book called Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson. In it, a little mouse is scared of the various noises outside, only to discover they’re part of nature.

When we got to this page below, my kids had a hard time figuring out what the mouse was hearing. Can you guess what goes plop, plop, plop?

Mouse's First Halloween by Lauren Thompson

Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson

My kids seemed stuck, so I gave them a clue:

Me: “It’s something that you pick from trees in the fall.”
Son #1: “Pumpkins?”

There you have it. An awkward variation of smart ass… I can’t imagine walking under a pumpkin tree and seeing those pumpkins plopping down on the ground… Ouch, my head!

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Escape

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge and this week’s theme is “escape”. But I’m doing the challenge on my photography website so hop on over and take a look.

I bet you won’t find this combination of books, sand, dragonflies, fairylands and car tires anywhere else! Here’s just a preview…

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Escape to a magical fairyland

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Escape to a magical fairyland