December 2015 Recap

December 2015 RecapHonestly, I’m pretty happy to see the end of 2015. It was a hard year, and I am certainly hoping that 2016 is brighter. It’s at least a fresh start!

2015 saw us really get into homeschooling, and I surprised myself by how much I love it, and how much G loves it (usually. Maybe not so much on the first day back after a long break, but otherwise he does.)

2015 also saw baby M turn into toddler M (but she’s still baby M to me), and she’s started talking up a storm. It’s adorable the way she says everyone’s names, and when the big kids are chasing each other around the house, running races, she joins in. If you say “ready, set…” She’ll add the “GO! and take off. It’s ridiculously cute. She also loves loves loves the books Dear Zoo and Peek-A Who. If you say “book” around her she’ll go and find one of those titles and bring them to you to read to her. That’s my girl! 🙂

December 2015 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 15
Books Read For The Year: 116 (it’s 141 adding in kids’ books over 100 pages)

Things That Happened
  • Christmas, obviously. It was a lovely day, and 6 & 4 are such fun ages for it.
  • Taekwondo belt testing, and H passed to move up to the “big kid” classes. She’ll be testing again in February hopefully to go to the next level of classes, which will be glorious – both kids in the same class again (at least until G moves to the advanced classes).
  • G flew through his homeschool work – I thought we’d make limited progress with the holidays and everything, but no, he worked hard. He finished his reading program, as well as math.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • The kids reactions Christmas morning. Ok, so the 5 AM wakeup by G wasn’t my favorite, but his enthusiasm was hard to repress.
  • M is really starting to talk. She says G’s name “Gah!” and H’s “nahnah” and “dada” and “mama.” Ask her her own name and she says “mama.” 🙂
What’s Cooking
  • I made a quick pasta dish with Italian sausage and 2 of 3 kids DEVOURED it. The other one cried when I said she had to take a bite of everything on her plate, but she did then concede that she liked the pasta part.
  • Pot roast following one of Jessica Fisher’s recipes was fantastic. Unfortunately I ended up getting sick the next day (unrelated to the pot roast) but forgot about the leftovers so that by the time I was well enough to remember them they had to be pitched. So aggravating, and disappointing.
What I’m Anticipating in January
  • The start of my online book clubs! I’m super excited about them.
  • Beginning to teach H to read. I’ve finished G’s reading program, and she’s asking to start, so assuming she continues to want to do it, I’ll start with her. If she loses interest at all I won’t push it (she is only 4 after all.)
  • G starts basketball with the local rec league. First grade is truly recreational level – they don’t even keep score. It’s an 8-week season, which is probably a good thing if for no other reason than most of his practices seem to be scheduled for a school that is so far away I had never even heard of it. It’s technically in one of the districts serviced by this league, but barely. I’ve got to look at the calendar and figure out what it’ll mean to our taekwondo schedule, because I’m certain we’ll be missing some of those classes to get him to basketball.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

  1. * More Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley
  2. January (Conspiracy 365 #1) by Gabrielle Lord
  3. Arrival (Phoenix Files, Book 1) by Chris Morphew
  4. * Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer
  5. Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School, #4) by Gail Carriger
  6. Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey
  7. From Stray Dog to World War I Hero: The Paris Terrier Who Joined the First Division by Grant Hayter-Menzies
  8. * The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas by Andrea Warren
  9. * Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  10. * The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas would both work.
  11. Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
  12. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  13. * Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite by Frank Bruni
  14. * The Year of Miss AgnesThe Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill by Kirkpatrick Hill
  15. When We Wake by Karen Healey

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Recent Readaoud: The Boxcar Children
Two years ago: Mini Reviews: Recent Children’s Literature Reads
Three years ago: Favorite Cookbooks (Sweet)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

November 2015 Recap

November RecapNot a lot of reading this month (although I’m convinced I read another book and just forgot to list it, and can’t remember it. But the dates don’t make sense from my records for there not to be another book I omitted.) I spent a lot of my “spare” time getting up to speed on Usborne-related stuff. Add in some sick kids, a taekwondo tournament, house guests, and other holiday-prep and the month vanished in a snap.

