Happy Fall!

You guys, I am so excited!! Today starts the best three months of the year! Happy Fall! I am glad that my December birthday still falls in the fall season although most of the time it feels more like winter, but still…

In case you don’t know, in our homeschool we do school from January to October and we take the fall off. I am looking forward to that this year more than I have in a long time! Jeffy is traveling a lot this fall, unfortunately, but I am hoping that some of the things the kids and I are going to do will be ok.  At least he doesn’t travel in December!

fall-autumn-red-season

It won’t be long before our area will look like this. Bike rides take on a different feeling. Just being outside is pure happiness. The crisp air, the beauty…ahhh..

I haven’t quite come up with an end date for our school, but I think it is going to be a little later than it has been because we took a bit of time off in the summer when my niece came to visit. So, I know we have about 3 weeks left of Civics which is our biggest subject at the moment, as far as time goes. Once that is done, I imagine the rest will go quickly.

Kyle and Lauren are finishing up their science as well. It is Apologia, so I know that can drag out for a while, but I will see what we can finish and in how long..

We are also reading a lot of books all at the same time! We are almost done with Life of Pi that we are reading for our co-op, we are reading a book club book, we are reading Swiss Family Robinson with our school, we just finished a book about the Wright Brothers…and we are going to start another book in a few days. That’s a lot of books to read at the same time and keep the stories straight..ha!

But it is a typical end of the school year for us, we are always ending at odd times and finishing some things before others. I do have to fit in the end of year testing that we do, which nobody really looks forward to. At least they do great on them!

So, do you like fall as much as I do? Or do you prefer another season better? I am just so thankful that we live in a place that has a true fall. I am sincerely giddy. 🙂 Happy Fall!

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The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles {Review}

If you don’t know by now, I love to read. So far this year I have read 64 books according to my Goodreads account! So I am always excited to read new books! I will also include this book in my list of what books I have read this month in a couple weeks. This book that I read is The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles by Mark S Mirza from CTM Publishing Atlanta.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles
This book intrigued me from the description so I was definitely interested as I started reading. It is focused on the lives of three different characters in three different time periods.

The first is Thales, a nephew of Epaphras in the book, and takes place in the first century over a period of three months. Next is Brother Alexander Rich and takes place in the nineteenth century over three days. Last is Dale and takes place in the current era and lasts four months.

Frequently I have a hard time with character switches and this wasn’t an exception. The author also brings in the viewpoints of angels and demons as well, so it was a little much for they way I typically like to read.

Once I figured out that there were so many characters and viewpoints, I was able to take more time and enjoy the stories. Each chapter is titled with the era that is mentioned in the chapter, so that definitely helped in getting my mind ready to read from that era.

Each character is a prayer warrior. I felt so…not sure guilty is the word, but just bad that I don’t pray the way that they do. I definitely learned a lot about prayer in this book. Interestingly, the characters all have a copy of a prayer journal that guides them in their prayers and keeps them on track as to how to pray. The Wesley family prayers book is real, and the authors copy dates back to 1790! That is pretty cool!

I mentioned the angles and demons that were throughout the story. I liked the visual imagery that the author used to portray these. I was pretty disgusted in reading about the demons and I had thoughts of awe in reading about the angels. That was nicely done. It was a little confusing when the demon names aren’t capitalized, but the author addresses that in the beginning of the book.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles
There is a lot of information before and after the story as well, that I highly recommend reading. The pronunciation guide will definitely come in handy! There are some explanations as to why the author wrote what he did, which should definitely be read as this is not a true story, but fiction.

The book has a lot of footnotes of Bible verses to help you in case you wanted to read the verses that inspired the writing of the author throughout the story. There are a lot, like I said, so you may or may not read them all, but they are there if you would like to read them!

I enjoyed this book and the characters. The way the ending was done makes me want to read the next book to read more about them. And yes, there is a next book! 😉 Overall I enjoyed the book..I did have to get through quite a bit of typos and grammatical errors, but the story was good. The author did mention that the book has become autobiographical to some extent, which is interesting, but I am thinking a few people could see themselves in the story.

