Friday, January 22, 2016

Various Updates and Miscellany

I have a new co-worker this year who is not a fan of the South. She hasn't ever come right out and said, "I hate living here," but she sure hints at it. I imagine that today, on the first day of our 2016 snowpocalypse, she's sitting at home, shaking her head about the South's extreme over-reaction to snow. I, on the other hand, may not be a true born-and-bred Southerner, but I sure know how to rock a snow day. Got milk, got bread, read a whole book in one day, and only left my bed today to pee and eat.

Michael complained at dinner that he had to work today, and I teased back, "You might make four times as much as me, but I get snow days!"

And now I will take this lazy day opportunity to update ye olde crusty blog on the recent happenings of the Peters Family Band.

Did I mention that we moved?

After six years of living downtown, Michael and I decided that it was time to move for the seventh time in our fourteen years of marriage, so we hired a realtor, made an offer on almost the first house we saw, and moved in over Thanksgiving break.

Besides unpacking boxes, we spent our Christmas break at Miriam's house in Philly with the whole Alley clan. We also stopped in Virginia to see Michael's brother John and his family.


Rylan and Violet

Rylan turned eight right after we moved, which made his baptism kind of awkward. We held the baptism service in our new ward building, but pretty much the only people that attended were from our old ward plus my family, who drove down after Christmas. Still, it was a beautiful service, and I'm so proud of this big eight year old!

Rylan's baptism

My wonderful sister planned and paid for a girl's weekend to Universal Studios. I am normally not a fan of amusement parks, but she was smart and bought us all fast passes. If I had to stand in line for an hour to ride a mediocre minute-long ride, I would have been mighty disappointed, but since the fast passes reduced the waiting time to about 10 minutes, those mediocre minute-long rides were awesome! A couple times, we got off, looked at each other, and said, "Let's do that one again!

Universal Studios

Harry Potter World is cool, but way too crowded, even in January. The rest of the park, though, was relatively empty and has these cool simulation rides that I found fascinating. It's crazy how they can trick your brain into thinking you're moving.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

And that brings us up to date! Happy snow day!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

50 Books Challenge in 2015

I'm continuing to challenge myself to read 50 books a year. Since I started working, it gets harder and harder to find time to read, so I didn't quite make it to 50 this year (only 46). Still, I keep trying!

Usually as part of my challenge, I pick an author to read in-depth, but this year, my reading habits were more sporadic and very YA focused.

I read three Brandon Sanderson books, and finally found one that I really liked:

  • The Rithmatist *****
  • Firefight ****
  • Steelheart ***
Caught up on a ton of mediocre YA supernatural romance trilogies:
  • Shiver ***
  • Linger ***
  • Forever ***
  • The Gathering ***
  • The Calling ***
  • The Rising ** (wish I had not read the whole trilogy)
  • Hush, Hush *** (learned my lesson from the last trilogy and didn't continue with the rest)
A couple of re-reads:

  • The Westing Game *****
  • Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes ****
Books I read for school:
  • Of Mice and Men ****
  • Out of the Dust ***
  • Thirteen Reasons Why ***
Some non-fiction, particularly focused on professional development:
  • Teach Like a Champion *****
  • Hey Natalie Jean ****
  • Grammar Keepers ****
  • Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact ***
  • Total Participation Techniques ***
  • Reading Reasons ***
  • Unbroken ** (hated this book!)
And the rest:
  • The Golem and the Jinni *****
  • The Wednesday Wars *****
  • Tiny Sunbirds Far Away *****
  • Stargirl ****
  • The Story of Beautiful Girl ****
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian ****
  • These Is My Words ****
  • Code Name Verity ****
  • The Language of Flowers ****
  • The Shadow of the Wind ****
  • The Thief Lord ****
  • Big Little Lies ****
  • Orphan Train ****
  • Me Before You ****
  • Ready Player One ***
  • The Peach Keeper ***
  • Poison ***
  • The Boston Girl ***
  • Little Mercies ***
  • How to Build a Girl ***
  • Virals ***
  • Gilded ***
  • The Search for WondLa ***
  • Go Ask Alice **
Overall, it was a pretty good year for reading. Look at all those four or five star books! Here's hoping 2016 is as good!
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