Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Winter Book Challenge!


I will be joining Megan from Semi-Charmed Kind of Life for her winter book Challenge.

These are the rules:

  • The challenge will run from November 1, 2012, to January 31, 2013.  No books that are started before 12 a.m. on November 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on January 31 will count.
  • No re-reads (unless specifically stated)
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks are fine, as long as the print versions meet the page requirements.
  • A book can only be used for one category. If you want to switch the category later, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will win a featured/guest post on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life. 

The Challenge: (I numbered the books to make it easier for me to keep up!)
BOOK 1    5 points: Read a book written by an author you have never read before.
BOOK 2   5: Read a book you already have at home but haven’t gotten around to yet (from the library, from a bookstore, borrowed from a friend, on your e-reader, whatever).
BOOK 3    10: Read a book written in the decade that you were born. Submitted by Summer Book Challenge finisher Hannah.
BOOK 4   10: Read a book that takes place in the state/province where you were born. If you were born outside the U.S. and Canada, read a book that takes place in the country you were born.
BOOK 5   15: Read a book titled The _______'s Daughter or The _______'s Wife. (There are a ton, I promise!)
BOOK 6   15:  Read a book that was originally written in a language other than English.
BOOK 7   20: Read a book with a number in the title. This could be an actual digit or a number like “hundred” or “thousand.” No arbitrary numbers are allowed (e.g. several, few, many, couple).
BOOK 8   20:  Read a book set during Christmas or another winter holiday.Submitted by Jessica of Sweet Green Tangerine via Twitter.
BOOK 9   20: Read a book written by an author who shares your initials.Submitted by Sarah of The Roaring Twenties via Twitter.
BOOK 10  25: Read a Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist for fiction.
BOOK 11   25:  Re-read a book. 
BOOKS 12, 13, & 14   30: Read three books from three different genres (e.g. romance, historical fiction, horror, biography, etc.). Remember, the books used for this category cannot count for any other category. Submitted bySummer Book Challenge winner Momma Sunshine.

The books I plan to read: (I plan to get most of my books from the library so my list might change depending on whether the book is available when I need it or not.)

Book 1: The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger...this has been on my to-read list for  along time

Book 2: Pretty in Plaid, Jen Lancaster

Book 3: The Key to Rebecca, Ken Fellett (1980)

Book 4: East of the Mountains, David Guterson (Set in WA)

Book 5: The Senator's Wife, Sue Miller

Book 6: Ruby Red, 
Book 7: A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens...I know it's so sad that I STILL haven't read this classic.

Book 8: The Christmas Sweater, Glenn Beck

Book 9: The Last Summer, Ann Brashares 

Book 10: The Road, Cormac McCarthy (Winner 2007)

Book 11: Handle with Care, Jodi Picoult

Book 12:  Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver (dystopian, young adult)

Book 13: Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn (Mystery, Thriller)

Book 14: Confessions of a Call Center Gal, Lisa Lim (Chick Lit)

That's a LOT of books!

I'll be updating my progress on my Book Challenge page.
I'm also going to try to review all of the books.
Wish me luck!

I'm actually speed reading a book I got just a few days ago. It was on hold at the library and then finally it was MINE!  I know I won't have time to read it plus these other books in the next few months. I'm only half way through the book. I want to read it before I start my challenge books SO I have today to finish it lol. There will be NO cleaning today! 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Things Noah Says: Take 2

Noah was about to open his umbrella in the car. I told him he was going to poke his eye out and then he'd have to get a patch to put on his eye. He replied with:
If I get an eye patch people will think I'm tough. If they think I'm tough they'll want to see how tough. When they want to see how tough I'll wake up in a ditch.
Which he got from this commercial:

After school one day following the vacation day for Columbus Day...

Noah: Did you know yesterday was Columbus day?
Me: Yes
Noah: Well!!! Why didn't we celebrate? Like make a cake or something?
Me: Ummm I don't know?
Noah: Do you even know who Columbus was? He found America! That's where we live! Aaaand one of his boats sank! It was the santas marina! I can't believe we didn't celebrate.

I guess next year I'll have to make a cake...maybe even get balloons lol...and teach him the real names of the ships.

While driving in the car one day:

Noah: Did you know that Braden's brother is named after a radio station?
Me: I don't think he's named after a radio staion...
Noah: Yes he is. He has the same name as the K-Love station.
Me: Oh... well his name is Caleb...Not K-Love =)

I asked Noah if he cleaned his room and he said yes I promise. 

Me: Cross your heart? Hope to die? stick a needle in your eye?
Noah:  Why would you want to do all that mean stuff to me?


