Monday, August 27, 2012

My new adventure

My friend called me last Thursday night.  She had seen an update story on a child in foster care that had touched her heart.  We are always thinking up ideas on how we can change the world.  So she called me up and told me that we needed to write a book with stories of adoption.  I said great idea, but lets do a website first.  We were very inspired and very motivated.  So we stayed up late coming up with ideas.  Then sat on the phone and computer all the next day.  This is the website.  We will feature peoples "good news" stories about foster care and/or adoption with their foster placements.  I am really excited about this.  So far, it is just our stories, we are working on getting more.  We have had a lot of positive feedback.   We weren't going to have the website up so fast, but with the responses, we quickly got it up.  So, please please please email your stories to  If you don't have any stories, just follow us and read all the interesting stories.     Can't wait to see you over there!!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dang, I need to get reading.

I love young adult novels.  NPR came out with the top 100 teen books. More than 75,000 ballots were cast Sadly, I have only read 12.  I am very disappointed with myself.   Especally since I have read all the Newbery Award Books.  Granted, some are series, not just a single book.  But I still have a lot of reading to do.  Library, here I come. 

I highlighted what I have read.  How many have read? 

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
3. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
4. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
5. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
7. The Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
9. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
10. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
11. The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry
12. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (series), by Douglas Adams
13. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
14. Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery
15. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
17. The Princess Bride, by William Golding
18. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
19. Divergent (series), by Veronica Roth
20. Paper Towns, by John Green
21. The Mortal Instruments (series), by Cassandra Clare
22. An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
23. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
24. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
25. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
26. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
27. Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
28. Uglies (series), by Scott Westerfeld
29. The Infernal Devices (series), by Cassandra Clare
30. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
31. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
32. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (series), by Anne Brashares
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
34. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green, David Levithan
35. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
36. Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
37. Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli
38. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
39. Vampire Academy (series), by Richelle Mead
40. Abhorsen Trilogy Old Kingdom Trilogy (series), by Garth Nix
41. Dune, by Frank Herbert
42. Discworld Tiffany Aching (series, by Terry Pratchett
43. My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
44. The Dark is Rising (series), by Susan Cooper
45. Graceling (series), Kristin Cashore
46. Forever..., by Judy Blume
47. Earthsea (series), by Ursula K. Le Guin
48. Inheritance Cycle (series), by Christopher Paolini
49. The Princess Diaries (series), by Meg Cabot
50. The Song of the Lioness (series), by Tamora Pierce
51. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
52. Delirium (series), by Lauren Oliver
53. Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
54. Hush, Hush Saga (series), by Stephanie Perkins
55. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson
56. It's Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini
57. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (series), by Libba Bray
58. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs (I have checked this one out from the library twice but never got around to reading it.  Does that count for anything?)
59. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
60. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
61. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
62. Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen
63. A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L'Engle
64. The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
65. The Bartimaeus Trilogy (series), by Jonathan Stroud
66. Bloodlines (series), by Richelle Mead
67. Fallen (series), by Lauren Kate
68. House of Night (series), by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
69. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
70. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlsit, by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
71. Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver
72. Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
73. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
74. The Maze Runner Trilogy (series), by James Dashner
75. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
76. The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
77. Crank (series), by Ellen Hopkins
78. Matched (series), by Allie Condie   (we own 2 of this series, but I haven't read them yet.)
79. Gallagher Girls (series), by Ally Carter
80. The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale
81. Daughter of the Lioness Tricksters (series), by Tamora Pierce
82. I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
83. The Immortals (series), by Tamora Pierce
84. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series), by Patricia C. Wrede
85. Chaos Walking (series), by Patrick Ness
86. Circle of Magic (series), by Tamora Pierce
87. Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor
88. Feed, by M.T. Anderson
89. Weetzie Bat (series), by Francesca Lia Block
90. Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen
91. Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (series), by Louise Rennison
92. Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld
93. The House of the Scorpion, by Scott Westerfeld
94. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (series), by Diana Wynne Jones
95. The Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen
96. Gone (series), by Michael Grant
97. The Shiver Trilogy (series), by Maggie Stiefvater
98. The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
99. Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson
100. Betsy-Tacy Books (series), by Maud Hart Lovelace

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hello, My name is Melissa and I love torturing myself.

Yes, we took 9 kids to an amusement park.  Thank heavens my parents came with us.  It was hard with the 4 little ones.  They did love it so I was grateful to have my parents to help chase happy babies.  

 Josh was not fun on the ferris wheel.  He just wanted to climb around and hang over the side.  Yeah, we were 150 feet up.  So Cassie and I had fun wrestling him.  Guess what?  We won.  Yahoo
 We got a little wet on rattlesnake rapids.  Well, except for Grandma.  Someone gave her a poncho before we got on, lucky gal.  
 I love babies and popcicles.  
 They are so clean.  
 Can you see Grandpa down there with the stroller?  It was great to have Gpa and Gma to help with the kids.  They are wonderful.  

