Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sew Domestic

Ya'll know how I like to pretend to be crafty and domestic. My latest adventures in domesticity have been these little sewing projects. Since there's only Wal-Mart in Cedar, and since I don't want to spend $4 on one baby headband, I just bought some big girl headbands and made them smaller for Ellie! So far they've even stayed together and mostly on her head. I mean, she's a baby, she hits or pulls at it sometimes and sometimes it slides down a little. But isn't she so cute?? 

I've also made myself some nursing tanks. I just converted my DownEast tanks by cutting the straps off on the back and making a loop in the front which I attach to my nursing bra. It's been working great!

The Genesis Secret

Tom Knox's Genesis Secret tells the suspenseful yet intelligent tale of reporter Robert Luttrell. Sent on a supposedly simple assignment about the excavation of Gobekli Tepe in Kurdish Turkey, the oldest remains of human civilization and apparent Garden of Eden. Rob is quickly drawn in to the mystery of Gobekli Tepe, why the locals are resisting the dig, and, ultimately, the death of the lead archaeologist. Back in the UK, a string of brutal murders are being committed and investigated by the Scotland Yard, especially Detective Forrester. Eventually, a connection is made and Forrester and Luttrell must work together to discover the Genesis secret and, more importantly, catch the crazed murderer. 

The Genesis Secret  is a fairly intense read, not one you can necessarily read at the beach or with distractions around, especially at the end. I mean, James Joyce is referenced! It's a good book; though slow to start, once it all starts to come together it gets hard to put down. However, it is rather violent and grotesque and the language is, at times, obscene and responsive to the violence. The characters attempt to be real and relatable, but fall short. I was more captivated by the story line and desire to solve the mystery than the fate of the characters. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. 3 & 1/2 stars. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Ranger's Apprentice: Books 1-3

John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series is a pretty popular one with the middle school set, so of course I had to give it a go. Matthew had the first three in a boxed set (not that he's read them; he said he couldn't get into them) so those are the ones I read. The first one started out kind of slow, but then the adventure starts and keeps going. I think this series would be best for 5th-7th graders who read on at least that reading level. It might be a little boring for a high schooler. The closest thing I can relate them to is the The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins. They're right in between juvenile and young adult, but the language is definitely young adult. That's the one thing that did bug me. It swore quite a bit, much more than I would want Jordyn to read. Matthew, no problem. But not Jordyn. I did like these books, though, and I'll probably read the rest -- I have to know what happens! -- but I can only give them three stars. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trying So Hard


Almost every time I put Ellie down for tummy time, she tries so hard to roll over! She really doesn't like to be on her belly unless we're entertaining her (toys are no good), but even then that's no guarantee! 

She's rolled from belly to back successfully on the bed, but she takes advantage of the slope into the middle. She hasn't quite done it on the floor/playmat yet, but she tries! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Candy Shop War

I've been meaning to read The Candy Shop War for a while now, and finally got to it.  As one might gather from the title, it's about a "war", if you will, between a candy shop and a candy truck, and the kids manipulated by the candy makers into fighting this war. Of course, magic plays a large roll as well. 

The Candy Shop War is a creative idea for a novel and I really enjoyed it.  The characters are realistic and their adventures are exciting.  It's an enjoyable, appropriate book for kids of all ages. Four Stars. 

The Book Without Words

Avi's The Book Without Words is a unique tale about a man who wants to live forever and his journey to do so, while not really being about him at all. So much is about Sybil's internal conflict of using the magic herself. 

It's not an amazing, can't-put-down novel, but The Book Without Words is an easy Juvenile/Young Adult novel that anyone with an interest in a little mystery and magic during medieval times would enjoy. Three and a half stars. 

Watership Down

Goodreads recommended Watership Down to me, and since it was a book Cass brought to the marriage (doesn't that sound funny?), it was convenient to read. It tells the story of a few rabbits who choose to leave their warren because one of them, Fiver, has a premonition that something bad is going to happen. Though his vision isn't clear, he is trusted by a few rabbits. The book is basically about these rabbits and their journey to find, and make, a new home, as well as to bring some female rabbits into their warren so that they can procreate and make their arduous journey worth it. 

