Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Shape of Mercy

The Shape of MercyThe Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a fan of historical fiction and when I came across this book, I knew that it was something that would interest me. However, the time around the Salem witch trials are a dark time in the history of our country and I knew how things were going to end for Mercy. It is hard to imagine what those men and women went through during that time with the Salem witch trials and it is even harder to imagine that anyone could believe the tales that were being told to implicate those accused. The story connects the lives of 3 women. The first being Mercy who was accused of witchcraft and sentenced to die and Abigail an older woman who is an ancestor of Mercy's who has in her posession Mercy's diary and Lauren a young college student that Abigail hires to transcribe Mercy's diary. The diary has a profound impact on the lives of Abigail and Lauren and we see that we can learn alot about ourselves by studying the past. The underlying theme of this book is about how quick we can be to pass judgement on others and how hurtful that can be. It is also a story about mercy and forgiveness and as an added bonus it is a love story. I really enjoyed this book.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Terrible Two's

It's been awhile since I've written about Ethan and I wanted to take a minute to document a little of his personal history. Ethan turned 2 on June 1. So here are a few things to remeber about Ethan at this stage of his life.

Ethan is a tornado of destruction. He keeps me busy each and every day cleaning up the various messes that he makes all over the house.

Every day, multiple times a day, he pulls all the cushions of my couches. He jumps on them and uses them to build forts.

He refuses to sit in the shopping cart.

He hates tags in his clothes. I have to hide them or cut them out. Today he called me in to the bathroom to show me a tag on the towel. Oh brother!

Ethan is talking a lot! He can say each of his brothers names "Erck", "Cam", "Autin" and he can even say his own name "E-in"

When he sees me in my workout clothes he says "esercise mom?"

Whenever he gets a boo boo, he comes to me for a kiss to make it better.

He used to say ck-truck for truck, but now he just says truck

He likes Erik to get him out of bed. When he sees him he says "Hi Erck, what are you doing here?"

He loves to paint "a paint mom?"

He calls robots "robot eyes" Not sure where that came from, but it's pretty funny.

He loves stickers. Sticker books are the only way that I can keep him still in church.

He can do all the actions to "Head, shoulders, knees and toes"

He loves to have a bath!

He loves the movie Cars and knows all the characters.

He continually pulls the keys off of Brett's laptop.

He is an artist and loves to draw on everything. (*see below)

He loves to draw with sidewalk chalk. Sometimes his artwork shows up on more places than just the sidewalk....the car, the house, the tile inside the house etc.

Ethan is a sweet, cuddly little boy who always gives lots of hugs and kisses. He is generally happy and full of energy. Even though he wears me out most days, I am so grateful for his curiosity and fun-loving attitude. I love you Ethan!

P.S. as a follow up, I was just finishing up this post and was going to get the boys into bed when I smelled and overwhelmingly strong scent of Febreeze air freshener coming from up the stairs. I got to the top and noticed that the carpet was slightly damp right where Ethan was sitting. HMMMMM. I asked the boys what happened and Cameron told me that Ethan was spraying the Febreeze and he took it away from him. OK!, so I took Ethan and washed his hands and got him ready for bed and dried the carpet as best I could, then we all gathered around for family prayer. Austin climbed in my lap and just as he started saying the prayer I kissed him on the head and low and behold he smelled like (you guessed it) Febreeze! After the prayer, I asked Austin why he smelled like Febreeze and he said "because Ethan squirted me 2 times!" Seriously?! So it was off to the tub for a quick bath before bed. But not before I put the can of Febreeze on the highest shelf way out of the reach of some very mischevious and curious little hands! I guess that's where it should have been all along!

My trumpeteer....

Erik has been practicing the trumpet and he sure is getting good at it! Take a peek... Also, notice his new glasses. Doesn't he look so handsome?! Great job Erik! I am very proud of you. Love, Mom :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Busy, busy, busy....

In a good way. We are 99% finished with our laundry room!



New rug ($10 Ross):

New light:

New cabinets added above the washer and dryer = 2x's the storage and a place for all my crafting supplies

All we have left to do in here is put up the chair rail on the beadboard and some touch up paint on the trim! Feels so good to check another project off of our never-ending to do list!

Before and after....

It feels so good to finish up some projects that we have been wanting to get to. A good friend of mine (hi Sandra) gave me this cute table awhile ago and I have had plans to re-finish it for quite some time now. This weekend was the perfect time for me to do just that. So here is the BEFORE:

and here is the AFTER:

Amazing what a little paint and elbow grease can do! Love it!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Band has begun....

and Erik has chosen to play.....


