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Five on Friday (the tulip version)...

beach
For boreal_owl :)

2
Amazing spring weather right now -- we just hope it lasts through next Saturday (D's b-day celebration with his friends)!

4
I don't know how I always manage to forget the school crazy-ness for the last 5-6 weeks of school...but it's here, and it's stressing us all out! :( We have choir concerts, school programs, talent shows, 5-K run, parties, continuation -- good grief! We won't so much rejoice when June comes but collapse in piles of exhausted goo, I fear...

7
I still have about five days of spring break left (I have to work Saturday, sadly) -- and I plan to use them well! I'm hiking with friends on Monday, and I'm going to spend some hours today writing (yay)...plus tons of family on Easter Sunday (of course).

9
How about them Avs? (DH and I went to the big Avs' parade the last time they won the Cup...13 years ago?)

plant (Um, I'm aware these aren't tulips, but there are five of them :D)
I'm thinking of inviting all D's friends' families over after the b-day celebration...I'm soooo not a social person, but this is their last year of all being together, and it feels momentous. I can handle it, right?

Happy Easter weekend!

Book Reports (33-38)...

books
For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Bolded, blue titles mean it's an ARC (linked to Tattered Cover's book page) or e-galley.

If you'd like to see my recent four+- and five-star YA recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book [(R) means it's a re-read].



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divergent ***** (R)
Divergent -- highly recommended for those who have seen the movie and those who enjoy dystopic novels with intriguing premises and romance -- Katherine Tegan Books, 5/11

escape ****
Heartbreaker, by Linda Howard -- recommended for those who enjoy Howard's books and like ranch living (and cowboys) -- Harlequin, 1/14

ruleofthree ****
The Rule of Three, by Eric Walters -- recommended for those who enjoy a logical approach to a dystopic-style future and those who enjoy boy-centric narratives -- FSG, 1/14

splitsecond *****
Split Second, by Kasie West -- highly recommended for those who read the first one (Pivot Point) and those who enjoy paranormal suspense with an intriguing premise of choosing your own future along with a sweet romance -- Harper Teen, 2/14

stung ****+
Stung, by Bethany Wiggins -- highly recommended for those who enjoy sci-fi scenarios involving a virus and/or humans-turned-beasts, life-and-death situations, and a sweet romance -- Walker Children's, 2/14

Currently Reading: um, three other books (which I stopped to finish a couple due tomorrow)

On Deck: another pile ;)

Four on Friday...

tulips
1. I am officially on spring break, which makes me a very happy camper!

2. We have 30+ tulips coming up. One might even open today...typically, the dear eat all the buds, but I'm hoping that because they've made it this far, we might actually get some fleurs this year. :D (You know there will be scores of tulip pix when I do -- just for you boreal_owl.)

3. D took the math placement test for next year's math -- although we were told that no one finishes it, D finished. He also said it was easy and he had 10 minutes to spare. It was review with a little pre-algebra, and I'm hoping the school will realize it's okay to put him in algebra next year (they're going to do so regardless; I just hate for them to be worried about it).

4. I got a bunch of books at the library yesterday. I'm all banked up for my break -- now I just have to go to the gym (have to make it worthwhile, right?), and then I can dig in and start some fun. :D

What is the first priority on your breaks?

Weekend Roundup...

columbines
...I have been reading, but finding time to post any book reports is NOT happening right now. Which mostly means I'll have a huge post in another week or so...

...D had a b-day party on Saturday, and E had one yesterday. Tonight, DH is taking both kiddos to the Rockies game (E's choir is singing the national anthem), and our dads are joining them...which means I get a night to myself! Win-win.

...between running club, choir, math tests (for next year), and school programs, this week is crazy! I think the talent show dress rehearsal is this week too -- gah!

...but starting Thursday, I'll be on spring break. *happy sigh*

Anything coming up in your neck of the woods (other than fleurs, ha)? :)

Wordless Wednesday during poetry month...

daisy
daff

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
~William Wordsworth

Weekend Roundup...

beach
...hm, I'm thinking I'm not keeping up with my blog when the post before last was also the weekend roundup...

...anyway, it was a crazy busy weekend: Friday night with camping friends (not camping, ha, but we did stay out until almost midnight); Saturday piano lessons, afternoon movie (for the kiddos) with my MIL, and evening dinner with my FIL (um, and NOT my MIL); Sunday with D's bff (who spent the night).

...today, E and I went to see my mom's painting in an exhibit. She didn't win a prize (though she should have), but hers was one of two that sold! :D
after the rain
(I took this with my phone, and you can sadly see my reflection -- and E's -- in the glass...but it gives you an idea, I guess.)

...D and bff are skiing with their other good friend (for his bday).

...tonight, D and E are going to DH's aunt's house for the night and day tomorrow. Gotta love spring break :)

Still sleep deprived...can't go on forever, so hope springs eternal, yes? :)

Five on Friday...

e looking into distance
1. It's been something of a sleep drought this week, so I'm running on fumes today. Fun times.

