Monday, December 29, 2008

Must Love Dogs

So last night, E and I went to see Marly & Me. Cute movie. As we left the sparsly crowded theatre we saw a little boy, probably around 9, who was bawling his eyes out. Poor little guy. I will say, that movie gives you no recovery time!

A little background:
  • My family loves dogs. When I say we love them, I mean love them. We spoil them rotten. Treat them like they're kings. It's actually pretty horrible how rotten our animals are. Sample one:
  • We're a bunch of crybabies. We take the loss of our animals hard. My little brother's beagle died this summer unexpectedly and it was horrible. See here for more about how pathetic I am.
  • Our family German Shepard, Buck, is the best dog ever. We like to call him the million dollar dog. He has been through everything, and he's still the most loving, beautiful dog ever.
  • What's he been through, you ask?
  1. When he was a puppy we were playing baseball and he got hit in the eye (yes, they eyeball) with the baseball bat). Needless to say, he's never been able to see out of that eye since.
  2. While recovering from the eye issue, he got Parvo at the vet.
  3. A year or so later he got lime's disease.
  4. Then I ran over him in the truck. I know, that sounds horrible! Here's the story though. We were hauling hay out to our new pond so we had a bunch of haybales stacked up in the back of the farm truck. Granddaddy and I were driving through the field very slowly because of said hay, and because the dogs were riding on top of the hay. Well, Buck decided to run off the haybales, onto the cab of the truck and then proceeded to keep going, running off the front of the truck...while I was driving! I felt horrible, but he ended up just limping a bit.
  • I'm sure there's more, but you get the point. He's been through a lot.
  • Buck's getting old. Really old. His hips are failing him and he mainly just sits around these days in the garage. He's developed mange (or something, we're not sure what) because he sits so much. He's lost a lot of hair on his back end. The other day he tried getting up to come and get some lovin from me and it made me wanna cry.
So, basically my point here is...I'm a crybaby and I don't want Buck to get old. Which he has. I keep telling Mom they need to put him down. He's miserable. The problem is, we all love him so much. We've never had a dog long enough to put them to sleep. They've either been really healthy into their old age and just died peacefully one day, or they died tragically (see Sneaker story above). So I guess part of it is that we've never had to deal with it before. I must say though, I bawled in Marly & Me at the end. It's just so freakin sad! How do people do it?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Young @ Heart

Title: Young @ Heart
Rating: 5 outta 5 stars
Review: This movie, you must see! Young @ Heart is a chorus of older folks who travel the country (and world) performing. It's sad, uplifting, sweet, cute, hilarious, touching, any other positive adjective you can think of.

This chorus is so inspiring. The average age is 80, and they show you (or me) that anything and everything is possible. Positive attitude just gets you so far. I hope that I'm this upbeat when I'm older. Seriously, stop reading my review, watch the trailer below, and go rent this movie!


video

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who I Admire

In response to Ashley's post on those we admire, I have the following.

1. My Mom. That might sound cliche, but the woman's amazing. That's an entire post there.
2. My students. There is a student every day (usually new ones each day) who inspire me to be better. Doing random acts of kindness (thanks for the holiday cake, L, it was amazingly sweet - in more ways than one), trying their hardest (sweet little F- always the last to finish her test, but she tries so hard, is so calm, sweet, and respectful, seriously, she's amazing), and making me laugh (there are too many to count).
3. My cousin. He's going after what he wants. He's getting married to a girl he's only been dating for very short while, and while I think he's nuts, I also admire him, because I know I could never do something so impulsive!
4. My Aunt. She's lost so much on WW, and she doesn't even realize it anymore because she's kept it off for so long. It's inspiring and encouraging.

How to Procrastinate

1. Put on some iTunes. This is essential for most tasks.
2. Check your email. Every 30 minutes.
3. Peruse Google Reader. You know you just have to see what others are doing!
4. Think about grading those finals sitting there...
5. Tell yourself to grade.
6. Peruse WW website. Message boards here I come.
7. Facebook. You're the devil.
8. Look up the weather. Cause really, you're that boring.

Seriously Kate, go grade! Then you won't have to grade over Christmas break. GO!

Currently Reading: Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bottled Up

Title: Bottled Up
Author: Jaye Murray
Rating: 4 outta 5 stars
Review: So Pip is a guy with a lot of problems.

1. His dad's a jerk...and an alcoholic.
2. His mother's a pill popper.
3. He smokes way too much pot.
4. His friends are losers.
5. He has to take care of his brother.
6. When I say his dad's a jerk, I mean, he's an abusive, horrible, alcoholic.

I really like the voice in this book. Pip seems like one of my high school students. Not a specific one, mind you, but he sounds like he could be sitting in my classroom, these thoughts running through his head.

Pip's headed in the wrong direction when his principal gives him an ultimatum. Straighten up, or I call Dad. Somehow, no one's thought of this before. Seriously, if only it were that easy to get kids to think about straightening up. Anyway, I really like the adventure Pip goes on, it's hilly, rough, and scary, but he keeps plowing right through.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas presents!

So, here's a cute picture of E and Simon, who apparently loves cuddling with E who isn't really an animal person. If you're my sister-in-law, please don't look below the first picture, or you'll ruin your Christmas surprise, and that's sucky. After Christmas you can look. Course, by then you'll have it!


