Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One more...

One area of my office (before):

 And Now... :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

More Progress!

 This was the area behind a book case that was made as a "hidey hole" for some reason...I think to hide junk.  It was supposed to be a teacher area, but from what I could tell, one person used it to take a few naps throughout the day and it basically hid a bunch of junk.  So....after much cleaning OUT and re-organizing of stuff and moving one shelf back to the looks a little different and is now used by the STUDENTS!  Whoop!
Below is what it looked like once I started cleaning out a little to see how it was going to work.  See the bookcase behind the chairs?  That hid the area from the rest of the library.  It was tough to move, but with four men and two dollies, it was accomplished! :)
 More junk hidden behind the bookcase...oh my!
 And, YES, more junk!!   CrAzY!!
 NOW, it looks like THIS:  Bookcase for magazines moved up against the wall under the window and baam!  Instant seating area for the students to read quietly.  Awesome bean bag chairs are at Wal-Mart for $30 a piece!  And, now the teacher area is behind the Smartboard and that super tall shelf.  It's like a little hallway and has book sets.  ORGANIZED! (of course!)
 My entry going into the teacher zone...professional books and book sets. 
 And, now behind the smartboard looks like this:  No more junk piled on top of the bookcases covered in dust and old gum. Yes, gum. It was GrOsS to clean! 
 And, the students are loving their new area!!  Much better use of the space and the library that I didn't think could look any bigger, DOES!
 Seating arrangement BEFORE with the magazine bookcase blocking the area behind it:
 And NOW:  (mucho better!)

 I got a new rug for in front of the Smartboard, so we rarely sit at the tables anymore.  That's why I moved them back.  Love, love, love the rug and the color it adds!
 There is still work to be done, but this library looks SO much better in just 9 short weeks!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I have literally been sick since Sunday!! Today was my first day of feeling normal.  I haven't taken a sick day in years and left work early on Monday and missed Tuesday.  YUCKO!!  And, of course, managed to give the bug to Kevin.  I guess the hazard of interacting with 400 kids instead of 25 is that my immune system needs to build up even more!!!

Still love my job though!!  More "after" pics coming soon.  Hopefully I will have time to take a few tomorrow.  I have really been working hard on one corner of the library that was a hot mess and turning it into a reading area for the kids.  My problem is that none of the areas I have worked on are completely done.  I still need curtains, a few pillows, maybe a couple more bean bag chairs, a cute rug...oh, the possibilities! :)

No Passengers Beyond This Point by Choldenko

Ok, this is a book I read for the intermediate kids in my library.  I didn't love it.  I have to tell you, I don't think it's for the light reader.  It took me several chapters of confusion to finally figure out that each chapter was being told by a different characters perspective.  And, I am a 40 year old who reads constantly.  But, hey, maybe the kiddo's will catch on quicker than the 40 year old mind.  LOL!  The ending was good, but the person who did the book talk on this book had me intrigued and actually the book talk was better than the book. :(

A reality-bending adventure from a Newbery Honor-winning author

Siblings India, Finn, and Mouse are stunned when their mom tells them they are flying that night--without her--to their Uncle Red's home in Colorado. But things take an even more dramatic turn when their plane lands in a very unusual place. A mysterious driver meets them at the airport; when he drops them off at their "destination," each kid suddenly has a clock with a different amount of time left. If the time runs out, they have to become permanent citizens in a place they don't recognize or understand. Only if they work together can they call the driver back to help get them where they really belong. Suspenseful, funny, dramatic, and thought-provoking, this is a book that will stay with you long after you read the incredible ending.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Retail Therapy

I had gotten to where I couldn't take it anymore.  Even when the living room was clean, it didn't look clean with the half eaten ottoman turned dog bed in the middle of the room and the shag rug that just didn't shag anymore. So...I took action.  I tried to take action last week but the rug lady wasn't at the Memphis Flea Market.  Then, this week I got an email from Ashley's that their rugs would be 50% off.  It was meant to be!!  Honestly I thought even half off I couldn't afford one of theirs, but I scored this one for $249!  Whoop!  Happy Momma!
 And now, it looks like this.  The ottoman has gone to the trash pile.  We have a nice fresh dog bed and no ottoman until Bubba is a little older.  Then I have my eye on a nice leather chair and ottoman from Ashley's. Ha!  And, yes, Bubba is still going in the crate when we aren't home,but I'm not taking any chances! :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Book Thief by Zusak


You MUST read this book!!  It started out a little tough for me - just getting used to the writing style and the perspective from which the book is told (death is telling the story), but after about 50ish pages in, hooked.  This is GREAT writing. I also love WWII stuff.  I am NOT a history person at all, but WWII fascinates me.  Usually you see books of that time written from the Jewish perspective, but this was a German family.  I loved this book and will probably read it again just because I know I probably missed something that I will pick up the second time around.  You know it's a good book when the closer you get to the end, you try to slow down to make it last a little longer. :)  Read it.  You won't be disappointed!

