Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I love to read.

I really, really do.  There's little better than losing yourself in a book.  I love wandering through Hogwarts on a cold Fall evening.  Though I desperately wish to be in Griffindor house, I do believe I'd probably be in Ravenclaw.  It's just what my gut tells me.   Also, every Christmas season, I enjoy the chaos that is the Bennets.  :)  I know the story never changes, but every time I read it, I learn something new, something I never noticed before.  

Well, a blogger-buddy of mine posted a BBC reading list.  She, in turn, got it from her blogger buddy.  You can check out her blog for that link and said list here.  

The list came with...well...  It came with what I consider a personal challenge, almost an insult.  Apparently the BBC has very little faith in us as readers.  In the following list of 100 books, those silly kids at the BBC think we will have only read 6.  Really?  6 books?  I think not.  

If you're up to the challenge, repost this and follow the rules to tell us what you've read.  

•Copy this list.
•Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
•Italicise the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
•Highlight the ones already on your reading list. 

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma -Jane Austen
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery 
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt
Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Watership Down – Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

That's right BBC, I've read 10.  That's a little more than your estimated 6.  Though, it's not enough.  I want to get as far from this number 6 as I can.  I do believe that over the holidays, I have a lot of reading to do.  

Alright guys, it's your turn!  What have you read?  What's your favorite?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! "That's a lot of information to get in 30 seconds!"

Happy Thanksgiving guys! Check out this FRIENDS video for a hilarious Thanksgiving moment. It's my favorite part of FRIENDS, ever.
I realize I'm a little late posting about Thanksgiving, being that the day is almost over, but better late than never, yes?

So, today we're taking it easy. I cooked a kick-ass dinner. Now Heath's watching the Saints game, and I'm blogging/procrastinating on homework.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words (and I'm lazy), here's our Thanksgiving.

Oh, on the back of that plate, that's my tofurkey. It was awesome. In the next picture, Harper liked it all (minus the tofurkey).  The boys ate a regular turkey, which was also pretty good, from what I understand. I promise you Harper ate as much Turkey as Heath did, and he probably ate more cranberry sauce.

And, since it's Thanksgiving, I'll tell you what I'm thankful for. (In no particular order.)
1. I'm thankful that Heath has next week off so I can focus on studying for finals before he goes out of town for finals week.

2. I'm thankful for Sarah Palin's book signing at our local Barnes & Noble on Monday! And I'm thankful that Heath's willing to wait in line at the butt-crack of dawn for our wristband so we can actually get our books signed. Yeah, Mama doesn't wake up at 5 AM.

3. I'm thankful for my family. I have a healthy, happy, mostly well behaved toddler. I have a husband that I can definitely call my best friend. I realize that not everyone gets that, and I'm really proud of us for working at it.

4. I'm thankful for my other family. My parents, brothers, and sisters are truly irreplaceable. I love them so much. Though, I do wish we lived closer.

5. I'm thankful for the...Coast Guard. Ok, I said it. Though they drive me crazy sometimes, I am thankful for them. Because Heath's in the CG we've had steady income and insurance when so many others have lost these basic things. Because Heath's in the CG I've been able to focus only on school without having to get a job. Because Heath's in the CG we're able to move often, allowing us to experience many different places so we can find "home."

6. I'm thankful for my friends. I have friends all over this country, and I love them all dearly. It's no secret that I don't make friends easily, so I treasure the ones I do have. If a person makes it into my "circle of trust" (thanks, Meet the Parents), it's damn hard for that person to find their way out. I quite like that system; it has served me well.

7. I'm thankful for all the other things I'm forgetting to mention! I know I've forgotten tons, and if I really sat down and wrote out everything I'm thankful for, it would take forever. Let's just say that I have a wonderfully blessed life, and I love all the people in it.

Lastly, mostly, I'm so very thankful that God has given me such great people in my life, and such great opportunities like this: to finish school and one day become a teacher and adopt kids. Hopefully I can live up to his plans for me.