November 2015 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 8
Books Read For The Year: 101

Things That Happened
  • Thanksgiving. With lots of pie and chicken enchiladas. I couldn’t get motivated to fix a full turkey dinner.
  • The kids did a taekwondo tournament & that was fun, if RIDICULOUSLY CROWDED. I could barely move.
  • I kicked off my Usborne business – thank you so much to those who have placed orders with me! I’ve got two more parties coming up this week and then I’m ready to start booking for January, as I’ll be taking off the rest of December from any events. I’m finalizing some rewards I’ll be offering to January hosts, including an extra one for the first person to book a January party.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • The kids at the tournament. G did so well at everything – gold medal in sparring and board breaking, and a silver in forms. He’s come so far since he started!
  • My sister-in-law & her family came out for a really short visit before Thanksgiving. It was nice to see her without it being for a funeral (like the other 3 times this year. Seriously.)
What’s Cooking
  • I made the best cheeseburger I have ever had. Pan fried, and it had an amazing crust on it but was still so incredibly juicy. I could eat cheeseburgers more often if they tasted like that all the time. (Note: I did not make the kale the recipe calls for. I hate kale, and have given up on trying it again after at least a dozen times in that many different ways. Blech.)
  • I also made lentil bolognese which I LOVED (and so did the baby). Sadly my husband and older kids were not as impressed with it. I may still make it for myself & M sometime I liked it that much. I do adore lentils though. And my husband did eat it – he just is unlikely to request it again unless I add some meat to it. 🙂
  • Pies! Lots and lots of pies for Thanksgiving. The kids wanted a pie tasting, so we had a pie tasting. Pumpkin, cherry, French apple, pineapple, blueberry, peanut butter, and chocolate chip. Based on what got eaten the fastest, the apple was the favorite, and the blueberry the least favorite.
  • On a food-related note, I signed up for Plan to Eat when they had their annual Black Friday sale. I’m still figuring it out, but if you’re on there and want to be friends or share recipes with me, let me know! Here’s my profile link.
What I’m Anticipating in December
  • Christmas & I think we’re mostly set with gifts. I do need to get stocking stuffers for the kids – I want to get them new socks and undies and some sort of candy/treat.
  • G finishing up his grade 1 math curriculum and moving into grade 2. He’s really doing well with it, and I’m going with it unless and until he hits some snags and needs to slow down.
  • G is also *this close* to finishing up his reading program. And H says she wants to learn to read, so once G finishes I’m going to start her on it in level 1. I’ll let her set the pace, as I hadn’t intended to have her begin this early, but she’s insistent that she wants to do it.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

  1. *No Children, No Pets by Marion Holland
  2. Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the SeasonGet Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season by Kathi Lipp by Kathi Lipp
  3. Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster by Joanna Nadin
  4. Hey Jack – The Best Party Ever Sally Rippin
  5. A Curious Beginning: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn
  6. * Etiquette & EspionageEtiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger by Gail Carriger
  7. * Curtsies & ConspiraciesCurtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School Book 2) by Gail Carriger by Gail Carriger
  8. * Waistcoats & WeaponryWaistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger by Gail Carriger
  9. (those last three were rereads in preparation for reading Manners & MutinyManners & Mutiny (Finishing School #4) by Gail Carriger, the final book in the series)


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Recent Readaoud: The Boxcar Children
Two years ago: Mini Reviews: Recent Children’s Literature Reads
Three years ago: Favorite Cookbooks (Sweet)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

October 2015 Recap

October 2015 RecapThe highlight of October was vacation to Florida! I’m a bit paranoid about saying on social media when I’m traveling (even when we have someone watching the house), so I didn’t share pics on Instagram or anything. Later I realized though that if someone was looking at my Goodreads account and really paying attention, they could probably guess we were traveling just from the way my reading pace exploded on certain days. 😉

Why yes, those were days we were driving, and I wasn’t the one behind the wheel so that meant a ton of reading time for me. I also forgot my power cord for my laptop (brought the laptop, forgot the cord) so my expected computer work time did not happen. I spent it reading instead. All in all, I got through a lot of books this month.