I love hearing my children create music in our home. It really is a happy sound (even when the notes don't come out just right). Band has quickly become Erik's favorite subject thus far in 7th grade. He comes home each day to play a new note and share what he has learned. I am so thrilled that Erik is off to a great start this year in all his classes. I am very proud of you Erik! Keep up the good work!

(I love this picture, because as I was taking it, his foot was tappin' out the rhythm he was playing and he looked so cute handsome!)

First day of Kindergarten....

My baby is growing up. Austin had his first day of Kindergarten on August 15, 2011. Here are a few highlights of his day:
Puzzles with Mom and Dad

The sandbox:

The playground:

The end of day one with his teacher Mrs. B:

It was a great first day and Brett and I were lucky enough to be able to share that experience with him. He has a great teacher and has already met several new friends. I love that in Kindergarten everyone is their friend (even if you don't know their name, but can identify them by the color of their shirt). It looks like it is going to be a wonderful year! Austin I am so proud of you! I know that you are going to do great in Kindergarten! Keep up the good work!

Book reviews....

Fire (The Seven Kingdoms, #2)Fire by Kristin Cashore

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book more than I did. The concept of the story was great. The characters were interesting and unique, but the plot just didn't come together. And the Leck character didn't seem to fit into the book. Just seemed like he was thrown in there for added drama and his departure was very anti-climatic. It also moved a little slow for me. I haven't read Graceling (the first book), but after reading this, I am not sure that I will continue on with this author.

View all my reviews
Sarahs KeySarahs Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was amazing in the beginning. I couldn't put it down. Sarah's story is so touching and heartbreaking. I love how the author weaves the stories of Sarah and Julia together. However, once Sarah's story is told and the plot shifts more to Julia, the book loses steam. I felt like the book had potential, but just didn't live up to it.

View all my reviews
Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this story. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. It is a story about Cassia who lives in a society where agency is basically taken away from the people in an attempt to attain perfection. At the age of 17 boys and girls are "matched" by the "officials" with their perfect mate. A mistake occurs with Cassia where she sees 2 matches for her. When that happens, it sets off a series of events that makes her question everything that she has been taught to believe, and sets the stage for a great love triangle. So the question is Xander or Ky?! I can't wait for book 2 (Crossed) to come out in November. The book had a similar feel to The Giver and The Hunger Games, so if you liked those books, you will love Crossed.

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back to school....

I can't believe that it is time for the kids to go back to school. This is a bittersweet time for me. On one hand I am ready for more structure and routine to our days, but I will miss having the boys around. It is also going to be a year of transition as Erik will be starting jr high and Austin will be starting Kindergarten. I wanted to take pics of the boys at the beginning of this new school year, so after giving them each a haircut and convincing them to wear the clothes that I wanted them to wear and begging them to just humor me and pose for whatever pictures I wanted, we managed to get a few shots that I love.

Erik 7th Grade

Cameron 4th Grade

Austin Kindergarten

Ethan Toddler school with Mom

My handsome boys

I love how these pics turned out and it is always fun to see the boys individual personalities shining through. So even though the pictures aren't "perfect" in terms of the boys always smiling or even looking at the camera for that matter, I am a happy Mom to have these little reminders of my boys at this stage in their lives. And I had a great time sharing this day with them as well. Thanks boys for making your Mom so happy today!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Where to begin...

When you've been MIA from the blog for so long, the question is where do you begin? And an even bigger question is anybody still reading my silly little posts? My Mom assures me that she is, so Mom, this is for you (and of course anyone else that may still be checking this little blog of mine.)

The never-ending projects on the house are still progressing.

1. The railings are complete!

2. The front yard is 1/2 re-landscaped (ignore my dead planters, I'm still trying to figure out how not to kill my potted plants)
*I spy with my little eye a cute boy creeping into my photos!

Some of my flowers are doing really well...

these roses where on the brink of death and I brought them back (maybe I don't have such a brown thumb after all.)

and the most exciting thing as of late is...

3. The new patio cover!!! Isn't this a work of art?! Brett and his dad (Jed) had this built in just a couple of days! They did a great job, and we are enjoying the shade that it provides.
*Notice the new house color....

We are loving all the progress on our house. It has been a year of hard work, but the house is coming together.