I did it! I did it! I made Christmas presents! That might seem like no biggie, but I'm such a procrastinator. And I actually did it. Yay me.

A clothespin bag - which will be filled with IKEA clothespins :)

And one for Mom, which won't be filled with clothespins...cause she already has a ton.

In other Christmas present news, I'm making a slideshow/video of our family for my little bro (and everyone else). E has helped me figure out how to record an old VHS (the only family video we have) so I can add it to the picture slideshow. How cool?! He's awesome I tell ya.

We're in the process of looking at houses for next year. I'm excited. I'm not gonna deny it. I watch way too much HGTV. So Mom sent me an A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E listing today. It's kinda sad though, cause most likely it won't still be on the market when we're looking. Hopefully we find something great though :)

We had a snow day today, and I'm praying we don't have one tomorrow. We have to have finals! And then...break! Yes! I swear, sometimes I think teachers have the sweetest deal. We get off for every major holiday. And can you say 3 months in the summer? Seriously. I may complain about grading, but the breaks more than make up for it.

Currently Reading: Bottled Up by Jaye Murray

Hattie Big Sky

Title: Hattie Big Sky
Author: Kirby Larson
Rating: 4 outta 5 stars
Review: Hattie Big Sky is based on Ms. Larson's ancestor who actually went through the homestead experience.

Hattie is a strong willed, naive, hopeful, and good-natured character. As a girl, she was a great character. That said, I'm not sure this book is for boys.

Hattie grew up being shifted from relative to relative after her parents both died when she was young. She's always felt like she had no place to call her own. While living with a distant relative she receives word that her Uncle (her Mom's brother) died and left her his homestead in Montana. Hattie decides to go to Montana and prove his claim. Of course, it's rough. The weather is terrible, the political climate is strained (this takes place during World War II), and Hattie has a lot to learn.


Currently Reading: Bottled Up by: Jaye Murray

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Inkheart

Title: Inkheart
Author: Cornelia Funke
Rating: 4 outta 5 stars
Review: Meggie and her father have an interesting talent, they make books come to life. However, that's not always a good thing. For Maggie and Mo it's often downright scary.

In the first book of this series, Maggie discovers her fathers talent (and later her own) when she meets the always-intriguing bad guy, Capricorn, who is determined to use their talents to achieve his goals.

This book really plays on every reader's fantasy of what would happen if a book came to life. It is well written, has as many twists and turns as your favorite roller coaster, and leaves you wanting to know just what Dustfinger will start in Inkspell, which I have every intention of reading as soon as one of my students finishes it!

Currently Reading: Hattie Big Sky by: Kirby Larson

Monday, December 8, 2008

How to Play Fetch with a Cat.

So not only is this incredibly cute, but I thought also hilariously funny, for a cat.

Enjoy Simon's premiere performance.


video

Please forgive the poor video quality.

breaking dawn & the express: the ernie davis story

So, I decided since my blog is titled "Relentlessly Reading" it'd only make sense to post my book reviews here. They're also on Goodreads, but hey, I need a post! :)

Title: Breaking Dawn
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Rating: 3 outta 5stars
Review: So I'm done with the Twilight series. I don't know if it's just that I read too much, of if the foreshadowing is really that obvious in these books.

In this book Bella finally becomes a vampire. Now that's not a spoiler, you can read it in the book jacket! That said, it does take awhile to get there, and this book is the least G rated out of the four in the series. I always like Jacob and Bella's relationship the best out of all the characters because it seemed the most real, and it stayed that way in the forth book until Bella gets married and has....an unexpected surprise. However, I think Bella's relationship with Alice (Edward's "sister") is great in this book.

I also liked how all the vampires came together to "fight evil" and that they seemed to find a sort of peace with the werewolves.

So overall? I guess I'd say it's a good read, a light read for sure. Not something I'll re-read
.



Title: The Express: The Ernie Davis Story
Author: Robert Gallagher
Rating: 3 outta 5 stars
Review: So I started this book and gave it up rather quickly. The Ernie Davis story is amazing and inspiring, but the way in which this book is written is too boring to hold my attention when I have so many other books waiting for me. Sorry.

That said, I do wish more athletes today would realize that their popularity really makes them noticed by society, and I wish they would use that in a positive way, encouraging youth today to be more civil, more gracious, more intelligent in what they do.

Currently Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cute Christmas Present

In an effort to save money this Christmas (might be looking for a house this summer/fall - YAY!) I'm trying to make as many Christmas presents as I can. One present I really enjoy making is the one I'm making for my brother (and therefore the rest of my family).

Last Christmas I made a slideshow for Grandmother of the whole family. I got pictures from all my aunts/uncles/cousins, etc and made a family slideshow with music selected by each family. Well, S liked it and wanted one of just our immediate family, so guess what S? You're getting one for Christmas and I'm lovin makin it!

We were so cute...

Dad

Mom

Mom and A (older brother)

Me :)

S (little brother)

Seriously, we were adorable. Any agreeing comments are always appreciated. What are you doing for Christmas presents this year? Any good money saving ideas?

Currently Reading: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke