Posted by: vmlay | June 1, 2010

I’m Back and will be Updating Once More :-)

Another round of not feeling well and having to deal with some family emergencies put blogging on the back burner but I’m back now and I’m going to work on posting, reviewing and networking.

One of the big things I’d like to focus on is finding my “voice” as a blogger — I feel that I haven’t really found that voice (or niche if you prefer) and that is a goal for myself and this blog in the near future.

Posted by: vmlay | January 11, 2010

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

This is hosted over on J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

Books completed this week:

Demon Ex Machina by Julie Kenner — This has always been one of my favorite series and it was just as good as I would have hoped.  I have actually had this sitting on my shelf for weeks now but kept putting it off because I didn’t want to start it because then I would finish it and it would be done and I’d have to wait for what seems like forever in hopes of another installment.  And if that made any sense to anyone I’m impressed!

I So Don’t Do Spooky by Barrie Summy — This has become one of my favorite young adult series.  This is partly because I love stories with ghosts.  But mostly because the books make me smile (and at times laugh out loud).  The characters (human and ghostly) are well written — I like them, I care about them, they are fun but also have depth, and I look forward to reading about them again.   Can’t wait for book three in May 2010!

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler — YA, I picked this one up at the library because it had cupcakes on the cover :-)  Well, the blurb sounded good also, but I must admit that the cupcakes really hooked me.  Obviously if it has a cat or cupcakes I’ll give it a try it seems! This turned out to be a great choice, I found the main character (Penny) to be likable and very believable and I love the portrait of small town life both good and bad.

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst — YA, a fairytale type book set in the Artic and featuring the Polar Bear King who needs a bride.  I’m not terribly fond of fairy tales for some reason but I did enjoy this book — the world the author created is written so beautifully and the story and characters are interesting.

Books I am currently reading:

Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough – YA, I’ve heard good things about this one, I just started it today.

Up Next (depending on my mood:

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper — A novel about “a fearless feline” or “How I learned about love and life with a blind wonder cat” — sounds great!

Cat in a Red Hot Rage by Carole Nelson Douglas — I used to read this series a long time ago, I’m thinking about picking it up again so I thought I’d try this one out.

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison – YA, because it sounded romantic.

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliott — YA, historical set during the French Revolution.

Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small by Rita Mae Brown – One of my favorite authors.

Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford — I have no clue about this one, I saw it at the library this morning and thought I’d give it a try — Jane Austen as a vampire?


Posted by: vmlay | January 8, 2010

Alex is 7 Today!

Today Alex turns seven.  It’s amazing to think that seven years ago today DH and I were at the hospital ready to meet our little girl!

This is a picture of her when she was a couple months old.  Wasn’t she a cutie? :-)

And here she is today (with Tinkerbelle the hamster, of course):

She has had a good day so far which has included bouncing on the bed with her brother to the Gummy Bear Song, her favorite food (spaghetti) for lunch and an arts and craft project to work on (tissue paper flowers).  Tonight we’re taking her to Cracker Barrel for dinner (she always orders a douple helping of green beans :-) and tomorrow is her birthday party with family and friends.

Happy Birthday Alex!  I hope seven is a great year!

Posted by: vmlay | January 7, 2010

My 100th Post, Oh My :-)

I’ve actually made it to 100 posts, which seems like a milestone of some sort :-)

It’s very cold and snowy here and Alex was off school.  She and Mac ventured out to do some sledding on the hill behind our house but they didn’t last very long.  It was cold even by their standards.  So they were soon inside and snuggled up on the couch watching Santa Buddies.  It’s rare to actually catch them together in a quiet moment.   Look how pink Mac’s cheeks are from the cold!

Posted by: vmlay | January 5, 2010

Cats on Tuesdays — My Sleepy Furballs

Cats on Tuesdays is hosted by Gattina!

Sorry that I missed a few weeks lately, things have been hectic with the holidays and kids home, etc.  I’m looking forward to getting back to a more normal routine!

Speaking o f routines, one thing all three Furballs agree on is that Alex’s bed is the best place for their afternoon nap.  Because it gets a lot of sun it tends to be one of the warmer rooms in the house — combine that with a soft bed with lots of pillows and stuffed animals to lounge on and you have a version of kitty paradise :-)

William always settles in at the head of the bed so he can use the pillows, and he often wiggles his way under the comforter as well:

Joel Gray usually sleeps in the middle but he decamped for a while to the master bedroom in protest of pictures interrupting his nap time:

MacKayla always sleeps towards the foot of the bed so as to stay as far away from the boys as possible — she thinks they are brats who have nothing better to do then annoy her.  It’s hard being an Empress you know:

Makes me wish I could take a nap about now!

Posted by: vmlay | January 4, 2010

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This is hosted over on J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

I have missed several weeks of the meme for various reasons including the holidays and having the kids home.  So I’m going to play catch up this week so I can be hopefully be back on track for next week!

Books completed Since My Last Post:

Last Half of November 2009

The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller — Christian fiction, the story was very sweet but I ended up skimming towards the end because I was having problems staying interested in the characters.
The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda – YA, I really enjoyed this particular fantasy novel, so I read the second one in the series as well.
The Wizard of Rondo by Emily Rodda
Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires Book Three) by Rachel Caine — One of my favorite series!
The Pharaoh’s Secret by Marissa Moss — YA, I picked this up because I enjoy books set in Ancient Egypt but this was not very interesting.  I finished it but wouldn’t recommend it.
The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander – YA, this was a wonderful read, I highly recommend it.
Paris Pan Takes the Dare by Cynthea Liu – YA, this one was a lot of fun, I really liked Paris.
Impossible by Nancy Werlin — YA, excellent!

