Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Current events: the kid perspective

A local teacher has made a HUGE social media faux pas.  Yep, she twittered when she should have been teaching and what she twittered....well she really, really shouldn't have.  

So the boys and I were talking about teachers who use twitter.

Thing Two:  "What if you know, she was being followed by her students?".

"Well, yes, that is a concern" I calmly replied (trying to erase the images I've seen of this teacher's misguided tweets)

"Yeah, I mean, she might post the answers to the test, that would be like really really bad, wouldn't it?"

Oh my...yes, that is without a doubt why this story has gained national attention (NOT!)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Catching up with a few good books

I've known people who manage to read a book a week.  I've thought "how do they do it?"
Well, here I sit, 3rd week of 2013 and guess what, I've managed to 3 books.

The dark themes of the last 2 books I read, left me needing something simple and sweet.  Emily Giffin's book Where We Belong was just right.  Marian is a successful New York screen writer, thinking she has the life she was always meant to have.    Kirby is a young woman in search of her birth mom.  When they meet,they both begin a journey of reflection, trying to sort through where exactly they each belong.  Easy-breezy chick lit:   sometimes it is just what you need to shake the darkness of other stories out of your head.
 James Patterson:  how many books has this man written?  Plenty.  The Private series is yet another in his franchise.  Private refers to a private investigation and security team run by Jack Morgan.  #1 Suspect is the second book in the series and focuses on the company owner, Jack Morgan.  He is considered to be the prime suspect in the recent murder of his former girlfriend and employee.  While he sorts through his personal troubles, the rest of his team tackle a few other cases.  The other books I've read by James Patterson have typically focused on just one case.  This book had at least 3 stories being told pretty much simultaneously.  The book read quickly, the characters are likable and there were even a few twists at the end.  It's a great book to have handy to pick up and read for a bit:  as his chapters are short and it is an easy book to set down and yet engaging enough that you find yourself reaching for it again each evening.
Ok, 2 easy reads, now I'm ready for something with a little more grit to it.  I found this book on an end cap at the library. And, yes, I judged a book by it's cover and thought "that looks interesting".    I've had the opportunity to work with a couple Muslim students at work and thought perhaps this book might give me a bit of insight into this region of the world.  

Interesting indeed!    Crime fiction set in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia.  The author weaves in multiple cultural references that provide the reader with plenty to ponder beyond just the curious "who dunnit".  My only regret is that I  should have read the cover a little closer as this book is actually a follow up to her first novel, Finding Nouf.  As a result, I spent the first 50 pages or so, wondering who exactly the main characters are and how they know each other.  While I appreciated all the cultural insight, I did feel like the author was working too hard to weave in as many examples as she could.  It made some of the pieces feel choppy.  She also left a few threads of her story unfinished.   Sure the mystery was solved and the reader learned who did it, but I was also wondering about some of the other smaller story lines.  Perhaps she has a 3rd book in the works, but not sure I found it interesting enough to sign up for the next installment.  

Check any one of these out at your local library and you'll be glad you took time to stick your nose into a good (but not great) book.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

12 on the 12th

I'm not sure when I last attempted 12 on the 12th.  It's probably been a couple years, if not longer.  But this year, I'm determined to complete this challenge as I have found looking back on some of the previous entries to be entertaining and a great glimpse of a "day-in-the-life" type entry.

So here goes the January edition....

We've been enjoying a very mild winter so far....well, guess what, someone finally clued in Mother Nature and she showed up with some more appropriate January weather.

The past couple of days, I've been fighting off some sort of bug.  I decided the best plan for recovery was to do as little as possible.    Problem is...we were running low on the "good stuff"

I appealed to my loving husband who agreed to take Valencia and make a drug run.
But first things first, he took a moment to contribute to my project....See?  Didn't know cold could be so picturesque.
Aw...thanks Honey...will you sing a round of Soft Kitty to me too?
At some point, the boys woke up and learned they were on their own for any type of lunch
Good thing there was some frozen stuff on hand....

 Patrick continues to perfect his skills as a management material...supervising his younger brother on kitchen duty

 Sun is shining brightly  and it looks warmer...but looks are deceiving...
 Cold medicine on board, feeling a little better..
choices choices..
(Decided on a little bit of both: watched Little Women and read for awhile)
Checking in on the guys...
Dom made a trip to Comcast to replace our cable modem.
Fingers crossed that this provides us with an answer to our flaky internet.
Miles is working on some backlogged homework (he too has been out sick with the crud, and now is discovering the joy of making up missed classwork.
 Miles and I decided to go to church this evening,
(poor kid, behind in school work AND sermon notes)
Why yes, the Broncos are playing this afternoon...which explains the near empty service 
At least there was one appropriate commercial on during the game...KFC game day bucket sounded just right for dinner
And here we are, about 12 hrs later, with not much change in the temperature.
I on the other hand am feeling much better.

