This Week – 13 Year Blogiversary!

Highlights of the Week – I didn’t post about it, but the 7th was my 13th blogiversary! It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been sharing pieces of my life on this little slice of the universe for longer than I’ve been a mother. It boggles the mind. I’m SO, SO thankful for the many women (and men) I’ve met through book blogging over the years, some still blogging, some not, but we’re still in touch. I’m not always the most consistent blogger, but this always feels like home.

#booked365 is going strong. I’m 10 for 10 as you’ll see below. I’m feeling good about my chances of being successful in reading a book everyday, allowing for movies based on books when needed. I reading a book right now with the intention of watching the movie the next day and comparing them so you might hear about that next week.

#50in50 is going not as well 🙂 I’ve lost 8.2 pounds in the last month, so that’s good. I’m reading my Noom lessons and tracking my weight and meals, but my elephant sometimes overpowers my driver (noom analogy). I’ll get there. Still losing weight so that’s a good thing.

Low point of the Week – watching with my son the horror that we all saw unfold this week in our nation’s capital, a place I called home for 3 years. That’s all I’m going to say about it or I may not stop.

Books Finished

Disappearing Ink by Travis McDadeConversations with Rbg by Jeffrey RosenThe Brothers Kennedy by Kathleen KrullThe Stone Girl by Dirk WittenbornThe Falconer by Elaine Clark McCarthyWho Was Dr. Seuss? by Janet B. Pascal

Currently reading

Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Soc…
Integrative  Wellness Rules: A Simple G…Glory in Death (In Death, #2)Good Morning, Midnight


You can see how I felt about all of the books I read here. My #booked365 and #50by50 goals here.

On the TV

Jason and I watched the first season of Bridgerton.

Bridgerton Title Card.png

Well done!

Plans for the Weekend

Jason’s dad sent Gage some fancy rockets that he and Jason are building and we’re going to take them to a field and watch them fly 600 feet or more in the air. Maybe I can get some exercise by chasing them around after they land who knows where.

Have a great week everyone!

This Week – A New Year

I haven’t done one of these updates since August! Those first few months of homeschooling were so time-consuming. They still are, but now we’ve got a rhythm to our madness and a tutor (via Zoom) 4-5 hours a week, so we’re doing okay.

I’ve started the year with two personal goals and you can read about them here. Essentially, I’ll be finishing a book every day and losing 50 pounds by October. I’m thinking big 🙂 I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to blog about the books. Instagram is my daily update with my thoughts on the books so I hope you’ll follow me there. Here’s what I finished this week…

Title: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning, Author: Jason Reynolds
Title: You Are Not Alone: A Novel, Author: Greer Hendricks
Title: Who Was P. T. Barnum?, Author: Kirsten Anderson

I also did a 2020 wrap up of favorite books and movies. I’m trying to get around to everyone’s blogs this week to catch up with wrap up posts.

Last year I signed up for one reading challenge, Book’d Out’s Nonfiction Reader Challenge and I promptly failed to participate in any way 😦 So, we’re going to give that another go this year! We’ll see if I can have a better showing at the Nonfiction Nibbler level. That’s 6 books from her list of 12 categories. I got this 🙂

My Ohio State Buckeyes beat Clemson in the College Football Playoff and that was a fun evening 🙂 We also let Gage stay up til midnight on the 31st and bang some pots and pans on our deck when the ball dropped. It’s been cold, but we’ve been able to take some family nature walks and we’ve done some puzzles together which as been fun. Gage won our 2 and a half hour Monopoly game yesterday.

Oh, and we watched

Goosebumps 2 Haunted Halloween (2018) poster.jpg

I’m really hoping that this week we can put the election and all of the various shenanigan’s to rest and go back to being a model of adult behavior for our kids and the world.

This Week(s) – School has begun

Fave picIMG_E5658 We finished our first full week of homeschool and he still loves me.  I’ll take that as a win.

Highlights of the last few weeks…What a blur they have been!  We started homeschooling on Monday and it’s been an learning and stressful week for both of us.  He gets frustrated when I expect too much from him and I get frustrated because I’m not sure how much to push.

