Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blogging for Books: Indelible

Indelible by Kristen Heitzman
Indelible: A Novel

Indelible - (adj.) that cannot be eliminated, forgotten, changed, or the like (from dictionary.com).  Those are the images stored inside Natalie Reeve's head - indelible.  They are stuck, blocking her vision and her life until she sculpts them out of clay, thus expunging them from her mind.  From that outlet comes the beauty of her creations, the merchandise of her gallery.  What was once a handicap has now become her livelihood.


However, her first week in a new resort town becomes disastrous as her young nephew is grabbed by a mountain lion during a casual afternoon hike.  Trevor MacDaniel, a member of the local search and rescue team, tears down the mountain after the lion, rescuing the child.  But where does Trevor's need to save people stem from?  

As Trevor and Natalie forge a tentative friendship, their town becomes the object of a madman's attentions.  Can Trevor save his town from the monster sending him photos in the mail, photos of children in life endangering situations?  Will Natalie be destroyed in the process?


My Thoughts:

I have read a lot of Kristen Heitzman's books and this is my absolute favorite!  It is set in the same little mountain town as Indivisible was with several of the characters from that book playing a role in this book as well.  At first I was a little afraid to read this one because the back cover made it sound like the kind of book that would keep me up at night.  And I have to admit, there was one night that I couldn't sleep because the book had frightened me.  But if I had only stayed up and read it to it's conclusion, I wouldn't have had that problem.  Once you have read the end, it all makes sense.


There are two writing styles throughout the book - the narrative of Trevor and Natalie's story and the disjointed, stream of consciousness style thoughts of the antagonist, a tortured soul who struggles with who he is in the realm of good and evil.  It was reading the thoughts of him that kept me up at night.  They are definitely twisted.  That being said, I thought switching between the styles was just brilliant on the part of the author.  They were so different that it was hard to believe the same person wrote both.  

And the best part of the book was the ending.  It was very unexpected but just wonderful and almost poetic.  Thanks, Kristen, for writing such a great book.


I give this book, 5 out of 5 stars.

This book was supplied to me free of charge from Blogging for Books.  Want to blog for books too?  Check out bloggingforbooks.com.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Didn't we forget their birthdays?

So after reading about David's friend party, and our family parties, I'm sure you're thinking...what about their actual birthday?  Don't you celebrate that too? 

Well, never fear, we felt like 3 birthday parties (and a fourth in the future for Julie's friends) weren't enough, so we celebrated on their birthdays too.

Julie
Julie's birthday was on a Friday and it was a pretty busy day.  But just before we had to jet off to T-ball, she got to open up her gifts from us.

For the first time ever, I didn't buy any toys for my daughter for her birthday.  It felt very odd.
 She has asked to redo her room into a more grown-up style.
No more High School Musical.
So her first gift was a new quilt and sheet set.
 Then came a bunch of new clothes.
I want my grown-up girl to look nice.
And for the final gift, a new desk.  
Julie has been begging for a new desk for a long time now.
We stored it at my parent's house in plain sight and she never knew it was for her.

(Julie also got an electronic organizer from David.)

David
David got the privilege of celebrating his birthday at a day camp last week.  He had the opportunity to spend the night that night, but of course, we wanted him home with us to spoil him a little bit.

Luckily I found a good deal on some ribs, so I fixed him one of his favorite dinners - baby back ribs and baked potatoes.  And then it was gift time.  Guess what he got?
 A state quarter collecting book from Julie.

 And lots of Legos, go figure.  Our house is swarming with Legos now.
Multi-tasking - talking with grandma while he assembles the Pirates of the Caribbean mill.

It's fun celebrating the kids' birthdays and its fun giving them presents they enjoy.  We pray they entertain them for many months to come.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Family Birthday Parties

If you'll indulge me for a few posts, I'm going to tell about the myriads of parties that my kids have had in June.  And yes, we party straight for, like, 2 weeks.  It may be boring to my readers, but I like to record it all for my sake. 

So, yesterday I posted about David's "friend" party.  Today I'll show you what went down at the family parties.  Yes, I said parties, plural.  We have so much family that I didn't think our house would hold them all at once.  So we did my husband's side of the family one Saturday and my side of the family the next Saturday.  That makes for a lot of birthday cakes, but there are worse problems you could have.

So here's party #1:
 Julie got some clothes, several books to write stories in, 
American girl clothes (for the doll) and a Books-a-million gift card.
 Our nephew, Chase, just learning to walk.
 Guess what David asked for?  Legos and more legos.

Finally - the chance to play with all those Legos.

Party #2:
Party #2 was a party not just for Julie and David, but also for our nephew, Nathan, whose birthday is 6 days before Julie's.  He just turned 3.
 Taking turns opening gifts - Julie got several American Girl accessories, lots of spy gear (I'm amazed my mother found kid's spy gear, but she did), and an as-seen-on-tv organizer.
 You'll never guess what David got?  Yup, more Legos.  He also got a Lego board game, a Mater DVD and a cool wiggly sprinkler.
 Nathan with his wiggly sprinkler.  He's a little quiet with all these people around.
 A cake with 3 sets of candles to be blown out.
Nathan didn't quite get what was going on, so we relit his candles and let him blow them out all by himself.

