Category Archives: books

2015 year in review


Name:  Luke

Age:  8

Favorite color:  Silver

Favorite food:  Mac and cheese

Favorite activity:  Playing Clash of Clans

Favorite book:  Goosebumps


Greatest lesson learned:  Make sure the gate is closed when I leave the backyard

Hardest thing this year:  Cleaning my room

Favorite memory:  Royals winning World Series

What I loved about 2015:  Royals winning the World Series


Want to learn:  More science

Want to get better at:  Clash of Clans

Goals for 2016:  Be good at Clash of Clans


Name: Kenny

Age: 11

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite food: Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Favorite activity: Soccer

Favorite book:  The Last Hero


Greatest lesson learned:  Always make sure the gate is closed

Hardest thing this year: Getting up at 6:00am every school day to go to pre-algebra

Favorite memory: Getting the Xbox One

What I loved about 2015:  Getting Cain, our new dog


Want to learn: How to do an “around the world” with a soccer ball

Want to get better at: Soccer

Goals for 2016:  Go to Monster Mountain and climb it


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Filed under books, cain, favorites, kenny, kenny - 6th grade, luke, luke - 3rd grade, my boys, sports, year in review

Year in review – 2014



Name:  Luke

Age:  7

Favorite color:  Silver

Favorite food:  Mac and cheese

Favorite activity:  Playing football

Favorite book:  Far Out and Unusual Hermit Crabs


Greatest lesson learned:  To greet people

Hardest thing this year:  My dog Camille died

Favorite memory:  Getting Yumiae my pet hermit crab

What I loved about 2014:  I got Yumiae my pet hermit crab


Want to learn:  Fact about hermit crabs

Want to get better at:  Football and basketball

Goals for 2015:  Learning facts about hermit crabs and getting better at Snoopy’s Fair




Name: Kenny McCullough

Age: 10

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite activity: Playing soccer

Favorite book: Minecraft Combat Handbook


Greatest lesson learned: Phones r awesome

Hardest thing this year: Learning to do a rainbow (soccer)

Favorite memory: Getting my phone

What I loved about 2014: I got a phone


Want to learn: To make iMovies as well as Jack

Want to get better at: Soccer

Goals for 2015: Be in the champion’s league by 2016 (Clash of Clans)

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Filed under books, camille, favorites, kenny, kenny - 5th grade, luke, luke - 2nd grade, my boys, year in review

Things I’m lovin’

Here are just a few things that I’m loving right now:

1.  Starbuck’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Yum!  Even better, we had to wait in the drive through for 5 minutes the other day and they gave us our order for free.

2.  Dexter

I had three people, in just one week, tell me that I needed to watch this show.  I did and loved it.  It’s a little messed up (serial killer that only kills bad people) but different, in a good way.  I’m waiting to get season 2 from the library.

3.  Fork and Screen movies

What could be better than eating dinner while watching a movie in big, comfy seats?  And the food isn’t that bad.  I did make the mistake of ordering the fish the first time we went and it was definitely more difficult to eat in the dark.  Eric took me to the Fork and Screen showing of Twilight two weeks ago.  The beginning was so, so bad BUT the end completely made up for it.  It had a little twist that I did not see coming.  It was much better than the book.

I want to see the Abraham Lincoln and James Bond movies next.

4.  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

One of my FB friends recommended it as a good read.  At first, I was kind of put off by the fact that it’s about college students but quickly got over it.  She is also writing it from the guy’s point of view (this one was from the girl’s) and it’s coming out in April.

I also read 50 Shades of Gray and I’m not sure what all the fuss is about (maybe it gets better in book #2 and #3).  If she mentioned biting her lip or her inner goddess one more time, I was going to lose it.

Next, I really want to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I’m still #121 on the wait list at the library.

My book club is reading The Life of Pi for our January read and I really hope it’s good.

I would LOVE some more book recommendations.  I need a new, good author/series.

5.  Groupon

I’ve already bought three Christmas gifts off of Groupon.

6.  Ebates

It kills me when I forget to go through Ebates when ordering on-line

7.  Luke and Kenny’s excitement for Christmas

Luke has been talking about Christmas since September.  Even though we’ve had to remind him a few times that Christmas is about Jesus’s birth, and not presents, it’s still really cute.  I am really going to miss it when they no longer believe in Santa.  I’m actually a little surprised that Kenny still does.

8.  Longview Lake’s Christmas in the Park display

This is the second year that we’ve gone to it.  The display is huge and they just really do a good job.  We took my parents along this year and we decided to make it an annual thing.

9.  Indoor soccer

I love soccer in general but I really love watching the boys play indoor soccer right now.  I love how fast paced it is.  Kenny’s games are just fun to watch because the kids are all starting to get to that stage where they are really good.  His footwork is getting so good and the kid can seriously get the ball away from anyone.  Luke is fun to watch because he likes to be the goalie.  Kenny and Luke are so different in that regard, and it really shows their personalities.  I feel like Kenny doesn’t like to be goalie because when he gets scored on, he takes it personally and feels bad.  When Luke gets scored on, it doesn’t bother him and he says he didn’t have any help (with a smile on his face).

10.  Eric’s schedule

I can’t believe I forgot this one at first.  Eric is now working Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 like normal people do, with holidays off.  Unless a promotional process comes up, he’ll do this for the next four years.

