Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Book Nook - revisited

My next series of books that I am going to read is the Harry Potter series. Actually, I am going to re-read them. I received the set of Harry Potter movies for Christmas along with the newest one that was released after Thanksgiving...."The Half-Blood Prince". I am re-reading the series as the previous movies were very close to the books in their interpretation but I do not believe that this latest movie is. So, my curiosity is up and I have to do something about it.

The Book Nook

Over the past week, we've had a lot of snow and we spent most of the time cooped up inside the house. That's the perfect time for some reading, in my book. I started out with a few Harlequin romance books. One of my sisters brought me several boxes of these. I have to say that there's nothing like a good romance novel every now and then. It's so comforting to sit down and lose yourself in one for awhile.
My daughter had picked out a couple of books from a new series the last time we went to Barnes & Noble. She hadn't read them yet and was wanting to know if I had. Since I hadn't, I got them down off the shelf and started to read the first book. I loved it! The first book is called "Moonlight" by Rachel Hawthorne and it's from the Dark Guardian Series. Believe it or not, but this series is not about Vampires. This is one is about werewolves or shapeshifters. The second book is called "Full Moon" and I loved it as well! The third book is called "Dark of the Moon" and I will be trying to purchase it when we go to the mall on Friday. This series is a Young Adult series and I enjoy reading them just as much as I do an adult series of books.
Then I read a couple of the books that I got for Christmas. The first one is called "Magic to the Bone" by Devon Monk. It's the first book of a series. The next two books are called "Magic in the Blood" and "Magic in the Shadows". I do not have these two books as of yet. The book that I read, "Magic to the Bone", is not about a witch, instead the book is about "Magic". It was a good book but not a great book. If asked, I would probably give it three stars out of four.
The next book I read was called "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" by Gregory Maguire. Several times last year, I picked this book up to buy it and then didn't. So I was really surprised to get it as a gift. I want to say that this book is NOT something for young adults to read. In fact, I detested this book. The first two pages were of a shocking sexual nature and by the time I finished reading the book, I realized I would not be continuing to buy and read the rest of the series. I do NOT recommend this book at all. It's amazing how someone can take a movie "The Wizard of Oz" and flesh it out by making up a history for some of it's characters and do it in such a bad way. If asked, I would not even give it one star out of four. I am 43 years old and in those years in which I was reading, I have only found two books that I detested and this is book number 2.
So those are the books that I have read lately. I received several other books as gifts as well, but I've not started on those yet as my daughter is reading them. They are "Hunted" and "Tempted", books 5 and 6 of the House of Night series. She is working on book 6 as I type. I wrote about these in a previous post. We love this series! Of course, it's about Vampires!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Delectable Shell Afghan

My latest crochet project is the "Delectable Shell Afghan" which is actually a baby afghan. It can be found here . It is a free pattern. The yarn I'm using is Bernat's Baby Coordinates in white. I am on Row 19 and I have to say that the pattern is really pretty and it's working up nicely. It's for Skill Level Easy. This will be the first of many items that I will be making for my great-nephew that is due to arrive in May. Two days before my birth day. I will try to post a photo when I get it finished.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Husband and I

I thought that I would include a photo of my husband and I on the blog since I've put the rest of the family on there today. This photo was taken at parent's night or senior night at a basketball game last February. That's our oldest son with us. I was going to put a different photo on here but alas! it seems that the computer gremlins have hidden it from me. It's probably on my husband's computer. That's usually the case.

My Comedian

Every family has one don't they? A Comedian? My youngest son, aged 15, is ours. I was trying to find my favorite photo of him in one of his many hats, but it's on my husband's computer instead of mine. Anyway, here is a photo of my youngest son with a great big smile. He took his own picture. LOL This child of mine has a love for hats...any shape, kind or form. He has a bomber hat that he wears all the time as well as a jester hat that he can be found in around the house quite frequently. I wonder if it started out when we gave him my dad's old hat that was an army or calvary hat or something like that. You just never know, do you?

A Boy And His Car

My oldest son graduated from High School back in May. As his graduation and "going off to college" gift, we bought him a car to replace the "junker" we made him drive around town. Here's a photo of him and his car. What do you think? Do you think he likes it? I know that he's very proud of it. He likes having "snappy" wheels. LOL By the way, he's in a tux waiting in front of his date's house for the trip to Prom. The car is a PT Cruiser, in case you can't tell.

Pepper and Cocoa

I thought I would include a picture of my lovely little doggies on my blog. I haven't wrote about them before because I try to keep my blog on the topics of family, books and crochet and I had this thought a bit ago..."my dogs are my family too" so here they are. They are both two years old right around Thanksgiving this year. They are cousins born one day apart and their moms are sisters. Aren't they cute? They are Shih Tzu's. And they have their sweaters on so they can go outside to potty. Cocoa is on the left and Pepper is on the right.

