Sunday, February 28, 2016

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

(photo from

"August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial difference that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now.  He's about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be.  The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face.  But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?" (taken from inside jacket)

I read this book to my kids and we loved the story.  We learned about perseverance, friendship, strength in character and forgiveness.  All three of us (my kids and I) highly recommend this book.  A great read for the whole family.

(Disclaimer: Our kids were given this book for the library book club and we were not asked by the author to give our opinion on this book).

Thursday, February 25, 2016


If the first thing that popped into your mind was 'Thunderstruck" by AC/ are pretty awesome. (here is the video for your enjoyment courtesy of YouTube)

I was actually referring to a thunder storm that we had last night.  Quite unusual this time of year, but I do have to was pretty cool.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rain Snow, Snow Rain

This is the weather we have had this winter.  It snows a couple of inches and then it rains. It will rain a couple of inches and then it will snow.  I am not complaining at all.  The more moisture we get the better.  Just not the typical New England winter this year.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Fools for Christ

"God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world." ~ Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia  (1936-2016)

Friday, February 12, 2016

12 Books/Series...

Last month I did a post about Twelve Random Things About Me.  This month, I thought I would share 12 books/series that I have enjoyed reading...

1.  Book of Mormon - I have read this about 4 times and am now reading a chapter each night to the kids.  We are in Alma

2.  Bible - I have read the NIV Bible once and am now reading the King James Version.

3.  The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - read aloud to the kids and loved every book.

4.  The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - read aloud to the kids and then I read the series on my own.  We love this series.

5.  The Farworld series by J. Scott Savage  - new author and a great series.  When my kids say "One more chapter" every know it is a great story.

6.  Fearless by Eric Blehm - I highly recommend.  A great, true story about a Navy Seal.  You will laugh, cry and hold your breath throughout the book.

7.  Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - amazing love story. Highly recommend with a box of kleenex.

8,  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - an interesting read.  Takes place during WWII and 'death' is the story teller.  It took me a couple of times to start reading, but once I got into the book...I couldn't put it down.  I do not recommend the movie.

9.  Ella Minow Pea by Mark Dunn - a very clever and funny story.  I would love to find another book as clever as this one.

10.  Where Are the Children by Mary Higgins Clark - this book got me interested in reading for pleasure instead of 'having to read it for school'. 

11.  John Adams by David McCullough - I learned a lot about John Adams.  When I finished this book, I felt I knew John Adams.  Excellent read and I highly recommend.

12.  The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough - This book was so intense that I could feel and taste the muddy water...absolutely riveting and an amazing true story.

I could list many more books, but I will stop at twelve.

What are your top twelve books/series that you have enjoyed reading?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

18 Months Ago...

18 months ago, our family met Sister Crook (left) and Sister Mayle (right).  These lovely young ladies are now home with their families or, in Hailey's (Sister Mayle) case...attending BYU. Hailey has been home since Dec.2014.   Alee (Sister Crook) returned to her home in Wyoming yesterday.
We miss Hailey and Alee a lot!!!  We will always have a special place in our hearts for them :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Things have calmed down quite a bit, especially work related stuff.  I have been able to take a deep breath and clear my head. 
As far as lessons for the kids...this is an off week for them but lately, they have been studying/learning/reading the following:

Book of Mormon - 1 chapter everyday.  Both Nick and Sam are almost finished...just a few more books to go (Mormon, Ether and Moroni)

1/2 hour reading everyday - This is a free choice of reading and I have to say that I am very pleased with their selections (chapter books!)

Zoology 2: Under Water Creatures: Samantha has completed this book and will be starting Zoology 1: Flying Creatures next week.

Zoology 3: Land Creatures:  Nick has completed this book and will be starting Zoology 2: Under Water Creatures next week as well.

Daily Grams 5 and 7:  Both Nick and Sam have been working in these work books and do a page a day.  They will more than likely complete their workbooks before we end our 2015/2016 year.

Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics:  We are steadily working in this book and hope to complete it by the end of April. (I have a strong feeling that we will)

Mystery of History Vol 1.- still working in this book for over 2 years now.  We are in Qtr.4 and I am really hoping that we complete this book by the end of April.  Both Nick and Sam aren't as enthused about this curriculum, but they know we are going to finish it.

We did do Jump-in for a while (writing curriculum), but I haven't pulled it out yet.  Perhaps next week...not sure yet.

This is what the kids have been up to lately...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Safety for the Soul

This evening, the sister missionaries stopped by for a lesson and shared the above talk by Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  This talk is from the October 2009 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Eating sweets
Birthday's of Washington and Lincoln
Unique month
Ash Wednesday
Reading books
Year of the Leap