On Sunday, my adorable little niece, Brynn Freed, turned 2 and I, like the terrible auntie that I am, forgot to post her a Happy Birthday message! Brynn is the most darling little sweet pea in the world, so I know she'll forgive me. Her parents, on the other hand... (sorry guys!)
We really do love Brynn so much! She has been a joy in our family since the day of her birth and we just love having her around. Brynn was the happiest, smiliest baby (as Ann-Michelle's babies tend to be) and her sweetness is still apparent to everyone she meets. She is a dainty little girl and we adore her bright blue eyes and sparkly smile.
Happy Birthday, Brynnie! We hope it was a great one!!
This is just my way of stickin' it to the Man: Chris and I just spent a nice little chunk of our rebate check booking hotels for our trip to Canada in August. We're heading up to the Pacific NW with our great friends, Ryan and Nicki, who were married just a week after us, to celebrate our ten year anniversaries. What better way to stimulate the US economy than by vacationing in Canada? Hee!
I totally support those of you who choose not to find out for whatever reason, but I am not that girl. I like to start referring to the lump as "he" or "she" instead of "it", and with our previous two, we've pretty much named the kid the second we learned the gender. Although we do have names in mind, I'm going to try to keep that a surprise until the baby is born. And of course, one of the best parts about knowing the gender is the shopping! I've already got a list going.
Here's what I've got so far...
For the Bumbo, will it be
Will my diaper bag (or backpack, which actually seems more "me") be
Mod Floral Blue
Mod Floral Pink?
And for the baby carrier, is it
Although nothing any of us does now is going to change the outcome, I've set up a poll at left for you to vote your guess. I'm excited to see what you think. By the way, Chris was watching AVP on TV the other night (no, that's not my kind of movie), so I added in a couple of extra choices. Hee hee.
Our ultrasound is scheduled for a week from today, so I'll update the blog with a new look and share what we know then.
BEFORE: The home of Mr. and Mrs. Blandy McBlanderson...
And AFTER: Cute as a charming little button!
I am in LOVE with the red door. I know that color is a little cliched these days, but it just goes so well with the house that I couldn't care less. Adorable, isn't it? The best part about these little changes: we spent less than $50!
Also on the home front, we found a little jungle explorer cleverly posted between the chocolate milk and the celery in the fridge the other night. We're still not sure who placed him there, but it did give Chris a good laugh when he was grabbing a late night snack!
PRICE - Our loving father, grandfather and beloved uncle, Thomas A. Burgess, age 92, passed away May 12, 2008 in Price.
Born Oct. 2, 1915 in Provo to William J. and Mary Gatherum Burgess. He married Esther Wolfrom Jan. 2, 1959 in Boulder City, Nev. She passed away on Oct. 15, 2006.
Tom served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945. His duties included being an aircraft service mechanic, crew chief and aircraft instrument mechanic. He worked on the Boeing 4 engine on the B-17 bomber.
Tom served 11 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and several years in the Civil Air Patrol.
In 1947, he received his private pilot license.
Tom was a licensed contractor who built many homes in the area. He was a very talented craftsman and he especially enjoyed helping others with their electrical and plumbing repairs.
He also worked at the College of Eastern Utah in the maintenance department.
Tom enjoyed working in the yard and fixing anything that was broken.
He was a kind and loving caregiver to all in need, especially to his wife.
He will be missed by his family and a community of friends.
Survived by his daughters, Mary (Dan) Baxter, Highland; and Patsy (Dennis) Jensen, Carbonville; nine grandchildren, Dawn (Shane) McMillan, Taylorsville; Christopher (Angie) Arambula, South Jordan; Jeremy (Angelyn) Jensen, Logan; DaNeen Kirkwood, Price; Debbie (Robin) Rudman, Wellington; Justin (Tammy) Jensen, Spring Glen; Mike (Stormie) Baxter, Aurora, Colo.; Melinda (Mike) Wallis, Cedar Hills; and Marcie (Dan) Clawson, Pleasant Grove; 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson; loving niece, Janet (Tom) Patterick, Price; special nephew, Joe (Esta Lee) Mason, Price; many other nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents; dear wife, Esther; two sisters and two brothers.
Graveside service Friday, May 16, noon, Price City Cemetery. Family will be at Mitchell Funeral Home Friday morning from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friends are welcome at Mitchell’s daily.
The best part of this picture isn't Chris's run-- it's the adorable little hand in the bottom left, cheering his Dad on!
