Fifty Shades – My Take

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read this book yet and are planning to, you may not want to read this.

Just last night I finished reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”, the currently popular novel by E.L. James. I only heard of it recently on one of my favorite mommy blogs, and from the discussions in the comments, I had mistakenly thought they were discussing a sex manual. So I was rather shocked last monday when my husband bought it and said he was going to read it. He said his sister had recommended it. Ha. That should have been a tip off. Well, he gave up on the book about halfway through – too much detail in the sex department. He doesn’t like reading stuff like that. I finally picked it up friday night and completed it by saturday night.

Now, I normally don’t go for those types of novels. I much prefer mystery and sci-fi, and will still read Hardy Boys and Sherlock Holmes if I can get my hands on them. But of course, this held my interest, and not how you would think. Yes, the sex parts were interesting, discriptive, informative, if a bit far-fetched. I mean, how many men can come twice in a row?  What kept me going was this: I wanted to hear more about his past and why the hell he doesn’t want to be touched. What happened to him to make him not want to be touched? That mystery part kept my going and maybe I will just have to get the next two books to find out.

I liked the description of Anastasia’s conscience throughout. All the ways she would react and what she was up to. I also like how she never signed that freaky contract. Hot guy or not, I would not have stuck around with something like that shoved at me. No way! I was proud of her for not giving in to it in the end. She truly believed Christian was capable of more, of love, even though he’s scared of it for whatever reason. Men aren’t typically thought of as moody, but boy, this guy had more mood swings than I’ve ever had. I still don’t know how Anastaisia stuck it out as long as she did.

One thing I did like about him was how honest he was about what he wanted. He was clear on it. Most men aren’t and could take that tip from him. I personally don’t subscribe to his odd sexual taste and would never be keen on being tied up, whipped, spanked, or any of that, but the talking – I’d love for my husband to do that more. He’s more the wake-me-in-the-night-in-and-out type.

I also liked Anastasia’s mother’s explanation about men and how they usually mean what they say – they aren’t trying to be cryptic like women usually are. It’s true that we do analize what our men say and often read into it meanings that aren’t there. I’ve done it. Gotta remember this for next time my husband gets into a rare talking mood.

 Just had a peek at what my husband is up to since he is never up before 9 on Sunday and it is only 6:50. He’s reading the book!!! Ha! I suppose his curiosity has gotten the better of him and he has to finish it. Anyway, a few questions.

Did I like the book? Yes, I have to say that I did, though I would have preferred less sex and more action. I suppose the only reason his secret about not wanting to be touched is not revealed is so that you will read the next book.

How would I rate it as far as romance novels go? I’d probably give it an eight. It is definitly well written, much better than those ones that are all just steamy sex but no story. It has body and the writer knows her stuff.

Would I read it again? Probably not, mainly because I tend to remember books quite well and only reread ones that I love. This didn’t make the “love” list.

So there you have my little summary of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Tell me, have you read it? What are your thoughts on it?

Logan Can Read!

I recently (beginning of May) started Logan and Lila on the ever-popular Ladybird Readers.
Logan had never shown much interest in learning to read before, though I tried various methods with both of them. I eventually dropped it and waited a year or so before I bought the first 3 books.
From the beginning, Logan picked it up rapidly, remembering the words with ease and picking up new ones with no problem. I’m shocked at how fast he has learned to read these books! He has completed 1a and 1b and is working on reading 2a and I’m helping him with the writing assignments in 1c. He can’t yet write on his own but he did learn to write the alphabet with help in school last year, so I figure the extra practice can’t hurt.
Lila is going slower. She is still learning the words for 1a and doesn’t quite have them down yet. She has tried reading the book but so far has only succeeded in memorizing what is on the pages and doesn’t actually recognize more than 5 words, so when I would try a new page with the same words, she couldn’t read them. But 5 words is something and I’m sure she’ll have the rest of them down soon.

This series mainly depends on sight reading and doesn’t seem to have much on phonics (though I think Ladybird does have phonics readers), so to balance it out, I am using this phonics website which they all love. Logan is on the readers and Lila is working through the alphabet. Scarlett likes to join us and last time she was repeating all the sounds as she heard them. She may be my earliest reader if this continues.

Which reminds me, I’d better do some with them right now.

Books for Moms

If you are a reader like me, than you know the delight a new book can bring. Finding time to read a whole book, however, is not so easy. No matter what, it seems interruptions happen just as soon as I sit to do something for myself. (I’m surprised not one of my kids has bothered me since I started this post.)

I don’t get a lot of time to read, but when I do, I enjoy the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and especially their books for moms. They are easy to read as they are full of short stories, so you don’t have to read the book through, nor do you have to start at the beginning. There are stories from mothers who come from all walks of life, and who have been through all sorts of situations. Some are famous, most are not, but all share their story from their heart and bring to life the true meaning of motherhood. Here are a few of my favorites.

Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul – This was the first book of the series I ever bought and it has become a special favorite. I got it when my first two kids were just toddlers and I have read it through several times. It will make you laugh and cry. If you have preschoolers or soon-to-be preschoolers, I highly recommend this one.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms – This book comes from the perspective of stay-at-home and work-from-home moms. Since I am a SAHM, I found a lot in this book that made me think about how I can empower my life and be more than just “mom”. My favorite section is about mothers who became entrepreneurs and started their own from-home businesses, all the while managing home and family.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: On Being a Parent – Like the title says, it is on parenthood and is great for both mothers and fathers. I read this one and the previous one when I was in the hospital after my last delivery. Some of the stories are so funny that I had to skip them as laughing made my stitches hurt.

I recently bought a new book called Life Lessons for Busy Moms and as soon as I have a chance to read it, I’ll talk about it here. It is by the same authors for the Chicken Soup books so I’m sure it will be just as good.

While I have only bought books on motherhood up until now, my desire would be to have every book in the series, but I think I would need an extra large library for that as there are hundreds of them.

Do you enjoy reading? What is your favorite book or series? Who is your favorite author?


I’m tired, but want to write something real quick. I got Scarlett’s ears pierced yesterday. I had wanted to get it done for some time but had waited since she had cradle cap that extended to her ears. That has been gone, but the next problem was finding a place to do that wasn’t trying to overcharge me. I had gotten Lila’s done for a decent price but around here they wanted to charge me three times as much as I had paid for Lila.

So yesterday I had to go out to pick up a Bible for one of Glad’s friends. I remembered that near that shop was the place I had gotten Lila’s ears done, so I stopped in there first. Poor Scarlett was already tired and ready to nap and had no idea what to expect, so of course she cried her “that hurt” cry. Almost made me cry, but I had to stay upbeat for Lila who was sitting there watching the whole thing. I gave her lots of cuddles and she got over it quickly, then fell asleep soon afterwards.

Also, when getting the needed Bible, I found one for the children, “The Beginners Bible”. It has pictures on every page and the stories are just at their level. Just what I needed.

So now we are reading through it and Logan and Lila are happy for a new book and I am happy to read them something they don’t have so memorized that they quote it while I read it (like the Winnie the Pooh books, can’t stand them anymore).

"Weed, Mommy, weed? Weed?"

No, this is not a post about gardening. That is something I know nothing about. Any plant I’ve ever tried to care for has died in a short time, usually because I forget to water it.
The title is actually the way Logan asks me to read to him, and I hear this request many times a day (and yes, he does repeat it over and over until I answer him). Of course I can’t stop everything every time he asks me but I try to read to him at least once a day, usually before bed, but sometimes also in the morning.
I’m happy that he has a love for books and being read to. I’ve tried to collect good children’s books that he will want to read over and over. A few months ago I took the kids to a nearby bookstore (now closed, 😦 ) and we spent about 2 hours pouring over the books. Ok, I looked at the books and they played with them. I’m very particular about what I let my kids look at so it took me some time to come up with something I liked, and that wasn’t too expensive. Most kids books that fall in the cardboard book category are very expensive for the small amount of pages they contain. But I finally found 3 that day and I will show them to you. You’ll have to excuse the size of some of them. I couldn’t find a good size picture of some of them online.

This first book is one I had bought for Logan when he was a baby. He loved it so much and always wanted to see the puppy on the first page. When he was a toddler he completely ruined the book by bending it backwards and pulling the pages apart. In the end I had to throw it out but I did so sadly as he loved it so much. When I found it again he had no interest in it but Lila did, so I bought it for her. It is small, the perfect size book for baby hands to hold, and she loves the pictures of baby animals.

This book I couldn’t put down once I picked it up. The artwork is the most adorable, kid-friendly art I’ve seen in a book in a long time. The whole thing is about baby animals and the sounds they make. When we read it, Logan fills in the sounds for each one. He is quite good at it.
In searching for this picture, I found that this artist has done many other equally adorable books for kids and I hope to find some.

Crazy Caterpillars – Logan calls them “cadopiyas”. I bought this book because it brought back memories of when I was teaching and it was in my classroom. Logan has it memorized and can fill in any word when I pause. The story is about caterpillars turning into butterflies and is written in poem form. A cute, fun, glittery book.

Another book series I’ve always loved is the Golden Books. Not so many are available here, but I try to get my hands on some of the older ones when I can. These two I’ve had for a few years now. I bought them both in separtate shops, the only copies available, and a miracle that I found them as I’ve never seen them again. “My Little Golden Book About God” talks about God and all He does for us. “Prayers for Children” contains poem prayers that are easy for children to learn. We like to read this one a lot, especially before bed.

And now that Logan has all these books memorized, it is time for me to find some new ones. A trip to the book store is in order.

I Love to Read

I like reading, no actually, I love reading. I will read anything I can get my hands on…as long as I find it interesting. If it doesn’t grab me in the first 2 or 3 pages, then I don’t read it.