Then we bounced back for a second day a few days later.  I only took the bigger kids and John stayed home with the little ones.  It was super fun to hang out with the older 5.  We had a lot of fun.  We did the water park and the rides again.  
We even got Grandma and Grandpa on some rides.  

This ride is called "the one grandma almost died on".  She flipped and as Annie put it, "You were under for 15 seconds, Grandma. You scared me."  But guess what?  The second time down, grandma didn't even flip. Can't say that much for Grandpa though.  

 Look, Becca can fold herself in half.  
 Here's the end of the ride that grandma almost died. It's not that I don't love James, he didn't want to ride on it.  Here is heredity in action.  Like how everyone squishes their face back?  Super attractiveness.  

 Yeah, I wasn't that lucky.  And I was still squishing my face.  dang we are good.  
  So Becca, Cassi, James, and Annie decided to go on the scary white slide.  Here is a sideways photo of James coming down.  This straight down part was after around 11 seconds in a tube.  I think the 3 shadows at the bottom are awesome.  Even our shadows are cute.  

Here are zoomed in photos.  What freaking brave kids I have.  
 And little Anna Sophia.  

 After the slide, poor Cassi had hit her heel on the bottom of the pool  She ripped a big chunk of skin off.  Ouch.  The creepy lifegaurd (we call him that because he was at least 25 and winking at my sweet daughters.  I wanted to punch him out.) told her to go to the first aid, but we had to stay and wait for annie.  So Grandpa counted each of the times the kids came out so I could get their photo.  He was counting to 20, 21, 22 when Annie still hadn't come out, we were getting pretty nervous.  Then out she came.  She kept getting stuck in the tube and had to push herself out.  I think she was just too light for the slide.  Poor little thing.  
 Jason's concoction for lunch. Can you tell what it is?  An Oreo sandwich.  Yum Yum
 Becca and Annie upside down.
  I had convinced Grandma to go that she didn't have to flip.  But Gpa did, the stinker.  You can kind of see them upside down.  ha ha 

 Well, I guess I will end my novel here.  Can't wait to torture myself again someday!!!

Holy Crap, they are going to do WHAT?

My family and I went to the local amusement park.  Guess what some of my family did?

Grandma, Cassie, and John, Annie and James went on the skycoaster. What is a skycoaster you ask?  

"The attraction operates by putting the participant in a full body harness (usually referred to as a flight suit), that supports the flyer (from one to three at a time), in a prone position. The harness is then connected to the flight support cables.

From a static point approximately 6 feet above the ground, the flyers are then pulled aloft by a launch cable to nearly the top of the launch tower. At this point the flyers are approximately 143 feet above the ground with the flight cables taut and the flight is ready to begin. Upon being given the signal, the flyers pull the rip cord, releasing them from the launch cable, and they begin to rapidly swing towards the ground at speeds reaching up to 80 mph. The overall feeling is similar to that of swooping along the ground in a hang glider, or that of skydiving."

Before they went on their adventure, Grandma was giving Becca advice in case Grandma didn't make it.  Becca didn't go on the skycoaster because just the thought of it made her palms sweat.  

 What was her advice you ask?  Go on a mission and marry in the temple.  

Here is a photo of our flyers.  After I took this photo, we had a surprise.  
 Annie decided that she wanted to fly.  This was very shocking.  She is a huge acrophobian.  (ha, look at my big word.  So you don't have to google it, I will tell you.  It means fear of heights.  In fact, she even has a hard time driving up in the mountains.  She just sits in the back of the van bawling and panicking.)  I was super proud of her.  She was wearing her flip flops so I ran to our stuff to grab her tennis shoes.  I came back and James had decided that if his little sister could go, so could he.  

Here is some preparation photos.  

 I was dying inside watching them try to find a harness that would fit Annie.  Super scary.  uggggg
 So I decided to video it since I can take photos off the video.  So I only have a few photos and you will just have to watch the video.  
 After they were back.  Cute flyers, aren't they?
 Yeah, little flyers!!!

And after the ride.  I am so proud of these guys.  They are amazing.  

 Grandma and Cassie went together.  Cassie was going to pull the ripcord.  They got to the top and Cassie said, "Ready  Grandma?"  There was silence so Cassie figured she was and she pulled it.  

Then on the other side, the workers showed John how to lean around Annie to pull the cord.  As they were going up Annie said, "I can do it Dad, I can pull it."  John was worried she would pull it to early but the workers did the count down and sure enough, Annie waited a min.  then she did it.  She did great.  Not too shabby for 9 years and 1 day old.  

Now, here is the video.  I do have a disclaimer.  We seem to attract the crazies.  Anyone else feel this way? So as they were getting in to their harnesses a crazy family was watching.  Now in my video you can hear them talking.  You can hear the dad going on about that he doesn't want to leave until the little girl goes.  I also don't think he realized both groups were with me because he kept telling me stuff about Annies group like I wasn't paying attention.  Then the crazy son pipes up.  He was sure that John was going to puke.  So the irritating boy you hear fake vomiting, yeah, he's not mine.  Gotta love the crazies.  Well, enough explanation.  Enjoy.