Since I'm creeping up on the halfway point of "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers", I thought I'd give you a quick update on me and my pregnant state. I'm a pretty average pregnant person-- I have been extremely fortunate with my previous pregnancies in that I didn't gain an enormous amount of weight or swell excessively. I'm counting on that trend to continue with this one, and so far, I'm staying consistent. On the down side, I'm also not one of those little things that only gains the cute, round basketball tummy, then leaves the hospital wearing size 6 jeans.
While I haven't noticed a great amount of gain poundage wise, I am constantly finding new frustration in the fact that it's not just my belly that is starting to look pregnant. My days of wearing my normal clothes with small adjustments (like a rubber band around the buttons) are over, so on Sunday evening, I went through my wardrobe and sorted the clothes based on clothes I can wear now, clothes I will have to start wearing very soon, and clothes that I should just stop looking at unless I want to feel depressed. Between the clothes donated from previously pregnant family members and the stuff I bought with Gordon, I have a decent selection for the next 20-ish weeks. I'm sure I'll supplement just a little bit, but it was relieving to see that I'm pretty much covered. By the time this thing is over, I can guarantee that I'll hate each item in that closet with a passion. :)
Aside from the baby belly and maternity clothes, my other symptoms include heartburn (thanks for the Zantac, doc), mild back aches, and my continued aversion to red meat (although I did have a McDonald's cheeseburger the other day, but I don't think that counts). I've also been very emotional and high-strung, which seems more extreme to me than in my past pregnancies, but may be totally normal. I'm planning to discuss with my doctor at my next appointment. Anyway, if you catch me bawling hysterically at a really good commercial or cursing those damned carpool parents with increased fervor, you'll know why.
I took almost no pictures of my pregnant-with-Gordon self, and only a few when I was expecting Thomas, mostly due to the fact that I didn't have a digital camera and just didn't think about picture-taking as much as I do now. I want to try to document this one a little better, if nothing more than to make myself feel better when I'm not pregnant! Here I am today...
Lately I've been increasingly lazy with my hair. I'd like to cut it, but I'm waiting until the end of the year so that it's long enough to donate (who wouldn't want a red-haired wig?), but I don't look like Sinead O'Connor afterward. Hence, probably 5 days a week, I've opted for the messy bun-- just my hair wound around a pony tail holder. I knew you'd want to see what that looks like.
Whew-- I'm feeling wordy tonight! One more thing-- I watched the American Idol finale and I just have to put in my two cents: while I definitely think that David Archuleta is vocally superior to David Cook, from a marketing standpoint, I don't think he is really the most marketable candidate. His voice and style are a little too syrupy for me, and I really can't picture having a David Archuleta album in my iTunes. David Cook, on the other hand, seems much more current and unique, and I actually plan on buying his CD.
Okay, enough from me. Cheers!
Hiawatha Ladies luncheon for Ladies and spouses or friends.
I HAVE SET UP A DATE FOR JUNE 16TH AT 11:00 AM FOR THE HIAWATHA LUNCHEON AT JIM'S FAMILY RESTAURANT. JIM'S IS LOCATED AT 894 EAST 3900 SOUTH, SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84107. PONE NUMBER 801-747-1102. WOULD YOU PLEASE SEND OUT AN EMAIL TO EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST?THANKS,DON
Okay, so he is Master of his own Universe, but nonetheless. It's official: we (temporarily, sigh) no longer have children in diapers! HOORAY! That's right, Gordon is completely potty trained! I wish I could credit my amazing mothering skills for this feat, but the truth is that it was all Gord's decision. We've been teetering around the idea for several months now, and this week, he just decided that the time had finally come. I've mentioned his strong-willed nature before, and this is just another prime example: when he's ready, he'll do it.
He had a couple of accidents on Monday and Tuesday, our first two diaper-free days, but none since. Yesterday, when we went to the museum and out to dinner, I brought along clean pairs of shorts, socks and undies, just in case, but they went back into the drawer unused. After he made it through the three hour church block, and again, a three hour nap on my bed (now that's a test!), both wetness-free, I feel safe in saying that we've arrived at toilet mastery heaven!
Part of me is very sad that I no longer have a baby in this little guy, but the other part, the bigger and more important part, is thrilled with the awesome kid he is now! Way to go, buddy!
First, I have to share this picture of Gordon in the new birthday outfit he (with my help, of course) picked out with his birthday money from Nonny and Bob. Seriously, can you get any cuter?!
