Good Reads

Going public

I’m ashamed to say that once upon a time I was sort of a book snob.   If I wanted a book, I’d go right to Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  I figured if it was worth my time to read it was worth my money to buy it brand new (or slightly used- excellent condition).  I knew we had a public library close by, a pretty good one too.  But that was for everyone else.  Not for me.  I don’t quite know how I ever formed this attitude towards sharing books.  I have really fond memories of my mom and dad taking my family to the library all the time.  I checked out every Babysitter Club,  Black Stallion Series, and Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on.  We’d check out a heap of book and go home to read them in our pajamas before bedtime.  I have one particular memory stuck in my head of snuggling up on our light blue velvet couch with my book and a blanket.  I must have finished all my homework because I remember feeling excited to finally have time to read my book.  It was dark and snowy outside and we’d turned on our fireplace.  The house was warm and smelled of dinner baking in the oven…

Anyway, it’s funny what a financial crisis will do to a person.  When Carl lost his job years ago we were forced to cut our spending down to a bare minimum and my snobbery was snuffed out cold.  Buying books was simply out of the question.  I think at that point I’d been to the public library once or twice and had actually picked up a library card.  It was time to put it to good use.  I’m ever so grateful to say that things are much, much better now with Carl working full time and on the fast track to earning his MBA.  I’m also grateful to say that it was all those trips to the library that made me fall in love with the public library system.  I mean, think about it.  A building FULL OF BOOKS, and good ones too!  Anyone can check out a book, read it, enjoy it, bring it back and trade it for another one FOR FREE!  (Assuming you bring it back on time.)  Really, it’s such a beautiful thing.

My kids love our trips to the library.  Crew makes a B-line to the natural science section to inhale facts about bugs, animals and sea creatures.  (Be warned that if you ask him about any of those topics he will regurgitate facts for 30 minutes straight.)  Jax heads straight for the computer to search for the latest Pokemon books.  Milo prefers to play at the hands-on-learning table that someone was fabulous to donate.  It has all kinds of blocks to build with, magnets to fit together, stuff like that.  It keeps him quietly occupied while the other two look for books.

“Look Mommy, I built a temple!”

I like to browse the isles for chapter books to read to my kids at bedtime.  I’ve come across several books I’d forgotten all about but vaguely remember reading when I was a kid.  Like this one.  I’m sure my boys would love hearing about a boy who decides to run away and live in the mountains.  Maybe they’d realize how good they have it at home.  *wink*

My one and only complaint about our library is the long wall of computers they have set up just for kids to use.  It’s right as you walk into the children’s section of the library and usually full of kids playing video games, mostly educational, but video games none the less.  (BTW, I hate video games.)

Our trips to the library usually begin with, “Remember, we came to the library to find books not to play video games.”  I know most people view this as another great feature of our library.  To me it’s just frustrating.  I’m constantly trying to pull my kids away from screens and video games at home so I’d hoped this would be a good escape.  Sooner or later they gravitate to the computers and hover over some other kid’s’ shoulder.  I have to herd them to another section of the library to break the trance.  Those computers are such a distraction from what the library is really all about.  BOOKS!

I’ll be honest with you, I still really like to buy books.  And this is the best part.  There is a tiny little book shop just outside the front doors to the library.  Every day they push carts outside with signs saying, “2 books for $1” or “3 for $2”.  Now that’s my price range!  I’ve snagged some great gently used titles from those carts.  So we all go home happy and excited to read.  I’ll make dinner that night while my kids quietly read and look at pictures, just like when I was growing up.

I really do hope that these trips to the library help them grow up loving books the way I did.  Maybe they’ll even have a fun memory or two of their own to share with my grandkids.  One can only hope!

Categories: Family, Good Reads | 2 Comments

Passed out

I’ve been reading Harry Potter to Crew and Jax during Milo’s nap this past week. This is usually Jax about 10 minutes into it.
Just one more reason why I love Harry Potter!

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This is not your mother’s grocery shopping

By the end of the day last Friday I was spent.  My kids and I had a pretty good first week out of school but I was ready for a break.  I desperately needed to go grocery shopping but just couldn’t bring myself to do it with all three kids.  I asked Carl if he wanted to get a sitter and go to the grocery store on a date and he said, “I’ll come home and go with you.  We’ll take the kids.”  Ooo fun.  Shopping with the kids.  Have you seen The Three Stooges?  It’s a close representation of what my boys are like at the grocery store.  Someone is always poking, punching or teasing while the other ones are crying or yelling.  And that’s when they’re not too busy climbing/falling endlessly in and out of the cart.  We usually end up leaving the store in a frazzled, teary, angry mess with promises of eternal groundings and a life without ipods.  I kinda laughed to myself thinking Carl didn’t know what he was in for.  But I should know better.  If nothing else, living with Carl for 11 years has taught me that he knows how to have a good time.  I had the shopping list all ready to go when he got home and burst through the door.  He hollered for the boys to gather round and announced we were going to have a grocery shopping competition: Dad, Crew and Jax vs. Mom and Milo.  He ran through the house whooping and hollering until everyone was bouncing off the walls with excitement.  I still wasn’t sold on the idea but thought I’d better support him in his attempt at a fun family outing.  So while Carl ran upstairs to change out of his work clothes I took my shopping list and split it in two.

