Friday, October 28, 2011

Five Question Friday

It's the beginning of our Halloween weekend. 
Yes weekend.
This entire weekend is filled with Halloween events.
Ethan attended a Halloween party at Kilimanjaro Cafe this afternoon.
We later had the PTA's Trunk or Treat.
Tomorrow, Scott and I are going to a Halloween party,
and Sunday is Halloween in the Hood,
followed by trick or treating.

And even though it's been an exciting day,
it's now time for
Five Question Friday!

1. Do you prefer cotton, silk or flannel sheets?
Cotton. In this heat, silk is sticky and flannel is too hot!

2. What time zone are you in?
I'm embarrassed to say I have absolutely no clue.
I had to Google it.
And apparently it's CAT.
That's Central African Time.

3. What is your favourite part of the holiday season?
Scott would tell you my favourite part is the gifts.
And while I do admit,
I love seeing pressies under the tree,
my favourite part is being home.
With family.
And we're not going home this Christmas. 
And even though I know we'll have a great Christmas
it won't be the same.

4. What is your favourite "wintry" drink?
Well that's easy.
Every winter, when we go home,
you can always be sure you'll find me
sitting on the sofa,
with an blanket around my shoulders,
drinking a hot chocolate,
with Baileys.

5. In your opinion, what is the worst job in the world?
This needs some thinking.
Snake charmers.
But that's because I'm utterly terrified of snakes.
The guy who cleans up after the animals in the zoo.

At Grave's End - Jeaniene Frost

Can you tell I'm loving Cat and Bones?

At Grave's End is the 3rd instalment in the Cat & Bones series, and it's just as exciting as it's predecessors'. 

Cat, the half vampire with flaming red hair has made it her mission (and well, it's her job) to kill the baddest vampires around. But there can only be so many disguises before vampires figure out she's the Red Reaper.

Then, a woman from Bones' past wants her dead. An all out vampire war is started. We've got vampires, ghouls, zombies and witchcraft all rolled into one cosy book.

Cat and Bones never let you down. Chapter 32 might have grabbed you in the last book, but Cat serves the best line ever in this one; "When you get back, I'm going to cover myself in whiskey and nothing else. Then I'll pour gin all over you. We're going to drink from each other, in every possible way."

How can you not love them?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

About the Authors: Writing Workshop with our Youngest Writers - Lisa Cleaveland & Katie Wood Ray

I'd like to think I had a decent writing program last year, but it wouldn't work with my students this year, so I changed it up.

Last week, I was teasing my class on how we've completed 1/4 of the school year. It then occurred to me that we completed 1/4 of the school year! I was not happy the way our Writer's Workshop/Work on Writing was going.

Over the weekend, I came across the book About the Authors. It's all about Writer's Workshops with students in KG-G2. Perfect! While most of the examples were of grade 1students it was inspiring.

The idea behind About the Authors is to teach children to be authors, not writers. You have children create books. Yes that's not something new, but it was great to be reminded.

So now I'm all excited to start writing with my students again. 

Isn't great when you find a book that inspires you?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 34

We were on mid-semester break this week.
Scott's got a mate who lives in Ndola, 
so we thought we'd go for a road trip and visit.

Rudd, his wife and 2 kids live on a beautiful farm.
They have a strawberry field.
So, of course,
we had to go strawberry picking.

Sunday we spent the day in Nsobe.
It was World Cup finals.
The All Blacks won.
(Was there ever any doubt?)

We got to the bar to watch the game, 
and as we were about to order some water,
(it was a hot morning),
we came across this

So this is my hubby at 10am

And while the boys watched the rugby,
Ethan went fishing.

Yes there is a fish there. 

In the afternoon, 
Ethan played badminton.

Happiness is...

....spending time with great mates.

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Foot in the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

How appropriate that book 2 in my weekend of reading is also book 2 in the Cat & Bones series?

Once again, Sarah  introduced me to this fabulous series. I loved the first one, and One Foot in the Grave is even better. 

When we last saw Cat in Halfway to the Grave, she left Bones. She thought it would be best for them to be apart. She left him a note, took her mother and joined a secret part of Homeland Security, continuing her work as a vampire slayer.

Now, five years later, there's a hit put on her life. And, she comes, face to face with Bones. 

Can you feel the heat?

It was great to have Cat and Bones back. They team up to find out who's got it out for her. We learn more about Cat's father, the vampire who, allegedly, raped her mother. We also learn that she has an uncle. 

Oh, and then there's chapter 32. You will read this book in one day, for no other reason than you need  to get to chapter 32. You. Will. Not. Regret. It.

Dark Magic - Christine Feehan

Don't you just love vacation time?
This week we've been on mid-semester break.
Friday, we got in the car and had a road trip to Ndola.
That meant 4 hours in the car, 
with nothing to do but listen to music and read.
And that's what I did.

The first book I got through was
Dark Magic.
This is book 4 in the Carpathians series.

Having not read the first three, I was a little confused at the beginning. There were parts that confused me. Apparently, the Carpathians are a species that cannot go out during the day and feed on blood. But they are not vampires. If a Carpathian doesn't find his lifemate, he turns either to the sun (death) or crosses over and becomes a vampire (evil).

In Dark Magic, Gregori is a powerful Carpathian. He is a hunter and a healer. He is destined to be with Savannah, half human and half Carpathian. She ran away from her family, not wanting to be someone's lifemate, and is known as world famous magician. While she's attracted to him, she does not want or understand what it means to be his lifemate. Gregori, meanwhile is afraid he'll see her as a monster he sometimes feel he is.

