Monday, September 16, 2013

Orphan Train: A Novel

I recently finished reading the book Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline.  It was so touching and magical and amazing.  I first chose this book because I saw it on the shelf at Target!  I had to wait to read it, as I had requested it at the library and there was quite a list of people waiting.  Once I started reading it, I could not stop!

Orphan Train takes place near Bar Harbor, Maine, where I have visited several times due to my dad's family living near there. The main character is a teenage girl who is in foster care and finding her own way of "dealing" with the emotions that come along with that.  This leads to her needing to do community service to right some wrongs.  Her service comes in the form of assisting an elderly woman clean and organize her attic.  While helping the woman sort through boxes, the two, so opposite at first glance (one young and poor, one old and rich), find out that their histories are more alike than different.

Things I loved about the book: its setting is a real location and is vividly detailed -- if you have not been to Bar Harbor, you will see it in your mind; its characters have real depth; there is a character near the end with my last name!  That came as a shock as it is not a common last name! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Up to my neck in craft supplies!

I am on my second week of dog sitting (last night!)...and I am up to my neck in craft supplies! 

I am working on 3 different swaps plus baby shower stuff plus invites for a friend!

Actually, the swaps are as done as they can be at this point -- I have a couple I will finish on Sunday afternoon (I hope) as I need to sew & (obviously) don't have my machine here...

The baby shower things are finished & ready to go -- which is good since the shindig is on Sunday!  I made all the invites, thank you notes (including carving a stamp for part of that), and did the goodie bags.  We did an ocean theme for the party, so it was fun working with crabs, anchors, octopi, and fish!

I am going to work more on the invites for a friend in a moment -- stamping, heat embossing, and adding jewels!  What fun! ;)  I want to finish as many as I can tonight so I can get them to her as soon as possible.

Saturday, July 06, 2013


The story of a boy's first year of school with his peers -- fifth grade!  It made me cry, it made me laugh, it told a tale that should be read and heard by everyone.  It is a story told from varying perspectives -- the boy, his sister, his new friends...Auggie has a genetic mutation that has caused him severe facial abnormalities, but, although his face is "deformed", his heart and mind and soul are amazing.  Wonder is wonderful.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Have your tissues ready!

The part that got me came in at about minute 10.  The father is not concerned about his daughter hearing how he felt before she was born, he does not want her to be called retarded.  Know that your words can (and do) hurt, even those you may think can not understand you.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More fun pictures.

 Here is a duck from the zoo.  In case you can't tell, she is sitting on a french fry.
 My nails that took a long time to paint, and they only lasted a day or so before chipping.
 The traveling Vietnam Wall.  I volunteered with St. Louis Honor Flight one day while it was in town.
 Three of my Red Hot Robot Campers creating a snap circuit!
Two of my Red Hot Robot Campers finding bugs -- because bugs are similar to robots ya' know! ;)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Phinally Photos!

World Aquarium (WA)
St. Louis Zoo (STL)
Color Run (CR)
Me holding a turtle! (WA)
 Me feeding a turtle! (WA)
 Meghan holding a snake!  It might be 2 snakes...I don't remember! (WA)
 Me holding a snake!  At this point I was asking, "Where's its head?" (WA)
 Sea Lion Cove at the zoo -- the sea lion is swimming ABOVE us!  (STL)
 Meghan is almost as tall as a llama (STL) :(
 A butterfly landed on me. :)
 Meghan and her new bestie -- Slothie the sloth! (WA)
 Meghan wanted to brush a goat. (STL)
 Orange Leaf (as usual!) -- this was after the zoo...
 My buddy, Renee, and I BEFORE....(CR)
Can you sweat rainbows? (CR)
...and AFTER!!!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Such fun!

This past week was relaxing & busy & fun & full of new experiences!

Thursday Meghan & I went to the drive-in!!  She did not think she would make it through both movies, but we both did!  First movie was "Epic" -- very cute, nice story that was unique, funny at times, happy at times, just a feel good family movie.  Second movie was "Star Trek Into the Darkness" -- loved it!  I forget how much I do enjoy movies like that.  It made me think of my mom.

Saturday we got up early and went to the St. Louis Zoo!  We were able to see animals we don't always go see (kangaroos, the big cats, etc), but, by the time we were going to go to Penguin & Puffin Cove, the lines were super long!  It was perfect weather for the zoo, so I was glad we had gone early and were able to beat the crowds on a lot of it.  Sad we didn't get to see the penguins or go on the motion simulation ride a second time, but glad we went!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Summer Bucket List

So here is my Summer "Bucket" List -- some are things I have to do -- others are things I want to do!

1. World Aquarium tour
2. Teach Mad Science Camp (finally finished!)
3. Dog/Turtle/Fish sit
4. Scrapbook!
5. Strawberry Festival in Kimmswick
6. Go to a pool
7. Finish the county and city library reading clubs
8. Get my own classroom
9. Go to the Muny
10. Go to a Cardinals game
11. Go to Ted Drewes
12. A night at the drive in!
13. Walk the trail at Powder Valley
14. Visit the covered bridge
15. Omaha/Chicago/KC weekend (somewhere away from here!)
16. Go to Suson Park and look at the animals
17. ZOO!
18. Science Center -- Egypt exhibit & ride a camel!
19. Grants Farm
20. Finish my swaps early :)

I think that is a pretty good list!  Especially when you consider the Mad Science camp will cover 6 weeks of my summer...

Monday, June 03, 2013


**hanging head in shame**

I know I have been horrible at blogging this year, and for that I am sorry!  I am going to try and improve this summer!

To fill you in on what has been happening in my life -- still hunting for my own classroom (I have had interviews!), still scrapbooking & crafting when I have time, still hanging out with friends, still teaching Sunday School (ok, not right now since we don't do SS over the summer), still wanting to travel more, still reading up a storm...

My summer vacation started the Thursday before Memorial Day.  Since then I have: been to a picnic, attended a Strawberry Festival that was lacking in strawberries, toured the World Aquarium, been shopping, been on an interview, and relaxed.  Once I upload photos from my camera I will share more about the aquarium trip!

I hope your summers are going well!

Now, what types of blog posts would you like to see???

Friday, March 01, 2013


 My pottery "egg chair" -- ain't it pretty?
 Meghan & her fun bowl!  She worked hard to make it awesome.
 6 inches of snow = 2 snow days!!!!
 I have a scrapbook monocle.
 The coffee cup is wearing a hat!
 Santa Lucia...