Monday, June 29, 2015

Love these girls!

 Yesterday was our last Sunday School class for the we break for summer.  The girls wanted a "party" and a "real breakfast, not just donuts". LOL!  So, my awesome hubby cooked them bacon, eggs and biscuits.  It was yummy and the girls were happy!!  Then, we had craft time, so it was a good last day.  I would've been sad except I knew we were all going to be at VBS that night and I am moving up with them next year.  They are moving to the teenage building!! ahhh!!  I'm going up the hill to the Ten10 building...never saw that coming!
 Here is what I know about 6th grade girls - they love their phones (and stealing yours), they take a million selfies a day and at least 5 of the same pose, they hack your instagram account and change your screensavers on your phone to themselves, they are fun and adorable and occasionally moody and I love them!

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

READ IT!  Not sure if I enjoyed it so much because I've read two YA series back to back and this was my adult book in awhile or what.  I really enjoyed this book though.  I liked how the author made it serious at times but funny at times.  And, I never would've guessed "the secret"...a great summer read in my opinion.

Summary from
At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died...

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

Friday, June 26, 2015

First Week of Summer Break

I can't believe I am at the end of the first week of summer!!!  I love it when I'm not sure what day of the week it is! :)
I have only napped one day this week!  I've been a busy bee even with the 100 degree temps.  I've knocked out some serious "to do's" and took all 3 dogs to the at a time over 3 days! :)  Everyone is all caught up!
I finally sorted all the stuff we had in our attic at the old house.  I narrowed it ALL down to just 3 totes and made another haul to Goodwill!!  I have purged and purged some more!  I've even managed to clean the kitchen cabinets, fix some kitchen knobs, file all the business paperwork (3 months worth!!!) and paint the scrapbook room!!  Let's see what I get done next week!  Woohoo!!

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian

This is book 5 and the final book in the Percy Jackson series.  It did not disappoint!!  This is the 10 year anniversary of Percy Jackson and it has been on the New York Times best seller list for 7 years straight.  I'm NOT surprised!!

Summary from
All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth

Summary from
Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to diabolical. 

In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth-a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Percy Jackson: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Still loving the series.  This is the 3rd book and was just as action packed.  I've watched the movie for book 1 and 2.  The Lightning Thief movie was really good and pretty much stuck to the book.  The second movie wasn't as good and they changed too much stuff in my opinion.

Summary from

But when you're the son of a Greek god, it happens. And now my friend Annabeth is missing, a goddess is in chains and only five half-blood heroes can join the quest to defeat the doomsday monster.

Oh, and guess what? The Oracle has predicted that not all of us will survive...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Gangs all here!

 How about some Benson critter updates?  Looking through my phone, I have zero recent pics of me or Kevin, but hundreds of the fur babies! :) And, all their birthdays are all pretty much within May and June, so let's celebrate!
 Ruby Rue, aka RooRoo, turned 1 on May 2nd and this coming Saturday marks one year that we have added her to our family.  She was the devil's spawn as a kitten but is starting to get sweeter. Her purr is one of my favorite sounds!  Her and Bubba Bear are still buds and play and chase and wrestle.  I love it!
Rex, aka Rexie, is our gentle, quiet soul.  He turned 6 on May 21st.  I can't believe it's been 6 years!!!  We adopted him from BoxAR Rescue at 6 months old and he is like no boxer I have ever known.  He definitely likes the softest spot to rest and we were worried he would be our one fur baby to NOT like the country life, but he LOVES it.  He loves the donkeys, and running his woods and fences daily. He constantly has a smile on his face when we are outside.  A lot of times, I only take him with me when I go out with the donkeys because he isn't right under my feet the whole time and goes and does his own thing.

 Stella, aka Stella Blue, our neurotic girl.  She turns 6 on June 28th.  We got her right after my Jax passed away, so it's been 6 years without my Jax boy (best dog ever).  Stella is our neurotic, obedient girl.  She loves with her whole being.  She just wants to please us and she is happiest when she is with us and we are touching her.  It can be as simple as my foot resting on her.  She often gets to "go places" with us because she minds the best.  We never have to worry about her wondering off or not coming back.  I often say one day her heart will just explode from all the love she holds.
 And, then there is Bubba Bear, aka Bub.  This boy is a clown, a mess, rotten, momma's boy, spoiled, hard headed, trouble, silly, playful, still puppy-like, hard of hearing (or selective hearing more like it), chases vacuum cleaners and brooms, ...yep, he's one of a kind.  And, believe it or not, he turns 3 on June 23rd. This dog is all mine.  I take full responsibility for the rotten mess he is...he filled a hole in my heart that needed mending.  I will forever love this dog and he will hold a special place with me.  He was my baby when I couldn't have a human one.
The chickens with no names...I refuse to get attached...there is too much that happens with chickens.  They serve a purpose and that is fresh eggs and eating bugs like fleas and ticks.  We started with 8, wanted 6 and bought 2 extra for "insurance"...well, we now have 6. :)  And, these 6 have made it 12 weeks as of Tuesday!  I'm ready for them to move to their coop...enough said! LOL!

