Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A little fun...

I came across this list on another blog and I thought it would be fun to post. I am definitely going to read some more of these books. Immediately!! :-)

The National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read. Apparently we're supposed to go through this list of great books, noting everything we've read (bold), everything we really really loved (bold and underlined), and everything we plan to read in the near future (italics).

Here's my list. I'd love to see yours.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Friday, October 7, 2011


I always hear people talk about how good Fridays are and about the amazing weekend the are anticipating. I'm sure I have even participated in some Friday rants. So it really struck me as odd when I woke up this morning and I wasn't in a good mood. It's Friday! I SHOULD be in a good mood.

But I'm not.

I mean... I'm not terrible. But I've been better.

It's even a three day weekend for me. Yet, here I sit. Wishing desperately that I were home and under the covers. Alone. Feeling grumpy.

I miss my babies (I've lost two babies in the past year). I miss the future that I thought would be mine. I miss the snuggles that I assumed would consume me today. I miss times I never had and a life I never knew.

I just want Jesus to carry me though today. I find so much comfort in the words of a Kerrie Roberts song. She sings, "Before a heartache can ever touch my life, it has to go through your hands."

Jesus must have strong hands...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Alyssa my Ally Sweetie Pie

Alyssa's teacher gave her a homework assignment (or should I say gave ME a homework assignment?). I was given the task of describing her in 1,000,000 words or less.

And in case you are wondering, I did NOT wait until the very last night to write this (even though I had two months).

Here is what poured out of me...

What can I say about Alyssa? She came into the world screaming and hasn’t settled down since. She is smart, kind, beautiful, sensitive, tough, happy, strong, and has an enduring spirit. Nobody gets in her way (at least not for very long)! She does what she wants to do and is usually pretty upbeat about it. She knows who she is and wants the whole world to know too. She is a phenomenal athlete, matching her talent with her attitude. She has the most goals, most blocked goals, most assists, and most yellow cards on her soccer team. She loves life and the people in it. She has faced adversity (probably more than she deserves) and she has always come out shining. She sees the good in people, but God help you if you cross her because she will get you. Ally Rae has a smile that will light up a room, a physique that will make a grown woman cry (out of jealousy, I speak from experience, don’t judge me), a confidence that will get her though life, a determination that will move mountains, an energy that radiates from her, and a soul that is light itself. My sweet Alyssa has changed my life and I could never describe her in only 1,000,000 words. It would take many, many more words to paint an accurate picture of how deeply Alyssa has enriched her family, her friends, her coaches, and the people around her. She doesn’t do anything quietly and she lets you know when you get out of line. She is not shy, or refined, not politically correct, or even correct most of the time. But she believes with such a passion that you find yourself wanting to be more like her. She is not perfect. In fact, I have found myself with my hands cupped over her mouth more times than I can remember, but she is truly a survivor and I have nothing but love and respect for my little girl. I asked others to describe her and their words are: ”one of a kind, refreshing, extremely expressive, determined, funny, unstoppable, extremely loving, truly generous to those she deeply cares about, continually growing, always giving.” And none of these words touch on her desire to live life laughing (gotta love the unplanned alliteration). Alyssa is funny. She is smart, and intuitive, and quick, and witty. She giggles all day long, even when she is alone. I smile just thinking about her… And creative… wow, this girl can make anything. She draws, paints, sews, writes, colors, designs… I don’t think there is anything that she can’t do. Perhaps it would have been easier to describe what Alyssa is not. She is not boring, dumb, lazy, unfriendly, or unwilling and she is never embarrassed. She has never been daunted, even when in trouble; she has always kept her hope and her smile. Her grandparents call her the terminator because she is always touching, moving, breaking something, or looking for something. This girl lives on the edge. She doesn’t do life half-way. She goes for it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I hope we get snow

These pictures are from last year's snow storm. I hope we get another one this year.

Or two! :-)

Oh gee...

So, I was showing some of my students pictures of my kids from my blog and it made me realize how long it had been since I had posted! My kids look like babies in some of these pictures.

I assure you; they are not!

Jacob is in 10th grade; Alyssa is playing club soccer; Jada started kindergarted; Brayden turned 21; Tatiana graduated from UCLA; Jordan moved out...

I think I will catch you all up with pictures!

Here are a few pictures I took of Alyssa today. The weather was stormy and I thought it would make a great background for some shots.

We took another cruise. This time to the Bahamas. St. Maarten and St. Thomas were beautiful!

We have been busy with soccer. Alyssa is now playing for the Celtics Club Soccer team.

This little pumpkin is playing soccer too. She is taking after her big sister. Last week she scored 6 goals! :-)

I guess that's it for now. I won't wait so long to post again!

Bye loves...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Note to self...

If you are not feeling well, it is not a wise decision to move your recliner outside and lay in it. You are bound to fall asleep... you know, because you are sick and all.

And if you fall asleep, you will get sunburned... you know, because of the sun and all.

Then you will feel infinitely worse...

That is all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Not sure...

I'm not sure what I want to title this post. The other day a fellow teacher came into my room to complain that my students, who were waiting outside the classroom, were cursing up a storm. She said that she was very offended.

Of course she was, have you heard these kids' mouths??

And then she said to the students, (who were giving her their undivided attention) (NOT), "Your parents don't have to go to their jobs and hear this kind of language. If any of your parents were ever addressed the way you address us, or were subjected to the way you all talk to each other, they could file a law suit and win!"

I agreed with this wholeheartedly. It is so very true. These high school kids have such foul mouths that it embarrasses me to hear them. I am shocked and saddened by what they are saying, AND it's the girls too! Sometimes they are worse!

I guess I just want to say that if any parents are out there reading this, please, please talk to your children about their vocabulary choices. You probably have NO idea what they sound like when you are not around, and quite frankly you would probably pass out if you heard it. But if you start a dialogue with them, perhaps one day it will sink it...

Just a thought...