We were in the car with Noah's Great Grandma. She got her handicap sticker out and put it over the car mirror. Noah said:

Grandma has one of those because she's old. 

Noah sings a lot...often with the wrong words

Moves like Jagger

Noah sings: I've got the moves in my jacket
Actual song: I've got the moves like Jagger

The Hurt and the Healer Collide

Noah sings: It's the moment when humanity is overcome by manatees.
Actual song: It's the moment when humanity is overcome by majesty 

I sure hope humanity is never overcome by manatees... 

I love my funny little man.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Baileys Bought A Bar

Well, actually we bought a car.

But The Baileys Bought A Bar is more fun to say than The Baileys Bought A Car.

So after lots of looking, discussing, and a touch of arguing we finally agreed on what would be our new vehicle. 

We chose a 2013 GMC Terrain. 

We looked for a new car for a LONG time. Finally we narrowed it down to a Terrain or an Equinox. We were standing in the show room waiting for our great and funny salesman, Cheyne, to bring us a print out on the Equinox we looked at. We were standing next to the Terrain.  We looked at it several times and kept saying, "I really love this one, I wonder if they would come down on the price, It's so nice!"  And then this lady got into it...

Immediately I thought, "Hey get out of my car!" 
As soon as the guy got back we both said, "We want this one and asked what they could do about the price." It had everything we wanted. We were just afraid of the $$$. Luckily we got an amazing deal and only 2 hours and a ton of paperwork later it was ours. 

They pushed it out of the showroom with a whole 4 miles on it. 

Joey was sad to say goodbye to his truck but we really needed a larger vehicle for traveling. Especially since we are trying to have a baby. 4 people and a giant dog would not fit in the truck or the car, not comfortably anyway.

It is definitely going to take some getting used to.  Especially all of the buttons. I definitely cant drive and adjust the temperature or change the least not until I memorize where everything is. I also need to practice parking it lol.  

We love it!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday's Letters

Friday is here again and that 
means I'm linking up with Ashley 
from Adventures of Newlyweds

Dear Book Swap,
I'm so glad Jessica though of doing this. I got so excited last night as I sealed my book into it's envelope to be mailed to my book swap partner Kristy. I hope she loves the book as much as I did!

Dear Pumpkins,
We have major carving plans this weekend!

Dear Sister, 
I miss you! And here is why...
Last night she sent me a text stating that they had something and it was something bad.

It was almost as if she was sitting across from me sipping wine and laughing. We have the best time together.

That's it for this Friday...
I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Printed Books V. E-Readers

Normally Thursday is book chat day, but with the BOOK SWAP going on Jessica is taking a tiny break. There is still time to join if you haven't yet.  If you're interested leave a comment below with your blog link or good reads profile. Don't forget to include what kind of book you would be interested in.

So since their isn't a book chat topic today I decided to talk about a topic that was discussed before I joined the chat. If you love books like I love books you should join the chat too! Just visit Jessica over at Sweet Green Tangerine for more details.

It's a war! Not really.
 Everyone has their own opinion about which is better... The real printed book or the e-reader. I like my e-reader but I love books. I don't think it's the actual book itself that I love. It's the experience of buying the book or checking the book out. I love the way libraries and book stores smell. I love walking in and seeing all of the books lined up just waiting for me to choose one. I can flip through them and read a few chapters if I want before making a choice. 
I like walking out of the library with an armful of books knowing I'll be back very soon to get more.

I don't dislike my e-reader. It has it's own perks. It's lightweight so I can take it anywhere. It fits nicely in my purse. I can read in privacy. I could be reading a scandalous racy novel and no one would ever know. I can store lots of books on just that one device. 

If I had to give up one or the other I would give up the e-reader. It just doesn't compare to having a real solid book in my hands. 

But thankfully I get to keep them both =)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Up to Wednesday

I was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award!
You can find my Liebster post here.
Liebster Award

We played around at the store.

We found this Christmas decoration that could also be used for Halloween lol

Have a GRRRREAT day!!!

Liebster Blog Award!

The Liebster award is given by fellow bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. 

So, what is a Liebster anyway? 

The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

First I need to say thank you to Holly from Not Done Growing for nominating me. =)

And now for the rules:

Each person must post 11 things about themselves 

Answer the questions that the nominator set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated to answer. 

Choose 11 people and link them in your post. 

Go to their page and tell them. 

No tag backs! 

My 11 facts:

I have a 6 year old son named Noah.

I do not know what I want to be when I grow up...even though I'm already 27. 

I dream of writing a book but I have no idea what I would write about. 

I love crab legs. They are my favorite thing to eat!

I am terrified of anything paranormal. 

