Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Librarian 101

Today was my first formal observation from my principal as a LIBRARIAN!!  Whoop!  And, I did it and it went well.  Swollen eyes and all.  My face looked like I had been hit by a Mack truck from crying so much over Nala last night.  But, it's over with and my principal is an animal lover so she totally gets it. Post conference is February 4th.  I have to say, it was way easier than being a classroom teacher.  Sorry classroom teachers!! 

Beautiful Creatures by

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This book is targeted for young adults.  DEVOURED it!  I'm wondering if my calling isn't a middle school librarian, because I tend to LOVE their books!!!  I am not big on "love" stories, and in the very beginning I thought, "Oh, no, this is reminding me of Twilight."  BUT, it quickly recovered and I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know...what am I dealing with?  Vampires?  Werewolves?  What is the behind the story scene?  Anyway, I personally recommend this book for a teen.  I'd say 6th grade and up.  Mature 5th grader could even read it.  No inappropriate scenes.  I'm on to the second one.  It's a four part series.  Yay! (and, yes, my 5th book THIS month...I may need to take a break and talk to my husband! ha!)

Summary:
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I HATE this!

Hardest part of being owned by a pet is at the end.  Watching them daily.  Wondering when you leave for work if it's the last time you will kiss them on top of the head.  Trying to figure out if they are suffering.  Am I holding on and being selfish?  Is she suffering?  One day I think, it's time and the next day, she perks up.  My Nala has stopped eating again.  I fear it is any day now.  I just don't want to make the decision and it just hurts.  I hate this part!  Hate!  My rant is over for now.  I'm just going to lay here with her and read and enjoy having her beside me. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekend Report

 This weekend pretty much consisted of cleaning, volunteering, playing with the pups and NaPpInG!!  I have taken a power nap BOTH days and I am NOT complaining! ;)  It's Upward Basketball Season again, which translates into Kevin being a ref and me working concessions every Saturday.  It's fun and I love the people!!  I always enjoy taking a minute or two to watch "my" soft-hearted ref, who takes it to heart if he gets yelled at. :)  Keep in mind, he isn't afraid to yell AT refs though! 
 I worked some on what used to be the office and am trying to get it back to a "guest" space...or a dog bed.  Whatever you want to call it.  I've got the book case back in there from the garage and the twin bed, but I have to wait on getting mattresses.  You know January is a SLOW month for the business every year and money is tight.  I'm ready to get past January!! ;)  
Now...for some super cute pup pics! Bubba Bear just aims to please in that department!





Thursday, January 23, 2014

i.heart.books!

Today I needed a little "pick me up".  Now, where might I find a happy, happy, happy?  Barnes and Noble, of course!!  
Today was my second trip with Christmas gift cards and I still have $92 on cards left to spend!!  Oh my, the BLISS!!  I hope my family gets me B&N gift cards for the rest of my life, because it just doesn't get old!
Here are my treasures today...The only one not on my list of books I keep that people recommend is "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet".  I'm taking a risk on that one.  A blind buy.  I'll let you know!  Now...decisions, decisions, what to read next????
 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


I Survived The Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Tarshis

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In my attempt to read at least one elementary fiction book a month or bi-monthly,(I am an elementary librarian after all!) this was my pick for this month.  I have had boys in my class for the past two years devour this series.  I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  I read it in an afternoon (maybe an hour or two...I wasn't paying attention to time.)  I see the appeal.  The author does a good job of making you feel like you are there.  It's a great read for kids to learn about historical events rather than opening a boring old text book! :)  I would recommend for 3rd thru 5th graders and offer as a choice for those 2nd grade students that need to be challenged.  Other books in the I Survived series are: The Sinking of the Titanic, The Shark Attacks of 1916, Hurrican Katrina, The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, and The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906.

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Weekend = 3 day weekend

What to do with 3 days off?
Well, first READ!!  I read a lot!  I don't even think I turned the tv on except when I had company over scrapbooking! :) It's the 20th of January and I finished my third book.  Whoop!
I started my weekend by leaving work Friday and breaking down as I was exiting the interstate.  Coasted into Walmart and had to get my battery charged where I could make it to the shop and spend $300 on a new alternator.  FUN!!
The day before I had bought a new "office" desk for us online (see 2 posts below).  If I had known my alternator was going to blow, I probably wouldn't have gotten it, so I'm glad the alternator waited until AFTER. ha!  I got to spend the rest of Friday organizing.  I.love.to.organize!!
Saturday, Kevin went to help John 3:16 Ministries with a big fundraiser, so I called the scrappers over and we scrapbooking until the wee hours of the morning.  When the mans away, the wife will scrap! :)  I did also manage to go watch the kids at my school play basketball and I volunteered at the church for Upward.  Those are the only two times I got out of the house in 3 days though.  Love it!!
The rest of the weekend consisted of more reading, more scrapbooking, organizing the garage AND I sold our old desk.  Made some money and never left the house.  Winning! :)

Night Film by Pessl

3
Pretty sure you have to add this one to your MUST read list.  It does haunt you even when you aren't reading it.  A thriller/mystery that I only had issue with in the last hundred pages or so.  I would think it was over and then it wasn't.  I just finished it and I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending.  I need a CLEAR ending...you don't get that. :(  I have no doubt it will be a movie and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Guaranteed.