We love spending time with our family so we had a lot of fun at the parties.  Oh, and we put together a LOT of Lego sets afterwards.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cars 2 at the Movies

Last week was all about reviews.  This week is all about birthdays and birthday parties.

Sunday we had David's "friend" party, as we like to call it.  (That differentiates it from the parties we have with only family.) 

Anyway, a year ago we saw that Cars 2 was coming out the day after David's birthday so we started planning his movie party right then.

Today it finally happened!

Cars 2!!  Wahoo!!

 Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of the cake.  Rest assured it had 2 cars on it - Mater and Finn McMissile, a new Cars 2 character.
 A big shout out to Juicy Juice.  As a member of the Juicy Juice Bunch, I was supplied with coupons for FREE Juicy Juice just to use at my kids' birthday parties.  Thanks!!
 Present time!!

David LOVES to hug!

After all that fun, we got to go hang out and watch Cars 2.  Each child was supplied with popcorn and a drink by the theater and Fun Dip by me.

So what did we think of the movie?  It was pretty good, but not as good as the first one.  There are 2 main story lines going on at once.  In one story line, there are spies and espionage and scary weapons. That story line seemed to confuse the children some.  They did understand the second storyline better.  That one was mainly about sticking by your friends no matter what.  

Other than that, there were cool missiles, flying cars and cars that turned into submarines.  There were new characters as well as old favorites.  This movie definitely had Mater as more of the main star than Lightning McQueen.  I really liked the underscoring themes, such as be yourself, even if you are a little different.

My recommendation is see this in the theater only if there is a big Cars fan in your family.  Otherwise, you're safe waiting until the DVD comes out.  

Just to note, we did NOT see the 3-D version of it.  I'd love to know if you saw it in 3-D and what you thought of the movie.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Make your own props for your American Girl Doll

Julie has always been very creative and imaginative.  She gets an idea in her head and runs with it.

So when she got a new idea book for her American Girl doll this week, we just had to take a trip to Hobby Lobby to get supplies.  For $25 we got supplies to make 11 projects.

Here is what she has made so far:

1) Lunch tray with lunch on it.

The tray is the lid to a plastic, Tupperware-like container.  She lined it with pink construction paper then added a blue tissue paper napkin, a sandwich and a milk carton.  The sandwich ingredients (bread, turkey and cheese) were all made from craft foam.  We got the sticky kind so it all sticks together easily without any glue.  The milk carton came with her idea book.  It was just a paper pattern that you cut out, fold and tape.

2) Pancakes - YUM!
 The pancakes, blue plate and butter were all made with craft foam.

3) Hand cast
 Poor Natalie seems to have broken her wrist.  Good thing we made a cast out of an old washcloth and some craft glue.  She should be as good as new in no time.  Unless of course Julie figures out how to make a leg cast...

4) Cup of hot chocolate

The little mug came from Dollywood (about $4).  The hot chocolate is a brown pom-pom.  The two little marshmallows are cotton ball pieces.

5)  Our crowning achievement - the piano and stool.

I can't take credit for all of this.  The directions were in the idea book, but I did fold it all up into a piano.  The hardest part was to find a 20"x20" piece of black paper.  Luckily, black posterboard is cheap and works well.  I followed the direction for folding the poster into a piano (I can post them if anyone is interested).  Then we taped on the row of piano keys that came with the idea book and the piano was done.

To make the stool, we bought a little paper mache round box and covered it with leftover black posterboard.

We bought supplies for Julie to make another 6 projects:  A birthday cake (made from another paper mache box), a campfire (cinnamon sticks with tissue paper), a board game (construction paper, foam, beads and buttons), hopscotch (construction paper, chalk, wadded papers, and pom-poms), balls (ping-pong balls colored with markers), and a wallet (made out of felt).

I'm so proud of her creativity.

She's had loads of fun making all this stuff.  And, heavens knows, it's tons cheaper than if we bought any of it at the American Girl store!

What about you?  Do you or your kids make homemade stuff for their dolls?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, Buddy

My baby is 6 today.  
 June 23, 2005 - so glad you didn't arrive on your sister's birthday.
6 lbs, 8 oz

 Turning 1

 Wild child at 2.  They started calling you Smiley for a good reason.

 3rd birthday.  You're loving sitting on grandpa's lap.

 Your Chuck E Cheese 4th birthday.  It was loads of fun.

 5 and still smiling.  Keep on smiling, buddy.  We love it!

6 years old.  
You're growing up so fast.  
I asked you to stay 4 forever...but you didn't. 
I asked you to stay 5...but that too is done.
Now you're 6 and ready for first grade.
[sigh] Can you stay 6?

I love you, buddy.
Happy Birthday!
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