Monday, August 31, 2009

August Books Read

August was a good month for reading!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- 784
J.K. Rowling
I really enjoyed reading this again and taking a bit more time to digest the story. The first time I read it I had it read in less than a day, this time I think I allowed it to take a full day. I think it was wonderful conclusion to the saga.

Izzy, Willy-Nilly - 327
Cynthia Voigt
This was the story of a girl who was in an accident and lost her leg and how she comes to comes to accept life and the accident.

Silent to the Bone - 272
E.L. Konigsburg
An interesting story of a boy who has been accused of injuring his baby sister and he is now unable to speak to tell what really happened. I had issue with it being a juvenile novel that ends up dealing up with a boy being sexually manipulated by an older woman. Besides that the story was interesting.

The MacGregors: Robert~Cybil - 536
Nora Roberts
The MacGregors: Daniel~Ian - 411
Nora Roberts
The MacGregors: Rebellion - 395
Nora Roberts
A fun set of love stories. I am not a romance reader, but these actually had a fun plot to go along with the love.

The Truth About Sparrows - 288
Marian Hale
This was an okay story about a girl living in the depression and how she copes with life after leaving her home and becoming something that she could never imagine herself to be. I though the story was fine, but it is not the kind of book that I am excited to read again.

American Gods - 592
Neil Geiman
I just finished this story and am still not certain how I feel about it. I enjoyed reading it, but the story was odd. The tale is of a man who becomes a helper for a god and has to help him get ready for a war. The was is to be between the gods of time past and the gods of today (TV, internet, computers, phones...) The story was interesting, and it certainly went places that I did not expect. I will include a warning that the story contains a lot of swearing and some sexuality. The swearing is particularly present at the beginning of the book, it continues throughout but not as bad.

Nothing but the Truth - 213
This is a fun quick read of how a teenage angst filled kid can take things too far. The kid in the story is upset at his teacher and wants nothing more than to be excused from her class. He proceeds to get into trouble and takes it to levels never dreamed of.

Total for August: 3818
Total for 2009 thus far: 23798

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of School


Monday was MacKayla's first day of first grade and boy did she love it. She came home and was so excited she could not sit still. She was bouncing, jumping, singing, dancing and everything but relaxing. It was so fun to see the excitement that she had for school. She loves her new teacher, Mrs. Jensen, and has a lot of friends in her class. She also loves that she gets to eat lunch at school every day, although I think we might have a problem there already. It's only the third day of lunch and she already asked me if her lunch was the same as yesterday because she wanted something different. Oh well, tomorrow she can have hot lunch...

When MacKayla was learning to read we made her a deal that she could have a party when she read 100 books, and she realized her goal this past week. She worked hard all summer and read all of the books. This weekend we are celebrating and going to Leo's Place.

Today was Annika's first day of four year old preschool, and boy was she excited. She loves her teachers, her friends and her class and could not wait to get back to see them. We went to the open house yesterday and when she realized that we were only staying for a minute she was a little miffed at me, until she knew that she would go for a long time today. We'll see how her day went, but I am guessing that she too will be bouncing off the walls telling me everything.

As for Annika's summer she too has been working on learning to read. I made her a copy of MacKayla's kindergarten skills book and she is about halfway though it already. She knows her numbers, letter, letter sounds and some simple words. We are excited to have another reader in the house.

Just another funny tidbit about my girls. A while ago I posted about taking MacKayla shopping for some clothes and the craziness that was that. The funny thing about that though is that she doesn't care what she actually wears. She will happily put on whatever clothes I lay out for her. Annika on the other hand is very particular about what she wears. The colors, textures, and styles have to be just right. So when I tok her to pick out a new outfit for the first day of school I was prepared for real drama. What do you know, there wasn't any. She loved the first pair of jeans that I showed her. As for the shirt I picked out a cute polo shirt with blue stripes and she liked it, but then saw the purple one and asked nicely if she could have the purple on instead. We were in and out of the store in less than ten minutes, that kid is funny.
Look how much she grew in the last year. The above photo was the first day of school last year and the bottom is this year. It seems to be a good six inches or so, and I think most of it was this summer, she outgrew all her clothes.
Arabella had her 18 month check-up yesterday and is doing great. She only gained 2 oz in the last three months for a total of 20lbs 9ozs, how that is I have no idea, the kid eats more than anyone else in the house, it must be all the playing she did this summer. She also grew on inch this summer to be 30 1/2 in.

She is doing great developmentally. She knows her body parts, names of the people and favorite things in her life, as well as animal sounds and names. She loves to play outside, especially in the water, she is a little fish. She loves to ride her toy car and to pretend that she is big and ride the girl's bikes. Bella is a sweet little kid and we are so glad that she is in our family.
All my girls together, and they are even smiling.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One of those days...

This has been one of those days that makes you question why to ever have children. We needed to make a quick stop at WalMart, I only needed four things. We should have been able to run in, get them and leave and then we could have had fun. Well nothing can ever be that easy...

Annika asked for one of the carts that has room for all of them to sit on it. I said sure if we could find one, well as luck would have it, they didn't have any. Annika begins to scream and throw a fit because she wanted it. We went through the entire store with her screaming. I got a lot of looks from people, some were the sympathetic "I know what you feel" kind and others were the "you must be a horrible mom" kind. Oh well, it's just WalMart right.

Well we get in the car and discuss the seriousness of the offenses that have occurred, that of course brings about another loud round of screaming all the way home. Once home she is sent to her room to scream until she is ready to calm down and talk to me. Not my Annika though, no instead she starts to kick the walls and hit things. At this point I attempt to talk to her again, while being screamed at.

