Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Book Club

I read on another blog that the average adult has read only 6 out of 100 of the following books! (I don't know if those stats are true, but I guess it doesn't matter). I've bolded the books I have read.
1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (loved the movie, too, every time I see it!)
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible (the majority of it)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (liked it better when I taught it in HS vs. reading it in high school.)
11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete work of Shakespere (pretty much gonna happen as an English major)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (taught this one too, and yes, lots of bad language.)
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (stick with Disney; but I did learn more about the word "caucus")
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (tried it because Oprah recommended it. Big mistake.)
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (Thanks Mrs. Braeggar; 3rd grade)
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Loved it.)
37. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
38. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (Loved it; hated the ending, though)
39. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
40. Animal Farm - George Orwell
41. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
42. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (one of my fave college books)
43. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (started it)
44. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
45. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
46. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
47. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
48. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (taught it)
49. Atonement - Ian McEwan (on my list)
50. Life of Pi - Yann Martel (on my list on on my bookshelf)
51. Dune - Frank Herbert
52. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
53. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
54. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
55. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
56. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
57. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
59. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
60. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
61. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
62. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
63. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
64. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
65. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
66. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
67. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fiedling
68. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdi
69. Moby Dick - Herman Melville (Call me Ishmael. PUKE!)
70. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
71. Dracula - Bram Stoker
72. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
73. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
74. Ulysses - James Joyce
75. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
76. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
77. Germinal - Emile Zola
78. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
79. Possession - AS Byatt
80. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
81. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
82. The Color Purple - Alice Walker (read it in HS and loved it so much I took it to church to read during sacrament meeting; kinda innappropriate!)
83. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
84. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
85. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
86. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
87. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
89. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
90. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
91. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
92. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
93. Watership Down - Richard Adams
94. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
95. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
96. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
98. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
99. Night - Elie Wiesel
100. Twilight series - Stephanie Myers

The last 2 were missing, so I added two I could get credit for. I got 32. How many did you get? What are your reviews?

Some other books I've read that I'd reccommend:
The Color of Water - James McBride
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
Oh My Stars - Lorna Landvik
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck
Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

Books I'm working on:
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
The Sex Lives of Cannibals - J. Maarten Troust
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis

Vacation Chronicles III

Have you ever been to Fish Lake, Utah? It's pretty amazing. Our good friends, Derek and Sherry Stewart, invited us on their family trip this year and we had a blast. I am sure escaping the really hot Vegas temps helped with my excitement. I really do like camping, even though camping with my kids is a lot of work. I told Tyler that's probably why I like girls' camp so much (camping sans little kids.) We left Wednesday afternoon and the kids did pretty well on the drive MINUS the "I have to go potty" meltdown that Caylee had shortly after leaving Cedar City (where she went potty. Why do kids do that?) Anyhow, here we are filling up our water when we got to Fish Lake before going to our campground:

Derek had a vision of a trailer circle of love and when he discovered our door was on the wrong side, he hooked up his rhino, flipped us around, and pulled us up into our spot.

All the kids did really well and loved playing and exploring. There was a little store not to far away and they ALL took a few trips each day to spend a dollar on some candy or goodies. Sherry's sister and her family were there as were Derek's parents and his brother and sister and their families. There were lots of kids to run around with and they all got plenty dirty climbing around and hiking in the hills behind our camp.

The happy hosts:

On Thursday the kids played and fished and played Go Fish.

Let me just give a shout out for Tyler being Super Dad. Really, he's a great help with the kids and spends time with them doing whatever makes them happy. Derek rented a "party boat" and it was party time. Caylee lasted an hour, but the other three stayed the distance for some good results:

Brock was plum tuckered!

Which meant nap time when they got back. I loved this time because I actually got to scrapbook in my trailer while the boys slept. I wasn't chasing or referreeing or anything but what I wanted to be doing. I kinda love those selfish minutes.

Sherry and I got matching shirts courtesy of Tyler and Derek's last fishing trip. Ever see a photo of yourself and think, "Ew gross I have got to lose weight?" Yeah, this would be one of those. But, the SAGE bling looks good nonetheless (if you're in to advertising for your husband's fly-fishing brand.)

Doesn't this remind you of the picture with Brock and the Layton's dog in Huntsville? This poor kid needs a dog . . . but he has a baby brother instead. LUCKY!

Friday was a great day, too. The kids went fishing again in the morning and the girls had a little beauty shop going on. We played some games and then boo-yeah we got us a major thunder storm with the works. Yeah, the works would be lightening, thunder, and even hail! Tyler took the little boys to LOA, UT (seriously, it stands for Love One Another) and they missed the big storm, but we were really happy because being cooped up in the trailers was hard enough for the girls. Plus Derek caught this fatty:

Tyler was one of the cooks and YUMMY.

