Kids Book Corner

  • Goose Girl
  • Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH
  • Peter and The Shadow Thieves
  • Peter and The Star Catchers
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
  • Stella Brite and The Dark Matter Myster
  • The Island of The Blue Dolphins
  • The Phantom Toll Booth
  • The School Library Journal
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • Tuck Everlasting


Monday, December 29, 2008

Being Rachel

That is a common description around our house and it is defined as: Someone who goes directly to their room, grabs a book and precedes to read for hours. The only time one stops reading is for a quick bathroom break and to force food down one's gullet, then run back up stairs to complete the book.

This phrase came about a couple of months ago and like Webster's Dictionary it became so commonplace that everyone new the definition and could apply it to others in the family not just Rachel. Rachel is very pleased that she has her own definition in the family annals. So, if you get bored today and need something to do why don't you try "Being Rachel".
(This lap desk is a gift from Laura and Marcus):

Rachel is in complete disagreement on this bit o'Flair. She thinks Time Lords and vampires coexist on an equal plane. The kids have enjoyed watching Dr. Who Season Four
and The Sarah Jane Adventures
. Eve was so excited to get her own K9
My mother feeds the childrens' science fiction fetishes.

::::::::::::My Own Time Lord in Miniature...

asked his almost daily query: "Mom, why does space exist? Why does time exist and why do we exist?"
He was asking me this while promising not to blow up the his electronics learning lab that Michael bought him for Christmas. Those photos are still on the camera. I'll try to pull these photos on to show you. Did I mention I need an external hard drive?

*Take care...I'm going to try and take a walk and hope the kids don't kill each other while I'm gone.

*post edited to say the walk was successful and the children are ALIVE! (I also added the pics of Rachel).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Couple of Funny Things:

:::::::::Indexed is too cool:

::::::::::::My Crazy Kids:::::::

Breakfast with the Taylor kids on school mornings is loud, and usually includes an argument between Aaron and Noah. On Friday it was no different at the beginning, then Rachel started crying. I heard snippets of Aaron and Noah's banter, so I figured out what upset her so much. Aaron was trying to determine how easy it would be to throw a grappling hook and grab Noah's arm, then use the hook to rip his arm off. Rachel was absolutely disgusted and came running to me with tears streaming down her face. Since she declared she could no longer eat I sent her to brush her teeth. Eve joined her sister, while I told the boys they were using inappropriate conversation at the table. A few minutes later Eve and Rachel came back down stairs where upon Eve declared:

"I lost my appetite because of them! (complete with hands on hips).

Then, she did a slight turn of her head and asked, "Does anyone know what appetite is?"

Rachel and I got a good laugh out of that question.

Merry Christmas...soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fleece Navidad

Rachel participated in a 5th grade tradition at her school called "Snow Village". Her take on the project was to create "The Out Inn". She loved her play on words and her inn looked very cozy and inviting.

Eve created a graham cracker gingerbread house after eating a lot of frosting.

Rachel made this cool fish mosaic in her art class last month.

My sister-in-law, Melissa, gave this hoodie to me for my Christmas present. The hoodie says "Smile. Here comes the yearbook lady". So funny.

::::::::::::::The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey

This continuation of The Mysterious Benedict Society was quite a romp around the world with the children trying to find a kidnapped Mr. Benedict. I want let any more of the plot out, but we enjoyed the story.

:::::::::::::::::Attack of the Volcano Monkeys

The story is a fast-paced tale about Basil and Louise's adventures on Monkey Island. The kids hate when I stop reading, especially Noah. The illustrations are fantastic and a couple are creepy cool. We are half way through and enjoying the story unfold.

:::::::I still need to get some photos from Michael about Rachel's performance. Hopefully tonight.

Smiles and take care!

Friday, December 12, 2008

What You Will Find My Mom Doing in A Few Years...

:::::::::::Santa's Frosty Follies

Rachel performed with her 5th grade class, today. She had such fun and I will post pictures soon. Eve was able to watch her performance.

I have a great time visiting the Rachel's class. The boys and girls are polite and love to tell me what is going on with their day.

I'm off to finish several tasks! Smiles and hugs to all of you! :)

Friday, December 05, 2008

I Don't Know If I Like Them...

I think I'll have to eat another few boxes, just to be sure. Thanks to my friend, Carol, in Australia my family has been converted to the love of Tim Tams. I purchased the originals and the caramel centered ones. Noah has declared his love for the Tim Tam on a couple of occassions. Rachel says the caramel ones are her favorite. Michael says he thinks he doesn't like them, but to be sure I need to buy him several more boxes of each. I think the caramel ones are my favorites, too. The caramel is not runny like on the package photo, but firm and chewy. Chocolate and caramel are a heavenly mix. I want to have an Australian themed food night when I buy more of the Tim Tams and start off with a Shepherd's Pie, which approximates a Meat Pie. Thanks, Carol for the calories, I mean, the recommendation!