October 2015 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 15
Books Read For The Year: 93

Things That Happened
  • Vacation! We road tripped to Florida, where we went to the beach for a few days, visited with my family for a few days, and even snuck in a trip to LegoLand one day.
  • Sick kids. One child was puking on the drive home, then another one got sick once we were home. I’m guessing it’s thanks to the one cousin we visited who was sick, but we could have picked up a bug anywhere. Overall it was a pretty mild case, for which I am *very* thankful.
  • I started a new venture – details to come next week. I’m excited about it!
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • The beach! We went to Destin, and it was fabulous. Off season, so a great deal and super quiet. The only real bummer is that the winds were so high that the water was too rough to let the kids do more than wade a bit. But there was a pool so they still did lots of swimming. So much fun!
  • Saw my older brother’s kids for the first time in 5 years. No joke – it’s been that long, and that’s completely ridiculous. They’re pretty great kids too, so it was so nice getting to see them.
  • Costumed kiddos!
What’s Cooking
  • Not much thanks to vacation and getting ready for vacation. We ate a lot of pizza and other easy meals, both that last week, while we were gone, and our first few days at home. Hoping to improve our menu in November.
  • Since that’s just sad to leave it as “not much”, I’ll add that as I write this post on November 1, I’ve got a pot roast cooking in the crock pot and it smells AMAZING. It’s also got mushrooms in it so that right there makes it extra appealing to me. Fingers crossed that it tastes as good as it smells.
What I’m Anticipating Next Month
  • Thanksgiving. I’m not sure what we’re doing for it exactly, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s my favorite holiday.
  • Getting back into school routines, after our vacation and sickness break.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed, and I actually enjoyed pretty much everything I read, so to avoid putting asterisks virtually all of them, I’m being a little big pickier on my evaluations for this list. It was a great reading month!

  1. * Speaking from Among the BonesSpeaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley by Alan Bradley
  2. * Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin by Grace Lin
  3. * Rules of CivilityRules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles by Amor Towles
  4. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  5. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow PlaceThe Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry by Julie Berry
  6. Godmother: The Secret Cinderella StoryGodmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon by Carolyn Turgeon
  7. * The Oregon Trail: A New American JourneyThe Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck by Rinker Buck
  8. * Turtle in ParadiseTurtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm by Jennifer L. Holm
  9. The Big FourThe Big Four (Hercule Poirot series Book 5) by Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie
  10. * Storm WarriorsStorm Warriors by Elisa Carbone by Elisa Carbone (a reread)
  11. The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called EelThe Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson by Deborah Hopkinson
  12. * The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern)The Goose Girl (Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale by Shannon Hale
  13. Treasure HuntersTreasure Hunters by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
  14. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil RightsThe Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin by Steve Sheinkin
  15. An Incomplete RevengeAn Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs Book 5) by Jacqueline Winspear by Jacqueline Winspear

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Recent Readaloud: What’s So Special About Planet Earth?
Two years ago: Destiny, Rewritten by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Three years ago: May B. by Caroline Starr Rose

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

September 2015 Recap

September RecapNot many books read this month (it’s been a busy month, and I’m close to being done with a number of titles, so *hopefully* next month’s stats look a little better.) And I suppose it’s possible I could finish an extra one today, but I didn’t want to count on that. If I do, I’ll add it onto October’s recap.

September 2015 in Stats

Books Read This Month: 5
Books Read For The Year: 78

Things That Happened
  • Book club retreat
  • Lots of homeschool – we did school most of the month, so I feel like we’re into a good routine again now, after our summer break.
  • Had a huge branch fall off our tree – apparently there was an old lightning strike that hadn’t fallen, but finally rotten enough to fall. Fortunately the kids were not in the backyard when it fell, or there could have been tragic consequences. I was out of town at the book club retreat, and found out about it through a picture my husband shared. Yikes!
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Super moon eclipse! Yes, we let the kids stay up and watch it. Yes, they were tired the next day. Still worth it.
  • Asked for help with something that ended up being a huge relief. Actually, they’d already offered, and I accepted the offer, and it was *such* a help during a busy time.
  • Asked for help with something else as well, and that also ended up being a huge relief. I’m still borderline-overwhelmed right now, but feeling like I can see the end, and I will manage to get what I have to finish done.
What’s Cooking
  • Another week of Blue Apron, and this one chicken dish was FABULOUS. Actually, the chicken was my least-favorite part of the meal, and that’s not because the chicken was bad, but because the other components were so amazingly good. Happily I can make it again on my own – nothing in it would be difficult to find here.
  • Some amazing food at the book club retreat – I think the tomato soup was my favorite of the weekend, but it’s a tough call – it was all delicious.
  • Apple cider donuts from a local place that’s only offers them in September and October. They are so good.
What I’m Anticipating Next Month
    • Halloween – love seeing little kids in costumes. I have an adorable owl costume for the baby that I bought for $1 at goodwill. Haven’t figured out the other kids’ costumes yet though.
    • Seeing my family, which will be good, but also very bittersweet, as it’ll be the first time since my brother’s death that we’re all together without him also being there. I’m kind of dreading it in many ways, but it’s one of those “firsts” that has to happen sometime.
    • I’m assuming colder temps will set in for real, so I’ve been enjoying these (probable) last few days of really warm weather. I love fall, but I’m reminding myself to appreciate not having to deal with coats and boots and gloves and all that hassle that will be here soon enough.