2. I'm so tired of school stuff too -- thank goodness spring break starts tomorrow! :)

3. We have a busy weekend planned, but it should be enjoyable. I'm assuming that once I get tired enough, I'll crash and sleep...right? :)

4. We only have a couple things set for next week -- skiing for D, perhaps snowshoeing for moi, and Divergent with friends. My mom has a painting in a show, and I'm going to go down and see that, as well.

5. For their 6th grade 'continuation,' all the students are supposed to give a 10-second video clip of what elementary school has meant to them. D and his four closest friends are doing a montage of their developing friendship. It should be pretty cute -- though quick!

Any plans for this last full week of March? (Honestly, where did it go? As always, February seemed twice as long...)

Weekend Roundup...

rafting
...very lazy weekend -- the best kind, right?

...other than cleaning and laundry, I mostly read (well, and worked some).

...beautiful weather (despite some moments of snow flurries -- interspersed with sunshine -- on Saturday)

Not much else going on...anything happening to my friends out there?

Tags:

Book Reports (29-32)...

books
For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Bolded, blue titles mean it's an ARC (linked to Tattered Cover's book page) or e-galley.

If you'd like to see my recent four+- and five-star YA recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book.



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tandem ****+
Tandem, by Anna Jarzab -- highly recommended for those who enjoy complex world-building, strong heroines, intriguing sci-fi concepts, and an interesting but not all-encompassing romance -- Delacorte Press, 10/13

beforeisleep ***+
Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson -- recommended for those who enjoy a slowly revealed (adult) mystery with a flawed heroine and a slightly ambiguous ending -- Harper, 2/12

thehereandnow ***+
[The Here and Now, by Ann Brashares -- recommended for those who enjoy time travel combined with dystopic ideas and a forbidden romance -- Delacorte, 4/14]

graduationday *****
[Graduation Day, by Joelle Charbonneau -- highly recommended for those who like the rest of the trilogy and those who enjoy an intelligent heroine who strategizes to solve her dystopic problems -- HMH Books, 6/14]

Currently Reading: a couple books -- I'll pick one, I'm sure :)

On Deck: a pile, as usual

Four on Friday...

clouds
1. We've had gorgeous weather (for the most part) this week. Warm and balmy on Monday, cold in the middle, and warm and balmy again today. It's supposed to be over 70 on Monday!
trail
(This was the scene during my hike with a friend on Monday.)

2. The kiddos are finishing up the state testing today. 'Nuff said about that.

3. I've been trying to keep up with writing -- and doing a better job than I did the latter part of last year. My crit group and I have been subbing just a few pages every two weeks. It keeps us going while not expecting so much from us with critiques. If we can continue this, I might actually finish something by the end of the summer -- what a shock!

4. As the weather gets warmer (along with the high snow pack in the mountains), people are starting to worry about the possibility of floods. After the '500-year Event' in September, folks are jumpy -- especially as some places still haven't completely recovered (they're saying at least mid-summer for some of the more impacted areas). The ice along Clear Creek is pretty high too...
flood sign
(This was at the top of our hike Monday -- and one of my favorite trails won't even open until June because of all the damage.)

Any fun plans for the weekend? Has spring hit your area yet?

Weekend Roundup...

deer
...gorgeous weather this weekend (and today) -- close to 70!

...we had D's bball celebration on Saturday. The boys had a great time playing hoops (at D's bff's house, which is on two acres) and having a monster snowball fight with the snow which fell Friday evening/night.

...E had a bday party on Sat, as well. She was late, but since it went for 6 hours, we figured missing one wasn't so bad ;) Funny thing: the bday girl is in E's class, but she used to go to a different school. She invited a few girls from each of her 'classes,' and one of the moms from the other group was visiting with A's mom. Anyway, A's mom wanted me to meet her -- and it turns out she's married a to a boy (well, man) I used to be in a musical group with. He has an unusual last name, and when she introduced herself, I was like, "You mean Tony B?" Such a small world...and weird hearing about him from an adult perspective (he's a few years younger than I, and nowadays, that's no big deal, but when you're kids, those years seem like decades sometimes).

...I also went to a book signing for jennifer_d_g -- her book, The Secret of Ferrell Savage, has been out for about a month now, and it's such an awesome middle grade (tween, really). She's a talented writer, and there's so much of her gentle and humorous voice in everything she writes that I know she's going to have tons of very loyal fans. :)

...yesterday, I caught up on a couple of late papers (late from the students rather than me). The kiddos played tennis with their auntie, and then we played a couple rounds of D's favorite game, 7 Wonders.

...today, I'm taking advantage of the amazing weather and going hiking with another mom from school. Should be fun (and very nice).

Happy Monday!

Four on Friday...

pine snow
1. It's raining, it's snowing -- it's wet. 'nuff said

2. I went in to help with writing today and ended up working with math review, instead. It was scary, though, to see a couple of the students missing every single problem -- mostly because they didn't read the question thoroughly enough. :( I feel for D's teacher. It's so hard to help kids learn when they struggle to meet you even partway.

3. Busy day tomorrow -- and hopefully, I'll remember everything we need to do this afternoon to prepare. *sigh*

4. I think everyone should get a gift of one free day -- one day where all their responsibilities will somehow be met by someone else, and each person can just be for 24 hours. That's actually a scary thought -- too much like thinking about how you'd spend Lotto money if you won...it becomes addictive. :)

Any fun plans for your weekend?