The newest additions to our clan are settling in just fine!  We have had them 7 weeks this past Sunday.  Elly May shares a birthday with Stella and will turn 1 on June 28th.  Jethro is 10 months old.  Jethro is the white one and is finally letting me brush him.  I can brush him and run my hands down his front legs.  I'm working on being able to mess with their hooves.  Elly May is just too cute for words, but she wants NOTHING to do with the brush.  Any time I try (even when giving her grain), she takes off.  Not having it.  I can run my hands down her legs and have picked up one of her legs so that's good.  They are just like big dogs and have to be in the middle of everything.  I love them!  I also love that our neighbor told Kevin that his kids look for them every time they drive by.  They are making people smile.  I like that!

There you have it.  The Benson farm all happy and healthy.  And as of this time tomorrow, I will be on summer break with them!!!  Woohoo!!!

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Book 2 in the Percy Jackson it in 2 days.  These books are AWESOME - especially if you have a boy in 4th grade or up.  LOTS of action...never drags.  I would think this series might be the one to hook a reluctant reader. :)

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. But things don't stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers that the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters.
To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia. But rescuing Grover isn't the only only monumental task that Percy, Annabeth, and Tyson must tackle: if they don't retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer, Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed.
It's a race against time—and monsters—in the thrilling, action-packed, and mystery-uncovering second book in the Percy Jackson series, now with cover art from the major motion picture.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I am a little late to the Percy Jackson party. :)  As everyone probably already knows, this is the first book in the Percy Jackson series.  I am MOST impressed with this author's writing style!!  It started out as a book I read in a 4th grade class while their teacher was on long term leave and along with the kids, I ended up hooked.  Great writing and engaging story...I'm going to give the whole series a whirl!  Highly recommend for 4th grade on up.  I think anyone would enjoy if you like fantasy fiction.

Summary from
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Undivided by Neal Shusterman

The final (and 4th) book in the Unwind Dystology series.  LOVED it!!  I recommend this series to anyone who likes that type of book and I really liked the way the author wrapped up the series.  Good stuff! :)

Summary from
Teens control the fate of America in the fourth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology by Neal Shusterman.

Proactive Citizenry, the company that created Cam from the parts of unwound teens, has a plan: to mass produce rewound teens like Cam for military purposes. And below the surface of that horror lies another shocking level of intrigue: Proactive Citizenry has been suppressing technology that could make unwinding completely unnecessary. As Conner, Risa, and Lev uncover these startling secrets, enraged teens begin to march on Washington to demand justice and a better future.

But more trouble is brewing. Starkey’s group of storked teens is growing more powerful and militant with each new recruit. And if they have their way, they’ll burn the harvest camps to the ground and put every adult in them before a firing squad—which could destroy any chance America has for a peaceful future.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Dose of Donkey :)

I simply cannot stop taking pictures of them.  The cuteness abounds!  I was exhausted tonight & had a major headache, but I went outside and moved my reading chair and here they came to see what I was doing.  I just had a seat and started watching them.  Instant peace. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Nerd Alert: Book Talk!

Just a little “happy” from your librarian!
I had a few people request this list and thought I’d share with everyone, because I know I have some readers here who will appreciate it!!! And, for most teachers, summer is the only time you get to read, so why waste time on a mediocre book?  Let me just share some REALLY, REALLY good ones with you!

My top 5 books I read last year:
1.     Unbroken by Hillenbrand (if you haven’t read it, you MUST!  So much more in the book than in the movie)
2.    The Kitchen House by Grissom (you will fall in love with some of the characters in this one)
3.    Orphan Train by Kline (I had no idea these existed!)
4.    Serena by Ron Rash (has a lead character you will love to hate)
5.    A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (great author)

My top 5 I have read so far this year:
1.     All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr (set in WWII – story of a blind French girl and a German boy)
2.    The Girl on the Train by Hawkins (what a ride!!  If you liked the roller coaster of Gone Girl, you will love this one!)
3.    The Nightingale by Hannah (another WWII era book – I think that time frame may be a favorite for me – this is French perspective)
4.    The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (set in the days of slavery – another one that you will fall in love with the characters)
5.    Wild by Cheryl Strayed (I have heard the movie doesn’t compare…I was amazed at the journey.)

For a fun, light read while you lay on the beach (wishful thinking) = Where’d You Go Bernadette by Semple

If you love dystopia society books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, then you MUST read these two series:  Unwind series by Neal Shusterman (4 books) and Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

Happy Reading!!
If you have a MUST read, please share!  I have two shelves of “to read” books waiting on me, but I love new books to add!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Unsouled by Neal Shusterman

This is the third book in the Unwind series.  It is a dystopia society young adult read, but different from the other dystopia books.  It is very good and thought provoking. AND, it is safe for kids to read.  So many times I get irritated that they target a young adult audience and then put inappropriate material in the book.  I am reading this one and sharing with one of my 5th graders who has read everything worth reading in my library already! :)

Summary from
The story that began with Unwind continues.

Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they’re not just running away from something. This time, they’re running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.

Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.

With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively—and everyone will be changed.

Neal Shusterman continues the adventure that VOYA called “poignant, compelling, and ultimately terrifying.”