Oh, and have I mentioned we're potty trained. Not that I'll toot the "No accidents" horn, but we're doing okay as long as we ask him if he needs to go. When he had an accident right before we left, Tyler cut his undies off and trashed them. You gotta love kid #4. With #1 I would have scrubbed them clean.

The boys watching a movie during the storm.

Our circle of trailer love during breakfast:

One day I'm going to do a scrapbook page about how many pictures I have of this:

Beautiful Fish Lake, Utah

Love these boys!

This is meltdown 496 of Caylee's for the weekend. This one was caused by not having any more clean shorts and not wanting to wear her pants. Whatever. I took a series of these photos, which one day I'll mail to her when she complains to me about her 6 year old drama queen.

Ahhhh Nature.

And, finally, there is nothing that slams me back to reality than this:

That's right! Who'd ever thought we'd be paying this much for gas. And yes, these jaunts to Utah to make memories and escape the heat have been costing us diesel prices. Oh yeah, baby. Check out the truck stop in Cedar (it was actually only $4.48/gal, SUCH a steal of a deal.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation Chronicles II

Okay, so obviously I'm not THAT on the ball. But lest I leave the rest of you in suspense about how the rest of our Utah week went, I wanted to post a couple more pictures. To read more about our trip, you should check out my sis' blog, cuz she's pretty fabulous and recorded it all really well. You'll have to scroll down a bit since she blogs a little more frequently than I do.
Thursday we headed up to Huntsville, UT to stay with my SIL's amazing family. Seriously, there are very few people I know that wouldn't run away screaming from 2 moms with 9 kids in tow, but the Layton clan took it in pretty good stride. *Side story* When we were driving on the freeway, Caylee's door WHICH SHE WAS LEANING ON totally came open. Talk about a panic moment. And no, not totally swing open, thankfully, but all of a sudden the door ajar light came on and we could totally hear the outside noise of driving 70 mph. So I quickly had her move from the door and have Kenzie climb over Briggs' car seat to together pull the door shut. Crazy, huh. Anyway, I digress. Here are some of the things I love about Huntsville and the experiences we had up there:
*green grass, lots and lots of green grass * pets * decks * cool weather * horse rides with Kaylee * popsicles on the deck * cooler full of drinks * Briggs finally pooped (hey, that was a celebration for me, even if he blew out onto his car seat) * washing machine access * colorful flowers * balloons * basement preschool * basement lodging at Aunt Kathy's * train museums with no other patrons there so our kids could run around like banshees! * 2 more adults so we didn't lose any banshees * Ogden Shopko * beautiful backyards with swimming pools, play structures, GRASS, foliage AND a slide (yeah, pretty fabulous of the other Aunt Kathy!) * town convenience stores with icees * an afternoon where Brock AND Brooklyn both napped in a basement and Erin and I could veg and watch TV whilst the other kids played in Aunt Kathy's backyard and/or amazing toy room * small valley grocery stores where Erin gets hit on by drinking fishermen * movie night on the lawn complete with popcorn (thanks Rod, Teresa, and Cody!)

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Pretty much Huntsville is a heaven on earth (in the summer) and I, again, have to thank the Laytons for such hospitality. Grandma Layton even said we could come up again (she has no idea what she has gotten herself in to!) Thanks, too, for Nate and Stac letting us hone in on the last bits of their vacation. Playing Boggle probably didn't make up for all the chaos, but I really enjoyed it up there and know my kids made tons of memories the couple days we were up there. We love you guys!

On Saturday, on our way back to Provo, we decided to spend the day at temple square with our kids. It was a "hot mess," and Erin and I had a bit of a full circle moment that I'll have to blog about later, but we survived and managed A) a tour of the conference center B) a walk on the temple grounds C) lunch at the ZCMI center D) the art and history museum's "I am a child of God" exhibit and E) two visitors' centers.

(Yes, I know, could Brock BE any more happy?)

When we were waiting for the second Christus presentation (the first was in Spanish), Brevin leaned over to me and said, "Mom, see that Jesus? He makes me feel really good inside right now." SOO, maybe it was all worth it to schlep them through the experience.

We headed back to Provo for one more night at the condo where I actually ended up getting all the week's laundry done. Can I just say how great that was to have it done when we got home? Spending time with Erin and Jennie was a real treat to my soul. Thanks, again, to Erin and her HUGE sacrifice of squeezing me and my kiddos into her trip. I love ya, sis! Upon reflection on the ride home, I decided I needed that trip. It was enough spontaneity to be exciting and fun, they had great ideas of things to do, and my kids LOVED being with their cousins doing fun stuff. As we drove back into the 100+ temps in Vegas I was already dreading real life. I looked forward to my husband and my own bed (er, in my own bed . . . either way), but school and running around and all the other normal craziness wasn't so exciting. The good news was we were headed back to Utah on the following Wednesday for a camping trip to Fish Lake, Utah. And oh, yes, the Vacation Chronicles III will be up next. As soon as I can download my pics.