I saw this on Marcus' blog, so here is my outcome:

Your rainbow is shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at


My neighbor, Kristen, invited us over for snacks. It was a ploy for her to get her tasty, high calorie treats out of her house. I am now experiencing the sugar rush that comes from partaking of bar treats.

:::::::::::::Brisk and Breezy

I did 6 miles at the park this morning. The wind was so cold. The Canada Geese have left copious amounts of ecoli mines around the lake. I avoid those.
Yesterday, Michael used a vacation day to help at the elementary school, so he went for a walk before we had to leave. I'm used to listening to Mara Davis, so I'm surprised I didn't try to make him come up with songs to a particular theme while we were walking. Maybe next time.

:::::::::::::Snow Village

Michael got to use exacto knives to cut out house from cardboard with Rachel's class. I got to be hot glue girl with our neighbor Kristen. Kristen's daughter, Lydia, is in Rachel's class. Michael took some photos for me, too. I got hugs from a couple of the kids. They tell me I'm just like Rachel. HMMM...

:::::::::::::I Still have Christmas presents to get, so maybe I will be able to do this like Buddy the Elf:

Take care! :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Good to the Last Drop...

Another Tag--6 Random Things About Me

The rules are:

* Link to the person who tagged you (Kim)
*Post the rules on your blog
*Write six random things/unspectacular quirks about yourself
* Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them
* Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
* Let the tagger know when your entry is posted

(I could do more than 6... I guess we are all quirky!)

1. The title of the blog, "Good to the Last Drop", isn't about coffee, but how I am with liquid products. When most of the bottle is used up and most folks may throw it out. I prop bottles upside down to make sure I get the last drop out. This habit goes for detergent, hand soap, oil, o.j., and honey.

2. I roll my eyes a lot. There is usually something, daily, that I find ludicrous. It is so ingrained that I don't notice it much, but everyone does feel the need to tell me to stop it. I would...if they would stop being ludicrous.

3. I mix my food. I think why not use the mashed potatoes to collect other food makes things a bit more simple to gather. One of my favorite treats to "Mix Up" is vanilla bean ice cream, a little bit of milk and a generous spoonful of malt. Ample stirring and voila...a cold, creamy treat.

4. I like to read 2 to 3 books during the same time period. It is part of my scattered-random nature.

5. When I'm hungry I ask Michael to think of places to go eat. I shoot them down, one by one, until he comes up with that my stomach seems to agree on. It's one of those things that I don't know what I want exactly, until I hear it. He still gets miffed that I do this, but I have learned to tell him up front that I'm doing this, so it seems to ameliorate him a tad.

6. There is a huge bag of socks hanging by the dryer. I have this insane notion that I will find mates to each of them. I have this guilt about some poor person suffering because I was so wasteful as to throw away a perfectly good single sock because I couldn't find its mate.

That is one of my favorite Christmas songs.

Take care! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Stuff and Things

I received this from my friend Suzanne, so I'll answer it here:
Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? WRAPPING PAPER AND GIFT BAGS
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real tree. (Aaron's troop is selling them to raise money for Scout Camp).
3. When do you put up the tree? Soon after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? A few days after Christmas.
5. Do you like eggnog? No
6. Favorite gift received as a child? The Barbie Corvette (Thanks for putting it together, Jim!)
7. Hardest person to buy for? Anyone who can't wear beadsocks, or like baklava.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Rachel
9. Do you have a nativity scene? YES
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both.
11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Perfume. It makes me have a headache.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The Muppet Christmas Carol
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Around Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Of course
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? baklava
16. Lights on the tree? YES. (I prefer white).
17. Favorite Christmas song? I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? BOTH
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner ( I have seen it spelled as Donder, too)and Blitizn and Rudolph (I think I got them all)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? ANGEL
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? CHRISTMAS MORNING
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Shoppers who open things and toss them around the store.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? silver and white.
24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Mashed potatoes
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? World Peace. (Secular want...Western Digital external hard drive and Adobe photoshop CS4).


A young lady in Noah's primary class was kind enough to ask me to be the chorister for her baptism. She was so happy and the ordinance went well. The pianist is so funny. She always makes me laugh and she is so self-deprecating.

::::::::::::::::Back to School

The kids go back in the morning. I think they are looking forward to learning. (Maybe I just want to think that).