Summary from Goodreads:
 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and Goodreads Choice Award Nominee!

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.
 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bargain Hunter!

I have been selling some stuff on the local online yard sale for a few weeks.  I hate having yard sales and swore after the last one I'd never do it again.  Soooo, I've been taking little stuff to Goodwill, but bigger items I've decided to give it a whirl at the online yard sale.  Well, a few days ago, someone was cleaning out their office and posted a desk amoire JUST like what I've been looking for so we could move Kevin's office space to the dining area and I could set the twin bed back up in the guest room.  Bam!  $125 bargain.  Solid cherry wood.  Exactly what I wanted.  I'm blogging from there now!  Yippee!  And, the bonus is that really it was free from all my online selling! LOL!

 So we can open the doors and have our office and then close them and it looks nice.  Success!
And, I was banned from further bargain shopping of heavy items.  I sent Big Bear to pick it up and it was a 3rd floor office and it didn't fit in the elevator.  He was NOT happy.  I've been informed it weighs like 800 lbs. :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nala Update...

 She's a fighter.  She's hanging in there.  We've gone from thinking 'any day now' to 'time is limited, but who knows?'  She still isn't eating very good.  We've switched to a can food with lots of juice/gravy.  She mainly just eats/licks the gravy.  No dry food at all. And, no food with her kidney medicine, so she is off her insulin and her kidney medicine.  Honestly, if you didn't KNOW she wasn't eating and you didn't pet her and FEEL how much weight she has lost, you would just think she's an old cat that likes to sleep a lot.  She has started coming back into the living room with us and likes to just lay on me while I read.  We are cuddling up every night for bed and just loving on her as much as possible until we have to say good bye. :(

Monday, January 13, 2014

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

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So, I am a little behind the times in reading this one.  My brother-in-law recommended it to me and I picked it up and noticed the copyright was 1999 and the movie was out a long time ago...better late than never!  I'm about to order the movie off Amazon.  Can't wait to watch it because I know it will be intense.  At the end of this book I was reading so fast because I was on the edge of my seat and had to make myself slow down and reread.  Definitely worth putting on your "to read" list. :)

Summary:
The National Book Award finalist, Oprah Book Club pick, #1 New York Times bestseller and basis for the Oscar-nominated motion picture.
A former colonel in the Iranian Air Force yearns to restore his family's dignity. A recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck struggles to hold on to the one thing she has left. And her lover, a married cop, is driven to extremes to win her love.

In this masterpiece of American realism and Shakespearean consequence, Andre Dubus III's unforgettable characters—people with ordinary flaws, looking for a small piece of ground to stand on—careen toward inevitable conflict, their tragedy painting a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Reflections of 2013

Another year gone.  Time sure does fly.  I see that more clearly every time I look at my niece and see what a beautiful woman she is turning into when in reality, it sure seems like she should be toddling around playing with baby dolls!!  
As I look back over this year, I think, wow!  It was definitely better than the year prior!  2012 will just forever be known as the year of Benson depression, and honestly 2013 started off rough, but finished strong.  We had some extreme lows this year, but we had way more ups than downs.  You know the saying that you don't know what goes on behind closed doors.  Well, our lows included being so broke at one point that we couldn't cover our bills.  I have never been in that position before.  It was early in the year when business is typically slow, but it started piling up and once it piles up, it is hard to recover.  But, we kept tithing and put our faith in God and He provided.  We also hit probably our lowest point in our marriage so far this year.  At one point, I honestly didn't think our marriage was going to survive.  We even went our separate ways for a weekend to "think" about things.  I truly believe we were just a little lost on where to go from here.  We were struggling with what our life was supposed to look like without kids.  What was our purpose?  In the end, we knew we were meant to fight for our marriage.  Divorce wasn't in God's plan for us.  So, we prayed.  We healed.  We served.  Ultimately, our marriage is stronger today for it.  We climbed out of all those valleys early in the year of 2013 to find many blessings waiting on the other side.  We had a blast watching my students play Terry Tiger basketball, we volunteered with Upward at church, Kevin was baptised again, I got a new job as a librarian using my masters degree, we bought our dream new camper, ended the year with record business sales, started a ministry feeding the homeless, and both turned 40!!  Our camper was our 40th birthday present to each other, and it has been a great "get away" for us.  I love nothing more than piling the dogs up and going camping.  
It's sometimes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's always there.  When we keep our focus on God, we can't stay down for long.  I know we have more trials ahead, but I know where to put my trust and faith and it will all be as God planned.  Join us for the ride in 2014? :)

"Your life was meant to be a great story.  Easy lives don't make great stories." -Beth Moore

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
 John 16:33
 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Proverbs 3:5-6
 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Today was the day!!!