 

Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

  1. Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy MomsTreasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman by Gloria Furman
  2. The Four Year Career by Richard Brooke
  3. The Harting System
  4. * Rock Your Network Marketing Business by Sarah Robbins
  5. * When You Reach MeWhen You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead by Rebecca Stead (a reread)

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Reading Goals: September Progress
Two years ago: September Recap

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

August 2015 Recap

August RecapAugust has usually been one of my least favorite months of the year. It’s always hot, I’m tired of summer, and it feels like there’s nothing to look forward to for ages and ages.

Of course, now August includes a family birthday so that right there makes it a fun month. And this year the weather more than cooperated – it’s been lovely most days!

August 2015 in Stats

Books Read Last Month: 13
Books Read For The Year: 73

Things That Happened

M turns 1

  • Baby girl turned one. She was sick on her birthday and so we had a belated celebration the next weekend. Grandma & grandpa & two of the aunts were in town then, so that was a little bonus.
  • As mentioned in last week’s quick takes post, my husband’s other grandmother died. He’s had quite the year, and we did have a bit of a pseudo-chuckle at the thought of someone in his company’s HR department side-eyeing his timesheets, thinking he surely must be abusing their bereavement leave. No, he really has had that many family members die this year. Let’s hope that’s the last for a long long long long long time.
  • Family visitors – both my husband’s parents, sisters, and one brother, as well as my brother and his family (not at the same time).
  • Mice. In the house. The kids think mouse traps are AWESOME and love checking them every morning. They were THRILLED to find one that had been caught. I declined the opportunity to get it out of the trap. Two mice later, and I’m cautiously optimistic that that was it – the traps have been ignored ever since.
  • As already mentioned, we started school, and then promptly took a little break while visitors were here. We’ll be getting back to it this month. 🙂
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Baby M (yes, I know, at some point I’ll have to stop calling her baby) enjoying her birthday cupcake. She loved it!
  • Seeing the big kids get SO EXCITED to see their grandparents. It’s like they can not even contain themselves they’re so thrilled.
  • Trying something new for homeschool, organizationally. I like it so far.
What’s Cooking
  • I’ve tried Blue Apron some more. So far everything continues to be good to great. There’s been a couple of issues with items – tomatoes in particular seem to be difficult – but overall I really like using it, and am trying to figure out a way to keep it in the budget, at least part of the time.
  • I did not make baby girl’s birthday cake. I was all set to do it, and then admitted to my mother-in-law that I had absolutely no interest in doing so – I was so tired. So we had ice cream instead, and grandpa bought the birthday girl a strawberry cupcake.
What I’m Anticipating This Month
  • Fall arrives, at least technically, and as far as getting apple doughnuts from a local store is concerned. They are so delicious, and are only available in September and October.
  • Book club retreat! I really need to finish the books for it.
  • Back into the school routine. We had a two-week break when family was visiting, but we’ll be getting back into the swing of things next week.
  • The blog turns three, and I’ve got some special posts tentatively planned for next week. Well, they’re planned, but not written, so fingers crossed I get that accomplished.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

Books Read in August 2015

[Read more…]

July 2015 Recap

July RecapLet’s just breath a sigh of relief that July was a *much* better month than June was. I feel like I was still in recovery mode for part of the month – not from illness so much, as from the after-effects of illness.

Mountains of laundry to get caught up, we’d been eating lots of takeout and other “survival meal” dinners (mac & cheese, pizza, etc.) I had bills to pay (and late fees to pay, because I’d missed some thanks to that miserable June. That was an expensive month. Sigh.)

Anyway, July – much better! Here’s to an August that continues to improve!

