It's been almost a week since I posted. I get flits of ideas, and then they flit away--hence, no posts for you.

My birthday did and didn't get better. I only got one present at 11:30 at night and I was bummed out, and felt guilty for being bummed out at the same time. The day had been bad because Seth and I were fighting again. It was trivial, and turned out to be all my fault. Our fight also made him late for school, which ruined his day. It's a long and complicated story.

However. . .I did make lots of chocolate. We made mint chocolates and peanut butter cups and we handed out 7 plates of them to our neighbors. That was a fun time with my kids. I decided, since the morning had gone so badly, that I would relax about chores and such and just let them all make chocolates with me and we had a great time.

I also cooked myself a scrumptious meal of steak and potatoes. I splurged on more expensive steak than I normally buy. I also bough meat tenderizer and a lovely dry rub and oh! they were yummy. I'm making a stew with the leftovers for dinner tonight. Yummmmm!

The week was decent. We've done some goal setting, so now my children have purpose to getting their chores done. They are earning their way to Disneyland. Each child can earn five dollars a day by doing all their chores and homework and cleaning their room. It's not money they ever see--it's just money in the kitty to go to Disneyland. They get to color in a square for every day they do it, and when we get to the end of the very long pathway that is currently posted all over my hallway, then we get to go to Disneyland. We are aiming for February.

Because we have that all going, the chores are, for the most part, getting done without complaint now. I know it won't last, but I'll enjoy it while it does. We've also instituted the goal of getting all chores done before school because afternoons are just getting too crowded, what with violin/volleyball/activity days/scouts/chorus. We are just running out of time to get things done, so we are trying to get it done in the morning so they can enjoy the afternoons relatively responsibility free. They still have homework, but it hopefully will clear up some of the afternoon stress.

Politics is crappy as usual. I really am appalled by what goes on in politics and for the first time in my life I don't feel like voting in a national election (which I fully expect Obama to win, btw, not because I like him or anything, just because I think he's going to win the popularity contest) because I really don't like either candidate. Feel free to try and sway me.

I've read boat-loads of books. The Hidden, The Trust Williams Trilogy, In an Instant, Farworld. . .I can't remember if I've missed anything or not. My reading time has increased as my computer time has decreased. I've got to get sewing!

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a well written small little book that packs a lot of punch. The society of this world only allows two children per household, and the book is about a third. One that is hidden from the world because horrible things happen to the families who have three. It was a gripping book. Did I enjoy it? Probably not. It doesn't end with just this book. It's a series, but this book doesn't stand alone. I need to finish, but do I really want to? Probably.
I give it an 8 for age and writing style and a 4 for how enjoyability.

The Trust Williams Trilogy is written by LDS humorist Roger Farrell Smith. He also wrote the book "Baptists at our Barbecue". Suddenly google isn't working, so I don't have links. Sorry. These three books were very easy reads, and at times laugh out loud funny. Smith is known for having outlandish story-lines that sometimes stretch reality. It was a funny trilogy, but after about a book and a half, I was bored with it. Things that were funny at first stopped being funny. I finished the trilogy more because I wanted to see how the storyline ended than from any real love of the author's writing style. 8 and 3 1/2

In an Instant is the story of Hope an Bob Woodward (gosh, I hope I'm getting this right, I've returned the book and google is still being wonky!). Bob Woodward was an embedded journalist in Iraq when the tank he was riding was hit by a bomb. This book is their survival story. I loved that this book was written from both points of view. She would have a chapter or two on her side of the story, then there would be a chapter or two from his point of view. I believe it gave a more complete picture of what their experience was. Well written and fascinating. It didn't tug at me emotionally like I thought it would, but I blame that more on my lack of experience than I would the writing. Their experience is so far beyond anything I understand that I am not sure I could emotionally connect. I give it a 12 (for subject matter and some pretty gory pictures) and a 4.

I saved the best for last. Farworld: Watermark by J. Scott Savage. This was a very fun read. This is his first published book, I think, and It's great. It falls in the kid fiction category. My daughter has read it, as well as my son. This is the first in a series of five books. It's about two teenagers who don't fit into their respective worlds. I can't say much more because just about anything I can think of to say would be a spoiler. Any, definitely worth the time. Not only have I read it, but Kendra has as well, and Seth is part of the way through. I got to go to his launch party and so the book is now signed. (He says "Hi!" Kim!) 8 and 4 1/2.

Happy week.
7 Responses
  1. Melanie J Says:

    I've read the Hidden books and I agree. I think they're a great way to get girls especially into science fiction.

  2. Linda Says:

    So, the "zone" thing bugged me in "In an instant." I don't know why it just bugged me that she kept writing that she was in the zone. And it also bugged me the few times that he wrote about what happened when he was unconscious. I think that I needed one more person writing, if she was unwilling, to be the one explaining all of the other stuff that was going on while he was out. Not him. Otherwise it wasn't too bad.

    One of these days I'll read the rest of these books. I don't know where you get the time to read. I can't seem to even get through a chapter a week these days.... I know sad and unusual.

  3. EEEEMommy Says:

    I must be really out of the loop; you read books I've never even heard of. At least I know where to go when I'm looking for something new and different. LOL

    Have you read Ayn Rand? I don't know why, but something about your description of Among the Hidden makes me think of it. It's a haunting story I read when I was younger and have never forgotten...

    I smiled when I read, "I was bummed out and felt guilty for being bummed out at the same time." That is so me! LOL Gifts is definitely one of my major love languages. :) I'm proud of you for chillin' on the chores and incorporating the kids in your b-day chocolate making! Sometimes it's so much easier to just do it yourself, but the best memories are made when you take the harder road sometimes. Well done! And great thinking with the chore incentive too! :)

  4. Kimberly Says:

    After reading that post I can't help thinking how tired you must be right now!

    So glad you liked Farworld as much as I did, and I'm trying to be happy for you instead of envious that you got to go to the launch party!

  5. Thanks for coming by the launch party! It was great to see you!

    And Kim, I will get up your way. promise!

  6. Amen to crazy afternoons and political candidates you don't want to vote for?!?

  7. charrette Says:

    So much truth here:

    The election is lackluster at best.

    Your incentive system for chores is a great one, and I might have to borrow and adapt it over here. (Kids doing chores cheerfully and without complaint? Wow.)

    I really, really need to read Farworld.

    And chocolate fixes everything!