Saturday, September 25, 2010

What I've Been Reading...and Watching

For anyone interested - here are a few recommendations...

There is a group of authors and readers that have enjoyed imagining the continued story of Pride and Prejudice beyond what Jane Austen gave us. I have read reviews and plot summaries - and to be honest - it just does not appeal to me. However, I made an exception with this trilogy based on the mysterious character of Mr. Darcy. The author presents the story of Pride and Prejudice - following the events of the novel almost exactly - through Mr. Darcy's perspective. Although this might bother some Austen purists - if the books are read almost as an entirely different series, it is pretty enjoyable. And I think Aidan does a good job with the language and writing style. The second book of the trilogy goes a little off-track and almost becomes a Gothic romance novel...but the third book returns the familiar story and ends in the way we all know and love.
An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan

Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan

These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan

Seabisuit by Laura Hillenbrand
This book was given to me as a birthday gift and it took me a long time to finally read it. However, I am so glad I did! Even though I did not enjoy the movie of Seabiscuit, I found the book to be very interesting and at times - quite gripping! I was fascinating by the inside look at the life of jockeys and how the sport of horse-racing permeated the lives and hearts of people living in the 1930s.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I did not enjoy the last book in the Hunger Games series as much as I was hoping. But I still was sad when it was over and thoroughly enjoyed reading the series.

Young Victoria - the movie
I was first introduced to this story when I watched, Victoria and Albert - a mini-series made in 2001. I found the story to be remarkable although I didn't love the movie. However, I can honestly say that I loved this recent remake! It only explores the first half of Victoria's life but it is still worth watching.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Birdwatching with Mr. Webb

Wes, Addie, Isaac and I joined in on a Bean Museum "nature experienceship" last Saturday. We didn't want to miss it ! Because it was birdwatching with Mr. Webb.

It was a beautiful fall day and of course my pictures don't quite capture the lovely changing colors.

Mr. Webb. I still have a hard time calling him by his first name. His excitement for birding is contagious and he has this great way of making people feel extra smart! Spotting a magpie is like we've discovered some rare species! You should have seen how impressed he was when Addie identified a flock of flying pelicans. His talent for teaching is outstanding.

In addition to seeing about 15 different species of birds, we also saw lots of other cool stuff. The kids got busy catching frogs.

Setting the scope on a flock of cattle egrets.
Kip was there too which always adds to the fun.

A beaver lodge.
A flock of killdeer.

Mr. Webb attempting to call out the warblers. He's "wooshing." Gotta love him.

My good friend Katy is over education at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. She told me about some great nature experienceships to look forward to. Here is the link to check it out! I also hear there will be eagle watching (with Mr. Webb) this Winter and an insect collecting outing in the Spring. I love the Bean Museum.

And thanks to my parents for providing lots of fun for the little girls so we could go on this outing. Their day included the Bean Museum, a picnic, the playground and washing the car with Papa. They had a blast!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Simply Amazing

We were lucky enough to see The Lion King last night. It was a feast for the eyes! There wasn't enough time within each scene to take it all in. We loved it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Filling the Void

Introducing our new kittens:


and Millie

(By the way, I-man was just elected to be his 4th grade class president!!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day

Still no kitties...

We celebrated our Labor Day with a picnic in the park with my family. Activities included yummy dinner, soccer, gymnastics, tennis and human foosball. Human foosball? You'll see...

We also celebrated Tess' birthday
And did some cousin-leaping...

And some break dancing moves...
Tess brought the stuff for human foosball. I had never head of this before but it was pretty fun. And pretty hilarious. People are tied together and then hold on to poles. Each pole team is only allowed to move laterally to kick the ball to try to make a goal - like in foosball. (I hear this makes a great youth activity.)

One of the formidable goalies..

The cheering section...

The birthday girl opened her presents

It was a great time enjoyng one of our last days of lovely weather. I can't believe Fall is upon us!!