December 2009

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters — YA, zombies for a change of pace — I thought this was very well done.
The Remains of the Dead by Wendy Roberts — mystery series that features a main character who does crime scene clean up and talks to ghosts that she runs into in the process.  It was not one of my favorite books (I found the main character hard to really like), but I think I’ll give the second one a try.
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter – YA, lots of fun!  I really liked the whole series.
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter – YA
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter — YA
What Remains of Heaven by C.S. Harris — One of my favorite mystery series, just so good!
The Espressologist by Kristina Springer — YA, very cute and I really enjoyed the main character a lot.
Immortal by Gillian Shields – YA, I love a good ghost story and this was a great read.
Homeland by Barbara Hambly — Novel set during the Civil War, two women (one in the North, one in the South) exchange letters.  It was very well done and the ending really surprised me, in a good way.  I also learned a great deal about how the war affected the lives of the women on a daily basis.
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris — short stories featuring Sookie Stackhouse, excellent as always.  I always enjoy reading about Sookie!
Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen – YA, this was a really fun read and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.
Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby — YA, not as good as some of the others I’ve read lately, it was all right.
How Nancy Drew Saved My Life by Lauren Baatz-Logsted – This was a fun book, and I liked that it was set someplace different for a change of pace (Iceland).
Kiss of Life: A Generation Dead Novel by Daniel Water — YA, I didn’t like this as much as the first book, maybe because it was darker and I have been more in the mood for light books.  Very well drawn characters though and I look forward to seeing what happens with them down the road.

January 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate — YA, Very good, I stayed up late to finish this one.
Demon Chick by Marilyn Kaye — YA, I liked this one although it seemed to be rather short and felt rushed actually, but for a light fun read it was enjoyable.

Books I am currently reading:

Demon Ex Machina by Julie Kenner — One of my all time favorite series!

Up Next (depending on my mood :-):

I So Don’t Do Spooky by Barrie Summy — YA, I really liked the first book in this series so I’m looking forward to this one.

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper — A novel about “a fearless feline” or “How I learned about love and life with a blind wonder cat” — sounds great!

Cat in a Red Hot Rage by Carole Nelson Douglas — I used to read this series a long time ago, I’m thinking about picking it up again so I thought I’d try this one out.

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler — YA, I love cupcakes and the cover is great!

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison – YA, because it sounded romantic :-)

The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliott — YA, historical set during the French Revolution.

Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough – YA, I’ve heard good things about this one!

Posted by: vmlay | December 30, 2009

History Museum Field Trip

The 4-H group that Alex and Mac are part of went on a field trip to the History Museum for a scavanger hunt in the Treasures exhibit.  They both had a lot of fun and the exhibit was very nice.

Alex really liked the “panning for gold” part of the exhibit — she and Mac each found a very pretty gem (aka gold):

Alex doing rubbings of ancient pirate coins:

After having fun putting on an impromptu puppet show Alex and Mac went digging for treasure:

After that we walked around a bit to see the other exhibits before heading home.  I especially liked seeing the clothing from the 1904 World’s Fair exhibit.

Posted by: vmlay | December 26, 2009

White Christmas

Well, it wasn’t a lot of snow but the kids loved it!

Lady loves snow — she rolls in it and comes in so coated in snow she looks like a polar bear :-)

Our backyard:

Front yard Christmas decorations:

Posted by: vmlay | December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: vmlay | December 23, 2009

Christmas Decor

The kids love to help decorate the house for Christmas, Mac takes a special delight in putting as many of the ornaments as he can fit on the tree :-)  So I thought I’d post a few pictures of some of the Christmas decorations that the kids have worked so hard putting up.

Our tree, which really couldn’t hold any more ornaments despite Mac’s best efforts :-)  The star on top is from when DH was a little boy:

Some of our favorite ornaments.  The snowman ornament is one that Mac picked out last year — he loves that you can shake it and watch the snow float around inside it.  The brass skillet was an ornament for DH since he likes to cook:

We used to have a complete set of four little bear ornaments but we’ve lost a few over the years — we’re down to two now.  So we’re trying to not break those!  We bought them when DH and I were first married.  The sand dollar ornament was a gift from a fellow kitty lover:

One of my personal favorites is the Victorian Lady since it’s one of my favorite historical periods:

The Angel Bear was a gift for Alex’s first Christmas:

A second Victorian Lady, the Snoopy ornament which Mac loves to take off and carry around constantly (he says it is *his* ornament :-) and a fun dinosaur ornament I found on clearance last year for Alex (who loves dinosaurs):

Four stockings for each family member plus an extra one for the pets (MacKayla the Empress would like to make it know that she is not in favor of sharing a stocking with a dog!).  I don’t think you can see it here but there is also a very tiny white stocking that Alex made just for Tinkerbelle the hamster :-)

The Mouse Tree — which belonged to my grandmother.  She thought it was the cutest tree and I always think about that when we put it up each year.   The little kitty ornaments around the tree were a gift many years ago — we’ve talked about doing a small tree with them someday but in the meantime they hang out around the mouse tree which seems fitting :-)  Mac put them up for me this year.

The Advent Calendar — it was Mac’s job this year to move the snowman each day and he took it very seriously!

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