Friday Five

  1. Jimmie is starting to use his legs A LOT more for walking. He is still mainly crawling and cruising, but he has been taking so many more steps on his own. He even took 15 steps across the kitchen to Jim last Sunday. We should have a full-on walker soon. *crosses fingers*
  2.  Starbucks has a new drink: the Toasted Graham Latte. It is amazing. Unfortunately, it is just as expensive as the new Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ll only be getting it as a special treat. They’re fall cups really cute. I would love a mug with that pattern. I hope the drink (and cups) become a fall regular.
  3. I’m so happy that all of my shows are back this week: Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Nashville, and Modern Family. Modern Family was hilarious, as usual, and Nashville was just okay. I haven’t had a chance to watch my TGIT shows yet. I’m expecting them to be juicy. I honestly can’t believe summer went so fast. I feel like I was just watching season finales in May.
  4. It’s OFFICIALLY fall. We turned the AC off on Sunday and I’m pretty confident that it is off for good. It’s so nice to have the windows open. Plus, Jimmie looks absolutely adorable in his footie PJs at night.
  5. I really don’t have much to say this week. Sorry for all the boring information (more boring than usual.) Except for Jimmie walking, of course. That is pretty exciting!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sorry the all my pictures have been awful! for the past two weeks. I left my camera at my parent’s house. These are all from my not-smart phone. Better pictures should be returning soon.

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Book Review: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

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Delilah Marlow woke up on her 25th birthday with a surprise: Her boyfriend had bought her tickets to the famous traveling carnival, Metzer’s Menagerie, that was passing through town. Delilah hadn’t been to the Menagerie since she was in elementary school. She didn’t feel right about it then, and she doesn’t feel right about it now. Not wanting to hurt her boyfriend’s feelings, she goes along with her birthday surprise. After an unusual transformation at the werewolves cages, Delilah is taken into custody and stripped of all of her human rights. She is put on display in the circus and told to perform with the rest of the caged monsters. The biggest problem, besides being treated like an animal, is that Delilah has no idea how to turn back into the monster she suddenly became while she was a guest at the circus.

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent is a magnificent book. It is full of mythology, mystery, and magic. For once in my life, I wanted to skip to the end, before reading the middle, to see what was going to happen. My husband actually had to hide the book from me one night because he wanted me to slow down. If I didn’t have a toddler, I would have read it  cover to cover, without hesitating.

Ever since I read Water for Elephants, I have been intrigued by the traveling circus/carnival life. This traveling circus is a lot different from the one I first read about. In Menagerie, all the “animals” are cryptids: mystical creatures such as mermaids, werewolves, oracles, and minotaurs. The novel is written so beautifully and so matter-of-fact that I was convinced that these cryptids could actually be living among us, just waiting to show their true identities. I was so consumed by the creatures and their potential existence, I forgot that I was reading something make believe. I felt pain for these so called “monsters.” They were living in unethical conditions, barely eating, and barely surviving. Not only were they being tortured physically, they were also being tortured mentally.

Delilah is a fantastic female heroine. She is bought by the circus after never even knowing that she isn’t completely human. She has added difficulties adjusting to cage-life because many of cryptids don’t know what life outside a cage is like, she does. After living in the free world for 25 years and then being thrown into a cage, Delilah doesn’t give up. She fights as hard as she can to try to bring justice to not only herself, but the entire Menagerie.

I learned a lot about mythical creatures in Menagerie. Rachel Vincent put a lot of time and effort into making each detail of each cryptid unique and special.  Menagerie is the first book Rachel Vincent’s newest adult series. I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in this unforgettable trilogy. Menagerie will be available for purchase on September 29, 2015.

I was given a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday Five

It’s Friday again? I slacked on the Friday Five last week. I will try to be interesting this week to make up for it.

