Read With Us Wednesdays: “The Obituary Society”: Week 3 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

Read with UsWednesday

I don’t know about you guys. . . But I’m really enjoying this book. And I’m glad Essie and I decided to pick bite-sized chunks each week. When I have time to read, I read voraciously, but with the Turkey Trot last week, I have not had much time at all! With the Turkey Trot came a long-awaited visit from College Kid, which ate up some time as well. I took the last two days off of work to catch up with life (and laundry!). Then, last night I had a child fall ill, so my time off has been extended, as well as my laundry load! (Just a note. . .my Maytag Bravos washing machine took care of all of that yucky laundry without any trouble!)

And now, back to our book!

If this is your first time here, we are reading through The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall, and it can be purchased for Kindle. We are reading along with Essie of Essie’s Blessings and you can join the conversation over there as well!

This week we are reading chapters 11-15, and the plot sure is thickening. We are finding out just how spunky Lila is as she deals with her grandfather’s house. I think she has way more resolve than I do!

Today’s quote to discuss is:

“Don’t you think this old house might be more trouble than it’s worth?” [Asher] asked.

and Lila’s answer:

“Sometimes things that are the most trouble are the most worthwhile.”

How very true. Our family has had our fair share of trouble in the past few years. Many of my long-time readers have read of them. However, I just don’t think I would trade those troubles in. They are a part of who I am, they  are a part of our family’s heritage. Some of my past troubles are a cautionary tale of how I will choose to parent our children.  I’m a walking billboard for, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I think that some of my troubles have enabled me to be more empathetic of those going through their own struggles. In other ways it has hardened me, as I am kind of a “pull yourself up and move on” kind of girl. No wallowing allowed.

I guess that is what I enjoy about Lila. She does not have to stick around, but she does . . . creepy house and all.

Chime in! What are your reactions to the reading selection this week? What troubles have you been through that have proven to be worthwhile? Leave a comment here, and make sure you head over to Essie’s Blessings to chime in as well!

LeapTV, My Favorite LeapFrog Product! Review

LeapTV

We have a family of gamers, ranging in age from 18 down to 4. The younger kids always want to get in on the video game action, but the games are either not appropriate for them, or the controls are too complicated to handle.

Enter LeapTV, the first console gaming system actually designed for children aged 3-8. This system is not only extremely simple to set up (it took me under five minutes. . .even with twin four year-olds clamoring behind me), it is intuitive for the children to play.

I was not sure we needed another game console. However, this is not just another game console! This is true active, moving, learning play. We actually have way more motion in our living room than ever before, and the girls have even forced me to get up and dance (sorry neighbors!). Especially during our long North Dakota winters, it is nice to have the girls moving, rather than watching yet another video.  the learning aspect does not hurt either!

Like all other LeapFrog Products, these games start at a baseline level based on your child’s age, and then adjusts according to ability level, therefore, growing at just the right rate. This is nice for my girls who are the same age, but at different ability levels for some games.

The games have three different play modes, and depending on the game selected, will either require no controller at all ( using the camera, and placing your child IN the game), or pointer controller, where the game is played similarly to a wii remote (but with a cushioned end and more natural grip), or classic control in which the controller is held in two hands and buttons are pushed.

The transitions between scenes in games can be a bit slow at times, but worth the wait, and allows for some downtime for excitable kids. The graphics are fresh and clear, the sound is good, and, most importantly, play value is high! This is a system that my girls will enjoy until they “grow into” the x-box or playstation in their upper elementary years.

As a busy mom, I appreciate the small footprint of the game. LeapTV

As a frugal mom, I would appreciate a rechargeable controller.

If you have more than one child who will play, or frequent playdates, you will want to purchase an additional controller.

Additional games are easily downloaded using the built-in wi-fi, or fun relatives can purchase game cartridges for birthdays and holidays. The system comes with one bonus game, Pet Play World, but you will want to make sure that you have at least one additional game. My girls love the Sofia the First game, and there is a lot in that game to keep them busy! leaptv-educational-active-video-gaming_31511_detail_7 Purchase it: at Amazon, Kohls.com, LeapFrog.com

Disclosure: I was sent a sample of this product to facilitate my review. However, all opinions are my own, and I was not required to post a positive review.

