Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Reviews

I've read a few books lately that didn't make it on to my official blog list but I thought they were worth sharing with those of you who read as much as I do. So if you've exhausted the list to the right and can afford a few "good" ones amidst the "great" ones, here are a few I give 3.5 or 4 out of 5.
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus. Its a fictional story set in the late 1800's about a group of white women who come to live with a tribe of Native Americans. I learned a lot about their culture. There's a lot of humor in it and the characters are very endearing. I was just disappointed in the ending. I would give it 4 out of 5.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Historical fiction about the deportation of a Lithuanian family during WWII, sent to labor camps in Siberia, similar to the Nazi concentration camps. Its a heart-breaking story written in the point-of-view of a teenage girl. For some reason the writing style just left a little to be desired, but still, a great book. I would give it 3.5 out of 5.
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. This is a modern day, fictional novel that chronicles the lives of two women who are best friends from their teens through adulthood. I would give much of the book a 3 out of 5 and found some of it to be a bit cliche but the ending was so emotional, I think I cried through the last 20 or 30 pages. I love a book that makes me "emote out loud" as I like to think of it, so I recommend this one because of that.
Please share any that I should add to my list!

Party post coming soon...just waiting on pics from my sister.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Boys and their guns

From up on the cannon at Camp Dodge, Bennett asks me, "Mom, does Jesus live in the sun?" "", I responded, wondering if I was going to have to explain where he does live.

"Good, then I can shoot it."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Terrific Two's

I'm learning to speak positivity in my life, rather than negativity, so I'm going to focus on all the things that are wonderful about Dawson Graham Colyer, my tornado of a two-year-old. :) It's just mind-boggling that they go from this:

to just two short years.

My absolutely favorite thing about this age is listening to their vocabulary grow every day and hearing their adorable little voices. He repeats everything anyone says and is speaking quite well and in full sentences (well...half sentences, I suppose :) He can count to about 15 (with a couple prompts) and still loves to be read to. And every time we all sit down at the table he holds his hands out and says, "Amen?". Boy loves to pray!

Its amazing how different two brothers can be. Its really fun going through it all again with such a different child than Bennett was because its still full of surprises and utter astonishment at the things he does. This one is ALL boy and is obsessed with sports and trucks of any kind. Bennett didn't care one iota for either of those things (and still doesn't). I'm continually in awe of how these things are ingrained in them from the start. He loves to sit with Jon and watch "bay-ball" or football and shouts out what sports field he sees as we drive past (he now knows the difference between a soccer field, baseball diamond and a golf course).

I'm so thankful that God is teaching me right now (through a great book) to prophesy blessings for our lives, rather than speak negativity, because Lord knows it is a CHALLENGE with this one! Kind of like the words sweet Aibileen spoke over Mae Mobley in The Help- I'm speaking over Dawson: "You are kind and sweet and gentle!" :)

But, despite that, he is his dad through and through and I know he'll inherit Jon's unbelievable work ethic and drive and not to mention his jack-of-all-trades, "there's nothing I suck at in this life" talents!! :) This boy is going to be an athlete, that's for sure. And how wonderful for him to be the younger brother of such a kind, gentle and sensitive boy. Surely some of that will rub off...eventually.

I guess most families have a strong-willed child and he is absolutely it. I'm being stretched much further as a mother but every challenge only makes us stronger, and more reliant on God. And for that I'm thankful for every moment with this adorable brown-eyed boy that brings so much joy and energy to our home!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Little D!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bennett highlights

Just a few pics of some highlights from Bennett's life lately:

This boy looooves to climb so we decided to give rock climbing a try at our local place, Climb Iowa. Its pretty expensive so we just paid for him to go up. He actually didn't like it as much as we thought he would. He went up a few times, but at about 8 feet he would get pretty scared and wouldn't go any higher. So we'll wait a while to try again and next time, one of us will climb up alongside him. It was fun to try though!

Bennett loves Disney's Cars now, so thanks to my friend Emily's post, we found Tow Mater downtown Des Moines (she explains where its located, if any of you locals want to check it out):

And the latest and greatest news in Bennett's life, he started preschool yesterday!! He's going 4 days a week in the afternoons. His new teachers are wonderful and I'm really excited for the year. He was already in the class with my good friend, Libby's, little boy, and then we showed up on the first day and another one of my very good friends, Julie V.'s, little boy is in his class too! I miss that girl so now we'll see each other almost every day :)

I used to absolutely dread fall because its just a precursor to our horrid winters, a foreshadowing of what's to come. But honestly the start of a school year makes it such an exciting time and so much easier to take! So I'm thankful that we have school now to look forward to and get us through the worst seasons in Iowa.

Dawson getting in on the picture action:

Finding his hook:

And the highlight of my life, I finished my very last day of work at America's Family Coaches last Friday and am officially a stay at home mom again. The best part about that--my wonderful mother-in-law will still be able to take the boys most Fridays so I'll have a day to get stuff done around the house! (So far I've spent my first afternoon in a quiet house blogging so this may be a regular occurrence as well :). But I've assured my husband that I will actually get some cleaning done so I better go make that happen!! ;)