Monday, September 29, 2008

Book List

I saw this on Amber's blog and thought it would be fun to see how many I've read.

"The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts program designed to encourage community reading initiatives and of their top 100 books, they estimate the average adult has read only six."

Here’s what you are supposed to do:
*Look at the list and bold those we have read.
*Italicize those we intend to read.
*Star the books we LOVE.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen*
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte*My all time favorite
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling*
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (reading again right now)
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger*
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis*
34. Emma - Jane Austen*
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen*
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini*

38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown*
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery*
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility- Jane Austen*
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meet Mo

Last night when Connor was out selling popcorn, we found out that one of the puppies down the street was still available. After some consideration we decided to adopt the last puppy.

Meet Mosby McKay Bennett, aka Mo

We are all pretty smitten with this cute little guy. So far he is really mild mannered and laid back. He is half beagle, half Maltese.

Connor is completely overjoyed with our new addition. He says he will happily get up and feed him every day. He set his alarm for 6:10 to get up and take him for a walk.

We haven't had a dog, since Sands passed away in 2004 and, we've never had a puppy, so this will be a learning experience for all of us. But I forgot how much joy that an animal can bring. It just melts my heart to see my kids so happy with their new playmate.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Feeling Fallish

Our weather lately has been incredible! I love the cooler mornings and the warm but breezy afternoons! I can hardly believe it is almost the end of September. I have been slowly putting up my Halloween decorations. I figured I would wait till November and put out the fall stuff. I promise next week there will be a peek at my spooky trimmings. I have a few things I'd like to get, one more thing to make and a gift certificate to spend at one of my favorite stores. So, check back next week.

Until then, here are some of my favorite pictures I took last fall.

Ok, and then one more funny thing that I couldn't help but try... Troy and I had a lot of laughs over this tonight.

1972- the year I was born

1990- the year I was graduated. Yep, that hairdo was right on compared to my senior pics.

1970-the year after Troy was born

1988- the year he graduated. Troy's hair was a lot lighter and longer then.

Go here to give it a try.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Applejack Weekend

We live about 20 minutes away from Nebraska City- home of J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day. And while Arbor Day helped make Nebraska City famous, the bigger event is Applejack, which is held every September.

Around 20,000 people flock to this town that normally has a population of 7,000. Driving around is a little crazy, to say the least. Saturday afternoon, we decided to brave the crowds. We first stopped at Kimmel Orchard, they had some hands on displays of craftmanship from the olden days. The kids got to help dry scrape fur from a hide.

We walked around for a bit and thought about buying some cider, but the lines were too long. So then we headed out to Pumpkin Ridge. The view was worth the drive out.

So was the kettle corn.

We also had fun at their little petting zoo. These little goats were only 5 days old.

Genna was thrilled to ride a pony, even if it was just around in a circle.

Sunday, Grandma & Grandpa Koski came down and went to church with us- we love to have them come! It is only a few short weeks before they fly south for the winter. They had a fun surprise in their van for the kids. Aren't those pumpkins huge?

Check out this tomato my Mom grew. She definitely has a green thumb.

We then went over to the park for a quick picnic. It was a gorgeous day and we were so happy to be able to spend a little more time with them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fun Friday Stuff

I have some fun things to share from this fantastic Friday...

I got to spend the day with my dear friend, Amber, first we shopped with my little buddy and ate at Red Robin-yum!

and then we crafted.

This is what we made. Doesn't Amber have the best ideas? You'll have to watch her blog to see what she does with hers.

It was seriously such a wonderful day- thanks so much, Amber!

I can't wait to find homes for these cute little blocks once I put my fall stuff up. Even though I am not ready to say goodbye to the gorgeous weather we are having, I think I am almost psyched up to get my fall decor up. Here are a few thrift store finds, waiting for some spray paint, along with some other fun stuff I found recently.

Tonight after soccer, the kids called us down the street to see some new puppies. They belong to Tipper, a beagle who is constantly roaming the neighborhood. We couldn't eat fast enough for Connor so we could get down there to see them. All my kids would love to have another dog, but Connor asks the most.

Can you blame him for loving these sweet things?

And here is the brother of the one Connor is holding- he has curly hair. As luck would have it, all seven of these heartbreakers are already spoken for.