Some parts are pretty exciting, but other parts drag on and on.  Adams also uses a lot of made-up rabbit language, which you eventually get used to, but is kind of annoying.  I would have liked Watership Down  a whole lot more if it was about half as long. It was an okay book, but not great by any means. Three stars. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Newborn Photoshoot

We just got the pictures back from Ellie's photoshoot and I just love them! Here's some of my favorites: 


I love her little baby feet! 














Rockin' her "Elfie" hat






I love this one of Cass & Ellie -- she was a little fussy and as
he was calming her down, the photographer got the picture!

*photos taken by Jerrie Haskin*

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ellie's Baby Blessing

Cassidy blessed Ellie at church on Sunday & a lot of our family was able to come and support us. I didn't get too many pictures on my camera (thank goodness for grandmas, so I know there's more pictures!) but here's some of the cute ones!

Great-Granddad Harry meeting Miss Ellie
(and Cass in an awkward photobomb!) 



Cousin Will tasting Ellie's Dress!


Great-Grandpa Johnson loving on his babies!


Cousins Walker & Caitlyn


Great-Grandma Carma, Grandpa Morrell, Ellie, me, & Cass


Auntie Jordyn can't get enough of Baby Ellie!


Proud Grandma and Grandpa! 


Jenn & Will, me & Ellie


Cassidy's Graduation

Cassidy graduated from SUU this past week and had three days of celebratory, ceremonious events! On Thursday the College of Humanities and Social Sciences had their award ceremony where Cass received his Certificate of International Relations. 

receiving his award &
being teased by a professor for turning in a paper late
showing off

Friday was the commencement ceremony for the whole university, and since it was just speakers, Cass attended by himself. That's also when they moved their tassels and became official graduates.

Chris, Pyper, and Nathan came down Friday night and Pyper loved having Cass play with her in the pool! I was just boring and sat on the edge though; it was so hot in there! Plus Ellie was sleeping in her carseat and I wanted to be able to hear her if she woke up. 

Saturday was individual college commencement. In the morning Cass got his AAS in Information Technology, and in the afternoon he got his BA in Political Science. Ellie was asleep for the ceremony, but she woke up as soon as it ended and wanted to eat, so she wasn't very pleasant for the pictures! 


receiving his diploma and shaking hands


Congrats on your graduation, honey! So proud of you and love you!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Baby's First Road Trip!

Last week I had a job interview up north, so Ellie and I decided to make a little trip out of it and stay at my parents' house for a few days. Turns out you have to pack a ton more when you're traveling with a baby than just by yourself! 

Suitcase, Stroller, Diaper Bag, Ellie's Bed, all for a 3 day trip! 

I wasn't sure how Ellie would do, and I figured we would stop at least once on the drive. But I fed her right before we left and she slept the whole way! She woke up as soon as we got there, though, and was starving!! 

That afternoon, Mom and I took her to meet her Great-Grandpa and Great-Uncle. I think they liked her :) And, of course, Grandpa welcomed her into the family with some USC garb! 

The Ainges came over that night to meet Ellie. William wasn't quite sure what to think of her, though! 

Jordyn loves both her babies, even though they're quite the armful! (And weren't super happy since they can't sit on their own yet . . . ) But doesn't Will look so huge next to Ellie?!? It's so funny to go from holding one to holding the other, the weight difference is crazy! 

Jordyn loves snuggling with Ellie! 

Morrell met me and Ellie in Orem for lunch on Tuesday. He just loves his little grandbaby :)  While I was getting ready, I put her in the swing at my moms. She wasn't too fond of it, but I think it was just the angle, she likes the rocking. 

Then Wednesday Mom, Jenn, Willie, Ellie, and I played and went shopping. Ellie and I drove home that night and she was a little more cranky this time around. Lucky for us, Grandma Carma lives halfway there, so we stopped to visit and feed Ellie. We had a nice little visit up north, even if Ellie got a little overwhelmed by all the changes!