Sunday Update Week 15


Well, this is the big announcement week! I just got back from my honeymoon. The wedding itself was a success. It was exactly what we intended – an informal celebration and family/friends grilling. Afterwards, A and I went to Northern Minnesota and enjoyed some lovely weather while hiking and canoeing. We also officially announced that I am pregnant this week…

A and I returned home from the honeymoon on Thursday, in time to spend some lovely time with his mother and sister (who’d been watching the kids) on Friday. Saturday, A, my BFF L, nephew J, beat the heat by watching Doctor Who.

It’s been roaring hot out, so now that the kids will be back from their Saturday with their mother, we’re not sure what to do with them. Take them to an indoor park? That’ll work today, but not on Memorial day. We were hoping to take them to the lake on Monday, but it will be 98F and humid. Best to stay inside!

Currently Reading

Currently Reading

I got SOME reading done on my honeymoon, but mostly I hiked and canoed and rested. So I’m still reading the same old books as last week.



A and I listened to Hammered, by Kevin Hearne on our trip – and found it quite delightful. Review coming soon. My nephew J, BFF L, and I have been watching Doctor Who together for a while, but we decided to start over (with the newer series) for my new husband, because he hasn’t seen them.



My list of acquired books is really a list of books that have gone through my hands this last week. As gifts for my attendants, I gave my BFF L (who actually officiated) and my new husband the South Reach Trilogy, by Jeff Vandermeer. I am eager to read them myself. We Two and Victoria’s Daughters were for T, another good friend and attendant. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes was given to my sister, C. The military books to my nephew, J, who was my third attendant.

My husband gave me How Democracies Die, The End if Policing, and the second and third books to The Great Library series.

When Dimple Met Rishi and Baker’s Magic were this week’s free Sync books.

Belated Sunday Update Week 13


Wedding week is underway! Please forgive me if I don’t answer messages or go to blogs until after my honeymoon next week. But please do comment all you like! I’ll get back to you.

Agenda for this week:

Monday – Ordered cake from Cub foods, oil change in anticipation of going on honeymoon, D’s hair cut and dyed (see above). She was pretty excited to get the pixie cut and purple hair. It’s adorable.

Tuesday – Clean house. Shopping for grilling groceries. Wrap presents for wedding party.

Wednesday – Also clean. (As fatigued as I’ve been lately, cleaning the house is a week-long process). Manicure and pedicure for me, D, sister (bride’s maid), and best friend (officiant), followed by dinner.

Thursday – Pack for honeymoon. Clean.

Friday – Rehearsal (only for kids, as we figure the adults can figure it out. M, after claiming he didn’t even want to go to the wedding decided on Wednesday of last week that he wanted to be a ring bearer. But we only have one pillow and now two ring bearers. So we decided to have them be LED torch bearers instead. Much cooler anyway. After rehearsal we have “rehearsal dinner” which is actually a surprise birthday party for M, who wanted his grandparents to be in town for his party. It’s at Chucky Cheese’s. Then my nephew J has a play. I am thinking of going out after that, but will probably be too tired.

Saturday – Wedding.

Sunday through Thursday – Honeymoon at a lodge on the North Shore of Lake Superior.  (Which in Minnesota means the part that borders on Minnesota, lol, so not the northern shore in Canada.)

A friend of mine got hacked on Facebook yesterday and messaged me about how to get $80,000 from a new government program that’s working through Publisher’s Clearinghouse. I informed him that he was a hacker. He denied it. I asked if he was in Nigeria. He said “yes.” I asked him what he was doing there, and he answered “selling your daddy’s head.” I told him it wasn’t my fault he was stupid, and he called me a mumu.

A nigerian slang used to describe a person who acts daft

a dress people wear when they want to eat alot of food.

another word for pussy. it’s very childish and that’s why it’s only used by men… when girls can’t hear it


a mysterious creature that dwells within the South Wales area, a formidable force in eating and sleeps 95% of its life. They can munch 15 pounds of grapes in 30 minutes, and drink 45 gallons of petrol in an hour.

Clearly he meant the last.

Currently Reading

Currently Reading






The free Sync books this week.

Sunday Update Week 12


Well, this was a good week – though despite claims that this would be my week to start reading again, I have not finished any books. *le sigh*

I found myself more energetic than I have been in a few weeks, and was able to do some important tasks in preparation for the wedding. We got some vital shopping done, went to a seamstress for some last minute adjustments, ordered the food and eating supplies, etc. I took my step-daughter D out shopping for shoes and jewelry. She was jumping with glee and said that when she was older and had money of her own she would spend it ALL on shoes, and then she would go to Claire’s and decorate her room entirely in unicorns. We bought her some wedges, which means she has to practice walking in them. In fact, I should probably practice walking in my shoes too! Less than two weeks left!

Hopefully my energy perks up even more, because I need to get the house cleaned before everyone arrives for the wedding. But I’ll still try to get some reading done. 🙂

Currently Reading – Same as last week

Currently Reading


I watched North and South again. Although I don’t really like either of the very flawed characters at the beginning of the story, they both turn out so wonderful in the end. 🙂 And look at that handsome brooding face….





Solo and The Devil’s Highway are the free Sync books this week (available till 5/10). Burning Magic is the third in a really cute series that I started reading a while back (the first one is Shadow Magic, and it’s well worth the read if you like middle school fantasy). Pete the Cat and the Dinosaur books are for M’s 6th birthday.