Jameson and his buddy Aaron are camping out tonight, in the backyard. Well, they are if they don't fall asleep in front of the tv watching Little Rascals.

They giggled their way through the movie and made it out to the tent. Now let's see if they stay there all night.

Genna, Daddy and I watched Flushed Away tonight while the boys were doing their gaming thing.

Hope your Friday was as fabulous as mine!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weekend in Review

We had a great weekend, despite it's rainy start.

Friday night Troy and I were able to go out on a date since soccer was cancelled. We ate at Famous Dave's and then went to see Mamma Mia. I just heard that they released a sing along theater version of the movie. I would totally have loved that- I had a hard time keeping my toes from tapping during all the songs I knew.

Saturday was another game day. We started out at Valentino's buffet for lunch- yummy! The kids were all excited because there was a clown doing face painting and balloon animals.

It is always so nice to be together.


Lorilee and I went on a little adventure trying to find supplies to make this project that we found here. You'll have to scroll down a ways to see her cute version that we totally copied!

Back at my Mom's house, Tracy, Lor and I managed to get our crafting completed despite the 5 little helpers we had. I'll post a better picture once I put up my fall decorations.


While we sanded and painted, the guys and the older kids went to the football game. The boys were thrilled that they got to go get autographs from some of the players. In fact, one of the players gave Connor a piece of his sweaty towel and he thinks that is the greatest thing ever!

Sunday after church, we had dinner with the Baier's and the missionaries- Elder Thacker & Elder DiVecha. The food and company were both great! We got to check up on their cute little baby chicks we'd seen a few weeks earlier. Genna and her friend Emily got to pet one of the broilers. We picked & ate some sugar pears from their tree. One of the boys upon finishing his pear threw the core over to the cow who was grazing nearby, she promptly gobbled it up. Then it was a game to chuck the fallen pears beneath the tree at that poor cow. She was a good sport and ate most that came her way.


Grrr...I have been wasting so much time editing and sizing pictures and not getting anything else done. Sorry about the different sizes, I am too tired to fix it again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We are proudly flying our flag today. We talked on the way to school about that day 7 years ago. The boys remember some of the footage that was shown on tv. I still get choked up thinking about all the events that transpired. I am so grateful for this wonderful country we live in and the freedoms we enjoy!

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An Apple a Day...

Apples and fall just go hand in hand.

Some friends in our ward were kind enough to let us pick a few apples.
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I love this old jar I found at a garage sale.
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Here's my little shelf all decked out. Check out the stitchery Amber did- most of the rest of the stuff was found on the cheap. I am on the search for some vintage flashcards- but for now my homemade one will have to do.
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I've been drying apples too.
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I am hoping to get my hands on a few more apples and then I plan to make applesauce, apple butter and some apple crisp.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

39 Years Young!

Today was Troy's birthday! We went out to the Texas Roadhouse that just opened not too long ago in Lincoln. We were going to tip off the staff that it was his birthday- but after 5 other people in the restaurant got shamed into wearing a cowboy hat and into sitting on a saddle while they were sung to, Troy put the kibosh on that idea.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and friend. He is a great dad who loves his children and honors his priesthood. Happy Birthday, sweetie!

You might be really sorry that I uploaded the new picasa, because I can tell I am going to be making a lot of collages- they're just so easy to do!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Husker Heaven

Some of you might remember last year's excitement when the boys got to go to their first Husker game ever. They both loved it- despite the cruddy season- and couldn't wait to go again.

Jameson worked pretty hard this summer to get his first class ranking so he could usher at the Nebraska games with the rest of his boy scout troop. It's a pretty nice deal- they only have to stay at their post through the end of the first quarter, then they can sit in any available seat.

My Dad called us late Friday night and asked if Connor and I would like to go to the game on Saturday. Connor was thrilled, but I was worried because Genna was not feeling well at all. She woke up the next morning even worse, but thankfully Grandma & Grandpa took great care of her and she was in good spirits the whole day.


We went to the game with my brother Dan. To say that he is passionate about Nebraska football, would be an understatement. It is an amazing experience to be at a Husker game- the crisp air, the smell of hot dogs grilling, and the sea of red wherever you look- it is hard not to get caught up in the excitement. After half time, Jameson and Troy came over to sit by us and we were all happy to see the Huskers win the game.