If you want to read what others thought of the book, feel free to click the banner below! 🙂

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles {Review}

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Getting Started With French {Review}

We have been wanting to experiment a little with foreign languages and trying to find something that works for everyone has been difficult! Armfield Academic Press recently sent my family Getting Started with French for review and we are kind of loving it! Homeschool foreign language is tricky! I know there are some online things, if you are lucky there is someone that is fluent or a native speaker that offers to teach your child…but we didn’t have anything like that. My kids weren’t sure which language they wanted to learn, so I also didn’t want to spend a huge amount of money on something that they may not use. So, we were excited to see what Getting Started with French was like!

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}

I was wondering how just a book would be in learning a new language, but this isn’t just a book! As I was reading the first few introductory pages I saw that there is an online component that you can use as well. There are some definite challenges when learning a new language and just hearing the different pronunciations of words helps in that department.

I definitely suggest reading the Preface and How to Use this Book sections. They are only a few pages but have some interesting tidbits. Both sections includes the download link to be able to listen to pronunciation recordings and authors’ commentary which I think is very important!

We decided to all just do this together so that we could listen to each other and correct each other as we went. We enjoyed the fact that everything is broken down into lessons. We stick to a pretty strict schedule in our homeschool and this fit in really well with that. No lesson is very long, they pretty much average just one page each! Very easy to include in our schedule.
getting-started-with-french-pronunciationIn lesson one it brings up the importance of pronunciation. They mention how the French language has certain sounds that English speakers never use, so I think that gets you to pay extra attention on pronunciations of the words. That’s probably pretty useful information in any language that you are attempting to learn!

As you progress into the lessons, it gives you some information on words and how they may look like they sound one way but actual sound a different way. It talks about how French has masculine and feminine nouns which is surely something that we don’t do in English. I mean, pencils, cars, and houses have gender? haha!

As you get to lesson five it starts with learning new words. The first word is un. It lets you know the meaning of the word and gives a pronunciation tip. There is also an explanation on how it is used in the language and how they will bring it up again in the future.
getting started with french lesson eightAs you work through this book, it works out really well that they build on what you have already learned. So like in lesson five you learned the word un, they will bring it up again and again in future lessons. You learn the words for boy and girl shortly after and they will use the word un in the exercises in those lessons. The same goes for une. Then, as you learn more words and even phrases, you are able to figure out what the phrase means and it makes sense.

When you log onto the downloadable files you are able to hear the pronunciation of the words and the commentary. The pronunciation is quite helpful as it is done by a native speaker from Paris, France, so you know that they are correct. The commentary goes over what the book is talking about for that particular lesson. They will talk about why something is the way it is, or go into detail with pronunciation help, that sort of thing. Both authors do the commentary and also bring in Francois, the native french speaker, to help clarify things as well.

Between the book and the download files, I think anyone can be on their way to learning French in not much time! Even if you just do one lesson a day, you can still practice randomly saying the words and phrases that you learn. It is even better if someone you know can talk with you as well! We don’t know that many words and phrases, but we know what each other are trying to say, and I think it will just get more fun the further into the book we get!

Interestingly enough, there is also Getting Started with Latin, which I may have to get because Ryan has been wanting to learn Latin and I just love the way the French was set up…and Getting Started with Spanish. Coming soon is Getting Started with Russian!

If you want to read what other people thought of Getting Started with French, feel free to click the banner below!

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}

Getting Started With French {Review}

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September 11

Here we are, September 11. I know it is everywhere today, everyone is talking about where they were 15 years ago. I know what I was doing, I know what Jeffy was doing. There are just a few things that people ask the question, ‘where were you when….’ and I just remember two of them. September 11 and the space shuttle explosion. I remember I was in class at my elementary school when that happened…

But what I remember about September 11 was how the whole country came together. It didn’t matter what color you were, what gender you identified as, or what your age was. Everyone watched out for and helped out each other.

I went to NYC about eight years ago. Everything was under construction. But there was just a feeling there. It was still new enough that everyone had the feeling. The flags were everywhere. People were still proud to be American.

NYC Ground Zero

NYC Ground Zero

It seems like these last…hmm…quite a few years it has really blown up with all of those things. The race thing is getting out of control, people are questioning everyone going in the wrong bathroom…

Now, I don’t want to have another act of terror again, but I do want us to come together as a country again. All of this…nonsense…that is going on has been awful. People are paying too much attention to color and not enough to heart. We are all people. We should all be together, we are together in this. No more drawing a line between people anymore. Draw a circle!

