"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Year of Monkeys

Every month starting with 3 days and ending with 12 months.

Every Friday (and every month on the 17th- the day he was born) starting with 3 days.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Favorite Season

Fall and spring are probably my favorite seasons now that I'm not living in season-less southern California.  And if it wasn't for the dread of the oncoming winter, I'd probably say fall wins.  But I have such a hard time enjoying fall because there's nothing to look forward to.  Well... there's Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, soup season, etc.  But cold.  All of it cold.  At least in the spring I can look forward to a relaxing summer and try to forget how horribly hot it will be and how we won't be able to do any outdoor activities due to heat, humidity and mosquitoes.  So... even though the temperature is dropping, I'm not as happy about it as I wish I was because I know the temperature is just going to keep dropping ... and then the snow will fall.  Bleh.

What's your favorite season?  Least favorite season?

Monday, September 16, 2013


While my reading has been suffering this year, it hasn't been as bad as the list on my sidebar had been suggesting. Due to my laziness about updates, it's been stuck at 3 books read in 2013 when in actuality, I'm up to 31.  I just added the past 28 books I've read this year in case you are actually paying attention.

Favorites among them:

Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale
Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity
Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (lots of swearing!)
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo (lots of swearing!)
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Colors for Zena

Since I've mentioned a few of her books on the blog (here and here), I was contacted by Monica Wellington to see if I'd be interested in a copy of her new book to review.  It actually arrived in Ohio before we did!  If you are a regular, you know I love books.  You also know I have kids, love kids' books, and I homeschool our kids.

Ms. Wellington's other books that I am most familiar with involve food.  The focus of this one is colors as a little girl, Zena, goes on a walk and both discovers colors and new friends and creates new colors.

I love the book Dog's Colorful Day (mentioned in this birthday part post)Colors for Zena has a similar feel to it but starring a girl, and targeting a little older of an audience with the introduction of not just colors, but also the colors that can be created when you mix two other colors together. 

I love the artwork.  I tend to be attracted to picture books with much simpler artistic renderings.  I also love Wellington's use of colors.  The book starts in almost all black, white and gray and as she encounters a new color (example: yellow) that page is filled with yellow scenes.  Turning the page you meet red.  And even some polka dots on Zena's outfit (and dog!) change to the new color.  By the end of the book her outfit and dog are covered in polka dots of all the colors and she's created a colorful painting with her new friends: an orange lion, a green frog, and a purple dragon.  And at the very end, after the story has ended, there's a brief explanation and drawing of a color wheel, and some suggested activities that can be done with color.

A very cute book that any young child (or book loving adult) would enjoy to visit over and over again.  You can find it here and read more about it on Ms. Wellington's blog here.  Now that I've looked over some of the other books she's written, I think I'll be checking those out as well. 

Mumford and Sons

I'm adding to my concerts list.

We arrived in Ohio Friday night, August 23.  We have a rather long drive to church (just under half an hour) and we drive through Troy, Ohio.  Princess Sparkley pointed out that there was a banner/sign that said welcome Mumford and Sons.  So when we got home, we looked into it.  Troy, Ohio was one of 4 (I think) small towns chosen to host them as part of a two day summer tour called Gentlemen of the Road.  The town expected 35,000 people which more than doubled the population of Troy.  We didn't bother with tickets but figured since the concert was at the high school football stadium we could find somewhere nearby to listen.  And we did.  It was awesome.  We just couldn't see them.

Saturday, September 07, 2013


In Ohio, we live just outside the city limit of a town of 25,000.  It's actually a really cool small town.  The downtown area is filled with still functioning shops and businesses, unlike a lot of small town America we've driven through. There are all sorts of events, festivals, etc.  The big city for our area is less than 30 minutes away.  I don't have a Target in town (it's about 15 minutes away) but I do have a Walmart.  And a Sonic.  And a Jimmy Johns. 

Today we drove a few cities away to an apple festival and had two of the yummiest things ever.

1) Homemade by the Amish pecan pie.  I'm already making plans to frequent this city's farmer's market each Friday in hopes that this same Amish seller will be there again.  And I don't even like pecan pie.  I only like my brother-in-law's mom's recipe.  Jed's been buying pecan pies from grocery stores for years and I'm never even tempted by them and I have an unbelievably large sweet tooth.  This pie... Mmmmm.  Plus a cute Amish baby in little overalls.

2) Bottled root beer from a small business that frequents festivals like this.  It's called Fent's and it's based out of Springfield, OH.  There's just something about drinking root beer out of a bottle.  Reminds me of college and Henry Weinhard's root beer.  Mmmm.
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