We had one morning that was a total bust with tears, but I put us both in time out and after lunch pulled out something I had saved for a rainy day.  We read The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon. We went online and learned about some of the things the Audubon society is doing for birds and nature today, bought a few things from their store in support, used the book How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit on a Plane to figure out how many birds it would take to fly off with Gage (about 960 hummingbirds or 6 eagles) and how many twigs are in their nests.  And then I gave him the Lego set I had up my sleeve of three different birds to build.  We both had a reset and he had a great two days after.  Sometimes you just have to go with it.

Also, homeschool related because that’s what’s going on right now, I signed him up for his first Outschool class on Zoom and he loved it!  It was about the Titanic and it was 55 minutes every night this past week.  On Friday they had to give a short presentation on the passenger they chose.  It was good for him and I’d like to do one a month.  They have hundreds of class offerings and they’re very affordable.

I had planned the first 30 days of homeschool, but after the first week have decided to drastically alter how we’re doing things, lol.  As part of  this redo Gage will be providing a review of a picture book we read every day in September.

Books we finished in homeschool the last two weeks…IMG_E5659 I’m so glad that he loved Bunnicula as much a I did. IMG_5611 Water Protectors was great.

Currently readingThe Stone Girl Dance Away with Me

Currently listening61 Hours (Jack Reacher, #14)

Reviews postedEvvie Drake Starts OverGone Tomorrow, This Blessed Mess (my favorite of this list), H is for Homicide.

On the TV…We watched the first season of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix and really liked it.

Movies watchedDa 5 Bloods poster.jpeg Watched this mainly because it had Chadwick Boseman in it. I’m so sad that he is gone so young.  The Kissing Booth 2 poster.jpg

Plans for the weekend…since I’m switching things up for homeschool I’m swamped with planning yet again.  Gage has two doctor’s appointments this week, one virtual, one in person.  That should be fun.

Stay well, my friends.






This Week – Swamped

Fave Pic JYKZ0180 (2)

The highlights  It’s been a few weeks.  I was swamped with reading and researching to prep for homeschool.  I’m excited to say that we’ve made it through our first two weeks with a shortened schedule.  The first week we worked 2-2 1/2 hours and this past week 3-3 1/2 hours and I feel pretty good about it.  This week we’ll shoot for 4-4 1/2 until we ‘officially’ start 4th grade next week with 5-5 1/2 hour days.  I keep meaning to start a post on the homeschool journey.  Maybe I can make that happen this week.

Last weekend I was a last minute participant in the Dewey’s Reverse 24 Hour Read-a-thon and made it around 19 hours.  I was able to get through a lot of the books I had checked out of the library to possibly use with Gage.

We went creek walking last week and to a local metro park this week.  Since we’ve so far skipped vacation this year Jason has taken the last few Fridays off for our outdoor adventures and that’s been really nice.

I’ve been doing my thing at the library and still selling for the Friends of the Library on our Facebook page.  I sent out a notice saying that I was willing to pick up donations (and store them in my garage since we can’t accept them at the library yet) and have had a great response.  One day this week I did 5 pick ups and 3 deliveries.  Two pickups were with old friends and it was nice to do a socially distanced outside catch up.

Books finished ERDT5832 I used these week 1 of school and loved Noah Webster & His Words best. IMG_5563 (4) This week we read through these and liked Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World the best.  Here are the 23 books I read during the read-a-thon IMG_5507 (2) the ones you can see were my favorites.

I also finished Book by John Agard Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child This Blessed Mess by Patricia H. LivingstonH Is for Homicide by Sue Grafton

Currently reading The Stone Girl

Currently listening 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, #14)

Reviews posted A Desperate Fortune A Desperate Fortune. Title: Tales From the Arabian Nights: Stories of Adventure, Magic, Love, and Betrayal, Author: Donna Jo Napoli Tales From the Arabian Nights. Title: They Called Us Enemy, Author: George TakeiThey Called Us Enemy.

On TV We finished season 2 of Hanna on Amazon Prime.

Movies Acts of violence.jpg Human trafficking in Cleveland 😦

Puzzles finished IMG_5528_Moment (2) For a 500 piece puzzle this took what seemed like FOREVER.

