aisha's picks

Do you love "Anne of Green Gables?"

As I have enjoyed the "Anne of Green Gables" series since I was a young girl, I was excited to hear that a prequel was out. However, I am always wary of books about beloved characters NOT written by the original author. So, I was prepared not to get too emotionally attached from the get-go.

I needn't have worried. Budge Wilson does a tremendous job of showing us Anne's early upbringing and marrying it with the "Anne with an e" we come to know and love in the "Green Gables" series. If you love the Anne-girl, you will fall in love with this prequel as well. And as soon as I finished it, I must admit that I immediately reached for "Anne of Green Gables" to continue along with one of my most beloved stories!

I also passed it along to my nine year old daughter who has read the first novel in the series [and has watched my DVD with the adorable Megan Follows] and she enjoyed it as well.

And if you've paid any attention to my reading list for the past couple of months, you will have noticed that "Bleak House" has steadfastly remained as many other novels have been finished.

I am pleased to announce that I have finally finished it! I must confess that I wasn't sure if I would, but I persevered and am so glad that I did! It was a little heavier read than am used to, so I had to mix it up with some lighter diversions along the way. Dickens is such a master of creating scenes and characters. He's amazing. For awhile I wondered how all of his many and varied characters would come together in the end, but Dickens ties everything up seamlessly.

The themes of irony, passion, and secrets makes for a compelling tale, the most compelling being that of Lady Dedlock. Her icy exterior is a most convincing mask for the passion that lies in her past, a passion she would die for.

And now I am going to treat myself to the 15 episode BBC miniseries! I've been waiting so long to watch it, but I made myself finish the novel before watching it. Fortunately our public library is so good-they already have it en route to me. Can't wait!


julia's pick

This is one of Julia's favorite books, given to her a couple of Christmases back. The title is "Adele & Simon" and it was written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock. It's a sort of "Where's Waldo" set back in 19th century Paris and is just adorable.

Adele is charged with picking up Simon and school and getting him home. However, much to her chagrin, in the process Simon is wont to leave his various possessions all over Paris! The reader must search the illustrations to find each particular item left behind by the hapless Simon. It's extremely fun to see all the different landmarks and locales of the City of Light along the way. All's well that ends well, since Simon manages to end up with all of his belongings--but you'll just have to read the book to find out how!

neighborhood watch

Photo taken just this morning of our neighbor's garage door. I have no idea how it happened, but with this particular neighbor, there's really no telling.

Sadly, this garage door is likely the least of his problems.


tagged: the memoir


Write your own six word memoir. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you like. Link to the person who tagged you in your post. Tag six more blogs with links. Don't forget to leave a comment on the blogs you tagged inviting them to play along!

Aisha's memoir [tagged by Melissa]:

Love given and found; books abound.

Now for the best part! I tag Megan, Laurie, and Jennifer!


little pea

Here's a fun book for your little ones! The last time we went to story time at the library, one of the librarians read this cute book to the kids.
It's about a little pea who has to eat all five pieces of candy on his dinner plate before he can have his dessert-which turns out to be spinach! Very fun. The kids really got into it.
Fun note: Collin just came up to me while typing this post and got very excited when he saw the book cover picture! He even remembered about the book when I asked him to tell me about it. A winning testimonial from a pint-size reader!


new shoes

Found these little babies as we were leaving Morro Bay. We had just finished dinner with my parents and had stepped into a little shop nearby so the kids could have a look around before heading home. And there they were, tucked away into a little corner of the shop. And they're even size 5.5. My ultimate, perfect size. Many people do not even realize how difficult it is to get shoes in a size 5.5.

I think these shoes were meant to be.

day trip

Just before school ended for spring break, Libby was assigned the California mission that she is to do her report on this trimester. And the funny thing is, she is doing the same mission that Bailey did three years ago! It also happens to be the very same mission that all of the 4th graders will be visiting next month for their field trip.

The mission is La Purisima Concepcion, located in Lompoc, CA, right by Santa Maria [which is just above Santa Barbara]. So, with a full week of freedom stretched before us, we decided to take a day trip over and visit the mission as a family. Grammie was already staying over at the coast, so we picked her up on our way down so that she could join in the family fun. We had lots of fun learning and exploring, especially since La Purisima was a large and fully functioning mission back in its heyday.

Libby and Collin investigate the mission's irrigation system. There were extensive field crops to be watered at La Purisima, not to mention water to run the various chores inside the mission walls.

Libby peeks out from behind the doorway leading into the courtyard outside the main church building. It was previously used as a cemetery [insert spooky chills here] but they must have moved the bodies some time ago. There is now only one main headstone to memorialize those who were buried there in the past.

Here is our gang gathered together and perched on the edge of some ancient looking brickwork along the colonnade of the padres' residence building.

Bailey and Collin goofing around in one the courtyards of the shops and quarters buildings. I'm trying to remember what made me drop the camera to an angle when taking the shot.