 

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Thursday Things

Here we are, another Thursday in the books. Fall is around the corner, although it has been warmer here than it should be for this time of year, in my opinion…grrr. But, enough with the negative, today is for Thursday Things, where we talk about the good things about the fast week. Right?? 🙂 So, let’s do this!!

car-accidentWhy would I be happy about this here car accident? Because nobody was seriously hurt. The way we were hit, it could have been so much worse. We were in the middle of a funeral procession and we weren’t going very fast and the person that hit us had just started going from a red light, so while he was going fast enough to do damage, it wasn’t too fast. Jeffy got a bump on the head and sore ribs and the next couple days had soreness by his fusion in his back and I just got a little jostled because I was sitting differently it was a weird sideways hit…but that’s it, thank goodness.

trader-joes-pumpkin-caramel-kringle

I have tried almost all of the Kringles that Trader Joe’s sells…but I had never seen this one before! Pumpkin caramel, are you kidding me? I barely saw it as it was the last one left. Sure, it was a tad smushed, but really, that didn’t affect the taste at all. This thing was so tasty! Kyle and I were eating it throughout the week until I noticed that I had gained a couple extra pounds, so…….lol.

Image result for blacklist season 3

Shortly after asking on facebook about netflix suggestions for a ‘suspenseful’ type show, we realized that Blacklist season 3 was added! Score! It had been ages since we finished season 2, so we had to watch the last episode again to remember where we left off. This is definitely one of Jeffy’s favorite shows!

jeff-and-his-mom

Found out this week that Jeffy’s mom got her tickets to come visit! She will be here almost all of December! She comes on my birthday too, which is fun! 🙂 I am wondering what sort of fun things we can do in the cooler weather! Of course at this rate, it will finally be in the 70’s then. 😛 lol

This has been playing so often on my phone that I can’t help but like it.. It has such a great beat and easy to sing along with, because lets face it, you sing along with songs. 😉 It’s also a great song to make up your own lyrics to, lol.

So, that’s what was good about my week this week, let me know what was good about your week! 🙂

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Christian HomeSchool Hub {Review}

This year of our homeschool we have started using more online choices than we ever did in the past. It has been eye opening, that there is so much available online. I used to only have a desktop computer and it just made it awkward, so now that I have a laptop and can use it at the homeschool table, it opens up a bunch of new opportunities for us! I was excited to try the CHSH Download Club from CHSH-Teach.com.

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
This is a unique site..it has items offered by all sorts of people, not just one person! As you first visit the site, you are greeted by a calendar that lets you know what has happened during the month in the past.
chsh-calendarAs you can see, if you click on the date it lets you know what happened and when. You can click on any day as well as change months for future planning, in case you wanted to use these dates for teaching later on. Things like that come in handy if you are doing unit studies on a particular subject, or if you want to just fill in some empty spots with random learning opportunities!

Now, the site kind of looks overwhelming when you first look at it, but it is pretty easy once you play around with it… As you scroll down from the calendar you can see the teaching resources offered. It is broken down by by subject, and those include Math, Language Arts, Science, Bible, Languages, Social Studies, Health, Electives, and Arts, Music, and Crafts. You can click on some of the most popular subject choices listed there, or if is is a popular category you can click on the ‘see all’ button to see everything offered.

Another break down is by grade. Preschool/Kindergarten, 1st-3rd, 4th-8th and then high school. There are lot more choices for the earlier grades than the high school grades, but I was very impressed with the high school choices! I will get into that later…

You can use the month section and that lists holidays, seasons, and other things that happen in certain months. It has Olympics as a selection as well as 9/11 items offered. This can be used in conjunction with the main calendar shown above if you want to see what falls in a certain day of that month or season, and work your studying around that time…

The last two categories are Organization and Miscellaneous. The organization section deals with forms you may want to use, ‘how to’ suggestions, flashcards, and other things you would want to print. The Miscellaneous section is broken down into Curriculum Treasures from the past, Fun pages, and Lapbooking/Notebooking items.

