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Way Back When-esday

Cheryl over at Twinfatuation hosts this one. Go on over to see who else is playing โ€“ and join in too!

In honor of yesterday’s post, I dug up a picture from Burke was “reading” – you can see a super cuteย  video of it too. It’s from July of 2009.

Burke "Reading" - July of 2009

Guess Who’s Reading!

Burke brought his homework binder home for the long weekend (the first we’ve seen of it). One of the sheets had about 10 Rebus sentences on it (pictures in place of a word). I wish I had thought to take a picture of the paper, but it’s already back at school (perhaps I will when it comes home again).

To my surprise, Burke read every single sentence! Pointing to each word as he went along. The pictures, of course, helped. And there were colors in each sentence that had been underlined in the right color – I’m assuming during class.

The sentences were all something like:

  • My Shoe is Yellow.
    Where Shoe is the picture and yellow is underlined with yellow crayon.
  • Is the bird red?
    Where bird is the picture and red is underlined with red crayon.

The thought behind the Rebus work is that it helps kids learn the words around the pictures faster, with less frustration, so they’re excited to read and will continue to work on it.

I’m *so* impressed!!

Friday’s Fotos: A Whole Lot of Random

Potatoes from the Garden!

Maggie's First Girl Scout Meeting

Nana capturing everyone's attention (back at Logan's Birthday celebrations)

Logan Reading

.

And some dress-up time:

Princess Knight Logan

Burke, Maggie, and Logan

Saturday Snapshot: Reading with Nana

Grandpa, Nana, and Aunt Meghan arrived from Vermont to see Maggie’s recital tonight. Aunt Cathy and Granny Frani are here too.

Nana brought books!

Cheryl over at Twinfatuation hosts this one. Go over and have a look at what others are doing on this crazy Saturday.

Review: Amazon Kindle

Mike gave me an Amazon Kindle for Christmas (the 6 inch screen version). Can I tell you how AWESOME this thing is?!

First of all, it looks just like a book.

Handle with Care: Kindle and Paperback

Well, while you’re reading, the text on the pages looks the same. If you get a cover for it (which I HIGHLY recommend), it feels like a book because you can open it. ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you get a clip-on light so you can read in bed while your significant other is sleeping, the cover is the perfect place for you to clip it to (and yes, I did get the purple light, thank you ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). The cover also helps protect my Kindle when I throw it in my purse…which is where it lives when I’m not reading or charging it.

I haven’t run out of batteries yet, but I also haven’t read it on a long trip yet either. It really doesn’t take very long to charge anyway. A few hours tops. (And I think I read that you can still use it while it’s charging.)

And it’s so light! I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to “curl up” with it, but I really can. I can hold it with one hand – either hand as well since there is Next Page button on both sides of it. There’s no glare and it’s easy on the eyes.

I just love the fact that I’ll always have a book to read – no matter where I am (as long as I have the Kindle). If I’m about to finish up one book and start another, I don’t have to lug two books along with me (hello Airplane reading!!)

There are a few down-sides to it…when reading in the presence of my kids, they’re drawn to the buttons, so I’m constantly shooing little hands away from my Kindle. ๐Ÿ™‚ But then again, they were always playing with my bookmarks when I was reading paperbacks, so I suppose it’s always something ๐Ÿ˜‰

When you purchase a book, you don’t know the size or feel of the book. I’m guessing that I’ll get better at judging the size after I’m used to theย  key along the bottom of the screen. There are indications for how far into the book you are – percentage-wise, the ‘location’ of where you currently are, and the total number of locations in the book. I just don’t know, exactly, what these locations equate to. (For example, I’m currently reading The Given Day by Dennis Lehane. The key on the bottom tells me that I’m 43% through the book, I’m at locations 5102-9, and there are 11623 locations. See? I don’t know.)

I also received a few gift cards for Christmas that I thought would be perfect for purchasing books. Ya…it was a slight nightmare. Luckily, it’s super easy to ‘return’ books through the Kindle if you’ve accidentally purchased them! LOL!ย  I mistakenly thought I’d be able to enter the gift card number after purchasing the book through the Kindle (as opposed to through the Amazon website)…nope. So then I tried purchasing a book through the Amazon website figuring I’d enter the gift card number at checkout like you would for a ‘regular’ purchase. Ya…nope. Turns out that you have to enter the gift card number into the redemption page before purchasing anything on the Kindle and it will automatically use the gift card money. So…it worked out, it was just a bit of a learning curve (with some frustrations) on my part.

Cool features:

  • A built in dictionary. If I don’t recognize a word, I can click down to it and it automatically pops up a definition!!
  • It goes right to where you left off in the book…no fumbling around for where you were.
  • You can create manual bookmarks if there are spots you know you’d like to return to.
  • I’m sure there are a bunch more, but I’ve been too busy reading to go exploring ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the things I’ve really been enjoying is the free sample. You can download a free sample (usually a chapter or two) of any book available for Kindle and then decide if you want to purchase it…a simple click from the Kindle, of course! But the reason I’ve enjoyed it so much is that if someone recommends a book, you can immediately download the sample and not forget about it! There have been millions of times that someone has recommended a book and I’ll think “okay – next time I’m at the book store and I have nothing to read…I’ll pick that up.” And then when I get there, I’ve totally forgotten what that book was. I don’t have that problem any more!! And I don’t have to worry about spending a whole bunch of cash if I don’t have any at that exact point in time.

