Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

So I did an image search for a New Year's Picture and I guess the filter was off.. let's just say if any of my kids are doing that for New Year's I don't want to know about it!!

For the rest of you... HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

From Me and Mine..

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When Art Becomes Reality

I got a call from Word Girl today, she is in California Visiting my mom. They were on their way to my mom's estate sale.. (her company will come in and work your estate sale for you) and my mom told Word Girl to look for Shadowfax Dr.. Being properly raised by me.. the ultimate Tolkien Fan Word Girl commented.. Seems the entire town has street names from Lord of the Rings.. while we were on the phone Word Girl said.. "Hey we just passed Gondor" seems whoever named the streets didn't get the importance of Gondor as it's just a little side street.. 
It was a fun conversation.. as my mom was pretending to have a clue.. she has steadfastly refused to read Tolkien for the 40 yrs he has been my favorite. But she did call my uncle to tell him and HE at least had a clue!! Not only had he read the books.. he had seen all the movies or visa versa.... 
All I know for sure is I wanna live in Gondor.. or the shire.. or shoot even on Shadowfax drive

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From Our House to Yours

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

And Peace on Earth this Christmas Day, and hopefully for all the days following

Shauni and the Kids..

Saturday, December 24, 2011

She Just Cracks Me Up

Further proof that I raised a nerd.. 

Blond Girl was doing some chores today and singing/humming while she worked.. sorta this da da da kind of thing.. but to the tune of It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. which was pleasant to listen to.. then all of a sudden it morphed into Star Wars.. 

Yeah, she is that dorky!!

But at least she was on key!

Friday, December 23, 2011

This is Just Proof that they are Always Up to Something

As a mother of daughters.. and sons... I can just imagine having this very conversation.. which is why it made me laugh so hard..

Oh come on, you know you are giggling too!!

A Question Borrowed from

As many of you know I have another blog called Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy.. we participate in a Friday Follow and Feature blog hop hosted by The Para Junkie Blog and Alisoncanread. I love blog hops because they take you to some interesting places and bring some interesting people to your blog. This particular blog hop is pretty basic.. if you go to who co hosts this blog hop. You will see a feature post as well as a list of other blogs that have some fun and exciting reading available.

Today's Feature question was

Q:  If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

Harry Potter sans the Death Eaters. I think that would be a pretty interesting world and I would love to travel my port key. I’ve always wanted to have a little bit of magic and I’ve always dressed a little oddly.

 I really liked Ce Ce's answer.. what is yours?

Q:  If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?  *hint, I am still considering this question

After much consideration, I have to say.. I am going to stick with my first choice. For those of you who really know me this will come as no surprise. If I had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book.. it would have to be JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.. I can not imagine spending anything better than living in Middle Earth.. 

What book would you choose?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

McKenzie's List of Must Read Books!!

Yesterday we went to Barnes and Noble.. always a grand adventure.. while there my 5th child (who isn't really mine and will henceforth be referred to as 5th child).. made her list of must read books.. ones she didn't already have.. I thought maybe others might be interested...

City of Fallen Angels

Clockwork Prince

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Gray Wolf Throne

Perchance to Dream

So Silver Bright


Perfect.. but I don't know what Perfect.. so I can't show a cover

Wednesday With Words

I don't know about you.. but I have never met a Teenager who had a wordless anything.. so for this page... no Wordless Wednesday but rather Wednesdays with words!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune, A Review

Let me start this review with one declarative sentence. Percy’s Back!!

The Son of Neptune is the second book in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus Series. Which is a spin off from his Percy Jackson Series... In the first book, The Lost Hero we are introduced to Jason and the entire Roman encampment. We discover that yes, the gods evolved with Roman times and they have created Heroes from Rome as well as from Greece. Jason had been the leader of the Roman Camp and had been abducted, his memory erased and told he was a Greek. The entire lesson was for the Greek and the Roman heroes to learn to work together.

In the Son of Neptune, we find Percy.. EIGHT MONTHS LATER.. I capitalize that cuz well, Percy was most irked. Anyway, we find Percy, alone and with no memories of his past attempting to enter the Roman Camp. A son of Neptune is rare in the Roman Camp, Romans don’t value the sea like the Greeks do. Upon arriving in camp, in his usual I bring trouble on my heels manner. Percy is allowed to join the camp and placed in the 5th cohort, which is the least of all.. The joke of the camp and yet it is from this group that the heroes chosen to go on the quest are chosen.

Frank, a big bumbling, stumbling boy..unsure of anything and as yet to be claimed by his father even though he is 16 and Hazel a beautiful daughter of Pluto, who has actually been returned to life by her brother Nico immediately befriend Percy. Together, even in camp they begin to turn the fortune of the 5th.. by becoming the first to enter the enemies fortress (in wargames) and capturing their flags. A team bonding experience that is only the beginning of their travels.