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
There really is something for everyone! Since I have all teens, I mainly focused on the high school section. But a few of the things we were interested in were for more ages… All of my kids have an instrument that they were interested in learning. But none of them have really learned how to read music! Not the right way to go about that, but the truth is out there now, lol. So we went to the music section and they had flash cards for helping in that area! It automatically brought me back to my band days in elementary school and ‘every good boy deserves fudge’…ha! But I can see checking this area out more…

There was also a section on economics…wow, this was huge and very thorough! The student guide itself is 233 pages and the teacher guide is 127! It isn’t just some ten page deal… The text really breaks it down to where it is easier to understand.. There are some questions, vocabulary words and just a bunch of information written in an easy way.

One other section that we checked out was the architecture! I think Ryan would make a great architect but who knew if he would be interested in that at all.. But when I clicked on this one, it went a completely different way than I thought it would! Since it is Christian based, it starts out super far back in Bible times as far as structures go.. It then goes into the Pyramids, the Hoover Dam, and the Sydney Opera House…and all sorts of other structures! The included activities suggest movie clips to watch, mapping and timelines to fill out, photos to look at…and more! There are answers to the questions too.. I love this section!

We also messed around with a lot of the math section, a lot of review stuff for us, but it definitely came in handy. I am looking forward to continuing with what we have already chosen and also to choose more things!

If you go and check out the website, there are some free things that you can check out..but the good stuff is all in the download club. It is $25 for the year or $99.99 for a lifetime account! With 50,000 downloadable pages, both are great deals..

If you want to read what others thought about their time with Christian HomeSchool Hub, more than likely with different age choices, feel free to click the link below!

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Review}

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Apologia Astronomy {Review}

I have been a fan of Apologia Educational Ministries for years now. We have loved all of their curriculum that we have used. I was excited to try out the Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition because that was one that we hadn’t tried yet and all of my kids love Astronomy!

Apologia: Exploring Creation with Astronomy Review
One thing that I noticed was that it meant for younger kids than what I have, but…with Apologia, their curriculum is so thorough that you can use this for a lot of different ages and they will definitely learn something! We have used the Human Anatomy and Physiology before even though it was meant for younger grades. I know I never learned anything like that when I was in school!

So you can see why I was so excited to try out the Astronomy! We had the textbook, the regular notebooking journal as well as the junior notebooking journal and also the MP3 audio book.

If you have never used Apologia, you are in for a treat! They mix science with a Christian viewpoint in such a way that it just makes sense. There are also plenty of activities and fun facts just in the main textbook that your kids won’t get bored just reading like in some other textbooks.

The Astronomy book is broken down into 14 lessons. You can work on them on your own timeframe, but if you want suggestions, the notebooking journals have lists on how to spread out all of the lessons.

The first lesson is  ‘What is Astronomy’, which is a great start to this book. The rest of the lessons cover the sun, moon, space rocks, all of the planets individually, Kuiper Belt and the Dwarf Planets and last is Stars, Galaxies, and Space Travel. Even though there are only 14 lessons, each lesson is packed full of information. And if you wanted to make sure it lasted a full year, you could always use the new Astronomy Science Kit as well as breaking things down throughout the book for extra studies. If you are a fieldtrip family, there are so many fieldtrips you could work into with studying Astronomy…and you can use the Field Trip Journal from Apologia as well. We live fairly close to a Planetarium and Science Center and we haven’t been yet, so I am looking forward to actually having a reason to go!

The main book alone is such a great thing by itself, but in my opinion, it is so worth it to get the notebooking journals that go with it. We have done that with all of the sciences we have done if they were available. And if you do school together as a family as I do, you will be happy to know that you can have one child working in one level of notebook and another working in a different level. They are still learning from the same main book, but the projects in the notebook will be slightly different.

For example, lesson 3 is all about Mercury. The lesson is nine pages. There is some information about Mercury as well as some planet talk in general just because it is the first planet discussed in the book. After a few pages there is an activity to make craters. Then, there is more of the lesson. I had to laugh because one section asked the child to find out how old their grandmother was in 1974 and they gave the example of her being born in 1968 and therefore she would be six years old. Well, I was alive in 1974 so I felt kind of silly about that as I am not close to being a grandma. Anyway, it had to do with the Mariner 10 visiting Mercury. There is a little more of the lesson and then another activity. This time it was making a model of Mercury.
apologia astronomy mercuryWe did that activity too, although it didn’t turn out like their example, it was still fun. All the activities are pretty simple and most of the items you need you already have at home. If you wanted to do the extra activities, that’s where the science kit comes from.