Stay warm...
Stay Healthy...

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Hello? Anyone home?

Oh where oh where has my blogging muse gone?

Perhaps it got buried beneath the worries of work?  No doubt, in the days leading up to winter break,  situations cropped up that they never quite cover in nursing school.  How does one distract a student while you wait for social services to come and interview her.  Keep in mind, you aren't supposed to let her know that's what you are waiting for.  I never was very good at poker, but many more situations like that, and my "poker face" might be considered acceptable.    

Or maybe the blog got pushed aside in favor of spending time with the family? I mean, it has been winter break, and we really should set aside our usual habits and spend time together.  Yeah, right, it looked more like this:

Nah, just kidding:  here is what Christmas really looked like at our house
This year we decided to give a real tree a chance
Verdict?  nobody was too impressed with the difference
Although I am 100% certain we were the only family to bring a color-coordinated vehicle 
to Home Depot to transport our tree back home.
 Even at 13, the box provides a source of entertainment
 Low on Holiday Spirit?  
May I suggest next year you visit the Colorado Symphony and Chorale 
in their annual Colorado Christmas show.   
Between their performance of Believe and the Hallelujah chorus, 
you will be moved to tears (ok, so if by you, I really mean me, yeah...I was a sobbing it was such a heartfelt performance)
 Moosey still hanging in there...
this year the 15 year old discovered the saved Build-A-Bear outfits and had so much fun dressing up Moosey that younger brother remarked "I need to just leave the room, it is just too tempting to not tease him".  

 OK, so those were  my pre-Christmas excuses, what about now?  I mean seriously, everyone else in the blog world has done either a fabulous year end review or they've written beautiful summaries of the plans they have for 2013 (and by everyone I am referring to my hubby and my good friend Karen)

Well, really, who has time to blog, when you've found yourself swept away by two really great books:
 My review:  who knew a great book could include two main characters that the reader doesn't like at all.  The story involves a couple that moved from the glitz-and-glamour of NYC (where the wife was a born-n-bred New Yorker  to Missouri (the childhood home of the husband).  On their 5th wedding anniversary, the wife disappears.  And well, we've all watched enough t.v. to know that the husband is always the killer.  Or is he?  Read it and find out.  But I'm warning you, you'll probably walk away from the book thankful for the sanity of those in your life, and realizing that a book can be good even if you don't really like any of the main characters).
My review:  talk about a very timely read!  This is the book club read for my neighborhood book club.  Jacob is a 14 year old boy accused of killing his 8th grade classmate in cold blood.  His parents come to his defense, as any good parents would, right?  Well, again, not so easy when you learn that not only is Jacob's dad the lead attorney in the District Attorney's office, but there are some family secrets that make this a bit more complicated than it already is.  The author does almost too good of a job capturing the voice of the adolescent and I'm sure our discussion will be very lively especially when you factor in recent current events that have involved young people accused of the unthinkable.   And, hello, I am the mom to both a 13 and a 15 year old:  that averages out to a 14 year old boy.  Could that be anyone of us?  I hope not, but this author wrote such a gripping story that I found myself pondering the "what would I do" dilemma that this family faced.

So, reading books, hanging out, sleeping in, oh yeah I almost forgot, watching movies.  We've watched several good ones here at home (The Help and I introduced my hubby to my all time favorite flick, Love Actually).  Yesterday, I rounded up a few gal pals and we took in this great show

I'll admit, while I have seen the Broadway play, it is not what I would consider one of my all time favorites.  Not sure why, but it just is (I think I am more of a fan of the plays that involve great dance numbers, with happy-go-lucky songs you can hum along to).  But this movie?  OMG:  pack the tissues again.  The songs were so clearly sung that you could really appreciate the story being told.  And while Russell Crowe does not have the strongest voice of the cast, he still does a remarkable job surrounded by a superb cast.  I'm hopeful that Hollywood wakes up and notices the talents of Samantha Barks for her amazing job as Eponine.

So there ya go, winter break is almost over.  We've finished out 2012:  healthier and happier than we were when it started.  I'm heading back to work on Monday, rested and ready to face the challenges that come my way.   Ok, I'm probably not ready for challenges that involve the crisis team:  for now, I'll be happy with just your run-of-the-mill stomach viruses and wardrobe malfunctions.  Those events involving added mental health support and visits from Federal agencies?  We can leave those all in the past, thank-you-very much

I'll finish up this long winded, long over due Blog update with a belated
While many start out the new year with new challenges:  either to take a picture a day, or focus on "Just one Word", I'm going in a different direction (because you know that's just the way I roll).  I plan to focus on this simple blessing, to guide me through the year:

I pray I keep learning
when to keep silent
and when to speak
What to love and what to hate
Trusting through the laughter and the tears
in the One who orchestrates our years
Making all things beautiful in their time.  

Happy New Year friends and family!