Read With Us Wednesday: Week 1 Discussion

Read with UsWednesday

 

Read with UsWednesday

Welcome to week one of Read With us Wednesday. I’m teaming up with Essie at Essie’s Blessings, and busy moms around  the country are teaming up to read manageable, busy mom chunks of a book once a week and stopping by to discuss.

We just started reading The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. It was free when we began this project, and, as of this writing, is a very affordable $2.99 Kindle edition.  This week’s discussion is based on chapters 1-5.

Here is the publisher’s description:

When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.

Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like its a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?

In these first few chapters, we are introduced to Lila, her great-aunt Ada, and Lil’s newly deceased grandfather, Isaac. If you have not begin reading yet, the writing is very engaging and you should be able to catch right up.

What stood out for me was when Lila was in Ada’s home and in her grandfather’s house, I was flooded with memories of my grandparent’s home. So that is what we will discuss today!

What memories do you have of your grandparent’s home? In our current society, where families live spread across the country, and our mobile society in which people rarely live in the same house for fifty years anymore, will our children miss out on those same “Grandma’s House memories”? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Also, stop over to Essie’s Blessings and check out the conversation over there as well! We’ll be reading chapters 6-10 for next week!

 

 

 

Read With Us Wednesday: The Obituary Society

Read with UsWednesday

Read with UsWednesday

Are you a busy mom who feels like you’ve lost the time or energy to read for fun? One of the things I missed when I went back to work full-time was my reading time. I still take the time to read in the mornings at work, but it is a different kind of reading. I’m reading books about fundraising, crowd sourcing, social media, and cystic fibrosis. All very interesting, but not the light fun I was used to.

Recently I have begun “reading” audiobooks. Using an app for my iPad called Overdrive I can check out audiobooks from my public library for free! I usually have a work related book that I listen to when doing menial tasks at work, and a fiction book that I listen to when driving kids around or commuting. Since adding audiobooks into my book “diet”, I have more than doubled my book reading!

One of my favorite things about my real life friend, Essie, from Essie’s Blessings, is that she loves books even more than I do! Plus, she is a librarian, so she has the inside scoop! When we are not laughing about the goofy things our kids do, or comparing the big changes our lives have gone through the past few years, we dish on books. We have very similar taste in books, though she is more willing to read books that make her cry than I am.

We are also both extremely frugal. So, I regularly scan the free Kindle offerings to see if there is a free, or very inexpensive book to add to my bulging Kindle library. (I am convinced that Dakotapastor is SO glad I’ve embraced eBooks. They take up a lot less shelf space, and I no longer travel with a tote of books when we go on vacation).

Yesterday I came across The Obituary Society. It looked like a fun, light read, and, yesterday, it was free.

Here is a brief synopsis:

When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.

Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like its a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?

Essie and I decided we wanted to do a  read-along with our readers! And, since we know that many of you are busy moms, we know that reading a book in a week, or even in a month, may not happen. So we are splitting the book into five chapter hunks and we’ll be back here and at Essie’s Blessings next Wednesday to discuss the first five chapters! (That is one chapter per weeknight, which even I can fit in before drifting off to sleep).

So, are you in? Leave a comment if you are! Happy reading!

How to Get Your Kids Moving! (and giveaway!)

LeapBand

Last week I had the honor of interviewing soccer star and mom of three, Mia Hamm about kids and fitness. As a mom of six kids, and someone who spends more time at the library than the gym (and it shows!), I am always concerned about ways to keep my kids active.

Moms, we are fighting a big fight in working to keep our kids active! kids today have more homework than ever, and when they come home to unwind, they often follow their parents’ example and unwind with a heavy dose of technology. (Guilty as charged). Add to this, the trend of parents being prosecuted for allowing their kids to play outside, and you see that things are much, much different from when we were growing up.

So sit back, and listen to some great tips from Mia Hamm! When you are done, take a moment to enter the easy  giveaway! I have two LeapFrog Leap Band fitness trackers to giveaway, so two of my lucky readers will be winners!

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