The regular notebooking journal for lesson 3 has about 13 pages. There is a space to write down facts and personal reflections, the little math activity that I mentioned above, spaces to jot down info about each activity, a copywork verse in regular and cursive, a minibook that you can assemble about Mercury, a crossword puzzle, a page that lets you draw a picture and/or list the books you read about Mercury, a scrapbook page, and lastly a section of questions that acts like a little quiz about the whole lesson. It is pretty dang thorough and surely your child won’t get bored…

The junior notebook also has 13 pages. It is all pretty similar…the crossword puzzle has some letters filled in already and the last two pages are coloring pages with Bible verses as opposed to the little quiz questions.

So, children will definitely be able to work on this book together even if they are at different age levels. What I usually do is read from the book aloud and then we can do all of the activities listed in the journal for that day. I really do appreciate when the curriculum offers a schedule of what to do, it makes my life so much easier and gives me a stopping point.

I didn’t use the MP3 CD as we just read the book aloud, but I could see how it would be useful! I am sure I will use it eventually! Maybe on those days that I just want to rest my voice a while..right? 🙂

If you want to read what others thought of their experience with Apologia Astronomy feel free to click the banner below! Maybe they answered some questions you may have, or maybe they used the CD and talked about it…

Exploring Creation with Astronomy, 2nd Edition Review

Apologia Astronomy {Review}

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Night Night Farm {Review and Giveaway}

Ahhh, here is another book for children that is just so cute. It is called Night Night Farm by Amy Parker. It is a board book that has 20 pages in the story. I am especially fond of it because it is about farm animals. The book starts as the sun is setting and it goes through and shows all of the little farm babies getting ready for bed.

night_night_farmI had to laugh as we have some of the animals mentioned in the book and well, a few people have offered to us some of the other animals. I can see us having all of these animals if we said yes to everyone, hahaha! Have you seen those miniature cows they have been showing lately? So cute…

Anyway, I am loving these board books because, as you know, we are super close to getting our foster license, and I think they will be perfect to read to little ones. Our age range is between 0-2 years, so I think these will work out great for those ages! Short and sweet to read to the little ones and then easy to turn pages for the slightly older children. Perfect!

I love the illustrations throughout this book. I have a fondness for animals anyway, but to see them in pajamas?? I mean…I don’t think it can get any cuter, lol. I just wish they had goats. 😉 I like the little mice that are on every page of the story. If you don’t look carefully  you may miss them!

Amy Parker’s children’s books have sold more than 800,000 copies including two Christian Retailing’s Best award-winning books and the bestselling A Night Night Prayer. She lives outside Nashville with her husband and two children.

If you are interested in the book, feel free to get it on Amazon, or I am also giving one away! You can enter down below, it is super easy!!

Night Night Farm {Review and Giveaway}
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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What I read in August

Another month is done already! And yay…we are in the -ber months! My favorite time of the year! My Goodreads challenge was set at 62 books at the beginning of the year and I am already at 57. I have two books that I should be finishing in the next few days as well. Now, I don’t know what the rest of the year holds, but I am contemplating upping my goal or not…hmm… How is your goal looking? Anyway, here is what I read in August. Let me know if you have read any of these or if you have any favorite titles right now!

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Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray – Awarded the John Newbery Medal as “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” in the year of its publication.

“A road’s a kind of holy thing,” said Roger the Minstrel to his son, Adam. “That’s why it’s a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It’s open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it’s home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle.”

And Adam, though only eleven, was to remember his father’s words when his beloved dog, Nick, was stolen and Roger had disappeared and he found himself traveling alone along these same great roads, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog.

Here is a story of thirteenth-century England, so absorbing and lively that for all its authenticity it scarcely seems “historical.” Although crammed with odd facts and lore about the time when “longen folke to goon on pilgrimages,” its scraps of song and hymn and jongleur’s tale of the period seem as newminted and fresh as the day they were devised, and Adam is a real boy inside his gay striped surcoat.

What I thought: I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The main character was written well and I enjoyed the story line although it was a bit predictable, but a lot of books are. We had started this one for school a long time ago, but with our funky school year, we just now finished it.