Baking Day

Today is officially "Baking Day" in my house. I am getting to all those Christmas cookies that I wanted to make for the holidays. So far this morning, I've been working on the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies and the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cookies. Up next is the Oatmeal Raisin and the Snickerdoodles. By the time I get these done, it will be time for my mom to show up. We'll be making Pumpkin Bread, Peanut Clusters and White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels. I think we are also going to make Peanut Butter Fudge. I guess it depends on whatever my mom brings over for us to make. She loves all this baking and cooking but seldom does it anymore since she's the only one in her household. What is everyone else making for their holiday goodies?


The day after Thanksgiving, my 12 year old daughter got her first set of hair highlights. She's been lobbying for them for almost a year now and with her ash blond hair, I've been loathe to let her do anything to it. My oldest son also has ash blond hair and he got red highlights once and they turned pink. Yikes! Not too good for a high school boy. Anyway, her hair has been darkening up as the winter progressed and there was less and less sun out, so I finally agreed to the highlights but they had to be blond. The blond highlights really brightened her hair up and she looks wonderful. She wasn't too thrilled with the whole process though. Here's a picture of her during the whole episode. Isn't she cute?

Christmas Dinner

We had our family vote over a month ago, and Christmas Dinner this year will be: Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, Salad and Rolls. About five years ago, I started the "Family Vote" for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners. Everyone gets to suggest ideas and then we take a vote to see what makes the cut. Of course, we try to make sure that the side dishes go with the main course. No funny stuff. And they always have the option of the traditional dinner fare. That's what they voted for at Thanksgiving. I have found that the kids really enjoy getting to vote on the menu and I like having their input as well. Why make something that they really don't feel like eating? So what is everyone else having for Christmas Dinner at their house?

Crochet Project - Little Baker's Set

I found this adorable crochet pattern on the internet. It's called the Little Baker's Set. And it's a free pattern. Here's the addy for it http://www.innerchi ldcrochet. com/patterns/ files/little_ baker_set. pdf . Anyone that has a little girl with her very own play kitchen would love to have a set of these for her own. I made two sets yesterday. One was pink and one was blue. The set has oven mitts and pot holders in it.

Project Finished

The TV Lapghan is finished. I completed it yesterday. A couple of things I would like to note though....I only used 2 skeins per color instead of the 5 that the pattern calls for. I am wondering what I did wrong as I followed the directions to the T. Here is a picture of my lapghan. It's not the best picture as the lighting was funny. But it's just big enough to cover all of my legs when I sit in the recliner and still have some for my middle section to be covered up too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Book Nook

I found the time to sit and read a book today. It was one of a series that I gave my oldest son at Valentine's Day this year. The book is called "Witchling" and it's by Yasmine Galenorn. I must say that it's pretty good. It's a distraction from the every day supernatural or fantasy books that I have been reading for the past year and a half. The next book in the series is called "Changeling" and I am looking forward to reading it. So that means that the book gets 3 thumbs up out of 4 on my rating scale. However, be warned that these are for mature readers as there is some sex involved in the telling of the story. But it does have everything I'm looking for in a supernatural book - vampires, witches, shapeshifters, demons, dragons, fairies, etc..

TV Lapghan

My newest crochet project is Lion Brand's Vanna Choice TV Lapghan . It is a free pattern. I am using the following colors to make this: royal blue, white and pumpkin. The pumpkin color actually looks like hunter orange. I am using Red Heart Worsted Weight Yarn.
I am on the seventh row and I have to admit that the pattern is very easy to follow. The colors don't look bad together and my husband says he loves the color combination. The only reason I chose these colors is because I had enough skeins of yarn in each if the colors plus they didn't go together too badly.
This will be the first of the afghans or lapghans that I will be making for the year 2010 and I will keep this one for my household as I always give the things I make away or to the kids and none of the afghans ever stay upstairs in the family room/living room.