Ogden is a quick 45 minutes from Logan, and the drive down was full of exactly what we were anticipating: trains! Gordon has become an eagle-eye at finding trains around us, and he was thrilled with the number we saw. Outside of Union Station, there is a display of a large black engine pulling two vintage cars. I got a kick out of the slight nervousness of Gordon when it came to climbing on the train-- I don't think he had ever imagined what one looked like so close!
Once inside, we bought the boys Jelly Belly suckers to keep them occupied while we waited for my parents and sisters Caitlan and Allison to join us. You'll notice the candy in pretty much every picture from here on out!
The station wasn't busy, so we had fun letting the boys run around the big main waiting area and climbing on the benches.
As my family arrived, they pretended to be asleep. (We really didn't have to wait that long!)
If you're a Utah resident and like trains, I'd definitely recommend this museum. It is fairly basic, but interesting, and you can't beat the low cost. The boys had a great time looking at the old time railway memorabilia and climbing inside the old caboose.
And here we are on the "Gandy Wagon" (I think that is the right name...)
One of the most fun things about the museum are the model trains-- there are several, and they go through different scenes in the West to demonstrate the far reach of the railway system. Gordon could have spent hours just watching them go through tunnels, over bridges, and around hills and mountains. It really was a cool little setup.
It was really fun to have my parents and sisters join us on our adventure. We enjoyed a tasty little dinner at Red Robin after the museum, where I was only slightly appalled to learn that they no longer sing a birthday song to the birthday kid. I declined the free birthday sundae (I know, mean Mom), but Gordon and I did split a chocolate shake.
We drove back to Logan, where we enjoyed spending the rest of the evening with my family and I'm positive Caitlan really appreciated all of my advice and suggestions regarding her budding romance. It's fun to reminisce about those fun dating days. Sigh.
With all of the trains, food, and fun people, I think we can definitely count Gordon's birthday wishes as completely fulfilled!
myaccount238: If there is another Ohio rally, I will drive there to spit in your
me: That would be a big mistake
myaccount238: we'll see how tough you are quiverteeth
me: Better bring backup
me: By the way spitting is assault
me: You'd be arrested on the spot
Me: Your husband would be so jealous
(Thanks for being stupid AZU by the way. By the way they did call me "great"-- Thanks for the compliments LOL
myaccount238: You will win in court, sue everyone, and live happily ever after
myaccount238: ***** the great
Me: That's the plan
Me: Thanks for admitting I'm great)
By the way, AZU is pretty open about encouraging vigilantism. For example, AZU numbnut Carisma came to the rescue of Travis Metcalf, a man who was cited for disorderly conduct for threatening a sex offnder in public:
Metcalf admits he lost control of his emotions.
“I was screaming at the top of my lungs at him,” said the 34-year-old Metcalf, a husband and a father of three children, ages 14, 12 and 5. “I ended up getting a ticket for disorderly conduct out of the deal.”
And Travis Metcalf should have gotten more, in my opinion, to teach people a hard lesson about vigilante violence. And he isn't learning his lesson:
"Despite his June 25 court date, Metcalf said he is keeping the pressure on Larsen by distributing fliers with Larsen’s picture and identifying information, and Metcalf is attempting to organize a 'parent watch' to raise public awareness. "
So it is NO surprise he fits in with AZU. So says Carisma:
May 11, 2008 10:14 PM
"Any parent would have done the same thing as Metcalf. He didn't assault him, he called him on it! Thank god he did."
No, any good parent would have called the cops and presented evidence of the former offender's improprieties. Not only is vigilante violence illegal, but DANGEROUS! Oh but there's more:
May 12, 2008 10:38 AM Link to this
"We (that count) are all behind you, Travis Metcalf! Let us know what you need." Yep! Keep up the good work! Travis hurt no one and only saved a child! [Note: He only hurt no one because the cops showed up]
May 12, 2008 11:12 AM
Metcalf is a hero and it appears the only people who don't realize it are guys who would think there's nothing wrong with lurking outside a preschool hiding in a bush.
May 12, 2008 4:23 AM Link to this
Shouting at a man who is hiding in a bush outside a preschool is Not harassment.
These people don't seem to understand you just don't get a citation for "doing the right thing." Getting up and threatening a person is NOT "doing the right thing." CALLING THE COPS WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING WRONG IS THE RIGHT THING!
Think about THIS folks, why is it Absolute Zero United hides their identity? Why aren't they touted as "heroes" for their work? Because cyberstalking, abuse of the registry, harassment, and threats of violence are ILLEGAL, that's why. They are CRIMINALS, plain and simple. Thugs.