June 2015 in Stats

Books Read Last Month: 9
Books Read For The Year: 69

Things That Happened
  • We went up to R’s aunt’s house for the fourth of July. The house was PACKED, and while it was fun (especially for the kids), I think next time we might look into getting a hotel room. Although it’s a lot easier with little kids to be able to just put them down for bed whenever, and not have to head back to a hotel.
  • My son turned six. He also lost another tooth.
  • Swimming lessons ended for the summer. Yes, already.
  • The big kids went to another VBS. This one was an evening one, and it was so lovely having a few nights where my husband and I could go out with just us and the baby. So easy!
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • The kids’ faces when they walked in at the final VBS night. The parents were invited for the closing worship service, and they LIT UP when they spotted us standing at the back.
  • I was not feeling well in advance of the fourth weekend. The plan was for everyone to go to the beach, and I knew I wasn’t up for it. I gave R the choice – I could stay home all weekend while he went, or I could go up and just stay at the house while they went to the beach. He requested that I go and stay at the house. I’m so glad I didn’t just think “I can’t go to the beach, so I need to stay home,” and that I asked him his preference – I didn’t think he’d care, but he strongly preferred that I come along for the weekend, even if I wasn’t going to be going with them that one day.
  • We played mini-golf that weekend too. The kids were super funny with it. And by “we” I mean everyone but me. I held the baby. (I’m totally ok with that. I’ll play other times.) At the same place, the kids rode in go-carts with R & his aunt (again, I held the baby). H’s face every time she came around the curve was so fantastic – she had a blast!
What’s Cooking
  • I tried Blue Apron for a week. Two free meals = worth seeing what all the hype was about. The first meal was AMAZING. So so so good. The second meal was just shy of amazing as well. The third meal was really really good. We’re trying another week in August. I’m considering just eyeing the menus being offered and picking and choosing when to get a box. It was so nice to not have to worry about shopping for dinners – for whatever reason grocery shopping for breakfast & lunch only is much easier.
  • Other than that, we’ve still done a lot of the survival meals mentioned, although not so much because of sickness as because of recovery from sickness and evening activities.
What I’m Anticipating This Month
  • My baby turns ONE. I don’t want to talk about it.
  • My brother is coming for a visit with his family.
  • We’ll be attending a family wedding. I’m not sure if it’s indoors or not, but I really hope so. I do not like heat, and Indiana in August screams “please be indoors” to me.
  • Back-to-school! It may only be back to homeschool, after our summer break, but still. G will be in 1st grade, and H is Pre-K. And I wouldn’t be surprised if M starts walking any minute, so she’ll be graduating from baby to toddler. Sniff.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

Books Read in July 2015

  1. Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
  2. Saint Mazie: A NovelSaint Mazie: A Novel by Jami Attenberg by Jami Attenberg
  3. * The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi
  4. * Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate ShipPirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship by Robert Kurson by Robert Kurson
  5. * Sparrow RoadSparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor by Sheila O’Connor
  6. Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of WomenJesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah Bessey by Sarah Bessey
  7. * Goodbye StrangerGoodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead by Rebecca Stead
  8. * Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, narrated by Carolyn Seymour by Jane Austen, narrated by Carolyn Seymour
  9. * The Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild PetsThe Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets by Jean Craighead George by Jean Craighead George

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

June 2015 Recap

June RecapJune was a rough month. We started the month with an unexpected trip to Arizona. Unexpected meant no planning ahead so our flight options were limited, and the times were less than ideal. As was the non-direct flight. Then after we got home we had a bout of sickness work its way through the family, hitting the adults the hardest. The kids? Bounced back after a day or two of mild illness. The grown ups? Not so much. I find myself feeling absolutely shocked that June can possibly be over – didn’t it just start? Where did it go? – and relieved that this month is behind us. Bring on July, for it surely must be a better month.

June 2015 in Stats

Books Read Last Month: 8
Books Read For The Year: 60

Yes, that’s right. 8 books, and 4 of them were children’s or ya titles. This might also be the first month in who knows how long where I didn’t finish a single nonfiction title. Even if I hadn’t told you above that it’d been a rough month, that right there would be a big clue. 4 adult titles, all fiction = what is going on with me!