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that will be in movie theaters on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All is quiet in BensonLand...

 Bubba Bear got the all-clear from heartworms yesterday!  yay!!!  We are all officially switched over to the pro-heart 6 shot that is good for 6 months at a time.  Heartgard sucks.  That's all I will say about that!
 And, Bubba Bear has been staying in his crate like a good boy for a week now when Mommy and Daddy aren't home.  His sister Stella is the first to show me to Bubba's door when I get home to let him out.  Could it be because we immediately play fetch with the tennis ball after he gets out? HA!
Nala has a birthday this month.  Turns out I've been "aging" her.  I thought she WAS 17, but she is turning 17.  Oops!  Sorry Nala!  Looking good for 17 though!
Almost caught a sweet moment here...darn Bubba had to move.  Ignore the nasty carpet.  My plan was to get all fur kids fully potty trained before replacing the carpet.  I think we are ready, so hopefully this summer!! :)

I think I am finally all caught up from the book fair!  Had record sales!  Love it!!!  
I am still LOVING my new job!!
We start feeding the homeless this Friday night.  Kevin and I have teamed up with another couple in our Sunday School class to head up this Ministry and feed the homeless once a month.  Please be in prayer that needs are met for this ministry. :)
We are hopeful to get in TWO more camping trips before we "retire" the camper for winter.  Thinking about braving all 3 dogs for at least one of them.  Oh me oh my!  We'll see!!
That's it.  Gotta go READ!  Later!

City of Orphans by Avi


This was one of my purchases from my very own first book fair! :)  The target audience is age 10-14.  Honestly, I thought it was a great story and anyone who loves to read a good book would enjoy it.  Just read the summary and see what you think. :)

City of Orphans
The streets of 1893 New York are full of life: crowded, filthy, dangerous. If you are a newsboy like thirteen-year- old Maks Geless, you need to watch out for Bruno, leader of the Plug Ugly Gang whose shadowy, sinister boss is plotting to take control of all the newsies on the lower East Side.
With Bruno’s boys in fierce pursuit, Maks discovers Willa, a strange girl who lives alone in an alley. It is she, stick in hand, who fights off the Plug Uglies—but further dangers await.
Maks must find a way to free his sister Emma from The Tombs, the city jail where she has been imprisoned for stealing a watch at the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel. Maks, believing her innocent, has only four days to prove it. Fortunately, there is Bartleby Donck, the eccentric lawyer (among other employments) to guide Maks and Willa in the art of detection.
Against a backdrop alive with the sights and sounds of tenement New York, Maks, as boy detective, must confront a teeming world of wealth and crime, while struggling against powerful forces threatening new immigrants and the fabric of family love.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Back from the land of Egypt and books...

 Book Fair week = exciting, fun, and exhausting!!  All rolled into one!  First, the book fair gets wheeled in and it is so exciting knowing all those carts and boxes are full of crisp, new books!!  Then, the next day, the book fair rep comes and help you set up.  At Washington, the book fair has always gone a step further than just setting up the "store".  They (Scholastic) gives you a theme and this year's theme was an Egyptian Oasis.  Hot New Books in a Cool Place.  So...we ran with it.
 It takes a solid day and a little more to get all decorations ready and books out.  Then, that afternoon was the teacher preview and my awesome husband provided the food for it.  So, of course, it didn't disappoint! :)  That was last Thursday - forever ago it seems!!

 We went to Party City and got me an "Egyptian Queen" outfit.  I was the Queen of Books all week and from last Friday to yesterday when a class came in, I gave them a few Egyptian facts and we played a game to "Walk Like an Egyptian".  That way, the book fair was fun for everyone, not just the ones who had money.  And, the price of my outfit was totally worth it for the expressions that were on those little faces - especially the prek, Kindergarten and 1st graders.
 The book fair is NO joke.  There is inventory to keep up with, games to play, announcements to be made, standing in the car line daily as parents drop off kids and advertising, helping Clifford find his way around to the classes :), money to be counted, books to be picked up in another town to restock shelves, Donuts with Dad events to plan and get supplies the last day, the Queen was EXHAUSTED!!  But, it was fun!!
AND, we made record sales!!!  Woohoo!