Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Report: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

(image from

I wanted to badly to like this book.... but I can't go on. The writing style is not for me, it's incredibly boring and drawn out. I am actually extremely surprised this has received such high ratings! I really enjoy reading WWII/holocaust books but this one didn't do anything for me. Part of me wanted to push on because I've had two people tell me how amazing it is, but when I asked another friend if I should waste my time finishing, she said "I wouldn't". There was my answer.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fredrik Meijer Gardens Chihuly Exhibit

Last month, my friend Amy and I went to Fredrik Meijer Gardens to see the super sweet Chihuly blown glass exhibit! Just her and I and our cameras... it was delightful! The fall colors coupled perfectly with the beautiful colors of the glass! It was relaxing and such a joy! Here is a sampling of the photos I took:

Amy photographing the Koi fish...

Love this red tree.... take a guess at how big it is!

Do you have your guess????? :) It's huge! This is a picture of Amy standing next to it. She's probably in the 5'4" range. Crazy, huh?

And I'll finish off with a fun picture that Amy took of me in the cute little playhouse in the children's garden!

Overdue book report!

I'm pretty sure I'd get a failing grade because I've been so bad about blogging! :) Actually, I've done very little reading in the last few months because of the college course I was taking, but since that's been done... I've been able to read a couple and start some more! I actually have quite a few books going right now! Eeek!!!

A few weeks ago, Jeff and I had conferences for both Michael and Grace on the same night!! This was both a blessing and a pain! They are both in middle school this year so that meant we had to tackle seeing 12 teachers... but it was mighty nice to get them all done in one evening. Jeff and I met at the school after work which was the most PERFECT idea... this allowed me to visit the Scholastic book fair while he went home (he doesn't care to sit and look at bookshelves for long periods of time)! :) This is such a great place to get books for a great price all the while helping with fundraising for the school! I left with 6 books... yikes! Kinda fun though... I've been really interested in Young Adult fiction lately. I love the great storylines and the easy reading factor is a bonus!

(Photo from Barnes and Noble)

I just finished one that was really good!!! It's called Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris. It's a story based in New Orleans! I LOVE all things New Orleans and cannot wait to visit there some day!! This book was great at making me visualize everything... from the Mardi Gras floats, the above-ground tombs in Lafayette Cemetery and the gorgeous mansions in the Garden District! I even felt like I could smell that damp New Orleans fragrance. The storyline was super fun! Here's the synopsis from Publisher's Weekly:

With this haunting love letter to New Orleans, Morris makes her YA debut, telling the story of 15-year-old Rebecca Brown, a proud New Yorker sent to live with a family friend while her father travels overseas. Ostracized as an outsider, Rebecca struggles to fit in and cope with her new surroundings. When she befriends Lisette, a ghost who has haunted the cemetery ever since her mysterious death 155 years earlier, Rebecca is drawn into an eerie story of betrayal, loss, old curses and family secrets. As Mardi Gras approaches, so does the culmination of something dark and angry that has been brewing for decades. This moody tale thoroughly embraces the rich history, occult lore and complex issues of race, ethnicity, class and culture that have defined New Orleans for centuries, turning the city into a character in its own right. Rather than shy away from the shameful or tragic moments of the past, Morris uses them to capture the city's essence. From Mardi Gras rituals to voodoo spells, Hurricane Katrina to jazz, this is a story that could only be told in New Orleans.

I've read a few other books that are worth mentioning, so check them out!
(Photos from Barnes and Noble)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone." Titus 3:1-2 (NLT)

"Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor." 1 Peter 2:13-17 (NIV)