Bout of Books 22


I enjoyed the Dewey’s 24 hour Readathon so much on Saturday that I have decided to participate in Bout of Books this time. I’ve never participated before, and it is the week preceding my wedding, so I’m certain I won’t get much read. But it’ll still be fun to participate as much as I can. We’ll see what I mange.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team



Sunday Update Week 11


Morning everyone! This was a good week, though I was still a bit fatigued. At least I caught up on blog comments and hope to do some blog hopping today.

On Sunday, the family went to the Minnesota Zoo, though we couldn’t figure out where to find their special exhibit of baby farm animals. (I assume somewhere at the farm?) M and D had two more Tae Kwon Do private lessons, and they’re moving to regular classes with other people next week. M had a haircut (it was getting rather shaggy), which you can see above.

This weekend we are switching the kids to 2 hours a day of screens total instead of letting them earn screen-time by the hour, which was our new rule a little over a month ago. (They are disappointed, but now M is standing over my shoulder reading this because it’s like looking at a screen. He’s slowly reading it back to me aloud as I type.) They are addicted to screens to the point of it being an unhealthy behavior, and the earning time only gave them another way to obsess about screens. 😦 The first thing they’d say in the morning is “I read this morning before getting out of bed, did I earn more screen-time?” While at the zoo, they say “does the zoo earn more screen-time?” Constantly. All day. We decided that the option to earn screen-time was only feeding their addiction rather than finding a healthy alternative.

Yesterday I participated in Dewey’s 24 hour readathon but only managed to read from 7am to 4pm. At that point, my dad called and said he was bored, could he come over for dinner? How can I say no to that? So we all went over to Perkins for dinner. We sat around and chatted after dinner, and when my parents left, I didn’t feel like squeezing in another couple hours of reading. A and I watched Galavant instead.

D had her VERY FIRST EVER sleepover at a friend’s house on Saturday night, which she reminded us of daily for an entire week. She was pretty thrilled. She hasn’t returned as of 7:45am Sunday morning.

Currently Reading

Currently Reading

Despite what I said last week, I gave up on Freeing Your Child From Anxiety this week. I felt that the book wasn’t helpful to my situation since we can’t really get D to talk about her anxiety, which is a required step for the book’s strategy. So I was finding the book rather boring. I picked up No One Cares About Crazy People, by Ron Powers as my nonfiction replacement.

Since I was in a reading slump, I also decided to give up on And I Darken and pick up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I got most of the way through it, and will happily finish my first book in quite a while this upcoming week.

I’m loving Brandon Mull’s newest book, though I think his creativity is fading a bit. His first series (Fablehaven) was about couple of kids discovering that their grandparents had a secret reservation for fantasy creatures on their property. The second series (Beyonders) was about a kid who got sucked into another universe and wanted to save the world while looking for a way to return home. The third series (Five Kingdoms) was about a kid who got trapped in another universe and wanted to save the world while looking for a way to return home. Even some of the cool species that he created in the Beyonders books are reused for Five Kingdoms, which makes it more of a spin-off series than a true new series.



Despite it being a better week, I didn’t finish any new books (probably because I gave up on two). But I did watch the BBC miniseries of Emma with D and the BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice with A. Both liked the movie much more than I would have expected. I should try D out on more Austen and see if it was a fluke. She may have liked Emma simply because she thought the character was fantastic and knew everything. In other words, I think she wanted to be Emma.



Audiofile has a program called Sync where two free teen audiobooks are provided each week. These books are available to anyone with Overdrive (which is a free app) on their phones or tablets. The Great War and A Study in Charlotte are free until 5/3.


Bible Study

Biblical Readings

For my Bible reading, I finished the first chapter of How to Read the Bible, by James Kugel (notes upcoming) and the introduction to The Literary Guide to the Bible (this is too dense to write interesting notes for, but it is still worth reading).




This is posted in The Sunday Salon and Caffeinated Reviewer’s Sunday Post.

Dewey’s 24 hour Readathon April 2018

On this post, I will keep track of my reading progress for the readathon. It begins at 7am here in the Twin Cities, and runs till 6:55am Sunday morning.


Book: Don Quixote, by Cervantes pp 109-134

Total pages: 25


Book: Time Jumpers, by Brandon Mull hour 6:05-6:30

Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling pp184-194

Total pages: 35

Total minutes: 25


Book: Time Jumpers, by Brandon Mull hour 6:30-6:49

Book: No One Cares About Crazy People, by Ron Powers pp 103-110

Total pages: 42

Total minutes: 44


Book: Time Jumpers, by Brandon Mull hour 6:49-7:23

Total pages: 42

Total minutes: 78


Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling pp 194-214

Total pages: 62

Total minutes: 78


Book: Time Jumpers, by Brandon Mull hour 7:23-7:34

Total pages: 62

Total minutes: 89


Book: The Literary Guide to the Bible pp 17-23.

Total pages: 68

Total minutes: 89


Book: Time Jumpers, by Brandon Mull hour 7:34-7:57

Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling pp 214-227

Total Pages: 71

Total minutes: 112


Book: Time Jumpers, by Brandon Mull hour 7:57-8:21

Book: No One Cares About Crazy People, by Ron Powers pp 110-118

Total pages: 79

Total minutes: 136

Pre-readathon survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I am Rachel and I’m reading in the Twin Cities (Minnesota, USA).

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Well, my stack is mostly Harry Potter books, so I guess I’m looking forward to that.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I will have to take a break sometime and run to the grocery store. That didn’t happen yesterday.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am currently a home-maker with two step-kids and a husband. I am passionate about destigmatizing mental illness.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I have done a few readathons. I take them easy and don’t stress myself over how to do things. Though I will try to keep track of my hourly pages and pay attention to the minichallenges this time.