Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Prodigy by Marie Lu

This is the 2nd book in the Legend trilogy that I told you to PUT ON YOUR LIST if you like the dystopia society type books.  We have a winner with this trilogy! :)

Summary from goodreads.com:
Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Date Day

 We started a Marriage Bible Study at our church for the next 6 weeks and were challenged to go on some type of date once a week.  So, for our first week, we decided to start with something we love to do...explore!  On our 10 acres, the front 4 are fenced and cleared but the back 6 are total woods...we put on our muck boots and headed out.  We discovered several cool areas and a few little creeks that crisscross with each other. :)

After exploring our land (I'm still in awe that we own land!!!), we went to dinner and rented a Redbox.  A noneventful 3 hour movie called Boyhood.  I don't recommend it! ha!

Legend by Marie Lu

If you like the dystopia society books...go ahead and add this one!  I liked it way better than Divergent!  I'm on a roll with good reads right now and loving it!  This is book one in a trilogy.  Put it on the list! :)

Summary from goodreads.com:
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Add it to your "must read" list!  I hated to see this one end and at times made myself slow down  in reading because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!!  I'm sad it's over.  I do love reading in the WWII setting.  It's action, it's edge of seat, it's emotional, it's awesome!  READ it!!

From the Barnes & Noble site:
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Who would've thought?

 I knew the kitchen knobs were mismatched and ugly, but I had no idea what a big difference something as small as replacing the kitchen knobs could be!!  I took $150 of my Christmas money and was able to change out the kitchen, the extra bathroom and the laundry room!  Love it!!
Check out these before and after's:

 PS. Next we are going to put chicken wire in the above cabinets where the glass is missing. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Escape Artist

See this face?  This is the face of a con artist!  He is the sweetest and laziest and calmest dog we have, BUT when you least expect it, he will BOLT and run off when you go to visit the in-laws or he will SNEAK out of the camper on a camping trip and TAKE OFF like a flash!  And, today (and maybe yesterday and the day before for all I know!), he found the ONLY hole in our fence and escaped to explore the woods around us all by himself.  TURD!  He was MIA for about 45 minutes today but I thought he was in the woods INSIDE our fence.  I finally started calling him when the other two had been in sight for a long time and still no Rex.  I see him come trotting up ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE and the turd went straight to the hole and slipped back in.  Like it was no big deal.  His own doggie door to the outside world.  Well, I patched it with a hog panel.  Sneaky, sneaky!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Back to Work...

Today was our first day back to school.  And, as soon as I got home, we all headed outside.  Kevin with the chainsaw, me with my rake and the pups free to run!  Temps in the 30's and we were sweating from dragging logs and branches to burn.  We are loving every minute of it! :)
If you had told me when I lived in a neighborhood to go outside to do chores in 30 degrees, I would have told you that you were crazy.  Give me a little land, and it's bundle up buttercup! :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Christmas Break (in photos)

 2 weeks off is bliss!  I cannot lie!!  Especially when we just moved and it gave me a chance to get things done.  But, it started off with a trip to my Granny's for Christmas at Granny's and spending the night at Kevin's parents.  Ruby Rue had her first overnight at home by herself.  She was good but immediately jumped in my bag when I got home.  I think next time,she wants to go too! :)
 After we got back, I went into "get her done" mode.  Finally got our scrap metal pile hauled off...which gave us a back porch. :)
 Better but definitely not done :)
 And, everything inside finally found it's home.  Everything is unpacked.  Whoop!
 Then, it was Christmas Eve with Kevin's family:
 Christmas morning with the furbabies:
 Christmas Day in Beebe.  Our first Christmas at my parents new place.  We had our own private firing range:
 Then, it was time to clean out the barn (where we threw EVERYTHING we didn't know what to do with):
 The stalls (3 of them) all basically looked like this AND the people who moved left a ton of junk behind that needed to be cleaned out:
 But not anymore:  Barn is ready for miniature donkeys or goats ... :)
 We got a miter saw with our Christmas money from Kevin's sister and Kevin built me some shelves in my craft room closet!!!
 And, I filled them up and organized :)
 Then, we FINALLY went and got our camper and concessions trailer and brought them to their new home.  It's going to be so NICE having them right here instead of driving to a parking spot to get them when we need them!

