Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze Review Dear Mr. Knightley

I haven’t read much of Jane Austen, and I have tried to read Pride and Prejudice numerous times, but can’t get through it. This book, Dear. Mr. Knightley, is a play on Pride and Prejudice, and though I’m sure it can’t compare to the original, was very enjoyable. Call me a prude, but what I liked most about this book was the virtue of the main character. So many love stories seem to require skin and sex and it’s totally not necessary. This book was clean and that was my favorite part.

As far as an overall story and believable, not so much. I did enjoy the “quotes” from other books and there are definitely scenes that are tender. The premise that Mr. Knightley would take on a foundation grant and then fall in love with the receiver seemed a bit too much, but at the same time, it could happen.

Another thing I especially enjoyed was seeing (although this is somewhat unbelievable) about the main character pouring her heart and life and every action in these letters to a stranger. Yet, sometimes we are more open with strangers than with our family members I know. Despite some far-reaching stretches, Dear. Mr Knightley, was a fun read, light, but with some “make-you-think” moments. Would recommend, even if you aren’t totally familiar with Pride and Prejudice.


Thomas Nelson/Booksneeze Review The Christian Parenting Handbook

Overall, I felt this book was a little nugget of great ideas. Each little idea is just a few pages, which helped in reading it. If you just wanted to find one little nugget, you read a few pages. I was impressed at the all-reaching topics the author came up with. I found myself thinking, “yes, I need to try that!” with many of the suggestions.
One downfall was some of the concepts weren’t developed quite enough to really find some answers. For example, one idea was to use discipline over anger, but there wasn’t as many hands-on or concrete ideas as I would have liked to implement the concept.

I loved the idea that you need to change your child’s “heart” as you parent. Many of the problems your child gets tangled in, or you find as a parent, if you work on changing the inner core of your child, you will find more success. This is definitely a book I would go back over and read again, especially certain concepts. It lends itself to reading slowly so you can implement different ideas. The authors also specifically want you to read the book and take notes of what you can do in your own parenting strategies. Good read. 


Baby pumpkins

 There were a couple of really small pumpkins that the boys have been calling their baby pumpkins. Halloween afternoon before Ryan left for work, he carved them. Liam put his in his room and used it as a nightlight last night.
 Really, even though they were green cause they got started late, they still LOVED those pumpkins!

Preschool program, monsters and pumpkins

 Collin had a preschool performance last week. Due to past experiences, I was thinking he would not sing, randomly look around..... no! He sang EVERY song, was totally engaged the whole time, and did AWESOME!
 It was SUCH a proud moment for me. And all the songs and actions were so adorable, especially for someone like me that loves music.
 I took some videos, but they won't post for some reason. I'm already looking forward to the Christmas program in a couple of months. GO COLLIN! Once again SO glad decided not to send him to kindergarten. This preschool is PERFECT for him for this year.
 Ryan's super creative carving job this year was a boat. This doesn't even do it justice. It had flags, an ocean, and a pumpkin lighthouse in our front yard. It got comments from EVERY trick or treater.

 One day we painted silly monsters for an activity. We hung them up all around the house.

 Collin did his as a cyclops.

Hope everyone had a happy halloween!


Gardner Village

 This year we got to go to Gardner Village on a sunny afternoon on a Monday. Since Ryan has been working nights this month (he leaves at 5pm and works until about 230am) we have afternoons for family time. I found this picture funny, so sunny we had to cover our eyes.
 A new witch we seemed to find this year!

 Ringing the bell was a new thing. That was fun!
For a Monday afternoon, it was very busy. Lots of happenings about this place in October. If you haven't been, it's a great local place to go for Halloween and see the witches. Our favorite, well the boys', is still the one with the nasty hot dog!

Halloween costumes and the Barnhisel party 2013

 The most hilarious thing happened when I was trying to figure out what to have Liam be for Halloween. I couldn't remember what was in our dress up bin. Suddenly about a couple of weeks ago, Liam said he was going to be a lion and was QUITE intent about it. Ironically, or luckily, we had a Lion costume in it! Where it came from, I have no idea..... but a lion he is. He LOVES lions. He is a "daddy lion cause I have lots of hair".
 And he lets people know "it doesn't have a face, so mommy draws it on me". This is his mean lion face, as opposed to the nice lion face above.
 Darth Vader, This is the cutest picture of me for some reason.
 When I get scared of Darth Vader, Collin takes his mask off and smiles and says "Mom! It's just me!"
 The Lion trying to use the force?
 Auntie Shanna's party is always fun. I went as my standard witch. Ryan went as Scotty from Star Trek.
 Once again, gorgeous weather for the party! Collin REALLY got into the donut eating on a stick contest this year. I think it's the first year he didn't grab the donut. Liam, he got mad.

 What face is this Liam? Just thought this was a cute picture.

We also celebrated Brandon's 11th birthday. Liam was LOVING he got a cake slice all to himself. Ahh...sugaroverload time.


2013 O'Berry pumpkin weigh-off

For anyone that reads this blog, the pumpkin patch is a big deal at our house. So is the weigh-off. Collin got to cut off a lot of pumpkins this year.
Liam got to help with the little "baby" pumpkins as he called them.
It's quite a process this weigh-off. We cut them (actually, I do nothing, I'm just the photographer and witness to document the event), wash/wipe them off, weigh them, then name them.
This is Gigantor, the biggest pumpkin Ryan has grown so far. It weighed more than 55 pounds!
Collin with Gigantor.
Down below is Collin with all 28 pumpkins. Geesh!

Sand castles

My sister gave the boys their old sand box like 2 or 3 years ago, when Collin was little. I'm still amazed at how much my boys like it.
Another warm September afternoon, Ryan and the boys built some serious sand castles. I was quite impressed. Liam liked knocking them down best. Boys will be boys.