Carl came back downstairs (still whooping and hollering) to sport his Team Dad Racing gear:

Crew and Jax picked up on the idea and ran upstairs to put their game day gear on too.  I had to laugh.

Alright boys.  Game on!

We rolled up to the store and as soon as Carl turned the ignition off he yelled “GO!” and his team was outta the car sprinting for the shopping carts.  I was about to do the same when I smelled something foul coming from Milo’s lower region.  Ugh, I still had to change a diaper!  No fair!  Good thing I know my way around a grocery store.  I still had a chance.  If you can imagine, the store was pretty quiet on a Friday night until we all come busting in, racing around the store.  I could hear Team Dad from other isles – Crew yelling for Carl to hurry up, Carl asking himself out loud where an item was and Jax cheering “Yah, we’re so gunna beat Mom, right Dad?!”  It gave me warm fuzzies all over it was so stinkin’ cute.  I thought, “this is a memory that will stick with me forever.”

As if there was ever a doubt, Milo and I won the race with a few minutes to spare.  But in Carl’s defense, I kinda sabotaged his team when I wrote “block of parmesan cheese” on his list.  Turns out the store didn’t carry such an item.  Oops.  But who cares.  We all had a blast and the shopping was done in no time flat.

Despite the amount of money we ended up spending (we don’t usually shop at Alberstons – man, they’re pricey!) Grocery Racing was a complete success.  So get your game face on Carl.  Next time Team Mom will smoosh your team like a ripe banana!  Bring it!

Categories: Family, Good Reads | 2 Comments

Bad turned REALLY good

This morning was quite frustrating, lots of “GET DRESSED!” and “STOP FIGHTING!” and “OK, TIME OUT!”  (Yes, that would be me doing the yelling.)  After banning the TV and Playstation as punishment I thought, Oh Great.  Here’s to another rough day of tears (mine and theirs), tempers and contention.  But things slowly improved and looking back on the day I’ve decided it has been a good one all things considered.  Here are some of the highlights:

1.  I had a really good talk with Krystal about parenting.  She always makes me feel like I’m not such a failure of a mom. And despite the abrupt end to our swimming day, thanks to poop in the kiddie pool (no, not our poop), my boys packed up and left without complaint!

2.  Jax and Milo went down for naps at the same time… and slept for a good 2+ hours and I had a chance to pour over some old Martha Stewart mags I’d scored at the library.

3.  Crew and I finished reading our first big chapter book together.

Plus Crew’s next choice is Whispering to Witches, a book I’ve secretly been wanting to read myself!

3.  Milo now fits into this sweet baby gift from Eve.  Now he matches our favorite playtime quilt, also made by Eve, Crystal and the young women in my ward.

4.  While enjoying the rest of Milo’s nap, I heard a knock at our front door.  Crew and Jax presented me with flowers at my doorstep (compliments of the weeds in our front yard).

I just love those little sausage fingers!  Hmmm… seems like the only thing really bad around here is my attitude!

Categories: Family, Good Reads, Good Things | 4 Comments

“You’re EXACTLY my kind of heroin.”


I just finished Twilight and I’m already starting to go through withdrawls.  I’m going to pick up New Moon and Eclipse first thing today.  I’m so excited to read what happens next!!  It was so good that I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I enjoyed reading this book.  I actually caught myself (several times) smiling and giggling as I read the book… as if I were the one being dazzled by Edward.  I can dream, right?

Anyway, have you ever been to Stephenie Meyer’s website?  It was fun to see who’ll be playing Bella in the upcoming movie.  It made it easier for me to visualize what she might look like since I always struggle with that aspect of reading.  Stephanie’s suggestions for Edward weren’t that bad either.  I’m interested to see who ends up with that role.

There’s not much left to be said.  I’m sure if you’re breathing you’ve heard something about this book.  Let me just add my name to the long list of fans and say you really should read this book!

*Note: It might be a good idea to clean your house from top to bottom BEFORE reading this book because you won’t get a thing done until you’re finished!

Categories: Good Reads | 10 Comments

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