Plans for the weekend  Planning this week’s lesson plans while the boys go swimming at our friend’s pool.  Stay healthy everyone!


This Week – Some escape from the boredom

Fave pic IMG_5391 (2)

Highlights of the week  Gage did go swimming at our friend’s house last weekend for a few hours and Jason said the kids stayed socially distanced 80-90 % of the time, but that he had to keep reminding them.  I know he needed it, he did, but I hate making trade-offs.

We were able to have some time enjoying the outside.  Gage and I went to the closest Cleveland metropark, about five minutes away and enjoyed some time playing games, reading, drawing, and, yes, taking a walk.  I am at home among the trees.

Jason took the day off of work on Friday and we went to Headlands Beach (Lake Erie).  It’s the largest natural beach in Ohio, but somehow it was our first time there even though we’ve lived in Cleveland for 20 years.  It wasn’t crowded on a Friday morning and was very beautiful although the sand was rocky.  It’s less than 40 minutes from us so we’ll be back.

Our school district just announced that they’re going fully virtual for the first quarter.  I’ve been reading like crazy trying to get a handle on what homeschool will look like for us this year and I think it’s coming together.  I’ll be working on my lesson plans for August and September and ordering supplies this week and hopefully we’ll start next week.

I wrote about the authors I’ve been lucky enough to meet here.

Gage reviewed Megabat and Fancy Cat here.

I wrote a review of The Brave Learner here.

I posted my 5 word movie reviews that you can contribute to and earn money for charity here.

Books read Title: Home Learning Year by Year, Revised and Updated: How to Design a Creative and Comprehensive Homeschool Curriculum, Author: Rebecca Rupp Great resource. The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer Another great resource. The Homeschooling Book of Lists: Grades K-12 Dated.

Currently reading The Stone Girl It’s early but I like it so far!  This Blessed Mess: Finding Hope Amidst … Such a great morning devotional book for this crazy time.

Currently listening Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, #13)

On the TV We watched season one of Cursed which was okay cursed-katherine-langford-slice and The Old Guard that I liked better The Old Guard 2020 film poster.png , both on Netflix.

Plans for the weekend Lesson planning, pursuing some testing and tutors, and remaining calm 🙂  I had a little freak out at the beginning of the week about the enormity of taking over Gage’s education this year that was not helpful.  Wine helped, but getting plans to paper will help even more.

Anything fun planned for your Sunday?



This Week – The year that keeps on giving

Fave pic IMG_5312 (2) Gage, who in the past has not shown any preference for how his hair is cut or even what clothes he wears, has been adamant that we not cut his hair.  I think he had a haircut in January and my mom tricked him into trimming his bangs a few months ago.  I’m just so happy to see that he cares about it to let it go for now.  We were cuddling when I traded my pony tail for his. He was not impressed.  His hair, “likes to be free.”  lol

Highlights of the week  I sent my homeschool paperwork into the school district and now we just wait to hear if there’s anything else they need.  Each state is different, but in Ohio it’s just a letter of intent and an intended curriculum.  As a first timer who is not using an established online school, the curriculum was a little intimidating.  I’d like to do a post a week on our homeschooling journey so I’ll save the details for that.

Could’ve been better  Gage pointed out a bump in his groin area last weekend as as soon as I saw it I knew it was a hernia.  Jason had his a few years ago, but his was near his belly button.  So, the virtual visit with the pediatrician confirmed it and said to find  pediatric surgeon 😦   I found the one we wanted and we can’t get a consult until August 31st.  So, I’ll have to keep an eye on it because we may not be able to wait that long.

Books finished The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life Title: Megabat and Fancy Cat, Author: Anna Humphrey

Reviews posted Title: The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide When It's Right for Your Family, Author: L. Rivero review  Salvation Station review

Currently reading Title: Home Learning Year by Year, Revised and Updated: How to Design a Creative and Comprehensive Homeschool Curriculum, Author: Rebecca Rupp

Currently listening Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, #13)

In the mail  Title: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Author: Bryan Stevenson Title: Feels Like Falling, Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey

On the TV We finished up the Polish miniseries based on Harlan Coben’s book The Woods.