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An in-between.

I realize that some of you get up much earlier than me every day, but I'm not a morning person.  By nature, I'm a night owl.  I'll get up "early" if I have to, but I'm almost never happy about it. Seriously guys, I was the kid who slept in on Christmas.  I deliberately schedule my classes no earlier than 9.  I feel very sorry for my future students who are unfortunate enough to have to deal with me before 9...30.

This morning though, I was woken up by my lovely, slightly more morning-friendly child, who was in my room at 7 AM asking to pee on the potty.  FYI:  The potty training, though painfully slowly, is progressing.  I'm elated.  I was glad he wanted to pee on the potty; I was ecstatic that he didn't have an accident all night, but all that was nearly drowned out by that horrible it's-too-damn-early-for-anything feeling.

So, I zombie walked him to the bathroom, put his potty seat on top of the potty, and he went.  Yay!  Then I shuffled him back into my room, pointed to Heath's pillow and more grunted than actually spoke the words "Lay down."

He's a good kid.  Really.  If I was greeted by me in the morning, I'd be grumpy right back.  Harper took it all in stride though.  He said, "Ok Mommy," as he hopped in my bed.  I laid down next to him and closed my eyes thinking something along the lines of "Please oh please fall back asleep, and don't stay up asking me questions all morning.  I have 3 more hours to rest!"  

Then, all of the sudden, I was pulled out of my grumpy-morning thoughts when Harper grabbed my hand.  He didn't say anything, he just held my hand.  I opened up my eyes to find him just staring at me.

He smiled and said, "I love you Mommy."

In that moment, my whole morning changed.

I still wanted to lay in bed.  Let's be realistic here: I'm Danielle, I like to sleep in, period. And I still did lay in bed.  Harper and I even slept a little bit.  Here's the difference though, for a few minutes this morning, Harper just stared at me and said he loved me and I said it right back.

The Coast Guard wants me to fail.

Heath just got orders for a two week training.  When is that two weeks?  Oh that's right, it's finals week and the week after. 

I swear to you, all of his crazy work things happen just when I'm in the hardest part of school!  I realize it's crazy to think that the entire Coast Guard is conspiring against me, plotting for a way to make my life just a little bit harder.  But seriously, how many times can this happen?!  

My son likes to say "This cannot happen!" a lot when he's not getting his way.  Well, right now he's right on.  

This.  Cannot.  Happen.  

If only that were true.  Damn I wish I ruled the world.  

On the plus side though, I'll only have to reschedule 1 final, and at least he's here the week before.  That way I can get some studying done early.

Another good thing is we won't have to reschedule his leave and our Virginia vacation to visit his family.  We already had to do that once, last year, and it would be really sucky of us to do it again.  

I know I should be grateful that he has a secure job, especially when the economy is the way that it is.  It's just that sometimes, I would like to take the Coast Guard by the neck and strangle it wish they thought about my schedule a little bit too.  

Well, that's all I have time for right now, for I need to go to class and see about rescheduling a final.  

Randomness!  I also need to brush my teeth before I go, because I just don't think tuna breath goes well with a schedule change request to your instructor.  Haha!  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Photo blog.

I'm in a bit of a hurry tonight, but I added photos to some of my previous posts: Boy BondingHoliday plans and Christmas shopping. Check and check.

Instead of doing a full blown blog tonight, I'm just going to post some pictures, maybe add a few quick captions and call it a night, because I've got an Italian test on Tuesday, and sleeping with the book under your pillow really just doesn't work for me.  Believe me, I've tried.  

We rode bikes to the park.  

 Then we went to a different park the next day.  

 This is one of my favorites.  

 This is just because he's so darn cute.  He loves that toy.  

 They took out the trash like good boys.  That box is from Harper's new car seat, because he keeps growing like a weed.  

We've been doing more story time and singing at night.  It's nice.  