I learned how to read at the early age of 1 1/2. (So says my mom; I don’t remember it.) Since then reading has been my favorite passtime. I love books, bookstores, libraries, and more recently, blogs. I am always on the lookout for new blogs to follow. Every so often I will check out links on other peoples blogs to see if they are for me. Usually this keeps me up late but I don’t mind. The kids are sleeping and I can relax and read some interesting things.

I have found that blogs are like books – I like them or I don’t. I can often tell right away if I like a blog and want to follow it or not. Other times I will read it a few times to see if it grabs me later. You know how some things you have to warm up to and you like them over time. And then there are the ones I know I don’t like from the beginning.

So if you see new blog links on my page, well, it’s because I’ve been busy with finding new reading material to satisfy my craving.

And speaking of new stuff, I’ve added a link to a website you should check out, Cherub Wings. They have cute stuff for kids. Logan loves their videos.

Of Books and Christmas

It’s November…you all know what that means. It’s almost Christmas! Yippee! I love Christmas – the decorating, hiding gifts, baking, snow…oh yes, I like snow at Christmas. Sometimes I wish it would snow just for that month, or even just that week. It just doesn’t have the same feel without snow. And the candy canes. I miss them so much because they remind me of Christmas. I can’t find them here. Thankfully I can bake my own fruit cakes so I don’t have to go without those, but I always wish I could find some candy canes. This year I’m thinking of making a fruit cake and decorating it to look like a candy cane. If I pull it off I’ll be sure to post a pic.

Speaking of which, I need to get a good Christmas family pic, and by that I mean it has to look Christmasy, with nice clothes, and a good background. I have no experience with Photoshop, but I wonder if I could get it done at a shop? (I’m thinking out loud here, bear with me.) I want to send it with my Christmas cards, which I need to send soon if I want them to get there on time. Gotta dig out that mailing list, the one I never use during the rest of the year. Pretty much everyone I know uses e-mail, except my grandparents. But I feel that nothing can replace a Christmas card in your hand that you can open and look at over and over. E-cards don’t do the subject justice.

What else do I have to do? Plan gifts. I’m ahead in that this year. Some are covered already, but I’m waiting on Logan’s as I have to see what he gets for his birthday. We’ve invited some people for his birthday, so as a rule, I don’t buy stuff I or the kids need or even want for our birthdays’ until I see what gifts are received. It can save money in the long run.

On the topic of gifts, I have been blessed with a husband who could care less about them. He will give one if necessary, but it will be up to me to select and wrap it. That is why I never get gifts from him. On my birthday he gave me an envelope with money. That is how much he hates shopping for gifts. I’m just wondering if there is a way to talk him into actually taking the time to get me something, hide and wrap it, and give it to me. It’s just always been a tradition in my family to give gifts and I miss it. Even a simple gift means a lot to me. But I can’t get my hopes up. I figure if I give him enough gifts he will eventually get the point and get me one. (Or maybe he won’t, in which case I’ll have to ask him to do it…but I know he hates it. What a dilemma.) What do you think, Sweetie? Will you get me a gift this year?

In other news, I had the day off today, meaning someone else kept Logan and I could do what I wanted as long as I had Lila. (Sadly, mommies don’t get a full “day off” until their kids have moved out.) So at 11 this morning I went to a bookstore. I love to read and was determined to find a book for myself. I can’t remember the last time I bought myself a book. Usually I just find the e-book of what I want to read, but today I wanted a real book. I think I spent 2 hours in there. Lila took a nap on my shoulder since I couldn’t bring the stroller to the upper level of this small shop. I didn’t have Logan along so I could go slow and take my time. It isn’t easy for me to decide what I want to get if I don’t have something in mind beforehand, so it took a lot of searching, selecting and discarding, and searching some more before I made up my mind.

Under the section of “Self-help” books were a large selection of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. There was “Chicken Soup” for every possible category: the traveler, mother and daughter, father and daughter, teen, kids, love, and more. I’d love to have the whole collection because these are books I read over and over. We already have two of them in the house, so I settled for a third: “Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul”. Yes, I knew that was for me. I also picked out a parenting book called “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk”. I’ve read a summary of it before, but I feel it’s nice to have the whole book, in print, so I can study, mark, and store away the knowledge I will need for the day my kids start talking. 🙂 I also picked up a pocket-sized book for Glad about wine – making, harvesting, how to tell one from the other. I thought it was a find as he likes to make wine. I hope he reads it. Last of all I got a height chart for Logan. I’ll get a pic of him by it and then you’ll see why he was hugging it tonight.

I was happy with my bookstore adventure. I would have stayed longer but Lila was getting fussy and I had to get her home. After she slept, I got some coffee, a pack of chocolate cookies, and sat down with my new “Chicken Soup” book and read it cover to cover. There are some things you just don’t understand until you experience them: motherhood is one, raising children is one, and it’s so nice to hear from people who understand what you are facing and can help you laugh about it when you feel like screaming. That kind of time out can truly refresh your soul and help you keep going. Get one of those books if you don’t have one, and if you do, go read it again or get a new one. Then take a time out and read it. You’ll feel better.

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