Things That Happened
  • We went to Arizona for my brother-in-law’s funeral. It was so good to get out there for it, and it was wonderful to see the family, but the traveling was exhausting. We got home about 3 AM Sunday night and I think it was Wednesday before I stopped feeling like a zombie.
  • The kids had VBS, and then another VBS. It ended up being an unexpected blessing for me – I was quite sick much of the week of the second VBS. Well enough to drive them down there (because they were fine), and then collapse until it was time to pick them up again.
  • H turned 4!
  • The baby finally got that top tooth to pop through. It was giving her lots of misery (as did the bottom two when they were working on their appearance.) My other two had no real issues with teething so I keep being surprised when M is so miserable with all the textbook symptoms.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • All the family in Arizona.
  • G getting to run the bases in his final two baseball games. He was scheduled to bat last the next-to-last game, and then the final game the kids all drew numbers to figure out the batting order. He drew the last number again, and got to have the fun of hitting a home run each time. (What I mean is, it’s treated like a home run in that no matter what he hits, he gets to run all the bases. Fun for that age.)
What’s Cooking
  • I did not make H the birthday cake she requested (pink and purple with m&m’s). R had been sick and so I was mostly parenting on my own and I was so tired (I was getting sick but didn’t realize it). Making a cake was simply not happening, and I decided that we’d just have to go with an ice cream cake from DQ. She was thrilled that they had one with pink and purple on it, and didn’t seem upset that there were no m&m’s. Hopefully next year I can bake her a cake again.
  • I made sloppy joe’s and G ate them and that always feels like a success when the kids eat something with fairly large chunks of vegetables.
What I’m Anticipating Next Month
  • G’s birthday. He’s been counting down the days since H’s birthday.
  • TKD camp. As in a day camp where they take tae kwon do lessons.
  • The end of swimming lessons. Already?!?!?

Books Read in June 2015

Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed.

  1. * The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows
  2. If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman by Gayle Forman
  3. The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
  4. Where She WentWhere She Went by Gayle Forman by Gayle Forman
  5. * Touch BlueTouch Blue by Cynthia Lord by Cynthia Lord
  6. The Other Daughter: A NovelThe Other Daughter by Lauren Willig by Lauren Willig
  7. Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec
  8. * Daddy-Long-LegsDaddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster by Jean Webster

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

May 2015 Recap

May RecapI usually start drafting these posts early in the month, and fill in the bullet points as the month progresses, saving the little summary at the top for the very end. So if the tone of this post seems uneven, you’ll know why. What started out as a very nice month with lots of fun things going on took a heartbreaking turn last week, when my husband’s youngest brother died very suddenly and unexpectedly. It’s pretty devastating.

May 2015 in Stats

Books Read Last Month: 10
Books Read For The Year: 52

Things That Happened
  • Lots of baseball games – he’s always happy when he has a game that day. I’m still trying to figure out how to manage dinner those nights.
  • Swimming lessons started up again. The timing isn’t ideal, but when I was arranging the schedule back in February I had no idea what the baby’s napping routine would be, so I asked for what was my best guess at a good time to work around that. I guessed wrong. 😉
  • I had a birthday, and did not manage to make myself a cake like I’d planned.
  • As mentioned above, my brother-in-law died. It still doesn’t seem real to me, how he can possibly be gone.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Seeing the kids at their first swimming lesson since last summer – they both got right back at it, with none of the fear and hesitation one of them showed when starting last year.
  • Seeing baby girl’s first two teeth appear! She’s working on the top ones now, and as I type this she’s just had a miserable night. Hopefully by the time this posts she’ll actually have those others in and they won’t be hurting her so much (and she’ll sleep at night, so I can too!)
What’s Cooking
  • Lots of roasted asparagus, and I’m sad that the season is mostly over. I’m not seeing any good asparagus in the store now, so I’m glad I took advantage of it while it was available!
  • No birthday cake, as already mentioned. My birthday was the first day of swimming lessons, and the timing really threw a wrench in our usual routine (i.e., it messed with the baby’s nap). I just didn’t get to it that day, and then there were baseball games and suddenly it was a week later and I was unmotivated.
What I’m Anticipating Next Month
  • H’s birthday – she’s turning four, and I do need to make her a cake. She’s already got her request in – purple and pink with m&ms. To contrast with last year’s, which was just pink with m&ms, no purple. She’s changed her mind a couple of times, so I’ll double-check right before decorating it that that’s still what she wants.
  • VBS. For both big kids.
  • My mother-in-law is coming out for a visit. I have no idea how long she’ll be here (she’s told my husband, but he doesn’t remember. He is really bad about passing information like that along to me.) but I hope to take advantage of her willingness to watch the kids. I have a gift certificate for a hair cut and pedicure that I’d like to use! I haven’t had my hair cut since I had M last August, so I’m way overdue. This isn’t happening (at least not right now), because she’s needed at home .
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed. [Read more…]

April 2015 Recap

April RecapI read a bunch in March, and started April the same way. Then I got bogged down in a couple of longer books, and ended up finishing very few titles. Or at least it seemed like very few titles compared to what I thought I might get through as of the beginning of the month!