I am super blessed with a HUGE library for my first library.  Move the tables, chairs and roll a few bookcases out of the way and the possibilities are endless!!  Today was the first AR celebration (Accelerated Reader) under my "leadership".  I wanted it to be BIG!  The kids had bigger and higher AR goals than they were used to having, and I really wanted to reward those who worked hard to achieve their goal by READING!!!  So...I turned the library into a "blow up" carnival!!  We had a bouncy house, blow up obstacle course, and some carnival type games.  The kids had a BLAST!  Their faces when they walked in and saw the library transformed was PRICELESS!!!  The gasps and eyes popping! ha!  When I overheard a 5th grader walking past the next 5th grade class that was coming in say, "Ya'll better get ready to have some FUN!"  I knew I had done ok! ;)
I am exhausted to say the least!! ha!  And, so is Big Bear.  So thankful he was my helper all day!  Whew!



Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Inheritance by Paolini

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And, just like that, I finished my first book of the year and said good-bye to the Inheritance Series.  That was an investment in reading time there!  Four books and all were chunks!  Again, I liked it, not love, but like.  And, I'm not sure how I feel about the ending.  I still have questions I want answered!  I'm glad I read it, but I doubt I recommend it to anyone.  Does that make sense?

Here's a little summary:
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaƫsia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Planning & Plotting

Today was the first day back to work after two weeks off.  However, no students today.  We had a meeting the first hour and then work day the rest of the day.  So....I spent my day analyzing Accelerated Reader results for the first semester and planning a BIG AR party for those kiddo's who made their goal.  After much pinterest searching and debating, I am renting a bouncy house and obstacle course and turning the library into a FUN ZONE for the day on Thursday!!  Whoop!  
Pictures to come...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Three dog day...

 Friday, Big Bear was out of town for a funeral, and we had a vet appointment for ALL 3 dogs!!  It was time for yearly shots and check-up.  The vet techs said they would help me, so off we went.  Me in charge of all three.  I can handle Rex and Stella all day long by myself.  It's when you throw Bubba Bear into the mix that things get wild fast!
Three dogs, three different personalities and they each let them shine!  
Stella, our neurotic girl, was pretty sure the vet was going to kill her.  She trembled and shook the whole time and after they brought her back in to me from weighing her and getting her nails trimmed, she crawled under the bench and stayed behind my legs.  And, yes, she is overweight.  67 lbs and going on a diet...or walks...or playing more ball.  Whatever works.
And then, there is Bubba Bear, who LOVES going to the vet!  He has had so many trauma's in his short life, that everyone there knows him and adores him.  So, he feels right at home.  When he came back in the room from being weighed (74lbs) and pampered I am sure, he immediately went into the play stance with his brother and sister and tried to instigate a wrestling match.  And, of course, he didn't think the vet was going to kill him like Stella, he thought he wanted to play! LOL!

 And, then there is our sweet boy, Rex.  He is like a rag doll and the most laid-back dog on the planet.  He was brought back into the room from being weighed (63 lbs) and immediately plopped down for a nap.  He was so laid back that the vet double-checked that we had indeed done a thyroid test on him in the past and it came back negative! ha!

Somebody is going to come in one of those doors!  I just know it! :)
Everyone is healthy.  Well, Bubba Bear had whipworms.  From eating dirt.  He ALWAYS has something.  Can we ever go to the vet and him NOT have an issue???
**And, yes, our sweet Nala girl, went to the vet the day before for fluids. We are still just going one day at a time.  She is hanging in there.**

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hurting heart

My Nala girl has stopped eating.  We have literally done everything we can think of to get her to eat.  We have bought every kind of soft food, added water, warmed it, boiled liver, opened cans of tuna, and tonight even got baby food.  She may take a bite or two or lick the juice in it, but mostly, she isn't interested.  She is sleeping a lot.  Today we went to the vet, because I was at my wits end and several times this week thought we were at the end of our journey.  He said to stop the insulin shots until she is eating.  I feel like we are just making her comfortable and waiting.  I have bawled and bawled.  Every time I look at her or kiss her good night I wonder if it's the last time.  I know she has had a good long life, but it doesn't lessen how much it hurts to say good bye to my cuddle buddy and best friend of 17 years.  Please help me pray that she passes peacefully and isn't in any pain.  I love her so much.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Resolutions 2014

Pretty sure I have failed at one for the past two years that I should be able to do EASILY!!  Shame on me as a dog mom that for some reason I just can't seem to walk them on a regular basis.  Could it be I have too many?!? LOL!  So, we will try again with that one!! :)  
In 2013 I wanted to 1) get back into my Bible Studies because that really suffered the previous year with my depression struggles.  I am happy to report success here.  I should have counted but I think I completed four Bible Studies.  I will keep track better this year.  I am starting a new Beth Moore study today.  2) Walk the dogs.  Fail.  I know, I know!  3) scrapbook more than just scrapbook night.  I have, but still not as much as I want to.  The thing with scrapbooking is you have to be in the mood and have a mojo going. ;)

So...for 2014 my resolutions are:
1) WALK THE DOGS!  And, not just when we go camping! ha!
2) Revive my Blog.  I am going to start blogging again. 
3) Get back to spending more time with extended family - not just my family under this roof.