This is my new pan!  We've been needing a new one for like ever, and we finally got one.  

 We also got a new trash can, because ours was very stinky.

 And last but not least, we went to aquarium today, where we renewed our zoo/aquarium membership for the year.  Yay!

Though he doesn't look it, he was really excited about the frog.  

So, that's about it.  Now I guess I have to do homework.  Tomorrow it's more studying and church.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boy bonding

It's currently 5:16 PM on Wednesday.  We're supposed to be leaving to get dinner any minute, however my boys decided to have an impromptu battle.  I'm currently waiting it out and squeezing in a short blog.  That's right, I multitask.  

A few minutes ago, I asked Heath where he wanted to eat.  He doesn't know, so he asked Harper.  Here's there conversation, word for word.  

Heath, as he's tickling Harper asked, "Where do you want to eat?"  Harper, then completely sprawled on the floor, barely able to catch his breath from laughing quickly replied,  "In the kitchen."  Heath laughed and asked, "What do you want to eat?"  Harper, still nearly breathless from laughter squeezes out two words, "A brownie."  

He knows we have those.  He also knows it's not for dinner, but it's all he can think about.  

It's been 8 minutes, and they're still fighting like loonies.  Harper just threw a toy bullet from his dragon boat at Heath's face.  If he hadn't covered he'd have gotten a bullet to the eye.  

Though their battle is quite entertaining, I do hope we get to eat soon.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday plans and Christmas shopping. Check and check.

Hey guys!  Ok, I'm going to brag/celebrate a little bit right now because I've (almost) finished my Christmas shopping!  With the exception of a few things, I'm done!  I'm so relieved.  

I'm usually an early present buyer anyway; I really hate holiday crowds.  I'm just especially proud of myself this year because school has been extra hectic and things have been busy.  

Oh, in addition to being done, I managed to actually not spend that much money.  I really didn't want to go overboard this year.  Don't get me wrong, I still spent an obscene amount a lot more than I had to, but it wasn't that bad.  

I'll post at the bottom of the post to show you guys our loot.  What are you getting this year, for yourself and your little ones?

Speaking of Christmas, we've also made our holiday plans for the year.  I'm not going to lie, it sucks that we're not going to be home for Christmas morning.  I really do prefer to be home for Christmas day with kids.  I think they deserve to be at their own home for Christmas.  My best Christmases as a child were always at my own house, with just my immediate family.  It was relaxed and relatively quiet.  However, sometimes it just can't be helped.  I mean, we want and need to visit family, and Christmas is just the time to do it.  Can I help it that I'm kind of a recluse?

And honestly, it will be nice to see everyone.  Who knows, maybe we'll even get to have a White Christmas...?  Yeah, down here it's unheard of.  Seriously.  In addition to getting to visit our family (and meet some for the first time), we get to visit some friends and see Monticello!

I'm not a history buff.  I'm not into politics.  So, why Thomas Jefferson?  I can't lie, I have a small crush on him.  I had to write a paper about him my freshman year of college, and since then I've been kind of fascinated with him.  He designed his home, and it's beautiful.  That's my favorite thing about him.  In addition to that, he's just generally fascinating.  Well, since Heath's family is in Virginia, we're going to go to Monticello for a day while we're there.  I really can't tell you how excited I am.  It's been on "my list" for a few years.  

Well, that's all for now.  I'm finished giving up on homework for the night and I need to hit the sack.  

Oh, here's our Christmas loot.    

Though you can barely see it, there's Heath's new hiking boot in the corner too.

My presents!  I love them.  They're not even wrapped yet, and I already can't wait to open them.  

And finally, here's Harper's stuff.  Like I said, I tried not to go overboard this year, but he got some pretty good stuff.  You know what makes me happiest?  I got almost everything on sale.  Those costumes in the front were about 4 bucks a piece, and the big foot thing was 15$ off.  Awesome.