  1. We spent over a week at my parent’s house from labor day weekend to last weekend, which is why I didn’t post too much for the duration of that time. Jimmie is terrified of my parent’s basement. Not all basements, just theirs. I have no idea why, but it makes blogging harder because that is where their desktop is and Jim had our laptop with him. We had a busy week that included a trip to the Please Touch Museum, the beach in Ocean City, NJ, and a lot of backyard fun. Jim came back up for a family party last weekend, which are always fun, and then we drove back to Maryland on Sunday night.
  2. Can we talk about how I spent $5.25 on a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte yesterday? Needless to say, I will NOT be buying anymore. That’s the problem when recipes go “natural,” we sometimes end up paying more. Give me the fake stuff, people.
  3. Dancing With the Stars started up again this week. I am rooting for Nick Carter and Sharna and I also (obviously) love Derik and Bindi Irwin. I hope those two couples go to finals. I will continue to watch because of them. Paula Dean was a trainwreck.
  4. We moved our coffee table out of the middle of our living room and I took the playpen down from the playroom. We are hoping with less furniture to cruise on, Jimmie will take a leap towards walking on his own. We are up to six steps. I know he can do it. I am just so tired of having to explain to people that he isn’t walking yet. Also, my back hurts. He needs to walk for the sake of my mental and physical health.
  5. Today at the park, this woman asked me if Jimmie wore a size four shoe. I said yes, and she proceeded to give me the shoes off her son’s feet. She said she just bought them and they are already too small. How nice was that? I’ll have to pay it forward and do something nice for someone this weekend.

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Happy 15 and 16 Months, Jimmie!

Since I have been in a blogging slump over the past few weeks, I figured I better at least update Jimmie’s life progress over the past two months.

Words Jimmie can say: He says some kind of word for more that starts with an “m” and says “sna” when I ask him if he wants a snack.

Favorites: Hummus, temper tantrums, reading, The Chica Show, touching things he isn’t supposed to touch.

Weight: Almost 24 pounds at his 15 month check up.

Firsts this month: Jimmie can push his Vtech push toy all over the place except he isn’t very good at turning. He can walk confidently with our hands(or hand) and stand alone for long periods of time. Jimmie went to the Please Touch Museum for the first time he also went to the Ocean City, New Jersey. He received his first haircut from his daddy.

Nightly sleep schedule:  Sleeps from 7ish to 7ish. He is also officially on one nap a day. Usually 12-2 or a similar variation. If we are out and about on the weekends, he will fall asleep around 11 AM in the car and nap for about 45 minutes. If he is super tired he will fall asleep in the afternoon, if we happen to be in the car again, around 3, but never in his crib.

Favorite toy: Little Tykes Discover Sounds Sports Center – He loves every part of this toy. He also really loves his play food by Melissa & Doug.

Hardest moment of the month:Jimmie still isn’t walking. I know he will do it because I can see the progression every day, and from week to week. But it is still frustrating to see every other kid his age walking and my little giant just crawling around. We should throw a Jimmie finally walked party, because it will be a long time coming.

Best moment of the month: Jimmie finally finished teething for the time being. All of his teeth are in except his two year old molars.

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I left my camera at my parents house. 16 Months was done with my phone.

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What is Jimmie Reading this Week?

Jimmie is very particular about which books he does and doesn’t want to read. He won’t even let you read the first page of a book if he doesn’t find the cover interesting. He probably gets this little “judge a book by its cover” problem from me. Jimmie would let you read to him all day, every day, if you were willing. And when I say willing I mean willing to read the books HE wants to read over and over again.

Here is what Jimmie recommends this week: (all borrowed from the library)

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P is for Potty: I know it is SUPER early for potty training. With that being said, it is never too early to start learning about the potty. Jimmie loves Elmo and lift the flap books. This book is ideal for him. He will let me read him the whole story and lift some of the flaps, as well. We will be buying this book when he does start to potty train. It’ll be good to read to him while he is sitting on the toilet pondering about why he is sitting on the toilet in the first place.

abcThe Alphabet Parade by Charles Ghigna: Jimmie loves the alphabet. I have been singing it to him since he was born and we own quite a few alphabet books. He will pretty much sit through any alphabet book. This one is cute and has a little story to go along with it. I’m not a huge clown fan, but I am trying not to push my fears onto him. I like reading books that aren’t just “A,” next page, “B,” next page, etc. Books shouldn’t be flashcards.

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Hug by Jez Alborough: The only word in this book is “hug.” The little monkey, Bobo, is looking for his mommy. While he is searching for his mommy, he sees other jungle animals hugging their mommies. This makes him sad. He searches and searches until he finds his mommy and they hug it out. This is a good book to use to create your own story by looking at the pictures. It also is a good book to use when learning about feelings.