Is it time for lunch yet? Collin was getting pretty hungry by the end of our tour! Julia as well-I kept reminding her of what I'd packed for our picnic to keep her motivated to stay with us. We lunched in the van, then headed back up the coast to Pismo. We stuck our toes in the sand and puttered through the shops until dinnertime, when we picked up Grandpa and headed into Morro Bay to find some killer garlic fries. After dinner, we changed the kids into their pj's and headed back home!

When Libby goes back with her class next month, the mission will be putting on its annual Mission Days. The docents dress up and show the kids what mission life was like, complete with candlemaking, weaving, livestock and such. That will definitely be lots of fun-hopefully I'll win a seat by lottery to be a chaperone and go with them. ; ) To see more pictures of the mission, check out my photos on flickr!


special topics in calamity genetics [a.k.a. 5 down and 1 to go]

Libby sporting her new spectacles

Libby has made it [nearly] unanimously official: we are indeed a family of myopics. We are just waiting for the day when Collin needs glasses as well.

Thank goodness for vision coverage.

good news

Last week before the kids got out of school for Spring Break, I had their teacher conferences and got their report cards. And they were awesome!

Libby earned a 4.0 for the trimester-we were all really excited for her! She has been working super hard at school and it has paid off. Bailey did an excellent job as well, earning A's in all of his classes except for math [B]. Which is silly, because he is actually very good in math [unlike his mathematically challenged mother]. He didn't hand in some assignments at the beginning of the trimester, but soon wised up and started getting it done. And Julia, who is scored with E's [for excellent] and S's [for satisfactory], earned lots of E's and S+'s. Plus she's reading at an Independent 3rd grade level [or above, since they only test up to 2 grades higher than their current grade-whatever]. She has really made a huge jump in her reading over the last month or so.

Plus, this past Sunday Bailey played a hymn solo [from the hymnbook] in Sacrament Meeting. He did a really great job. Our ward music director heard he was playing in Priesthood and at Mutual and wanted to give him some experience playing in front of a larger group. I missed out on seeing it, because I actually got sick while getting ready for church and didn't make it. It was a good thing I had sent Bailey to church that morning with Owen at 7 am [for Owen's early morning meeting] to practice on the grand piano in the chapel, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get him there in time. I also missed Owen's talk in church that morning, but heard that went well also.


another bevy of blossoms

There is a rather small orchard on the way to the kids' school that has been in bloom for the past several weeks. I see it in the morning as we drive past and I yearn to stop and wander a bit for some pictures. However, since our standard route leaving school is a different one and I am such a creature of habit, sadly I always miss getting out into the orchard to take some pictures. [I would never have time in the morning anyway, and I just can't take good pictures under pressure!]

Until yesterday, that is! I made a conscious effort to take the other way home so that we could pass by the orchard. It was perfect: the day was clear, balmy, and breezy and there was no pressure to leave before I felt like I wanted to. Even when the kids asked me if technically I was trespassing as we drove away. I gave a rather vague "no" in reply.

Not sure what kind of blooms these are, but even I can tell that they are different from the other pink blossoms I captured several weeks ago. A variety of stone fruit, I presume.


get yer irish on!

Remember the "Elf Yourself" web campaign by Office Max for the last couple of Christmas seasons? Well, the manufacturers of Irish Spring are getting in on the crazy act.

In the spirit of the upcoming St. Pattie's Day , I decided to get my Irish on at their "Turn Yourself Irish" website-for a great laugh check it out here! And for even more fun, check out Collin's! He's a natural in a green suit!


i. hate. daylight. savings. time

Anybody else with me on this?

It messes with my sleep, and worse than that, it messes up my kids' sleep. Which in turn messes up my sleep even more. And don't even get me started on the sheer tedium of having to scour the entire house [both levels] and garage and even our back patio for every possible timepiece just so I can change it by one hour. Only a man could have come up with something this ridiculous. Thanks a whole bunch, Benjamin Franklin. You're a real smartie. Obviously you never had to raise kids or manage a household.

Maybe we should move to Arizona.

Nah. Way too hot.

new first presidency portrait

A friend sent me this picture of the new First Presidency, so I thought I'd post it for all to see! Shown are Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Eyring, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Check out http://www.lds.org/ for more information on the new official portrait.


my fella

Collin atop his favorite perch in the mall playground!

We were planning on going to story time at the library this morning, but when we got there we found that the children's librarian was sick today. Poor Miss Valerie! So, after we collected the books and DVD I had on hold, we decided to go have some fun. I had a couple of errands that needed running at the mall, so that's where we headed.

After making my stops, we made for the playground, Collin's favorite place to hang out at the mall. His favorite thing to play on is the yellow VW bug-he especially likes to jump off of it [that's where he's perched in the above photo]. And of course we had to have lunch at the mall while we were there-we shared a huge plate of nachos. Collin loves his chippies. Since no trip to the mall would be complete without the requisite visit to the See's Candy establishment, Collin giddily picked out a small chocolate rabbit and sat down on a nearby bench to relish it.

All in all, a good morning!