By the way, why would a site like Family Watchdog tell people the first thing to do is to get up in people's faces. Read the article again:
Steve Roddel, president and CEO of Family Watchdog, said the 3-year-old site is updated throughout the day with the latest information available. He said he is unable to chastise people like Metcalf who use the site as a tool to protect their children and their community.
“It would be awfully hard for me to find fault with someone who is out trying to protect his community,” Roddel said.
He added that if a convicted sex offender is displaying high-risk behaviors, like hanging out at parks and schools with a puppy, that person should be confronted and made aware that he is being watched.
Tell them you know who they are, and, ‘You are not going to do it on my watch,’ ” Roddel said. “I wouldn’t necessarily call it overreacting.”
What happened to "if you see a crime call the police?" Duh. Someone shove the Watchmutt's nose in the shit they're shoveling! What if that guy had been packing heat? You don't just get up in a guy's face, that's a potentially dangerous situation. Hell, pull out a video camera, take pics, turn over to police, and the guy would have been in jail. Simple as 1-2-3! Of course, leave it to Family Watchdog and Absolute Zero United to put two and two together and only come up with three!
Oh yeah, one last thing, someone pointed out that I needed to add the following:
Note: The following information is provided as an awareness tool so that you can adequately protect yourself and your children from these individuals. The use of the sex offender registry information to harass, endanger, intimidate, threaten or in any way seek retribution on an offender through illegal channels is prohibited. Any person who engages or participates in such acts may be charged criminally."
And on the FamilyWatchDog TOS, it states:"Harassment, stalking, or threatening anyone on this list likely violates your state law and is neither condoned nor encouraged by Family Watchdog, its directors or employees."
So its not only illegal to use the registry info to harass people, it violates the Family Watchmutt TOS too! Then Roddel contradicts his own company. A classic!
Today my sweet baby boy turned three years old, and officially exited toddlerhood and entered kid-dom. I've been feeling rather sad and nostalgic today (prenatal psychosis is partly to blame) as Gord and I have been running around in birthday celebration. Has it really been three years since this funny little man entered my life?
For those who know Gordon well, it won't be a surprise to learn that he woke up with a GIGANTIC smile this morning and jumped up and down all over the house singing, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!" He has always approached everything in life with an absolute vigor, something I have always loved about him. He is definitely my fireball child-- always full of energy and spunk, and that little extra spark that keeps us on our toes. I'll admit that he is also the kid I forsee butting heads with a little bit (okay, I can recall butting heads with him just today, in fact), but only because we're a lot alike in our stubbornness. Gordon is extremely expressive and imaginative, and has a great budding sense of humor. He's also the most darling little thing, with those crazy Snuffy eyelashes, adorable baby blue eyes, and cherubic little face-- looks that, I believe, let him get away with being a demon! Gordon brings a special energy and charm to our lives, and I'm so very grateful that he is ours. May 15th will always be a special day in our family!
After work today, Gordon, Chris and I had a tasty birthday lunch of "chicken on a bone" (fried chicken), accompanied by the traditional balloons-- three of them! Afterward, Gord and I went on a few errands: a haircut for the birthday boy (he talked to the the stylist the entire time), Smith's Marketplace (like Fred Meyer) for groceries and a couple more presents, and over to a friend's to pick up Thomas. Our friends, the Hunts, joined us for Gordon's favorite dinner of Macaroni and Cheese (I made a special adult version for the grown-ups-- yummy!!) and birthday cake and ice cream. I tried to get a cute birthday picture of him, but it just wasn't meant to be. Instead, I got quite a few of him yelling, "I DON'T WANT TO TAKE A PICTURE", and finally one really cheesy consolation picture. Yes, he's a little firecracker, all right! Ultimately, though, he did let me cuddle and kiss him good-night (and just an hour later than normal!), so it's been a very good day.
Happy Birthday to my sweet boy!
We stayed at the Hilton near Jon and Emily's home, and the boys were THRILLED with our choice. Not only did the hotel have a nice indoor swimming pool, it also had an elevator with glass doors and an open foyer, so you could watch the lobby sink below as you rode up. We were on the 8th floor, so the elevator alone provided enough pleasure to last the whole trip!
One of the coolest things about Fort Collins is the Old Town area. We enjoyed eating and touring around there on Friday afternoon. There are some great little shops and a lot of beautiful trees, so the atmosphere is really enjoyable.