Rachel borrowed Twilight from my sister, Katherine. When Katherine set it down Saturday morning Rachel picked it up. By the time we picked the girls up from my dad's house Rachel had about 5 chapters left. Since the book didn't belong to Katherine we couldn't borrow it. So, after we got home I drove Rachel to Walsmart and picked up their last copy. She hunkered down and finished the book.

:::::::::::Day of Rest
I got a restorative nap, too!
Take care! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Always Something!

Every time that phrase runs through my head I have to laugh. Gilda Radner was such a hoot. I miss her.

Life with Noah is always, ummm...interesting...yeah! That's the word! I was making a smoothie the other day and he offered to push the buttons on the blender. I put the ingredients in the blender and Noah started reading the button selections,

"...blend, liquefy..." and since he couldn't pronounce frappe he went with a good science geek stand by "...VAPORIZE!" He was thrilled when I let him push all of the buttons...including "Vaporize".

::::::Phone Call from the Pediatrician:::::

Our pediatrician phoned about Aaron's recent check up. Apparently, his heart murmur was a bit more pronounced, so I have a referral for The Sibley Heart Center. When I told Aaron he only wanted to know if shots were involved. I said no and he said, "Cool!".


1. for hot water.

We had a bad control unit on the water heater. A really nice guy in our ward at church took an old one off his old water heater as a temporary fix. The new one is coming, but want be here until Friday.

2. Our family pediatrician

He listens and is a truly caring person. He is also a great photographer, so having to wait in any of his waiting rooms is okay.
He suggested using a small amount of Crisco vegetable shortening for Eve's eczema. She is super sensitive to everything else we have tried. He did say not to by the butter shortening, though.

3. Clothes washers and dryers

I HATE housework and I can see why folks and two sets of clothes before automatic clothes washers.

4. Having a Park Close by

It is fun to walk and wave at the neighbors. I even ran for a short distance and had my neighbor, Kristen, drive by and encourage me. (Yes, I was running down hill). Oh, gravity, though art friendly...sometimes.

5. Bees

You need them for the food you eat and their tasty honey.

6. Who ever came up with phyllo dough

That is some amazing stuff.

7. The assistant principal at the elementary school

Some boys cornered Noah on the playground and had another kid hit him. When the assistant principal talked to the boys involved they said they were annoyed Noah wanted to play with them. She asked if Noah was mean, or had said something to them. One of the kids said, No, Noah helps me with my school work.
This woman has a very gently and sincere demeanor and I felt that she handled the situation with compassion.

8. Michael for going to the grocery store

Today, Americans are at the grocery store buying up tomorrows ingredients for Thanksgiving. The only thing Michael couldn't bring home was some thick slice bread for Noah's French toast. A lady bought all 10 loaves and put a protective arm around her cart when Michael mentioned she sure had a lot of Texas Toast.

9. Michael, again, for being Mr. Scrapbook Lady

He downloaded a free trial of Adobe Indesign, so I could use a function for the yearbook. All the downloads were annoying, but he did it for me. THANKS!

10. My mom

She called and invited the kids to sleepover 2 nights in a row.

11. Friends and family

Thanks to Kim and Teashy for offering a hot shower if we needed it!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Happenings

Michael took the day off of work Friday and attended Turkey Tunes. Michael signed our stickers with the monikers "Yearbook Lady" and "Mr. Yearbook Lady". This is such a fun time to go to school and see the Kindergarteners singing and enjoying being thankful. Eve dressed as an Indian...Tribal person. Rachel's teacher gave her permission to come watch Eve perform. Eve stood next to her classmate Paul. They were fun to watch.


Michael offered to take me to the movies to see "Twilight", while the kids were at school. Aaron asked to go, so I decided to wait until Saturday. When Saturday rolled around Rachel wanted to go, as well. We went to the 12:10pm movie. The previews were nutty. I only liked the one for the new Harry Potter film coming in July. We had one lady who felt she needed to talk out loud to the screen. Let me tell you...if you ever wondered...I don't like it when people do this. I wish they would wait for the dvd and sit in their own house to make comments. I think Catherine Hardwicke did a great job translating the book to the screen. Robert Pattinson was not my vision of Edward when I read the book, but I thought he pulled off the character beautifully. He had the angst, curiousity and intense brooding you need for a damned soul that is tortured by his love for a human that he doesn't want to become like him. Kristen Stewart worked for me as Bella, too. The boy playing Jacob looks like he will be great for his more extended roll, which will come with the next movie. Michael liked Billy Burke, as Charlie. We all enjoyed the film. The make up was weird at first, but the make up artist toned down the white make up after several scenes in to the movie. Michael guesses that it is because the film maker wanted you to tell the vampires from the rest of the characters, immediately, then they could tone it down and make it not as stark.