A quest is called for by Mars, the god of war, who conveniently claims Frank as his son.. much to Frank’s dismay, disgust.. Frank is called to lead the quest and he chooses Percy and Hazel to go with him. A quest only allows for three members.. Politics at the camp leave them with limited resources and only four days to accomplish their quest. Which involves getting from California to Alaska, killing Gaea's oldest son, saving Thanatos, the lieutenant to Hades and the god of death and retrieving the legion’s eagle (their most sacred banner) which had been lost to them 30 years earlier.
Along the way, they must deal with crazed grain babies, a goddess gone hippy, a blind seer returned from the dead, harpies (and they are the good guys), Amazons in the midst of pending civil war, Ogres and Gryphons. All the while, learning their skills, Percy beginning to remember his past, Frank finding out he is much more than he thought he was and Hazel letting go of her past.

Rick Riordan does it again! This is just a wonderfully fun book. A complete joy to read and yes it ended way too soon! Already, I am wondering what happens next? and how the two camps will unite. Will the power struggles continue, will they be able to work together? All of these questions make for a promising third book.

Inheritance, A Review

Inheritance is the fourth book in in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle Series. The first of the series was Eragon a book written by this amazing young man at the age of 16 who is now at the tender age of 28 he has completed what many only dream of.. he has completed an award winning, best selling series.. which has already had a movie made based on the book. A brief synopsis for those who have not read the series up to date..

On the brink of manhood, 15yr old Eragon son of none, orphan raised by his Aunt and Uncle, finds a pretty rock which he tries to sell.. Of course who in his small community can afford such a pretty bauble? Unable to sell it he returns home only to find late in the night that it isn’t a stone at all but a Dragon Egg and it has just hatched...naming Eragon his rider. The last rider or the first.. the only one called from the history books of legends and lore, Eragon accepts Saphira as his dragon and they grow together.. All of the earlier Dragons and Riders have been killed or seduced to evil.. and all except Galbatroix, the self proclaimed emperor remain and he has created an empire of tyranny that has lasted a hundred years..  Eragon and Saphira must flee their small community and are forced to hide from the emperor.. Upon the way growing in strength and meeting teachers and friends of the Riders as they go...

Eldest... Eragon and Syphira must leave the Varden, although their need is great.. They are needed to fight the Emperor but their skill and knowledge are minimal.. They leave to study with the elves. To be taught what a Rider is and what his responsibilities are. Among the elves Eragon matures and accepts that even though he loves.. his love is not returned.. even though to humanity he is a man.. to the elves he is barely a child.. In a few short months Eragon is forced to learn years of training.. His teachers must choose what is most important and what must wait.. A fine line of knowledge passed and knowledge retained.. Upon completely his training as best he can Eragon is sent back to the Varden to help continue the fight..

Brisingr.. To me the least of the books, Eragon continues his battle against Galbratroix constantly searching for ways to improve his knowledge and how to destroy Galbratoix.. for while he has allies of elves, men, dwarves and even Urgals.. he is still out manuevered and out magiced by Galbratoix.. This book tends to be pentatic and plodding but there are some very important scenes here.. I had read it when it came out and completely forgot some of the most tearjerking moments..

Finally... Inheritance

Eragon and Saphira have all the tools to take down Galbratroix and yet still they can’t. They have the power of an ancient dragon for support but Galbratoix has managed to accumulate hundreds... They have powerful elves and spellcasters but Galbratoix has spent a century reading and exploring the darkest arts of magic.. He has also accumulated some dangerous allies that must be beaten..

This book takes place in the final months and days of the battle of good vs evil.. I like that honestly you love Eragon but you really are never quite sure if he will succeed.. and if he does whether or not his triumph will come at the cost of his life.. Yes, Eragon is the hero and yes he has family he loves and his heart has been given to one unattainable.. he still stands alone.. the last Rider.. and throughout this book Mr Paolini, teases us with the option of Eragon dying to save his race.. You are never promised happily ever after.. this after all is an epic Fantasy not a romance novel..

As the battle dawns, The leader of the Varden is missing, Eragon must answer a riddle that no one can remember after they have heard it.. but herein lies the clue as to how possibly the world can be saved.. and the Emperor defeated.

I like that this book wrapped up the storyline and yet still left strings dangling... making one wonder what will come next from this young man’s amazing mind. Will there be more Dragon Riders, will we see Murtagh again? Will a new evil arise from the darkness? All of these are wonderful threads and yet do not take away from the battle that explodes from the pages of Inheritance.. Do I recommend this book? Most definitely. I would like to tell all who have read the series and have decided against reading Inheritance since because they were disappointed with Brisingr.. RUN to your nearest bookstore and get it!! You will be most pleased with the way this story wraps up and Mr Paolini teases us with hope for more.                                                 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Conversation with the Girls

Tonight I was having a conversation with my girls.. 

