What's On Your Nightstand

It is the last Tuesday of the month and Jennifer at 5 minutes for books is hosting "What's On Your nightstand"

Currently on my bedside stand

You Can't Hide by Karen Rose
The Exile and The Machiavelli Covenant by Allan Folsom
Trashed by Alison Gaylin
Left to Die by Lisa Jackson
Always Time to Die and Die in Plain Site by Elizabeth Lowell - Another one of my favorite authors
Dead Silence by Brenda Novak
The Millionaires and The Zero Game by Brad Meltzer
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

The pile generally stays about the same size because I am constantly buying books. We have a used book store in the same shopping center as our business, so you can imagine where I spend my breaks. Plus I have Amazon Prime and get my books in two days. I have discovered several authors this year that I like including not only Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell and Karen Rose, but Suzanne Brockmann, Roxanne St. Claire, and Linda Howard. I go through periods of reading only one or two genres. A few years back it was only science fiction and fantasy, then just christian novels by writers such as Bodie Thoene and Dee Henderson. Now it's mysteries and thrillers with a bit of romance thrown in. Our bookshelves are overflowing and my husband is questioning my sanity. I've been a bibliophile all my life and hope that someday when we get that bigger house, to have a huge room for our "library".

Happy Reading

My Education

I got an A!

Just finished my college math course and earned an A. Yeehaw! My GPA with Excelsior is 3.75 which is awesome for me. I've always been a middle of the road C student which accounts for my overall GPA of 2.66. But let's just ignore that overall one for now - shall we!

I am currently working on completing my Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts through Excelsior College (accredited online university) I started back at the beginning of 2007 and have 6 lower level credits and 12 upper level credits left to do. I have been taking one class a semester because that is all I can handle with everything else.

I just signed up for a required 1 credit course - Information literacy which basically gives an overview of information literacy concepts. It's easy peasy and then I'll sign up for my next big class in November. Right now I'm contemplating whether to take English 340 Short Stories or English 365 Nobel Literature for one of my upper division courses or take a lower division course Art 102 History of Western Art or Hist 240 History and philosophy of American Education.

Decisions, decisions. Right now I'm leaning towards the Art class.

Weekly Report # 1 - What we are doing for 3rd Grade

What we are doing for 3rd grade.

We finished 2nd grade in June and decided to make a few changes for 3rd grade. We officially started 3rd grade this week with a full schedule. During the summer, we concentrated on math and handwriting only.

English: Voyages in English Writing and Grammar by Loyola Press.

Last year it was a toss up between Rod and Staff and VIE. I purchased both Rod and Staff 2nd and 3rd grade and reviewed both. At the time wanted to get Voyages in English but since couldn't get the teachers guide, forgot about it. Decided to start with the 2nd grade R & S because it seemed to segue easily from first language lessons. It turned out to be too easy and didn't hold James interest. Plus we already were concentrating heavily on devotions and the religious aspect of the program was just too much. I was able to get the VIE student book and practice book without the teachers guide and so far like what I see.

Spelling: Spelling Workout C

For 2nd grade we again switched from swo to Rod and Staff which was just way too easy and didn't hold James attention.

READING: Lots of books

We are currently reading through the Junior Novelization of the Star Wars Series. Also will be reading history and science books, continue with beyond five in a row and whatever else comes up.

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears Cursive

We started the cursive writing back in July after finishing 2nd grade. James is doing excellent and has learned to use the correct pencil grip finally.

Writing: Writing Strands

We started Level 3 and I like it so far. I can see how it will be very beneficial. I attempted to have Father co-teach it but his engineer's mind had difficulty with it and rebelled. The instructions made perfect sense to me, but not to Father. So I will be guiding James through it.

MATH: Addition and Subtraction

By jove, I think he's got it. Addition is finally clicking for James, but we all seem to have trouble with the formal programs. Right now we are using Kumon's My book of Addition and My book of subtraction workbooks.

HISTORY: Story of the world 2

We got about halfway through SOTW 2 and will continue until done. We aren't doing any of the extra activity stuff. We will read from the book and extra go along books that seem interesting.

Science: Chemistry

We are reading through DK Eyewitness Books "Chemistry" and "Great Scientists", plus reading "the Periodic Table: Elements with Style" by Adrian dingle and Simon Basher and "The Mystery of the Periodic Table" By Benjamin Wilcer.

Religion: Mixture of several things

Besides reading the bible, will mix in some activities from "contenders of the faith" and other books.