I have been married for almost 9 years.

I hate driving at night.

I am really bad at playing video games. My son won't even play with me...that's how bad 
I am.

I love to do crafts and make things.

I love to read. I go to the library every Wednesday lol.

I'm named after Ashley from Gone with the Wind...who is a man. So I am named after a dude.

Holly's questions:

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
 Mmmmm Anything coffee flavored OR Strawberry. I really cant choose between the two!

What is the best book your have read in the last year? 

Definitely The Book Thief. You can find my review here.

You have just won an all-expense-paid vacation to the destination of your choice, where do you want to go? 

Maybe it's cheesy but I'd choose Disney World. I really want to take Noah but it's just so expensive! We would go to ALL of the theme parks of course and stay in an awesome Disney themed hotel.

What song always makes you happier when you listen to it?

Kari Jobe: Every One Needs a Little

Are you a going to have a scary or funny jack-o-lantern for Halloween? 
Both! I like cute Halloween stuff. Noah likes creepy Halloween stuff. lol

When the alarm goes off in the morning, do you jump up ready to face the day or hit the snooze button as many times as possible?

 Jump up and face the day! My husband is a snooze-aholic. It is VERY annoying!

Do you have any siblings? 

Sure do. One brother and one sister. I'm the oldest.

Is your bed made right now? 

No lol But my excuse is that our sheets don't actually fit our bed. We bought a new king size bad and still haven't purchased the right size sheets.

How would you spend your time if all of a sudden you have the afternoon free and all to yourself?

 I'd probably read. I love reading. OR I would nap. I equally love napping. 

Who is your favorite super hero?

 I don't really have one. I guess if I have to pick one I pick wonder woman, because she has great hair lol.

Which is more you:  sneakers or high heels?

Neither...Boots. I'd rather wear boots than anything else. Flat boots if I need to be comfy. I own all kinds of boots... black, brown, flat, heeled, boots with buckles, boots with laces...LOTS

Fabulous people I nominate:

Heather from Bumble Bee

Amanda from This IS My Real Hair

Tiff from My Smile Saga

Lauren from Life As A Labeth

Kristy from A Happy Heart

Erin from Keep Calm & Sparkle

Karen from Ramblings of an Otter Wifey

Jen from That's What She Read

Kenzie from Life and Lemons

Lacey from ...And They Call Me Mommy

Shelli from Beauty & the Baseball Coach

MY Questions:

If you could only eat one food for an entire week what would you choose?
What would people say is your most annoying habit?
What scares you the most?
Are you a dog person or a cat person?...Maybe Hamsters?
If you could be invisible for one day what would you do?
What was your least favorite job?
What do you do when you aren't blogging?
How did you choose your blog name?
What was your favorite toy as a child?
Google or Bing?
What is the first webpage you look at in the morning?

Have fun! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Speech Therapy

After meeting with Noah's teacher and the school speech teacher Noah will be in speech therapy again.

Noah started getting ear infections when he was about 5 months old. After that first infection were were constantly at the doctor's office. As soon as he would get over one infection he would get a brand new one a few weeks later. It was a nightmare for both of us.

When he was one he  had a procedure called myringotomy. Basically they insert a teeny tiny tube in the eardrum. It helps relieve pressure and helps the ear drain. His eustachian tubes were immature so when he was sick his middle ear couldn't drain properly. 

After the surgery our world was so different. Well not really...but we did stop going to the doctor ALL the time and there were a lot less stay up  with Noah while he cried nights. It was SO much better. One tiny tube in each year changed it all. 

I didn't realize at the time that all of those ear infections would cause a speech delay. No one told me. I have nothing against military doctors...We've had some great and wonderful ones, but I've always felt they kind of rush you. I felt like I wasn't given all of the information that I should have been. So we continued our lives as we normally would. Let's jump ahead now a year and a half later.

Noah is now two and a half. I started to notice that he wasn't talking like the other kids his age were. We were living in Italy at this time. The more he played with other kids the more I noticed there was a problem. He even made up his own weird kind of sign language, which I thought was pretty smart and cute. I went home one day and wrote down all the words he could say. The list wasn't very long. I was able to communicate with him just fine, but then of course I was with him 24-7. I contacted a pediatric speech therapist and explained my concerns. They tested Noah and then he started speech therapy. It was amazing. He started talking...and never stopped. He was in therapy for about 6 months before the therapist was satisfied with his speech.