Plans for the weekend Some nature walks and we’re going to try Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails for the first time.  We’ve been playing the easier side, the Great Lakes, but the world side looks much more intimidating with additional rules.  We are headed to our friend’s home tomorrow.  They have a big pool and Gage needs some fun time with a friend, even if we are going to be sticklers about the social distancing.


This Week – Big Changes Ahead

Fave pic NXKA4411 (2) This was my library stack.  I also have an Amazon/BN stack.

Highlights of the week Gage went to the dentist and found out his last seven baby teeth are all loose and he lost one this week!  The highlight of the week was making the decision to homeschool Gage this year.  There are so many reasons for this, but, in truth, I’ve always wanted to try it and thought at one point or another we’d give it a go.  I’m excited and a bit terrified.  I’ve spent most of the week reading with so much more to be done.  The hardest thing was notifying Gage’s school, one that’s been our family’s safety net for the last four years, and then reading the sweet messages from the other moms of the class when I told them.  As I research, I’m trying to be as open as possible to all of the different theories and ways to homeschool.  I notify our school district tomorrow with all of the proper paperwork (and my curriculum, yikes!) and then it becomes real.  I’m finally going to put my education degree to the use for which it was intended!

Books finished Salvation StationCrime readers will like it, I did! Title: Evvie Drake Starts Over, Author: Linda Holmes loved it!  The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide… A good place to start.

Books reviewed Title: The Princess Plan, Author: Julia London review

Currently reading   This Blessed Mess: Finding Hope Amidst …  Ongoing morning devotional.  The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the …

Currently listening Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, #13) Reacher #13

On the TV We finished season 6 of Bosch and started the Netflix miniseries The Woods based on the Harlan Coben book.

Movies watched  Last night was our second monthly movie night.  We switched it up and everyone got to choose movies.  I made it through these three (the guys made it through one more and came to bed at 3 am!).

The Lego Movie 2 The Second Part theatrical poster.jpg Honey I blew up the kid film poster.jpg Independence day movieposter.jpg

Plans for the weekend Nothing but completing my curriculum today.  We’ve been invited to a few pools this last week and have decided to stay home for another week or so.  I’m feeling okay about that decision since one of the kids who also plays at one of the houses tested positive for covid this week.  Stay healthy friends.

This Week – Catching Up

Fave Pic PVGF5334 We went to a park last week and played Ticket to Ride New York before our nature walk.

Highlights of the past few weeks I took off last week for my mental health.  As  the COVID numbers rise and many of our friends going back to some semblance of business as usual, I’ve had to take a step back.  As adults who like spending time together the issue isn’t really about us, but Gage, nine, who has friends who are going to camp and playing together in their neighborhoods. Mask-free of course.  Trying to balance a childhood between social development and physical health is a challenge.  And we received the plan for his private school, either you’re all in or your 100% at home with live streaming of the classroom only.  I’m now considering other options.  Stressful decisions need to be made.

On the plus side, our library opened.  I used to spend hours there multiple times a week, but with local COVID numbers on the rise, I’ve decided to focus on a different way.  I go in, grab a few bags of books, bring them home and try to sell them on our FB page.  I go back to the library to put the holds for customers on the shelf and grab more books.  Keeps my exposure lower, but it involves more trips to the library.  I’ve also been filling our local Little Free Libraries with books from the library.

Gage had a bike play date with a friend this week with another one with a different friend planned tomorrow.  I think I enjoy the time with the moms maybe even more than he enjoys the biking.

Because the numbers in the area have been going up for weeks Jason has been working from home full-time again.  I admit that I like the arrangement.  He ordered himself new office furniture this week so I think he sees it as the new normal.  He also gave himself a haircut which frightens me.  He has a Zoom call with a new client on Monday so hopefully my mom can fix the damage.

Books finished A Desperate Fortune Kearsley was delightful, as always.  Title: The Princess Plan, Author: Julia London The audio was a nice diversion to the real world.

