A few months ago we decided to have a cookout on a Saturday.

We made kielbasa, hot dogs, and burgers.

We added pickles and olives and baked beans and cole slaw and potato salad and chips.

The kids (well, all of us) loved it so now we have a cookout one Saturday a month.

(There’s a burger hiding under all those chips.)

April Reads

I read nine books and a total of 3913 pages in April. I started out with A Million Miles in a Thousand Days by Donald Miller. That was our book group book for the month. I gave it four stars, though the longer I think about it the more I think I should have given it three or even two stars. Next I finally finished Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. That was our book group book for March. I had so much trouble getting through it and never liked it much. I gave it two stars.

After that I read The Blackmail Club by David Bishop. While it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, it was close. Definitely in the top five. Some of the worst writing I’ve see with a note at the end saying not to tell him about any “imagined” mistakes (like… spelling a character’s name wrong?). I gave it one star. The next book I finished was Reached by Ally Condie. I read that to the boys for their bedtime story. It was just as good the second time around (a decade later) as when I read it the first time. I gave it five stars.

Then I read Genesis by Robin Cook. I always enjoy his medical thrillers. I just loves how he builds his stories. I gave that one five stars of course. After that I read One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. That’s one of Ani’s favorites and I can see why. I gave it five stars as well. My next book was Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffancy D. Jackson. After fifty pages it really picked up and I very much enjoyed the rest. I gave it four stars. Then I read Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards. That was an incredible book. I was so stressed through the whole thing. It was an easy five stars. Finally I read A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. It’s a new take on Holmes and Watson, though sometimes it tried too hard. I gave it three stars.

My favorite book of the month: Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

My least favorite book of the month: The Blackmail Club by David Bishop

Number of 5 Star Books: 5
Number of 4 Star Books: 2
Number of 3 Star Books: 1
Number of 2 Star Books: 1
Number of 1 Star Books: 1

46/100 book read for my goal of the year… 54 to go!

And a sneak peak at my overly ambitious TBR list for May…


You never know what is going to trigger a kid. Zeke went to Ani’s apartment and was watching a movie while she made dinner. We didn’t even think about how the content might affect him. It was Zootopia. It’s made for kids. It’s one of Ani’s favorite movies. But there are drugs and some of the characters go nuts. And that was a huge trigger for my little boy.


Fritz and Adrian will be going to DATA, a magnet school, next year. They got to go meet with the counselor a few weeks ago and pick out their classes.

Adrian will be doing the computer science pathway. He’ll be taking honors English I combined with AP Human Geography, honors Geometry, honors Physics I, honors Spanish II, and honors Computer Science I. He’ll also be going to iCSI, a two period a day cybersecurity magnet. He’ll need to take PE and maybe art in summer school at some point to be able to fit everything in.

Fritz will be doing the video game design pathway. He’s taking AP English III, honors Algebra II, honors Physics I, AP US History, video game design, 3D modeling and animation, and honors Computer Science I. This means the boys have the potential to be in two classes together. Also, Fritz’s video game design teacher is Mr. Fritz which is kind of awesome.