Now Noah is 6. He is in first grade. For a while I've noticed that he doesn't say some of the letter sounds the right way. For instance he says Take instead of Cake or Lellow instead of Yellow. It really didn't cross my mind that this was a problem. I've heard other kids make mistakes with those letters too. Then one night when we were doing spelling homework he had to sort words in to the correct sound. TH, CH, and C were among the sounds. He struggled to differentiate between the two sounds. Something inside me went OH NO! I wrote down other letters on a piece of paper...the letters he mispronounces. I wrote down some words, told him to say them out loud, and asked him to place them correctly. He got so frustrated he was in tears. I just hugged him and said we would work on the spelling homework later. 

I went to bed that night planning to email his teacher in the morning and tell her Noah was struggling with the homework and that I thought he might need some help with his speech. I didn't have to write the email. His teacher emailed me. We met the following day and discussed the issues. We set up a meeting with the school's speech teacher. They have already started helping him a little bit. When I go sign his paperwork at our meeting next week he'll be working with the speech therapist a few times a week. She said not to be concerned and that the issue is very minor. She expects it to be corrected in just a few weeks. I'ts really just a matter of teaching him where to place his tongue in his mouth so that the right sounds come out when he talks. She compared it to teaching someone a new language. If you don't know how to roll your R's for instance...then some of the words in Spanish aren't going to sound like they are supposed to. 

Noah is very excited about all of this.  After I explained that this will help him to not get so frustrated at home work time he was thrilled.

And because this post is already super long...

This is the rest of our never ending battle with ear infections. 

His first set of tubes fell out in 2009. The tubes aren't meant to last forever, usually about 1-3 years.  As soon as they came out we were back to full blown ear infection craziness. I wasted no time and took him right to our new and wonderful pediatric ENT Dr. Rice. He put new tubes in Noah's ears and once again we returned to ear infection free bliss.

Since that day we have had ZERO ear infections. I guess since the crazy ear infection monster was finally vanquished there was room for Mr. Strep Throat to move on in. Noah got it over and over again. So back to Dr. Rice we went. This was in December of 2011. Dr. Rice informed us that the tubes had fallen out. I felt panicked right away. He told me he really thought that Noah would not need tubes again. He said that he would remove Noah's adenoids at the same time as his tonsils. His adenoids were enlarged and removing them would make more room for his eustachian tube. We scheduled the surgery during the Christmas holiday. It would make for a painful kind of yucky Christmas but at least he wouldn't miss school...

Everything went great. The only bad part was when he woke up. The anesthesia made him really itchy and he scratched his face up pretty bad. He was pretty normal in the days following the surgery, just a little more cranky than usual.

Now almost a year later and he hasn't been sick at all. Not even a cold. It is a huge relief!

Monday, October 22, 2012

More teenage shenanigans...embarrassing shenanigans

Smoking in the bathroom...but not cigarettes...not drugs...just a little caffeine.

Oh this story is a good one. An embarrassingly dumb one. So dumb in fact we weren't even punished. Our mothers could not stop laughing at us long enough to punish us. They still laugh about it today. Now we laugh too. 

My partner in crime Jenna and I were good kids. We did not even know what drugs were really. I'm sure if someone had actually shown me a drug I would have had no idea what it was. We were in the 8th grade. I actually think it was the summer before 8th grade. One day Jenna sees an episode of 90210. In this episode they smoke weed, kept in a coffee can. 

Can you tell where this story is going?

Jenna thinks they are smoking coffee. I am immediately notified of this new discovery and so begins what will become a story to be shared at any family and friends gathering where one or more people have not heard of the time Jenna and Ashley smoked coffee grounds. 

Jenna showed me how they rolled the coffee grounds in strips of paper towels. Really people it's such a sad story...

We then smoked the coffee grounds. It was gritty, smelled good, and tasted like coffee. We weren't sure what this smoking of the grounds was supposed to achieve. We did know that those cool kids on tv did it so we probably should too. 

Our wild behavior wouldn't last long. Her mom came home and obviously it smelled funny in the house. When questioned Jenna is forced to confess to our coffee smoking craziness. Her mom was speechless. Was she thinking up some awful punishment? Was she debating whether or not we should be sent to Coffee Smokers Anonymous? No, she was trying not to laugh. 

My mom had the same reaction. We weren't punished. I guess they thought our stupidity was punishment enough. That Christmas we received cans of coffee. Our families open gifts together so there was lots of laughter to be heard. 

We have a long history of making mistakes together. My childhood would not have been as fun or as funny without Jenna. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

When teenagers steal... sort of

So here is how it all went down.

Allow me to set the scene for you. I am 15. I have a learner's permit to drive. This means two things. I think I'm ultra cool AND I can't drive a vehicle without adult supervision. It is winter time. New Years Eve to be exact. I am at my best friend Jenna's house with her and her boyfriend Dustin. Jenna's parents are at a New Years Eve party. It is time for Dustin to go home. This was one of the Northern Louisiana winters when we have ice and snow. The roads are dangerous folks. Dustin does not want to walk home. He did not live that far...he could have walked. He suggests that we take Jenna's parent's van. 