I was telling them about the changes in their blog... (I mean this one) and it went something like this..

Word Girl: I have a blog?

Me: no the blog I write about you guys...

Blond Girl: I hope you don't use my real name (she is just now figuring this out)

Me: No I use the name I gave you (pretty nifty that as it could be her "real" name.. I did after all give her that as well)

Blond Girl: What name did you use?

Me: Hair Boy, PITA Boy, Word Girl and Blond Girl... Word girl cuz she always has to have the last word and you are Blond Girl.

Blond Girl: Really? You couldn't use, Smart Girl or Physics Girl or Music Girl or Tuba Girl???

Word Girl: Or girl who has to spend every other weekend in the hospital girl?

at this point giggling has ensued...

Blond Girl: Does it have to be so superficial? I want a new name....

Word Girl: Did you notice how she said she used the name she gave us? glad all that college education is not waisted!

So I am on a quest to come up with a new name.. Yes, although she does indeed prove the fact that Blond is not a hair color... rather a state of mind... she wants a new name!! It is under consideration...

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Conversation with Word Girl

Word Girl was bored and decided to read the Percy Jackson books, which we had on sitting around at home. Of course, when my kids read books that I have already read they assume that I will answer questions or give spoilers. I don't know why they think this as they have know me their ENTIRE lives and I have never done so... Anyway.. Word girl got me on this one...

Word Girl: "So, is his dad Zeus?"

Me: "I am not answering that."

Word Girl: "So, is his dad Zeus?"

Me: "I am not answering that."

Word Girl: "So, is his dad Zeus?"

Me: "I am not answering that."

Word Girl: "You just did, three times..."
And you wonder how she got the nickname Word Girl?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rember, At Thanksgiving?

Word Girl comes home tomorrow.. oh yeah.. yippy skippy... remember how excited I got when she was coming home for Thanksgiving? How much I was looking forward to it? Well, I am so over that... 

When she came home, there was so much bickering and negative comments that I completely tensed up. Migraines were back in abundance.. and finally, the day before she left.. we were walking in Union Station from the Amtrak train to the Metra.. and I literally popped a muscle.. I was in pain for THREE weeks... and it has just now finally gotten so it doesn't hurt.. 

The amazing thing was.. I hadn't understood how seriously negative the dynamics were when she is home.. I was a nag pure and simple.. and when I would ask her not to do something she would respond with you always.... the thing is.. I don't always.. This past year I have realized, that I rarely... 

It bothers me that this child, whom I adore makes me that tense and angry... it's like dealing w/my mother.. except because it's my mother she gets to win... The part that sucks.. is Word Girl doesn't follow the same rules.. I should get to win.. I am the mother.. it doesn't matter if she agrees with me, she should still go along with my rules and my thinking with a smile on her face darn it.. It's not like she is going to LIVE in this household anymore.. She is a guest!!

Ok, rant over.. The good news is.. she is off to visit Grandma on Christmas day.. so I only have a week or so and then things are back to normal!! AND she will be in heaven because the two of them get along like gangbusters.. *grins* of course I get a benefit out of it as well, cuz if she mouths off about me.. My MOM will totally kick her a$$.. hey, hierarchy works somewhere...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Univ of MT Ups the Ante

Blond Girl was reading her email and she got so excited she started stuttering.. Mom... Mom.... Mom... guess they are so impressed w/her that they are offering her a prestigious scholarship.. Of course they didn't bother telling us how much it's for.. No for that they are sending a letter.. grrrrrrrrrrrr

As many of you know, often your decision as to where you attend college depends on how much money you get from the school.. MT is about 7500 a year more than WY.. and that makes a HUGE difference. She has always leaned towards WY due to well location, cost and their actual Astronomy program... BUT MT was always a close second.. 
Hopefully we will get the chance to go out there this spring during Spring break and really check out both schools. It is a trip we seriously need to make so she can make an informed decision.. I will say this though if MT offers a substantial scholarship that is going to do some major scale tipping..

Monday, December 5, 2011

Question for the Day

Blond Girl: Are all of your fingerprints the same or are they different for each finger?

Me: I don't know

Blond Girl: Check it out!!

Me: *sigh*

So guess what the answer is?

I go through these questions on a regular basis.. She is always asking all sorts of fun and interesting things.. I am certainly going to miss her when she is off playing with the cowboys next year.. I mean studying Astronomy