Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kim's Current Read: The Green Ember Series

Here's my current read, The Green Ember Series by S. D. Smith.  Phil had found it as a deal on Audible and chose it for his book to listen to on the long Christmas drive. I normally don't like Phil's book choices-I can't stand non-fiction and it is his favorite, so normally I just sleep through it. This was completely different!  I loved it and was dying to listen to more, but Nora had an awful ride there and the only way to keep her happy was with Frozen soundtrack playing nonstop for the whole ride.  Thank goodness for the fade in the car so we didn't have to hear it the whole time.  We got an Amazon giftcard and chose to buy the whole series in book form, which was supposed to be here by Saturday, but due to the storm it was delivered yesterday evening. Fortunately, Amazon saved the day by having the option to buy the Kindle and Audible versions for cheaper after buying the print copy, so now we own all the available versions of the series. (Because we might just like it that much)
Now what is the book series about? Rabbits. And no, it is not like Watership Down (which I hate by the way, but then I was a freshman in high school and it was required reading). It is a wonderful Childrens/Young Adult fiction, fantasy, fairy tale story.  I love a quick read with a great story line, and I'm a sucker for nonhuman characters.  It was just a good solid story, and I'm excited to start reading it to Pete. I think he will enjoy it since it is fast paced enough and not too long and drawn out, which is a problem we had with reading/listening to Harry Potter and The Hobbit with him. At 6 he just isn't into long drawn out descriptions and such.  This still set up a great setting and such but more on track with his age right now.

So if you're looking for a fun read, I'm totally suggesting this one for you.  We bought it at Amazon because the library didn't have it, and even if I could get an interlibrary loan, I wasn't willing to wait. They are also available here, on the author's site along with shirts and swords and other fun things.

I'm NOT getting paid or getting anything for this post; this is straight up me loving a book and sharing it to the world.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Virginia Snow Days

We got hit with a blizzard on Saturday, like seriously high winds and SNOW.  Everything we had planned over the weekend got canceled including an open house, track meet and stake conference.  School has also been out and will be canceled until at least tomorrow, they called it this afternoon around 4.  They don't plow residential roads, we all park on super narrow streets and they just don't have enough plows to do it all.  We've been loving all the time spent together, we've been having friends over for dinner and games, they've got kids the same age as Pete and Nora so it works out nicely.  I've taken naps, slept in, fixed yummy food, not done the dishes (my hubby really is the best) read 2 books in a single weekend and plan to start the final one in the series tomorrow, seriously I'm living the life right now. I know I'm going to regret this when the make up days come rolling in but for now, I love it! Today is the first day we left the house and we took Pete to see Rogue One in theaters and took the kids sledding for the first time.  Normally I'm horrible about getting cabin fever, but this time I've been fairly content doing nothing and staying in jammies all day long, but I think we've had the right combination of sleeping, friends, playing and reading to make it more than bearable to be home.
Our littlest snow shoveler

I just couldn't resist

Nora builing a snow fort with Phil

seriously does anything beat watching a dachshund run in the snow?!

Look at those ears!
Here's a video of our sledding fun along with a couple pictures.  Not the biggest hills in the world but still enough fun for Pete, Nora wanted nothing to do with the activity.

Christmas 2016

This Christmas was our first for us away from Indiana.  It was different for sure, we ended up having our own family Christmas a week before actual Christmas since we would be away from home and didn't really want to travel with everything, the van was full enough for the return trip as it was with the presents from out west.
Pete playing with a toy Nora got him for Christmas

We managed to miss snow all across Indiana, and had a great drive getting there and back with no delays or issues.  Our van decided to sound like dirt on the way out but was able to repair the leak with a mechanic in Batesville without too much hassle. The kids loved spending time with Aunts, Uncle and a soon-to-be Uncle along with SkyPopo and PoMa (Nora's name for SkyPopo Grandma) at their house, as you saw we had our family pictures taken with great success.
Sarah and Nora after cutting down the Christmas Tree

playing down by the pond

Nora begged aunt sarah to be on hair duty
Dex's face just made me laugh on this one
Enjoying some swinging time with Daddy and Uncle James

Here's a closer shot of Nora's face during this fun with James, she's loving it!
We traveled up to Warsaw after that and surprised my Grandmas with a quick visit on Christmas Day before my parents got home from a party with friends.  We stuck around there for a week seeing lots of family, having lots of Christmas parties and eating too much junk.  We played a ton of board games (Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride Europe, 7 Wonders) with Matt and Tashina while the kids entertained themselves... this whole kids growing up thing is kinda nice.

Ticket to Ride Europe
First picture of the new year
Eventually it was time to come back home and reality in general, Phil and Pete both had to go back to work and I had to get life back in order on the homefront with taking down the decorations, unpacking and figuring out how all the new stuff would fit in the house.

I swear she listened to the frozen soundtrack for like 9 of the 13 hours of the drive home

Listening to his Scripture Scouts the whole way home

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Family Pictures 2016

My awesome sister in law (Larissa, since I have a bunch of them) gave us a family photo shoot for Christmas, if you're in Utah I'm going to highly recommend her because we got through an entire family photo shoot with no tears and minimal bribes (that's a big deal people).  Here is her website and facebook page.

We took all of these at the cabin and dock at Phil's parents house, they've got this rustic/primitive cabin down on their pond that the guys (and Sarah) fixed up this year. Now hopefully shutterfly will have lots of good deals for me since these are amazing!  Oh and sorry (not really) about the overload, I couldn't just post a couple.

Um doesn't this almost capture how rotten he is? almost?

Nora adorable shoes.  I'm glad Larissa enjoyed them too and took a picture of them

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas in Virginia!

Christmas here has been interesting.  Its more fall like conditions, to the point where here I can actually believe that winter begins on December 21st, not in November.  I won't lie, I like the warmer temps especially compared to what is going on in Northern Indiana that was home, not a fan of below zero days, yesterday it was almost 80 and I wore shorts.

Phil is coaching winter track this year so he has been swamped with meets and practices for that so I've been on my own with the kids quite a bit for the last month and a half. I've been trying to be sure we hit up all the super fun Christmas themed activities going on around town.  We went to the mall and saw Santa one day, no pictures because I'm too cheap to buy them-just imagine Nora screaming and Pete looking awkward and you get the gist-not worth $30 to own. We also checked out the aquarium to see the scuba diving Santa it was really cool, but poorly set up.  We waited to see him come in the aquirum and then were quickly pushed out of the way for people to come take pictures because they had been setting up a line without informing anyone who actually stood there and waited in the tunnel-hopefully next year they can learn to communicate and set it up better.  Fun and we have a membership, but I'd not buy a ticket just for it.

See? Not a fan of the man in the red suit

Nora has really enjoyed putting money in the Salvation Army buckets the bell ringers always get the biggest hoot out of her getting so excited.  I just think it is cute to see.

My favorite thing to do though for our Virginia Christmas fun has been the light display down on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach.  They have BIG lights set up all over in the sand and by the hotels and you drive on the boardwalk (its actually cement and really wide)

Only in Virginia Beach do you get christmas lights with planes and beach scenes