Christmas Vacation

School got out at 11:20 a.m. today for Christmas vacation. By noon, I already had one that was bored. *sigh* I hope I will not be hearing this for the next few weeks.
On a good note, I have baked a few cookies today, sent a child off on an evening at the ski slopes with a school organization, wrote and mailed a few letters, and started a new crochet project.
Isn't Christmas vacation grand?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Season For Me

The Holiday Season for me is a wonderful time of year. I love getting up with the kids Christmas morning and opening presents. Being with family means everything to me during this time of the year. But, I also enjoy having some down-time as well over the holidays. I will be using my "me time" to re-read The Harry Potter series. I love this set of books! My daughter has become interested in it as well lately and I'm hoping that she can be encouraged to read the series too. She's been watching the movies with us and a month or so ago we had a Harry Potter weekend and viewed all the movies we had plus we watched the newest one out on video just last week "The Half-Blood Prince". She had loads of questions that we will not answer completely as this last movie is so different from the book. We keep telling her to read the books and she'll figure it out. So maybe if I break the books out off the shelf and am reading them myself, she will pick one up. So, anyone that has a child that loves to read and hasn't yet read this series, maybe you should consider picking it up and giving it a go.

Christmas Vacation Approaches

Christmas vacation is rapidly approaching. Tomorrow, school gets out at 11:20 am. The kids will be home until school restarts on Jan. 4th (I think). Whatever that Monday is after the New Year. I will have to take the time later on to look at a calendar and find out for sure.

So I got to thinking about what am I going to do with the kids for the next couple of weeks and I came up with the following ideas:
1. They can help me make the Christmas candy. We will be making peanut clusters and dipped pretzels.
2. They can help me bake the Christmas cookies. I have 5 types to bake up: M&M, chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles, and white chocolate macadamia. My youngest son is in FFA and they sold fruit, etc. a couple of months ago and I bought 5 of the tubs of cookie dough. So I only have to bake the cookies instead of mixing the dough up as well. It's a huge time saver.
3. We are going to dust of the games and break them out of the closet for some fun gaming.
4. Several of them need to read during the holidays for their AR points at school. My daughter just started a series that she's been dying to read and she's finished the first book and is chomping at the bit wanting to start book number two. The series is called "The Vampire Academy". I've already read the first three books and I'm going to be buying book #4 after the new year when we go on our annual book run to Barnes & Noble. My youngest son is reading the "Fablehaven" series and he's almost done with book 1 and needs to start book 2 during the vacation time so he will have a head start. He's a bit of a slow reader and he seldom finds a book that he likes and finishes, so this series has been a life saver.

This is my list so far. I don't want to overdo it with finding things to keep them busy as I know they will want to just be lazy for most of it. The kids are very busy during school with sports, activities and of course, homework, so I feel that they need time to regroup and recharge. I'm the same way as I am frequently worn out just keeping up with them.

So, with all this said, I wish all the other mothers out there a Happy Christmas Vacation!

My Christmas Shopping is Finished!!!

My Christmas Shopping is Finished!!! Yippee! I even have everything wrapped and either under the tree or hidden in my bedroom. I cannot believe I'm so organized this year! I'm very proud of myself. This feeling has me inspired to change my tactics for 2010 and the Christmas shopping. My pledge for the new year will be: I will try my hardest to shop through the year so it won't be caught unawares at the last minute. I realize that with having older children, not everything can be purchased early in the year. However, I have already started their "wish list" for 2010 just by listening to them talk about things that they are interested in or things that are their favorites and wish they had. Now, I only have to keep this up in the coming year and do a bit of shopping here and there and I will be one prepared mother in 2010!

Latest Crochet Projects

In the last week, I have finished three crochet projects.....2 Christmas stockings (for a niece and a nephew) and a "Luna Lovegood Scarf" for my daughter. The pattern for the stockings is here and the pattern for the scarf is here . Both are free patterns. With these projects finished, I have now completed my 2009 list of items to crochet. Yippee! *doing a little dance* For your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of the finished "Luna Lovegood Scarf".

I have started my 2010 list of things to crochet now. I know, I's still several weeks off, but I'd like to be prepared. My list is already growing by leaps and bounds. At the very top of the list though, is a bunch of baby items that I want to make for my niece who's expecting in May. In the end though, I will probably only make some blankets and booties for the new baby. I don't know if I have the patience to do some jackets and hats. I will just have to see if I can find a pattern that "inspires" me. The rest of my list consists of different afghan patterns that I am dying to try. Probably the one that's foremost in my mind is the one called the Magic-ghan. Basically, it's where you crochet a basic pattern holding two yarns together with the two yarns being a solid color and the other color being a magic ball of yarn that is made up of all your scraps tied together. Another pattern that I really want to try is for an American Indian inspired afghan. Since my husband and my two youngest children are of the American Indian heritage, it's only fitting that I make one of these. I'm also going to do afghans that are in the ripple pattern, the basketweave pattern, and a patchwork pattern. I also decided that these afghans would be staying in my household instead of being given away like I usually do. I have never made an afghan for my husband so this is going to be the year that I do so. Has anyone else started a list for 2010 of the craft projects that they are wanting to do?