I used more Christmas money to buy new knobs for the kitchen cabinets (left is the new):
 Time for new hair cut and color and new beanie with Christmas money ... I LOVE Christmas money!
 And, today, the last day of vacation, the chainsaw made its first appearance.  We cut, piled and burned.  Good country day!  The dogs are exhausted from running all day!
 And that wraps up a productive and awesome Christmas vacation (and yes, I read a book, review is post below! ha!)  I'm in denial about going back to school tomorrow!!

Dragonfly in Amber by Gabaldon

This is the second book in the Outlander series.  I recommend this series only to my friends that are dedicated readers.  It's a great series, but the books are long (700 to 900 pages) and there are lots of characters and family lines to keep up with.  Not trying to discourage, just being honest.  It's not a light read, but it's worth it! :)  There are 8 books in this series and I think I am going to read two, take a break and read other stuff and then read 2 more...

Summary from dianagabaldon.com:
DRAGONFLY IN AMBER is the second novel in the main OUTLANDER series. The book carries on the story begun in OUTLANDER, but begins with a brief framing story set in 1968, in which Claire Randall visits a young Oxford don named Roger MacKenzie in Inverness, in search of answers for her daughter, Brianna. Her request is unusual; she has a list of names, Jacobite soldiers who fought with Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s army, who took part in the disastrous battle at Culloden in 1746. What happened to these men, she asks, following the battle? Roger is surprised at her intensity, but intrigued at her question—and intrigued even more by her red-haired daughter. The answer to Roger’s search leads all three to an unexpected grave—and to a revelation that will turn all their lives inside-out.
Claire tells Roger and Brianna what happened during the year before the Stuart Rising: the political intrigues, the chain of spying, betrayal, and murder that led her and her husband James Fraser from the court of Louis XV to the windswept moors of the Scottish Highlands and the blood-soaked ground of Culloden. The horrifying trap of circumstance and honor that sent her back to the future—and the present set of circumstances that have led her to her quest, and to a still more shocking revelation.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Highlights...it was a good year!

 January (& February were Awana and Upward at our Church).  I had 2nd grade girls on Wednesday nights and helped with the concession stand during Upward games on Saturday's.  Kevin helped referee games on Saturday's.  We love our church!
 Most of January was spent worrying over my sweet Nala girl.  She had stopped eating, but hung on as long as she could.  We ended up saying good-bye on February 3rd.  After almost 18 years together, she died in my arms.  Bittersweet.
 February started off rough with the loss of Nala, but it also brought the blessing of Kevin's first mission trip.  He was able to go with a group from our church to the Dominican Republic.
 March brought the beginning of horse show season. :)
 And, a scrapbook retreat for me with my bestie! :)

 April was the start of camping season!  Big Bear got a new camping stove and was excited to get to use it!

 May was Mother's Day at Beebe.  We had started looking at the land next to my parents at the end of March and in May that deal wasn't meant to be.  BUT, the blessing was that we know knew we could achieve a dream of ours.  It was just going to be a search for land we could afford. :)
 June was LOTS of camping and the introduction/adoption of Miss Ruby Rue into our family.  She was 1.7 lbs. and we weren't sure what Bubba Bear was going to do, but turns out that a worry that we didn't need to have. :)

 July was more camping and Ruby Rue getting comfortable with her doggie siblings. :)  I love this picture of Kevin with his mom!

 August held a final camping trip of the year to the river.  A first for us - camping on the river and we loved it.  My second year as a librarian started and at church, I stepped out of my comfort zone and started teaching a 6th grade girls Sunday School class.  I love it!!

 September 15th we made an offer on a house with 10 acres (that got accepted!!!) and Kevin was able to go on his second mission trip to the Dominican with our church!

 October brought a storm that went right over our house.  Scary!  We were also busy getting our house ready for appraisal (good timing with the storm, huh?) :)  In October, my beautiful niece turned 16!!!

 We closed on our new house October 31st and moved in on November 7th...in a horse trailer! Now that's country!!  After a stressful month moving, getting renters for the other house and dealing with a crushed sewer line at new house, we spent Thanksgiving in New York City!!!!!

 December was filled with "land/farm" chores and lots of family Christmas times!
Reflecting back, 2014 started out with sadness, but brought many, many blessings and was a really good year!  Makes me wonder what 2015 has in store! :)