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The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney – A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

What I thought: This was quite popular on my facebook feed and so I thought I would read it…but I just thought it was…eh. It was a little entertaining so it wasn’t a total waste, but the story just kind of went nowhere… :shrug:

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne – Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

What I thought: It was hard to get used to reading the play form. There aren’t as many descriptions and heavy on conversations. I enjoyed reading the story, of course, but it seemed like it was too short and I just wanted more.. That’s just my personal feeling though, it might be fine for other people!

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Siracusa by Delia Ephron – Marriage and deceit from author Delia Ephron that follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where the secrets they have hidden from each other are exposed and relationships are unraveled. 

New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn, his wife Taylor, and their daughter Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage.

Ephron delivers a meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none can see coming.

What I thought: Well, I wasn’t sure what to think about this book, but it was another..eh book. It was a little entertaining..but it wasn’t anything that I was too excited about..

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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

What I thought: This was such a crazy story, but it was interesting to read as well. Definitely not like anything I usually read. I was hooked though as the book started when the main character was young, and kept going. It was also told from various viewpoints so you could get another side to the story. I typically don’t like that very much but the author did it very well.. I enjoyed reading this book!

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The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle – Welcome to the story of a “real” marriage. Marriage is simultaneously the biggest blessing and the greatest challenge two people can ever take on. It is the joy of knowing there is someone to share in your joys and sorrows, and the challenge of living with someone who thinks it’s a good idea to hang a giant antelope head on your living room wall.

In The Antelope in the Living Room, New York Times best-selling author and blogger Melanie Shankle does for marriage what Sparkly Green Earrings did for motherhood–makes us laugh out loud and smile through tears as she shares the holy and the hilarity of that magical and mysterious union called marriage.

What I thought: Well, the author seems to have similar experiences, which I noticed in another book that I read from her, so it is entertaining just because of that. Still, it was kind of like reading a bunch of blog posts just in blog form, but I did find it entertaining…

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A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody – When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true…

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.

What I thought: I thought this was a cute story. I enjoyed the way it was told. It was a super fast read, one reason being that I wanted to see how it ended because it was like Groundhog Day. It was a tad predictable but I had to laugh at some of the days that she had during her week. 🙂

Well, that’s all that I read this week! Like I said, if you have read any of these, or have any new titles for me, just let me know!! 🙂

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Thursday Things

It’s Thursday already! This week has been crazy. Getting used to our new schedule has been rough, and it’s going to be changed again in a couple weeks when our co-op for homeschool starts again. Ryan is super close to getting his license and I think that will make things so much easier. So, that makes this weeks Thursday Things all the better as it has me thinking of all the good things that I liked about this past week…

Thursday Things good weather

Our weather turned a little bit this last week. There were some cooler days with hints of fall. Leaves falling, even acorns! Superstition says that the earlier the acorns start falling, the harder the winter.. But online it says it is just how the tree is growing. Hmm, I guess we will see! Either way, I have been enjoying the cooler weather. 😉

Image result for $2 corn chips

Ok, these are super cheap chips….but they have such a great flavor! We have tried yellow, white…it doesn’t matter. The flavor is just so good. 🙂 We have been buying quite a few bags, and since they are only $2, we can get a couple extra.. haha!

Image result for redd's blueberry

I think I may have posted some other blueberry before, but no…this one beats them. The other ones are too much for me, this one just has a great flavor. I am sad that it is a limited edition, but it seems like most of the drinks that Jeffy and I like end up being that way…

amazon book rental

Amazon book rental. I am so happy about this, lol. We had been looking online for what books Ryan needed for his classes. We got all that was listed. Well…apparently they listed one class wrong and we didn’t realize we needed four books for that one class. And another class needed two books..one was only available at the college bookstore. So…amazon book rental saved us quite a bit of money. We usually don’t mind getting new books but we usually spread them out as they can get pretty expensive. So when we found out we needed all of these books, we decided that book rental is the way to go. I even paid extra to overnight one important book and it wasn’t that much extra at all! Love it…

I have been enjoying The Head and the Heart lately. This is one song that plays frequently on my phone. At home we used to all listen to different music, but lately we have all been enjoying the same music and it has been nice, especially on long drives. 😉

So, that’s my Thursday Things for this week! Let me know what has made you have liked about this week! 🙂

 

 

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