She then lost her blanket (her favorite thing in the world), ended up in a cold shower and was still in trouble. I was trying to get her to understand that she would not be able to continue along this course. I was frustrated when she still wouldn't give up the crying and I asked her what else she loved so that I could take that away too, and that is when I got the "end the anger answer." She looked at me with her big brown eyes and said "you, I love you." At that point she got hugs and I gave up...

We'll see if she gets her blanket back for bed though.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This is scary

How can they get away with this is my question?

In checking out they say that this was never intended to be used on consumers, only on dealers computers and the new privacy statement has been updated to reflect that. Either way, I still don't like it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aspen Grove

Last week we were able to go on a family vacation to Aspen Grove. Aspen Grove is a family camp that is operated by BYU in the mountains near Sundance. We have gone as a family twice now and have loved it each time. James' family has been going since his mom was a teenager. We are enjoying keeping the family tradition alive.

While at Aspen Grove the kids are each assigned to a group with other kids their age, even Bella had her own group to go to. It was wonderful to be able to enjoy a vacation without hearing the kids whine about being bored and having nothing to do. They were kept busy doing their own things and the grownups are allowed to have their own fun, and fun we did have...

On Monday James, his parents and I went paint balling. It was James and I versus his parents, and once you got over the fact that you were shooting your parents it was a blast. James and his dad each ended up with around 12 bruises on their bodies from being hit, James had three on the top of his head, including one the broke the skin. Mom had several really large ones as well. I ended up with only two as I stayed back and had fun just shooting, I was able to hit mom several times in the face (she had a shield) to block here shooting of James.

On Tuesday we went shooting again, this time air rifles, and that was a blast. I did fairly well and even got one bulls eye. The goal was clustering your shots, and except for the bulls eye, the rest of my shots were well clustered. James did very well on his shots as well. We also had some fun later on Tuesday racing RC cars. James' mom and I each were able to nail the car that we were chasing. I did spend much of my time though trying to keep my car on the track.

On Wednesday we went down to Provo and spent the day at BYU and eating lunch at the Brick Oven, oh how I have missed a good Brick Oven pizza, nothing can compare.

Thursday we spent the day finishing arts and crafts, swimming and talking with family.

All in all James and I had a blast. Now for the kids...

The kids were able to go on hikes, go swimming and have lots of play time with their groups. On of the highlights for MacKayla was the climbing wall, she made it about halfway up and loved it! Annika loved going swimming and making lots of new friends. Arabella on the other hand loved nothing more than when mommy would pick her up from her group, she was not happy being left for so long. They said that she was happy and played, but all I ever saw was her crying as I left, and crying when I came to get her.

Before we checked into Aspen Grove on Saturday we went to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. The museum is one of our favorites! The kids absolutely love dinosaurs and this is the largest dinosaur museum around.

On Friday after we had checked out of camp we went over to BYU to the Bean museum to see the animals they had on display. While I was a student I had gone to the museum and thought it was fun, but nothing all that great. What a change has taken place, the museum is awesome now. They have stuffed versions of tons of animals and it was a lot of fun. In some ways it beats going to the Zoo as we got to get really close to the animals and really see what they were like.

So here are some photos of our time at camp...
The girls at the dinosaur museumMacKayla the junior paleontologistAll of the kids, except BellsDigging for buried dinosAnnika the Paleontologist
MacKayla and her cousin Ben getting into their harnesses to go climbing
She's ready to climb like a proNo fear, she made it halfway upGreat form :)
The whole family together, I love how my kids are the ones who look like they are being tortured

James' parents and sister, aren't they cute
We are a happy family
The Wammacks all together
Aunt, Uncle and their family, I love the chessy grins on the kids
Another Uncle, Aunt and cousin, they are so cute
MacKayla and her trademark smile
Bella actually showing off a smile

Annika and her cute funny smile
The girls at the Bean Museum
That is one ferocious lionThis was one of the coolest displays, the burrterfly is made out of real butterflies

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July Books Read

Extras - 448
Scott Westerfield

This was a fun conclusion to the Extras series. I actually found the book to be interesting, but not necessary to the whole story. I think it was fun to find out what was going on in other parts of the world, but I don't think we really went anywhere new with the main characters of the previous stories.

The Hunger Games - 384
Suzanne Collins

This is one of the best books that I have read this year. I really enjoyed the story and thought that the writing was very good. I found myself able to visualize the story such that at one point I had to remember that I had read the story and not watched a movie of it.

Time for Witches (Smart Novels: U.S. History) - 184
SparkNotes Editors
Shades of Blue and Gray (Smart Novels: U.S. History) - 168
SparkNotes Editors
Reckless Revolution (Smart Novels: U.S. History) - 184
SparkNotes Editors
Gilded Delirium (Smart Novels: U.S. History) (Smart Novels: U.S. History) - 216
SparkNotes Editors

This series of books is designed to get kids interested in learning history by making it "fun." I thought the premise was interesting and found the books to be enjoyable, however goofy the story turned out to be.

Utopia - 176
Thomas More

At times I find myself in need of a "grownup" book and found this one while rummaging through a box of books that we had taken from James' uncle's old collection. The story was fascinating, I found the translation to be relevant (the story is written in Latin) and intriguing in the political time that we are facing. Basically in the land of Utopia everything is perfect and if something is not right, then it is forced to be right. Everyone is taken care of and told how to live and what to do. A good read if you are looking for something different.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - 672
J.K. Rowling

After seeing the movie I needed to reread the story to see what was changed and to remember all that I had forgotten. I really enjoyed rereading the book and being able to take the time to take more of the story in, rather then wanting to finish so that I could know how it ended. On a side note, I loved the movie and I thought the changed in it were great, they enhanced the story instead of taking from it. Yes there were a few things I would like to have seen in the movie, but I loved it anyways.

Total for July: 2432
Total for 2009 thus far: 19980