Book Reports (24-28)...

books
For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Bolded, blue titles mean it's an ARC (linked to Tattered Cover's book page) or e-galley.

If you'd like to see my recent four+- and five-star YA recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book.



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betterofffriends ****+
Better Off Friends, by Elizabeth Eulberg -- highly recommended for those who enjoy sweet (and a little angst) friendship-to-romance stories with thoughtful characters -- Point, 2/14

sick ****
Sick, by Tom Leveen -- recommended for those who enjoy horror and the idea of a virus taking over and like an easy-to-read style -- Amulet Books, 10/13

moonandmore **+
The Moon and More, by Sarah Dessen -- recommended for those who enjoy Dessen's books and those who like coming-of-age stories about those heading into college -- Viking, 6/13

diamonds ****
Diamonds & Deceit, by Leila Rasheed -- recommended for those who enjoyed the first one and those who like drama set in turn-of-the-century (1900s) days -- Disney/Hyperion, 1/14

blythewood *
Blythewood, by Carol Goodman -- recommended for those who like atmospheric novels with fantastical ideas and rich settings (like Wuthering Heights, perhaps) -- Viking, 10/13

Currently Reading: the second in the Palladin series

On Deck: the usual ;)

Weekend Roundup...

e on ground
...relaxing weekend, although I'm still not sleeping great. But I did enjoy getting to read and play games with the kiddos (it was coooold outside, so we stayed in).

bw railing

...I'll be doing my book reports later today (hopefully).

...enjoyed TAR again last night, even though I felt bad for the losing team (well, one half of it -- the non-whiny half).

It's March -- our snowiest month (typically), but this morning it's already in the 40s :)

The Amazing Race...

d field day
I just have to say, I'm loving this new season of TAR. Not only are 2 (father/son and the cowboys) and 2 halves (Malory and Mark) of my favorite teams back, but the first team eliminated was by far my least favorite returning team. I'm excited (and feeling it helps make up for the end of the Olympics, ha).

Who are your returning favs?

Tags:

Book Reports (19-23)...

books
For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Bolded, blue titles mean it's an ARC (linked to Tattered Cover's book page) or e-galley.

If you'd like to see my recent four+- and five-star YA recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

This year, I'm only going to list the stars and a brief recommendation for the type of readers I think will enjoy the book.



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savageferrell *****
The Secret of Ferrell Savage, by J. Duddy Gill jennifer_d_g -- highly recommended middle grade for those who love humor, quirky facts, male protagonists, and very likable characters -- Atheneum Books, 2/14

independentstudy *****
Independent Study, by Joelle Charbonneau -- highly recommended for those who enjoyed the first book and those who like dystopic worlds with strong heroine and hints of romance and political intrigue -- HMH Books, 1/14

altered ***+
Altered, by Gennifer Albin -- recommended for those who liked the first one and those who enjoy intricate and complex world building, who don't mind love triangles, and who enjoy concepts of time manipulation -- FSG, 10/13

intostillblue ****+
Into the Still Blue, by Veronica Rossi -- highly recommended for those who enjoyed the rest of the trilogy, those who like lyrical prose, those who enjoy solid world building, and those who love sweet and faithful romance -- Harper Collins, 1/14

dividedwefall **
Divided We Fall, by Trent Reedy -- recommended for those who like political power struggles, the military, and rebels with a cause -- Arthur A. Levine, 1/14

Currently Reading: Elizabeth Eulberg's most recent (on my Droid Kindle)

On Deck: yep, a huge pile still, including at least 5 or 6 that I recently purchased and want to read

Weekend Roundup...

e looking into distance
...I did as little as possible this weekend -- yay!

...the kiddos bowled with DH on Friday afternoon, and I vegged (whew, hard work). Then he took them to a Nuggets game last night, and I vegged. :D

...I did handle piano lessons...but other than that, I hung out, caught up on a few things (like D's team posters), and read. Sometime soon I'll do my book reports and get all caught up there too.

...one thing I didn't do much of is sleep. *sigh* I seem to be going through an insomniac patch.

Last week of February -- shocking, isn't it?

Tags:

Four on Friday...

rafting
1. How long can this wind last, anyway? Yeesh...

2. E was selected as the Top Cougar (teacher-selected award for good behavior) for her class this month -- she's thrilled, of course. Plus, D has gotten this award every year (including Kinder) -- but he hasn't this year (yet). E's only gotten it twice.

3. Had a lovely lunch with one of my bffs today. :)

4. Two of D's grade-mates played a thoughtless (and even cruel) prank on another classmate this week. They were both suspended, but I'm not sure that's enough (especially for one of them). *sigh* Kids can be so mean. Of course, one of the boys (not the one who needs more punishment) is D's friend, so he's worried about him and what it'll be like for him to return. He's sure this other boy feels horribly guilty and bad (and he might be right). I feel for the parents too. Glad we have a break and can perhaps start anew next week!

It's the last weekend in February -- how did that happen???

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