Another cool thing I discovered..? FREE BOOKS!! (Okay, I didn’t discover them, my friend at Lit & Laundry pointed the way…) Some of them are like, $1, but there are a whole bunch that are free. And not just ones that your next-door-neighbor probably wrote (although, watch out for those ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) You can search for the free ones on Amazon as well, but the link above points you in the right direction.

I’m now the proud owner of a crock pot cook book, a whole bunch of classics I was supposed to read in high school but never did (like The Scarlet Letter and a bunch of Jane Austen books), The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (the bugger made the first book in this series free so you’d buy the rest of them LOL!), and a romance novel that my mom suggested. My mom also sent a few other links to freebies, but I haven’t tried them out yet (again, too busy reading!). Always one to pass along information, here are the links if you’re interested:

Anything else I should know about my Kindle? Anything else you’d like to know?

Time

One thing I’m always asked is how do I have enough time to <insert said thing>: read, blog, have a second job, crochet, volunteer…whatever.

The honest answer is: I don’t know. Perhaps we’ll all figure it out by the end of this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

As you may know, I have a full-time job. Recently though, I’ve been working from home full time instead of the 2 days a week that I was doing. An instant 6 hours a week gained from travel time! Since I still have my nanny for the same number of hours…there’s time for my second job built right in.

My blog posts are written…whenever, actually. If I don’t have time, you’ll see some photos and a little blurb – usually sent as an email from my phone. If I have some time over lunch or after the kids go to bed, I’ll put together a longer post. This one? I’m actually hand-writing it on the back of a flyer while waiting for Burke’s art class to finish up. I’ll either type it up tonight after the kids go to bed and set it to post in the morning, or I’ll type it up tomorrow morning some time…and I’ll type it up word-for-word so I don’t have to THINK about it and it’ll only take a minute or two. There’s no way I’m typing all of this out on my phone! (Note: I’m actually typing this up this morning right before posting…)ย  READING my favorite blogs is different story. I do that here and there – some on my computer and some on my phone. All through my blog reader though. And I HATE that I don’t have enough time to comment on them all. (Know that I’m still reading though!!)

I tend to crochet in spurts. And those spurts tend to happen around when I need to finish up a project before giving it to someone (like a baby blanket). The spurts also usually happen in the car when we head to Vermont or while I’m watching TV after the kids have gone to bed.

Right now, almost all of the stuff I volunteer for is online with a meeting here and there….except for Sunday School. I figure I’m at church anyway, so I might as well help out, right? (Not next time!!) The PTO meets once a year and the rest is done through email. Since I’m in front of my computer all day anyway – that’s easy. Membership Chair for my Twins club is all done online as well, so… that’s easy too. And Fishful Thinking is mostly done online or chatting with another mom while I’m waiting for one of the kids’ classes to finish up.

Reading. I won’t ever give up reading! I have to admit that there are weeks when I don’t get enough sleep because I’m finishing up a book well after I should be asleep. But I also make sure that I build in time to read. I leave a little bit early to pick the kids up from school so I can park and read a chapter or so. The kids have a class? I bring a book (but I try to be social if there are other moms there!) Kids watching a TV show, but I haven’t seen them all day so I want to sit with them? I read a book with a kid on each side and one in my lap. (I think it’s important for my kids to see me read anyway. I know seeing my parents read books absolutely fostered my love of reading.)

I have to admit – having a nanny helps A LOT. I wouldn’t be able to leave a bit early to get the kids if Logan had to come with me. And I wouldn’t be able to sit in peace if the other two kids had to come with me to Burke’s drawing class or Maggie’s dance class.

I also have to admit that I leave some things undone around the house. Are all of the kids’ toys picked up every night? Nope. Are there dishes in the sink over night some nights? You bet. And I use my crock pot a lot so that I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen.

So…time. I multitask, plan, leave some things undone…and I’m incredibly lucky.

Book Clubs

I was going to write a book review today, but I have waaaay too much work to do to actually think about that without giving too much away about the book. So, I’ll just chat about where all these books are coming from.

I’ve always, always loved reading. I don’t know when I started reading, but I don’t remember when I haven’t had a book in my purse (or back pack, or whatever) for all those occasions when I have a little time for a quick snippet of another world.

THAT said, I’ve always hated having a book “forced” on me. Those books for I was supposed to read for school? Ya – hated it. Even if they may have been good ones. (Especially “classics” – if it was a book I’d pick up on my own; no problem…but classics…blech ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) There are still a whole bunch of classics that I should probably read…

For that reason, I’ve always been hesitant to join a book club. What if all of the chosen books are ones I wouldn’t normally read? (I’m a historical romance, mystery lovin’ kinda gal.) What if I just didn’t have time to read the book before we met?? (I’m beginning to realize that I have this strange fear of letting people down for ridiculous things…but that’s for another post.)

What I didn’t realize is that’s precisely what book clubs are for! To GET me to read books that I wouldn’t normally read. (And I must admit, as much as I love Nora Roberts, I can’t read more than 3 in a row by her…) And the book club I joined is through my town’s Mom’s club…which means THEY’RE all busy too…which means they don’t care if I finish the book in time for the meeting ๐Ÿ™‚ (Although, I do have to say that I have finished all of them on time so far, and have been the only one to do so…and there hasn’t been much discussion of books at these meetings ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Either way – I’m really glad that I’ve joined. I’ve enjoyed all of the books so far and it’s been a really great way to meet more people in my town!