I got to walk to the library with Rachel, after church. We read in the library for a bit, then walked home.

Michael made scrumptious!

I finished a fleece blanket for one of the office staff at the elementary school.

I took a cold shower (which had nothing to do with the movie Twilight or my husband's hotitude). Our thermocoupler is kaput and I wanted to save the water we heated on the stove for the kids bath. Yikes, I would make a pathetic pioneer. Cold water makes me turn quite bluish, but bathing is a good thing!

Michael made beef stew for dinner. TASTY!

Rachel is finishing up a diarama for a school project on immigration.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tag...I'm It

I was tagged by Marcus, so here goes:

4 Random Things I Like About My Significant Other
He is a fantastic chef.
He can do minor car repairs.
He speaks my dialect of the language "Wife".
He tells funny jokes (they maybe the same jokes, I tend to forget them).

4 Jobs I’ve Had
Medical records department at Emory Clinic (Summer Job)
Runner at Emory Clinic (Summer Job)
Office staff at Mervyn's Department store

4 Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once
Murder By Death
Ben Hur
Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightly version)
Star Wars episodes 4-6

4 TV Shows I Watch
Forensic Files
The Daily Show

4 Favorite Foods
Wheat Bread with butter
Black bean enchiladas
Vegetarian Spring rolls
Mashed potatoes

4 Places I’d Like to Visit
New Zealand
Prince Edward Island

5 Things I’m Looking Forward to in the Coming Year
Having my teeth cleaned
A new pair of walking shoes
Eve learning to read
Noah's theory about the beginning of its newest form
Aaron surviving middle school

4 People I Tag

:::::::::::::::RED BUBBLE::::::::::

My photographer brother-in-law, Marcus, is selling some of his photos on-line at Red Bubble, so if you are interested in gorgeous quality prints or notecards you can check out his site.

::::::::::::::::Cellos ROCK!:::::::::::

Take care! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Michael blogged about our Family Home Evening experience with playing Life. We started by rereading the rules, which, apparently, were being played fast and loose by Rachel and Noah. Playing by the rules and correcting misconceptions of the rules took up most of the game. Rachel was the banker and was consistently overwhelmed by her nagging customers. It reminded me of the scene in "Its a Wonderful Life", when Jimmy Stewart was trying to convince everybody to calm down and not make a run on the bank. I am all for changing the name of the game Life to something like "EPIC", or "ETERNITY"...or better yet..."PIT OF HADES".
My mom would say I deserve these moments because of my intensly competitive nature as a kid that made games no fun to play. I'm thinking my debt has been sufficiently paid and we should stick to the game CLUE or SCRABBLE, which I enjoy infinitely better. Though it was funny to see Noah getting hit with a lawsuit every few turns. He chose to be a doctor and we explained that it was par for the course. Eve was such a good mom to her plastic brood. She wept when she lost her "teaching" career, and found little solace in becoming an "accountant", but she felt better after her first raise. Aaron was kind of giggly throughout the game and his people kept falling out of his car.

::::::::::::::Teacher Conference for Eve:::

I met with Eve's Kindergarten teacher. I really like her and think she has Eve's interests at heart. She sees Eve struggling with some letter identification. Eve sees "u" as "n" and visa versa, as well as, "d" as "p", "m" as "w". The teacher is working on several strategies at school and had some great suggestions for reinforcement at home. I pulled out the cards I made for Aaron in Kindergarten and Rachel and Noah went to work helping their sister. Then, Eve brought me a work book and I was proud she recognized the letters and their sounds. I'm going to pop in Electric Company videos, this week to start reinforcing, as well. I love the show, too, so that helps.

::::::::::::::Freakishly Cold Day

It was 20 degrees colder today, than at the same time last year. When I was walking in the park the temperature was at 37 degrees Farenheit with a strong wind. I wore Aaron's cool glow-in-the-dark gloves to add some warmth. My lips are in the beginning stages of chapping and my skin is feeling a little tight. I did get my six miles in, so far, 12 for this week. I saw some bluebird playing in one section of the park and they make me smile. I love bluebirds!

:::::::::::::::Turkey Cake:::::::::

This is one of my favorite recipes. Michael, Rachel, and I made this recipe design a few years ago and it turned out soooo cool! These photos are from 2004 and Family Fun Magazine is rerunning the recipe on their blog:

I just thought someone might want to make that as a part of their feast. Fun stuff!

Well, take care and stay warm! :)