Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy (Belated) 4th of July!

Thanks to our Family Reunion, our 4th of July was filled with Family, Friends, Fireworks, Food,and Fun!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Three Fun Cakes

During my trip to Utah this month I got to go and stay with Fawn and her family. We had a wonderful time together. We played some settlers, played in the yard with the boys, went to Wheeler Farm, watched Persuasion...and talked about cake! In fact after browsing through her beautiful cake books, we decided that we needed to make on, just for fun.

We made a yummy Banana Spice cake from the Cake Mix Dr. book. Then she taught me this fun and relatively simple decorating technique. Even the boys got involved (I love how seriously they work with their little ball of fondant). Thanks Fawn! You are amazing!

Since I've been home, I've been able to make two more fun cakes. Both of them are from, or at least inspired by, Debbie Brown's book 50 Easy Party Cakes.

First, I did a fairy princess cake for Catelyn's Birthday! It didn't turn out like the one in the book, but it was still cute, and she loved it!

We celebrated at an amazing new park nearby. I don't have any pictures of her with the cake, but I got some of the kids playing in the park.

On Friday Monica came over and we made a cake for Betty's birthday! It fun to work with Monica. We baked the cakes, made the fondant, colored the fondant, split and filled and decorated the cake all between 12:30 and 3:30. Not bad considering Flint came home for lunch during that time, and we were trying to keep BettyLou, Toby and Isaac entertained/happy while we worked.

I think that we did a better job entertaining Betty, than Toby and Isaac. :)

They were only entertained by the toys on the rug for part of the time.

In the end we were thrilled with how our little creation turned out. (Monica added the black licorice antennae when she got home.) Happy Birthday BettyLou!

Friday, July 25, 2008

100 Books

Fawn posted this list on her blog.

It was said that the average adult had only read 6 of the 100 books listed (I‘d like to see the source of this statement). I’ve marked the ones that I‘ve read in bold. See how many you have read. Have you read more than 6?

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (2 times)
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (3 times)
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (most of them more then once)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible (Most of the Old Testament, all of the New Testament 3 times)
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (hated it)
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (in school)
11. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (On my “To-Read” list)
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete work of Shakespeare (I’ve read Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Much A’do about Nothing, and The Taming of the Shrew)
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (in school, hated it)
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (couldn’t finish it)
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (loved it)
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (in school)
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens (On my “To-Read” list)
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (in school)
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (My mom read it as bedtime stories, I think)
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen (2 or 3 times)
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen (I can’t believe I haven’t.)(On my “To-Read” list)
36. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hussein (On my “To-Read” list)
37. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
38. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (captivating, much better than the movie)
39. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
40. Animal Farm - George Orwell
41. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
42. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
43. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
44. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins (great book!)
45. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
46. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
47. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
48. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (in school)
49. Atonement - Ian McEwan
50. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
51. Dune - Frank Herbert
52. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
53. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
54. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
55. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
56. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
57. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
58. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
59. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (On my “To-Read” list)
60. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (in school)
61. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
62. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
63. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
64. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (I read it aloud to my brothers one summer.)
65. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
66. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
67. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fiedling
68. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdi
69. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
70. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
71. Dracula - Bram Stoker
72. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
73. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
74. Ulysses - James Joyce
75. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
76. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
77. Germinal - Emile Zola
78. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
79. Possession - AS Byatt
80. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
81. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
82. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
83. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
84. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
85. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
86. Charlotte’s Web - EB White (5 or 6 times; I taught 4th grade)
87. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
88. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
89. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
90. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
91. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
92. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
93. Watership Down - Richard Adams (I think)
94. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
95. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
96. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
98. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (On my “To-Read” list)
99. Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
100. Twilight series - Stephanie Myers (read them all, they were okay, kind of melodramatic)

So I guess that is 33 or 34 for me, and several on my "To Read" list. What about for you?

p.s. I just finished reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. She also wrote Wives and Daughters and Cranford, all three are BBC Masterpiece movies! If you like Jane Austen, you'll like her.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flint's New Office

Flint has a new office!

I have my house back! That is, now I don't have to tiptoe around the house all day so that I don't disturb him or interrupt a phone call. On the down side, I seem to have lost my husband. He has been putting in very long days. Most days he is gone for 12-14 hours! It is so strange to have him gone all the time when he used to be home. Hopefully he will be able to cut back a bit once he gets everything rolling.

Everything is going smoothly so far. We have the work stations/supplies/copier... all set up and organized, Hartford came out to do a launch and trainings, and Flint has hired 4 or 5 agents. It looks like his agency is off to a great start. Congratulations honey. Thanks for working so hard.