At first I am against the idea. But then...I am convinced that this seems like a brilliant plan. It was probably  that teenage brain making impulsive decisions thing. Then Dustin and I unite and peer pressure (who doesn't love a little peer pressure every now and then?) Jenna to join us in the van stealing plan. 

Off we go to the carport to begin icing off the windows.
Let me pause here for a moment. IF we  managed to get away with everything I'm pretty sure her parents would have returned home and wondered why on earth the windows were free of ice. There would have been some explaining to do...

Dustin drives to the corner of his street. He gets out. I get in the drivers seat. Then out of Jenna's mouth I hear, "Oh shit...that's my mom!!!"

Yes indeed. It was her mom. driving straight towards us. You see her parents were at a party just down the street from Dustin's house. We obviously did not put much thought in to any of this...

And so her mom stops next to us and proceeds to use every cuss word known to man. We were in trouble. BIG trouble. She speeds off to wait for us at the house leaving me and Jenna to worry about the doom that awaited us.

But we're not done yet...

Then a police officer pulls up beside me. This will mark the second moment of the night when I almost peed my pants. I don't know how or why but all he said to me was, "Is everything okay?" I replied with, "Yes sir, I was just talking to my friend for a minute." I was more than astonished and grateful when he said, "Alright well just drive safe. The roads are pretty bad tonight. Make sure you turn your headlights back on."

That was IT! I was driving past curfew and on a learners permit. All we got was a take care and be safe.

That moment of happiness faded quickly as we made our way back to Jenna's house. We got out of the van ever so slowly and sulked into the house. I sat at the table for an unknown amount of time listening to Jenna's mom yell at her about responsibility, safety, and trust. It was bad...

Then her mom turned to me and told me I was to go home tomorrow and tell my mom what I did. 
Jenna's mom and my mom are best friends too.  Her mom would definitely know if I told my mom or not.

 The next day I told my mom. Our punishment really wasn't all that terrible. We couldn't see each other or talk to each other on the phone for two weeks. I had to go apologize to Jenna's dad. Now that was pretty terrible. It was not the best moment of my life. 

It's a funny story now. I was a pretty good kid. I never really did anything too bad. The few times I did get in trouble were usually times I just wasn't using my brain AND almost always included Jenna. She was my partner in crime. Our 90210 and coffee grounds story just takes the cake. I'm not even sure I want to share it lol It's incredibly embarrassing because it was just so dumb! I might even need to get her permission before I tell it....seriously.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday's Letters


Linking up with Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds
I LOVE her button!

Dear Policeman, 
Thank you for following me almost all the way home and letting me think you might be thinking of pulling me over. You see we STILL have not registered our cars here. We are way over the time limit that you have to register your vehicle after you establish residency.  We have updated our insurance but just haven't done the registration. Every time I pass a cop I think, "Oh please don't pull me over!" I've never actually been pulled over...unless you count that time when I stole a van with my friends. Maybe I'll share that story with you tomorrow. I don't think that time really counts though because I was already parked and the cop just pulled up beside me....ANYWAY Thank you for continuing to ignore my out of state license plate day after day in this small town. I will get the problem taken care of soon...

Dear rude person in the parking lot,
This space is mine until I choose to vacate it. I will pull out of the space when I am good and ready to. Do not honk your horn at me! It does not make me want to go any faster. If anything it makes me want to go back in the store and shop some more leaving you to find another prime space to park in.

Dear Husband,
Thank you for letting me enroll Bella in doggie boot camp. I know it is crazy expensive, but it will be worth it. She needs it!If only they could teach her not to shed...that would be miraculous.

Dear Bella,
PLEASE succeed at boot camp. We will spend our Thanksgiving eating turkey and relaxing with family. You will receive a week of intense training in a top notch training facility. I will miss you terribly but it is necessary =(

Dear Winter,
I am still afraid of you. I'm afraid I will go sliding off the road and get stuck in a ditch. I will drive 2 mph everywhere I go to avoid this I guess. I am looking forwards to having some winter fun though. I saw this aisle at Walmart and became a little kid for a few seconds. We definitely don't have an aisle like this in Louisiana!

Dear Jessica (Sweet Green Tangerine),
Thank you for introducing me to the blogging world. Your blog was the first blog I have ever read. I'm so glad I decided to jump in there and start typing away. I am loving it =) Also, I miss you!!! A lot!!!

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