The Cupboard, one of our favorite shops, has a bunch of tasty gourmet candy that we had to try. Chris and I shared some fancy truffles-- incredible-- and the boys picked out an assortment of weird gummy things and suckers.
The next stop was a funky little toy and children's clothing store, where we found a couple of gender-neutral outfits for Munchkin 3. The boys (and I mean all three of them!) were in heaven with all of the cool toys.
Later that evening, we went to the opening of Jon's gallery. He presented along with another girl who specialized in metalsmithing. The art was really impressive and we really enjoyed seeing Jon's work. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the grasp of art that I would like to, but I could still appreciate the creativity and work that went in to each of his pieces. We're really proud of Jon and we're sure that he'll put the same great effort into his next adventure!
I didn't feel well on Saturday, so the boys spent most of their time swimming and riding up and down on the elevators, while I spent most of my time laying in bed and watching Cast Away. Despite not doing much, the boys still managed to have a good time. It's fun to be a kid!
On Sunday morning, before heading back across the great and wide expanse known as Wyoming, Emily and Jon hosted a lovely Mother's Day Brunch at City Park. The kids had a blast with bubbles and the ducks, and the adults enjoyed yummy quiches and artichoke dip before the long ride home.
Thanks again, Jon and Emily, for hosting everyone! We had a great time!
Hiawatha School Pic #3
Front Row Left to Right
1.Carol Larsen 5.Faun Davis
2.Grace Orphanakis 6.Clarris Johnson
3.Beverly Shadler 7.Francis Jane Baxter
4.Alvie Petroni 8.Mary Elizabeth Beveridge (Teacher)
2nd Row Left to right
1.Don Larsen 5.Jay Martino
2.Shirley Gleason 6.Paul Mecham
Back Row Left to Right
1.Earl Crawford 4.Bonnie Allred
2.Dean Cowen 5.Cliff Finley3.Helen Stifos 6.Paul Villard
I especially love weddings of people I know and love. On Saturday, Chris and I were able to attend the wedding of one of our dear long-time friends, Jared Slade. Jared and Chris served together in the Ohio Cleveland Mission many, many years ago, and we've managed to keep in touch. My favorite memories with Jared are the six consecutive years of Christmas Around the World and our late night dinners afterward with the OCM gang (remember how much fun we had, Jill?!), and our trip to Ohio five years ago. I'm going to post a picture of our group-- Jill and Drew Petersen, Josh Probert, Jared and us at the Kirtland Temple-- it was such a great trip. Anyway, we were absolutely thrilled to find out that Jared was engaged and even more thrilled to meet his beautiful new wife, Amanda. The couple was so happy, their joy couldn't help but rub off on everyone else. I couldn't imagine a better time to reunite with old friends and to celebrate all of the love and hope life has to offer. It was a great day.
The happy couple-- Jared and Amanda Slade!
I don't think we can be considered newlyweds anymore, but we're still stinkin' cute! (Thanks Jill, for letting me steal some pictures!)
We hadn't seen the Petersens forever, so seeing them made the day especially sweet!
The OCM boys-- Petersen, Probert, Slade & Hansen!
"Imagine you're reading a book and you notice that an eyelash has fallen onto one of the pages. You take your one finger and remove the eyelash-- that is the same amount of pressure I used to remove Tom's tooth."
There are quite a few more little teeth that will eventually fall out, so hopefully Tom remembers how un-painful the whole experience was and opts to get it over with a little sooner. We're not holding our breath, though! ;)
The tooth fairy that visited our home that night is NOT the same tooth fairy that used to visit me when I was younger. This one is far more generous. Apparently since the tooth was lost on a Sunday and it was the first tooth and required some bravery, the tooth fairy (Chris) brought not only two Sacagawea dollars, but also a set of watercolors and a Butterfinger. I'm guessing that the Butterfinger is supposed to encourage additional tooth loss...
Generation No. 1
1. Robert Raymond Hansen, born in Council Bluffs, Ia1. He was the son of 2. Donald Julius Hansen, Sr. and 3. Maxine Maye Johnston. He married (1) Linda Ann Brindley in Boulder Creek, Ca2. She was born in Washington, Ia3. She was the daughter of Daniel Bentley Brindley and Dorothea Maria Thompson.
Generation No. 2
2. Donald Julius Hansen, Sr.4,5, born in Council Bluffs Ia6,7,8; died in Council Bluffs Ia9. He was the son of 4. Peter Julius Hansen and 5. Minnie Christine Christensen. He married 3. Maxine Maye Johnston in Papillion, Ne10.