Friday Five

  1. I found a really cool children’s book website this week. It is called Brightly and it is sponsored by Penguin Random House. Since Jimmie likes to read all day, every day, I need new book ideas all the time! Lately, we have been reading about colors, numbers, and the alphabet, this website gives lists of books that fit your child’s wants and needs. Jimmie’s Amazon wish list is growing!
  2. I made this amazing corn and black bean salad for an Army picnic this past weekend. Believe it or not, this was the first official function I have been to since we came here almost two years ago. It’s hard to believe that I knew so many of the people Jim worked with, and their wives, in Korea. And here, I never met anyone. I’m glad to put some faces to names. Jimmie had fun playing in the grass at the picnic and eating part of Dad’s cookie.
  3. The end of the official summer is upon us. Can you believe it is September? I loved seeing all of the back-to-school photos on Facebook this week. Only two more years until Jimmie is in Preschool and four until he is in Kindergarten. Wow, putting it down in words makes it seem real. I really hope he is walking by then 😛
  4. Pumpkin Spice Latte starts on September 7! Since it is still hot, I will be getting mine iced, which I actually enjoy better. I can’t wait to try the new recipe. I also can’t wait to have a pumpkin scone (even though they were smaller last year) and a pumpkin muffin.
  5. Bachelor in Paradise will be over on Monday. I’m so glad that I will be done wasting my time on that show. I swear, I am not watching next summer. Who do we think is going to get engaged? Breakup? I seriously can’t see Ashley and Jared staying together. That show is such a train-wreck.
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Super crappy picture of Mr.Grump. He is working on his fourth and final canine tooth, tooth #16. Then we are done until two year molars!!!

Book Review: The Plain Choice by Sherry Gore

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We ask Him for miracles, and forget that the miracle already occurred, thousands of years ago, when Christ dies for our sins. Pg. 178

Usually a person is born into the Amish community. Usually being Amish isn’t a choice someone makes, it is just what it is. Not for Sherry Gore. Sherry Gore was not born Amish. Sherry Gore was born to two people who didn’t really practice any kind of religion nowhere near an Amish community.

Sherry grew up in Texas and then moved to California to live with her dad when she was 10, four years after her parents got divorced. She started feeling out of place in her new home after her dad and step-mom started to have their own children. After that, Sherry’s life turned into one move after another; she was even homeless for a considerable amount of time. She went from job to job and fell in love a few times.

After marrying her second husband, Sherry became pregnant with her third child. After giving birth, Sherry accepted the Lord into her life. She wanted her children to have more than she had. She wanted her children to live a Christian life. After getting baptized, Sherry slowly started living a plain, simple life. This is when her life truly began. This is where Sherry started her Amish journey, one that wasn’t always simple. Sherry put her trust in God, knowing that He would take care of her and her family.

The Plain Choice by Sherry Gore is a story about struggle. Not only struggle in life, but also a struggle with how to accept God. Sherry Gore had a hard life where she felt like no one accepted her or understood her.  When she found God, she finally felt accepted for the first time. She may have missed some of His signs, but eventually she heard Him loud and clear and decided to live a Christian life. This choice eventually led her into the Amish community.

I found Sherry’s story very interesting. Before reading The Plain Choice,  I had no idea that there were Amish living in Florida. I also didn’t know that there are many small Amish communities spread throughout the country.  Sherry’s story is more than just a journey into the Amish world, it’s her journey from being one girl, DJing in California at a roller skating rink, to a woman, raising three children in a world she never even imagined of being a part of.

I couldn’t put this book down. I love stepping outside of my typical reading box and finding a book that teaches me so many things. Sherry Gore’s story is very informative and emotional. I felt her joy, her sorrow, and her struggle. She is an amazing woman who has overcome many obstacles in her life. Even after all she has lost, she still finds the strength to get up, live a plain life, and believe that God has a plan.

We are strong people. Our strength comes from the way we care for one another and in the way we continue, even in tragedy, to have faith in God and hope He provides. Hope for a good life on earth. Hope for life after death. Hope that in our darkest days we are still loved. Pg. 184-185

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.