Books reviewed Title: Such a Fun Age, Author: Kiley Reid review, Title: The Ask and the Answer (Reissue with bonus short story) (Chaos Walking Series #2), Author: Patrick Ness review

Currently reading Salvation Station It’s intriguing so far.  This Blessed Mess: Finding Hope Amidst …  Back into my morning devotionals and this one is perfect for the time we’re living in.

Currently listening Title: Evvie Drake Starts Over, Author: Linda Holmes Fun!

Read to Gage Who Was Galileo? Jason and Gage love to talk about space, so I think Gage knew more about Galileo going into this book than I did!

On the TV We breezed through Bosch season 5 on Amazon Prime.   We started the second season of Hanna on Prime and watched a few more episodes of Dead To Me season 1 on Netflix

Movies watched Ready Player One (film).png I never got around to reading the book but we liked the movie.

June Movies post

Plans for the weekend  Our good friends finally have their pool ready and we’re probably going to go since it’s big and everyone can stay socially distanced and still have fun.

This Week – Nothing much going on here

Fave pic IMG_E4886 (2) We saw these babies twice on our walk last night and they let us get pretty close.  So, so cute.

Highlights of the week I sold a lot of books for the Friends of the Library.  I’ve been posting them on our FB page and making deliveries on Friday.  I had 7 stops yesterday and people bought anywhere from 3-20 books.  The deliveries are supposed to be contact-free but one mama sent her 5 year old running out with a check as I got ready to leave 😦 One person stiffed me $4 but another overpaid by $15.   Last weekend I had 6 people come over and shop the books in my garage.  I feel like I’m running a book business right now, but I’m not paying myself.

Books read Such a Fun Age We had our book club discussion on Thursday and none of us loved it.

Reading A Desperate Fortune Love this author and all of her books.

Listening The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding, #1) A nice diversion for the car or cleaning.

Posted Absolutely nothing.

Read to Gage The Moon Lady Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman It was fun to visit China, India, and Japan. After we read Rikki we watched some videos on real cobras and mongooses which was pretty cool.

Watching Bosch We made it through season 4 this week.

Plans for the weekend No big plans, but I think I’m going to try and convince my guys to make tomorrow Screen-free Sunday.  We’ve all become a little to connected to our chosen devices and a day off would be a good thing.   What are your plans?


This Week – Venturing Out

Fave Pic IMG_E4764 (1) Last weekend I went to the Botanical Garden to pick up supplies for Gage’s week of at-home camp and found that some of the participants in theParade the Circle decided to get together even though the popular event was cancelled.  There were more participants than this but aren’t they cool?  They put on a parade for the 40 people who just happened to be there.  I was lucky to be one of the few to have our own personal parade 🙂  This also counts for a highlight of the week.

Highlights of the Week  Gage had his first play date – outside at the school parking lot riding bikes.  I shopped at a store other than a grocery store the first time since February.  I needed a Father’s Day gift and Tuesday Morning was having a going out of business sale.  Everyone but one person was wearing a mask so that was good.  I had a fellow Friends of the Library member come over to go over some plans.  We sat on our patio about 10 feet apart.  Baby steps and it’s pretty much all I’m comfortable with right now.  It  was nice to get back to some sense of normalcy.

Finished reading Flawed

Currently reading A Desperate Fortune

Currently listening Such a Fun Age

Reviews posted Flawed Flawed Title: Long Time Coming, Author: Sandra Brown Long Time Coming

In the mail After I saw this on Instagram I mentioned to Jason that if he ever needed a gift idea for me this was it.  This week he surprised me with it.  I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to have a Keanu coloring book 🙂

Movies watched E t the extra terrestrial ver3.jpg Honey I Shrunk the kids.jpg Wizard of oz movie poster.jpg  Last Saturday night we started our first family movie night.  We started at 8pm and Gage could stay up as long as he could stay awake.  You can see we chose come classics this first time.  He made it through all three beating Jason and me.  He went to bed at 1:30am and wants to do it every weekend, lol.  We’ve decided to make it a monthly thing.

Watching We started season 4 of Bosch on Amazon Prime and did watch the pilot of Dead to Me.  I’m interested in watching more, do any of you watch it?