Tic-Tac-Toe Reading

I joined a reading Facebook group a few months ago. They have fun activities all month long and that helps make reading and choosing books to read a bit more fun. This month one of the activities was Tic-Tac-Toe (or BINGO for people who read a whole lot). I read all nine books on my card and got a blackout.

First I read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (book made into a TV show or movie). Three stars (out of five). Then I read Battle Dragons: City of Thieves by Alex London (middle grade). Five stars. Next I read Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (book that’s between 150-350 pages). Three stars. After that I read Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman (one word title). Five stars and my first tic-tac-toe.

I started on my second tic-tac-toe with Timebound by Rysa Walker (time in title). Five stars. Then I read The Magic of Christmas Tree Farm by Erin Green (Christmas in title). Four stars. That got me tic-tac-toe number two. I got my third tic-tac-toe with Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (part of a series). Five stars.

I got tic-tac-toe numbers four and five by reading Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft by Mindy Klasky (about witches). Two stars. Yesterday I completed the whole tic-tac-toe card with a blackout by getting my sixth and seventh tic-tac-toes by reading The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen.

Add in Boy on Ice by John Branch (five stars), A Solitude of Wolverines by Alice Henderson (five stars), and Divergent by Veronica Roth (five stars), plus I finished the Doctrine and Covenants, and that equals November being a pretty awesome reading month!

More pictures

A few more pictures from Saturday’s photo shoot with Jacqueline Eldredge Photography

All of Us
Another of all of us… and Fritz and Adrian are actually smiling!
Another picture of Cameron and Tami
Mayci wanted her picture taken with Cameron last year. This year she requested Ani.
Just the two of us
A baker’s dozen
We always love how the all of us in a line pictures turn out.
Another picture of Zeke. He’s getting so big.
Another picture of Nicholas making a very Nicky face
Noah really wasn’t feeling the photo shoot again this year,
Joel was getting over a cold so he was only happy cuddled up with his daddy.
The momma and the papa… very soon post-op… Daddy had his kidney stones cleaned out one week and five weeks before this was taken and Mommie had a hip replacement three weeks before.
Twins on Shoulders
The ladies… Ani, Mommie, Mayci, Me, and Tami

My Kids

We got our pictures taken by Jacqueline Eldredge again this year and once again they turned out amazing. My kids…

Anastasia Sariah, age 21
Cameron James and Tami, both 20
Frederick David Harold, age 15
Adrian Lloyd, age 13
Ezekiel Franklin, age 6
Mayci Celia Kerry, age 5
Anthony Michael John, age 4
Nicholas James Alexander, age 3
Noah Moses Christopher, age 2
Joel Aaron Malachi, age 2

46 and One Year

Forty-six years ago Friday the most important guy in my life was born. One year ago Friday we doubled our flock when we adopted the most amazing six kids in the world.

To celebrate, we went to a trampoline park and jumped for an hour (in between interviews with the news and meeting with some people from the adoptions unit of DFPS – a year later we are still very weird). Then we came home and had cake and pizza (in that order). It was a good day.

Allergic to Dogs

A few months ago we got Nicky allergy tested and it turns out he is very allergic to dogs. So we began trying to find a home for Lola. No one wants a cranky ten-year-old chihuahua. A couple weeks ago Cameron decided to see if Lola and his dog could get along. She really has always been his dog anyway. We were all surprised when the two dogs quickly learned to at least tolerate each other.

In the time since Lola moved in with Cameron Nicky’s eczema has improved at least 90%. He had some nasty patches that developed once we pulled him out of daycare (so he was around Lola 24/7). Those have pretty much all resolved. We’ve always suspected his eczema is related to allergies since Zyrtec helps, but now we know for sure.

We had Fritz allergy tested at the same time Nicky was. He is not allergic to dogs, but he is allergic to most pollens and is very allergic to leaf mold. Lola would go out and roll in the leaves and what not and bring in the allergens for Fritz to breathe. Long Haul COVID for him has included an intense increase in how his body reacts to allergens. With Lola at Cameron’s, he, too, is breathing so much better, is not as tired, and is even talking a little clearer.

It’s weird not having Lola around after 8 years, but Cameron is so happy to have her. He just loves that little dog. So between his happiness having her live with him and Fritz and Nicholas being so much healthier now, it was definitely the right choice to have her move.

Third Literati Box

Adrian’s first and second Literati boxes were so great, we were really looking forward to receiving the third on. It arrived about a week and a half ago. This month the box was a lot less plain.

The artwork was really fun to look at. Now we just need to read the books to find out what inspired it. There’s always something in one of the books. Adrian loves the bookplates he gets every month. That might be his favorite part.

This month’s books were Knowledge Genius!, Peak by Roland Smith, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore, and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. Knowledge Genius! went back. He’s just not interested in that sort of thing. Peak almost didn’t make the cut but ultimately he decided to keep it. He’s most excited by Nimona. It’s a graphic novel from a web comic. He’s enjoying it very much.

(If you want to subscribe to Literati Kids (any of their many age group boxes, not just Club Titan), if you use my link you’ll get $25 in Book Bucks and so will I!)

Beach Boys

Jamie and I went to see the Beach Boys Monday night last week. The last time we saw them was a whole decade ago. Now Mike Love is 80 and Bruce Johnston is 79 and they are still able to get around and have fun and sing so well.

The audience was mostly fans from when the Beach Boys was in their heyday, but the energy was high and the music was loud and it was so much fun. The mayor (who is my age) and his wife and son were there, too. Afterwards we were like wait, that’s… that looks like… yes, yes, it is (we love our mayor; fun fact: a couple years ago Cameron taught taekwondo to the mayor’s son for a few months).

It’s not unlikely that that was the last time we’ll ever see the Beach Boys in concert. After all, how much longer can a 79 and 80 year old tour and perform, plus San Antonio isn’t a very common stop on those tours. So I’m really glad my parents got us tickets to the show.

Shifting Naps

We’ve been trying to shift the babies’ naps to one long one in the afternoon for a few weeks now and they are still fighting it. With Nicholas home with us and him totally used to napping 12:30-2:30 or 3, I wanted to get the twins napping at same time. They were napping about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon and, boy, do they still want to!

I have to actively work to keep them awake until after lunch. Even on days Haley is here playing with them one or the other (usually Noah) will try to go to sleep on her. It’s kind of crazy how hard it’s been to shift those naps.