3. Maxine Maye Johnston11, born in Council Bluffs Ia11; died in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She was the daughter of 6. Howard Almond Johnston and 7. Harriett Rosetta Parker.
Generation No. 3
4. Peter Julius Hansen13,14,15, born 12 Apr 1881 in Teestrup Parish, Denmark16,17,18,19; died 27 Jun 1968 in Council Bluffs Ia20,21. He was the son of 8. Hans F. Hansen and 9. Johanne Marie Petersen. He married 5. Minnie Christine Christensen 11 Feb 1905 in Council Bluffs Ia22.
5. Minnie Christine Christensen23, born 14 Sep 1882 in Sjaelland, Denmark23; died 25 Feb 1962 in Council Bluffs Ia24. She was the daughter of 10. Martin A Christensen and 11. Christina Maria Sorensen.
6. Howard Almond Johnston27,28,29,30,31, born 29 Jul 1884 in Lincoln Center, Adams Co, Ia32,33,34,35; died 10 Jan 1966 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa, United States of America36. He was the son of 12. Charles Henry Johnston and 13. Lydia Emma Burton. He married 7. Harriett Rosetta Parker Abt. 1908 in Red Oak, Iowa.
7. Harriett Rosetta Parker37, born 01 Jan 1889 in Floyd County, Iowa38,39,39; died 1933 in Council Bluffs Ia. She was the daughter of 14. William Edward Parker and 15. Frances Adeline Ogburn.
Generation No. 4
8. Hans F. Hansen48, born 07 Apr 1850 in Sjaelland, Denmark49,50; died 29 Apr 1938 in Fredericksburg, Kearney Co, Ne51. He was the son of 16. Hans. He married 9. Johanne Marie Petersen 20 May 1880 in Norre Lyndelse, Odense, Denmark52.
9. Johanne Marie Petersen53, born 20 Feb 1851 in Nordskov, Nordskovby, Denmark54; died 06 Jun 1906 in Fredericksburg Ne Cemetary55. She was the daughter of 18. Peder M Andersen and 19. Maren Larsdatter.
10. Martin A Christensen89,90, born Mar 1861 in Denmark91,92; died 10 Aug 1938 in Council Bluffs Ia93. He married 11. Christina Maria Sorensen Bet. 1882 - 1886 in Denmark94.
11. Christina Maria Sorensen95,96, born Feb 1859 in Denmark97; died 1940 in Council Bluffs Ia98.
12. Charles Henry Johnston113,114,115,116, born 15 Jul 1858 in Monmouth, Ill117,118,119,120,121; died 14 Oct 1930 in Livingston, Montana122,123. He was the son of 24. Hannams Johnston and 25. Elizabeth Martin. He married 13. Lydia Emma Burton 22 Oct 1878 in Quincy, Ia124.
13. Lydia Emma Burton125,126,127, born 20 May 1856 in Sabula, Ia128,129,130,131; died 05 Aug 1902 in Adams Co, Ia132,133. She was the daughter of 26. William Burton and 27. Anne Cox.
In the meantime, you'll have to suffice with a couple of reviews right here on the good ol' blog. :) Since I know that some of the people who read this blog are a little more discriminating about content than I am, I decided to add some content warnings in small print below the reviews.
Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult
This book, about a high school shooting, was pretty good-- fast-paced, interesting, with a few little twists. Perhaps it's because I've read Jodi Picoult before, or perhaps I'm a genius (or both!), but I did guess the surprise twist at the end within the first few chapters. The story itself is very sad, and Picoult takes you through the shooter's life, where all of the bad memories and disappointments finally lead up to the shooting. There were a few scenarios that felt a little contrived, and I didn't feel very hopeful at the end, but overall, it was a good read. If you haven't read Picoult before, I'd recommend My Sister's Keeper first.
Mild sex, Language, Adult themes
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Another sad story, but I would say that this book was excellent, rather than just good. The writing is incredible and raw, and although the story of an Afghani boy and his friend is difficult to read in parts, it is an excellently crafted story. I found myself thinking a lot about prejudices, about the things we do to protect ourselves, sometimes at the cost of others, and ultimately, about forgiveness. I definitely recommend this book and I'm excited to read another Hosseini novel.
Adult themes, violence
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
Those crazy circus freaks! Really, I liked this book. It was quick and interesting, and I found the main character likable and genuine. Some of the things that went on in the depression-era circus in this story are kind of scary, but definitely entertaining. I don't know that this book caused any serious contemplation, but it was a fun read.
Mild Sex, Language, Mild Violence