April 2015 in Stats

Books Read Last Month: 8
Books Read For The Year: 42

Things That Happened
  • Baseball started for my son! He’s on the Pirates team, as he will happily tell anyone who gives him the slightest opportunity. 😉
  • Belt testing for both kids, and they both passed. G is now a senior orange belt, and H has her blue tot belt.
  • Easter was lots of fun – the kids loved hunting eggs, and then they got to hunt them again at their great aunt’s house. And go to a super fun playground near her home.
  • The guys went to the Mythbusters tour as I mentioned last month. They loved it! G was so astonished that the guys from the TV show were there – in person – right there!!
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Seeing both kids belt test. They’ve come so far!
  • Taxes done. Filed. Refunds received. Relief.
  • Watching my son’s first baseball game. He’s so stinking cute out there.
  • Watching both kids fly through the air on the bungee jump thing at opening day. They had a blast!
  • G bungee jump

What’s Cooking
  • Pot roast. The roast itself got a tiny bit dried out, but it still tasted so good. And the carrots were phenomenal, as were the mashed potatoes and asparagus.
  • Pot roast leftovers to turn into pot pie. Can’t wait to have this (it’s in the freezer right now, hopefully going to make my life easy one night.)
  • Cherry pie for my husband’s birthday. Possibly the ugliest pie I’ve ever made thanks to the “help” with the crust that made it extra challenging, so it’s fortunate that he cares more about how the pie tastes than how the crust looks. 🙂
What I’m Anticipating Next Month
  • My birthday. It’s another bittersweet one, with all sorts of emotions related to losing my brother. I’ll be turning the age he was when he died, and since he died only about 6 weeks after his birthday it won’t be long before I’ll become older than he ever was. Such a strange feeling.
  • H’s birthday – she’s turning FOUR. FOUR! Which, yay for that because I like four better than three, at least based on my parenting experiences so far. 😉
  • VBS. Glorious, wonderful VBS.
  • (don’t ask me why I wrote those as “anticipating next month.” They don’t happen until June. Apparently I was extra-sleep deprived when I put together this post, and didn’t even notice it until I started writing May’s recap.)

Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed. [Read more…]

March 2015 Recap

March 2015 RecapMarch was a big reading month – big for me lately anyway. Ok, so it was almost all light, genre fiction, but still. I finished a lot of books. And it was awesome, except for that one night I stayed up until 1 AM. I really regretted that the next day.

March 2015 in Stats

Books Read Last Month: 16
Books Read For The Year: 34

Things That Happened
  • Taekwondo tournament – my daughter got a big medal (of course she did – she’s in the tot category, where I think everyone gets a big medal). And my son got a medal for coming in 3rd in his age division for forms.
  • Another follow-up with the pediatric dentist, and my daughter is still looking at a potential root canal. We’ll go back for another appointment in May, unless I notice problems before then.
  • The baby started sitting up on her own, although she still needs help getting into a sitting position. She’s still not crawling in the traditional way, but she can army crawl and scoot and roll around so much it doesn’t much matter that she doesn’t hands-and-knees crawl. She is on the move!
  • She’s also showing a lot more interest in real food – I’ve fed her some things now and then, but she’s never wanted more than a few bites. She’s still not as into it as her brother and sister were as babies, but she’s at least trying things.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Watching the kids at the taekwondo tournament. My son especially – he’s come so far from where he first started.
  • Baby girl sitting up – she’s growing up so fast!
  • My flowers peeping up. Love seeing my hard work planting bulbs paying off.
What’s Cooking
  • ANZAC biscuits, as already mentioned.
  • We ended the month with tacos, and they were so good. I can’t even claim much credit for them – it was meat, onions, and a sauce packet, cooked for a few hours. They were good the first night, and even better the next couple of days as leftovers. Yum!
What I’m Anticipating Next Month
  • Birthday season begins! My husband’s birthday kicks off all the family birthdays.
  • Partially for his birthday, and partially as an early birthday present for my son, they’re going to the Mythbusters Tour. G doesn’t know yet what they’re doing, only that he’s going to be doing something just with daddy. He’s super excited.
  • I really really really need to finish taxes and get them filed.
Books I Read

Asterisks mark ones I especially enjoyed. [Read more…]