I doubt we are going to do any formal foreign language studies, art or music. We will, however, go off on side trips studying whatever James is interested in. Right now, his interests are anything Star Wars and Legos. We have several Lego projects to do and should keep us pretty busy. We have decided to ban tv and play computer time during the week, because they have become a huge distraction for all of us. As always, the schedule or curriculum will be adjusted as time goes on.

Thank you Thursday

"WOW, It's a Godzilla Shirt. Just what I always wanted!

James was quite excited to receive a Godzilla shirt in the mail from his Uncle M and Auntie G. They went to the science fiction museum in Seattle, Washington and thought of him when they saw this shirt. How neat is that!

Happy Birthday Father

Happy 49th Birthday to Father

Today we celebrated Father's 49th Birthday. I cooked a roast beef with yorkshire pudding. Father usually makes the yorkshire pudding whenever we have roast but I wanted to make it myself this time. I found the recipe in my William Sonoma Roasting cook book - part of the collections series Father gave me several years ago. Right after I put the beast in the oven, I premade the pudding batter and put it into the refrigerator as per instructions. Father has always made a big production of making the batter right before he cooks it and makes a big mess. The only way to cook right! Make a big mess in the process.

Sh - don't let him hear me say that or he won't cook for me anymore. I won't complain - I won't complain. Anyhow I premade the batter. All I had to do when the roast was done was remove the roast from the pan and put it aside, covered of course, to let it rest. Then pour the batter into the nice hot pan with all the beef juice, turn up the heat to 450 and let it cook for 20 minutes. Both roast and yorkshire turned out delicious.

Father received several books from James and I

He really enjoys nonfiction books, especially about war, scientific theory and of course, the Beatles. "Physics of the impossible" is a book I came across at Borders which is, as stated on the book "a Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation and Time Travel. "Call of Duty: my life before, during and after the band of brothers" by Buck Compton and "Hell Hawks: the untold story of the american fliers who savaged Hitler's Wehrmacht". Of course, as he reads these books, he will have to share every tidbit and tell me all about it because it is all so fascinating.

Father also received a very generous cheek from my parents and a couple of shirts from his father.

But the ultimate gift arrived finally during dinner. UPS delivering late, as usual. But at least it got here.

What could it be?

A blast from the past and all time favorite


Yep, my hubby was quite thrilled to receive an original Lava Brand Lava Lamp. He is always talking about having a retro room when we finally get a bigger house with all 1950's and 60's stuff. Father had a quite enjoyable birthday and was pleased with all his gifts.

Kittens, Kittens everywhere

Two babies have found a new home

Brother M (new name - Melvin) and Sister Sweetie (new name - Leoa) have found a new home with Cousin L, Auntie A, and Uncle B. They came over last weekend to pick up Leoa and ended up falling in love with Melvin as well.

We are keeping the three stooges

Gracie, Herbie and Melvin

They love their momma

Who still lets them nurse about once a day

They are 11 weeks old as of Monday and all are adorable, rambunctious, precocious, curious and affectionate. They follow us around everywhere or try to at least. Now if I can just train them to stay off the dining table and the speakers.

Our 11th Wedding Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to Us!

We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary today. Father, James and I went out to dinner at the Pilot House restaurant on the Delta King docked in Old Sacramento. I enjoyed a filet mignon with garlic potatoes, Father had rack of lamb and James had a burger. Father and I shared a piece of cappuccino cheesecake which was absolutely yummy. James decided he would have some nestle crunch when we got home. We wandering down the pier watching the boats as they went up and down the river. Then we came home and Father opened his present. The 11th anniversary is supposed to be steel so I purchased an elegant champagne ice bucket to replace his old one. Father didn't quite finish working on my gift - dremeling a piece of steel into the shape of a heart. He gets quite inventive when it comes to anniversary gifts. He will finish it today and I'll have to figure out how to display it.

Kittens, Kittens and more Kittens

5 kittens sitting in a chair

Sweetie gets annoyed

The boys play it cool

The girls team up

Until Gracie steals the limelight

Are they not adorable. The kittens are now 7 weeks old and we are ready to send some off to new homes. We will be keeping two of the boys - Herbie and Melvin. James cousin gets first pick of the girls - sweetie or gracie, then we start calling all those folks who are just waiting with baited breath for one of our sweet, affectionate darlings! I say this after being woken up at 6:30 and having my ankles attacked in a good morning frenzy while trying to make breakfast.