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Filed under books, eric, family, favorites, holidays, just because, kenny, kenny - 3rd grade, luke, luke - kindergarten, me and only me, movies, my boys, sports, tv

Bubby the Blue Whale

One of Kenny’s projects at EL this year was to do a research project on an endangered animal.  At the end, they wrote a book about it, incorporating some of the facts that they had learned.  And I give you Bubby the Blue Whale….


Filed under books, kenny, kenny - 2nd grade, my boys

Best books

These are the top 10 books that I’ve read this past year (in no particular order). 

  • The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay

I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t liked these books.  I don’t buy many books but I bought these.

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Steig Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

I liked the first and second book much more than the third but it was nice to have it all wrapped up.  I even watched all the movies (luckily I don’t mind subtitles).

  • How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

This book probably isn’t for everyone but heard the author speak on one of the NPR book podcasts.  He’s an astronomer and made the whole planet vs. dwarf planet thing interesting. 

  • I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
  •  The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton

My book club read this and almost everyone really liked it.  It’s one of those where you go back and read the first chapter again after you finish the book. 

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett

It’s funny because I really wasn’t excited to read this book but once I started, I just couldn’t put it down.  Loved it.

  • Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Hannah recommended this and I’m glad she did.  Speaking of which, when are you going to join Goodreads?  The book is written as a series of letters after WWII.  So good.

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Depressing but good.

  • Room by Emma Donoghue

This is written from the perspective of a 5-year-old boy.  It would always take me a few minutes to get back into the way it was written but then I was fine.  

  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boynez

You know how the book is going to end but you just don’t want it to. 

I’m waiting to read these books from the library.  I have them on hold and am just waiting for my turn.  #1 and #2 are written by bloggers.

  1. The Pioneer Woman:  Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – A Love Story by Ree Drummond
  2. Two Kisses For Maddie by Matt Logelin
  3. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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Filed under books, me and only me

What’s going’ on

Here’s some of the craziness that’s been going on at our house via bullet points:

  • I am so behind on my Christmas stuff.  I just ordered my Christmas cards last night.  Actually, at first I ordered the picture of the boys that you’ll see on the card.  Less than an hour later I realized my mistake, tried to cancel that order and then ordered the actual card.  I love my kids but I don’t need 50 copies of that one picture:)  I have presents for all the kids in our families but I’m still working on the adults.  I have absolutely no idea what to get Eric.  I have a few little things and that’s about it.  I really don’t want that much this year either.  I want a food chopper thing, a movie, an I-tunes gift card and new pillows.  That’s all I can think of.   
  • In the midst of the holiday season, we’ve found a house that I think we’re going to put an offer on.  After much debating on whether we should move to a different area or stay close to here, we’ve finally decided that we’re staying in this area.  If we moved to Lenexa (where I grew up) or a little further south in Overland Park, we could definitely get a bigger house for the same amount of money.  But, we love this area.  The people are great and the schools are wonderful.  Kenny would even go to the same elementary school.  The high school that the boys will go to will never have a bad reputation.  It just won’t.  We already know some of the people who live on the street through the PTA and one of the ladies even emailed me after the first time we looked at the house to tell us how great that street is and that she hoped it would all work out.  Eric and I both work really close (1.5 miles and .5 miles respectively).  It is so nice that Eric can come home to eat during whatever shift he is on.  If we moved, we wouldn’t have that.  So, the house that we’ve found is on a street that we love (and that I’ve blogged about before).  It’s a two-story that looks like a cape cod but has a basement and more living space than we have now.  It’s already cute but it also has so much potential.  We looked at it for a second time yesterday and will probably put an offer down some time this week.  The offer will be contingent on how the inspection goes and on us selling our house.  The ‘us selling our house’ is the part that I’m freaking out about.  Our house is really cute and we’ve made a lot of big improvements to it (ex:  kitchen, fence, roof, etc)  but I’m not looking forward to always having to have the house clean and leaving for showings.  Cross your fingers that it sells quickly if we end up putting it on the market.  If you live in the KC area and know of someone looking for a house, send them our way. 
  • The plus side to possibly moving is that I didn’t have to put up a lot of Christmas decorations this year.  We put up our Christmas tree and brought out the Little People nativity, Christmas plates and cups for the boys and our wreath.  Pretty much everything else will stay packed up. 
  • My boss is having surgery today and he’ll be out for 4-6 weeks.  I’m trying to work a little more while he’s gone.  Plus, money is always good when you are thinking of moving. 
  • I have a surprise up my sleeve that I’m working on but can’t talk about yet.  Don’t y0u hate it when people do that:)
  • I joined a book club.  We read The Girl from Foreign in November and are reading Thinking in Pictures now.  I also have a huge stack of library books that I’m trying to get through.  I just read The Help and couldn’t put it down.  I started The Hunger Games two nights ago.  So far, so good.  I had to return The Girl Who Played with Fire without even reading a page of it.  I’m bummed about that one.  I’ve reserved it from the library again and am hoping it doesn’t take another three months to get it.  As you can see, I don’t really buy many books.  I only buy the ones that I’ll read over and over again (and I do).


Filed under books, for sale, holidays, house stuff, me and only me

B & N

Barnes and Noble is giving our elementary school a portion of each book sale between 4/17 and 4/22.   If you are planning to buy a book during that time frame, please help us out. 

You can do it 2 different ways:

1.  Go to any B & N store (in any city) and give them our bookfair ID # (10097954) when you go to check out.

2.  Order on-line by going to and enter our bookfair ID (see #1).

Thanks in advance!

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Filed under books, kenny, kenny - kindergarten, my boys