It's a fabulous story. We've got Carpathians, evil vampires and vampire hunters who are just as evil and lead by a vampire. What more could you want?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Five Question Friday

We're on mid-semester break.
Today we're off to Ndola.
Scott's mate has a farm and I have a whole stack of books that need reading.
But we don't leave for another couple of hours,
which gives me time for...

Five Question Friday!

1. Where do you escape to when you've had enough?
While we were in Dar, whenever we needed to get away, we'd hop on over for a weekend getaway to Zanzibar. Just to spend a weekend laying on the beach, doing absolutely nothing recharged you for the weeks ahead. 

We have yet to find a place here to getaway to. We've been exploring different places. But in the meantime, a Sunday afternoon, sitting at Sugarbush, sipping wine, does wonders!

2. What shows are you watching this fall?
Well it's spring here. And we don't necessarily get a whole batch of new shows, but I do have my Must See TV line up.  Castle, Private Practice, The Big Bang Theory, Cougar Town, and NCIS are all on my list.

3. What was the longest roadtrip you've ever taken and where did you go?
A few years ago, we decided to drive up to Ruaha. It took us a day to get to Iringa, where we stopped and spent the night, then completed the trip the next day.

4. Do you plan on taking your kids to Disney World?
Ethan's been asking for awhile now. We've basically "decided" (cos you never know, things change) that we'll go next year. The current plan is to go home for Christmas, then head there for New Years. Ethan's already making his list of characters he wants to meet.

5. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I dunno. There have been many posts where I've said something I didn't do, or want to do, or a secret about me, that I think you all know me. I'm pretty much an open book.

Writer's Workshop - Things I've never done

I am 40 years old.

And I've never...

1. Gone bungee jumping
2. Cooked Christmas dinner

3. Gone skydiving

4. Been to New Orleans

5. Joined the mile high club
6. Been to Egypt

7. Been to Australia

8. Met a vampire
9. Cleaned the toilet
10. Handled a gun
11. Watched any of the Godfather movies

12. Spent a night in jail
13. Eaten frog legs

14. Had breakfast at Tiffany's
15. Seen the Macy's parade
16. Ran in a marathon
17. Ran in a half marathon
18. Worn a pair of skinny jeans

19. Watched Jersey Shore

20. Driven a race car
21. Made a sex tape
22. Had such a hard time thinking of 22 things I've never done

Check out Mama Kat and see what others have never done.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Darkest Night - Gena Showalter

Don't you just love getting some mail from a mate?
What's better is when she sends a care package for you and your son!
It gets even better...
in the package there's a book with one sexy cover!

Maddox is a Lord of the Underworld. Create to protect the Gods, he was angry the Gods put Pandora in charge of keeping the box safe. So he, along with some others, wanted to prove to the Gods that a woman wasn't strong enough and released the evils into the world. As a punishment, each Lord has been cursed with the spirit of a demon. Maddox holds Violence within him. Violence killed Pandora and as a further punishment, every night at midnight, Maddox must die in the same violent way, only to return the next day and start over.

Ashlyn Darrow is a human. She hears voices. And not the schizophrenic kind. Where ever she goes, she hears the voices of conversations that have taken place there, no matter how long ago it was. 

Ashlyn goes to Budapest for work. While there, she "hears" conversations about angels that live in a fortress upon a hill. Convinced they can help her, she heads to find them. And so begins the steam.

Ok, so it's not quite BDB, but it was good! I love the idea of using Greek Mythology into our world. Is it myth? Or was it real? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 33

Hello, my name is Tima and I love to shop.

I cannot recall if it was in high school or university that I was first introduced to Margaret Atwood. Knowing me, it was in high school, but I didn't appreciate her until university.

I'm a fan of dystopia, and after chatting with one of my colleagues, we came to the conclusion that Margaret Atwood is the Queen of Dystopia. I know there are those of you who will argue this with me. Hear me out. In 1985, she wrote The Handmaid's Tale. I don't think it was called dystopia at the time. We all just knew it as science fiction.  

A few years ago I read Oryx and Crane, and loved it. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing on Amazon and came across her new book, The Year of the Flood. This is the sequel to the Oryx and Crane. So of course, I had to get it. And since it's been a few years since reading Oryx and Crane, I needed to get that one again for a re-read.

And guess what came in the mail this week?

Then my dearest mate Sarah (you can visit her here), introduced me to Erin Confren's Life Planners. After some staring at the website, I caved and decided to organise my life.

And when I collected my books, guess what else was waiting for me?

Happiness is getting some treats in the mail.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wayward (The Witches War Saga #1) - Ashley Girardi

Isn't this a fabulous book cover?

Helena Wayward (Hex) is the 7th born of the 7th born and 7th born. (Did you get that?) The Waywards are witches, and this family is particularly powerful. Hex is destined to be a powerful witch. But she was born with no powers. She's an embarrassment. 

At a family wedding, the dark magic she never knew existed within her, comes out, killing a rival family member. This new sudden power catches the eye of Valentine, and she spends a year with him, getting in touch with her dark side. But, she doesn't want to embrace her evil side and runs away.

So now Hex is in hiding. There's a bloodprice on her head. Valentine wants her dead. Others want him dead and feel she's the one to do it.

And all this time, she's a high school junior. 

This was a hard one to follow. At times she hates the evil her family wants her embrace and then she embraces it. But she's a wonderful character and I did enjoy it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five Question Friday

Guess what?
It's Friday!!!
The weekend is here, 
a mate from Dar is passing through Lusaka,
so will come spend the night.
And I got a fabulous package in the mail.
(You'll have to wait till Tuesday to learn about that) 

And as it's Friday,
it also means it's
Five Question Friday.

1. Do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or a cone?
So I'd like to say I'm a cone person. But if I'm honest, it would seem that I tend to get my ice cream in a cup. Not sure why. I don't have anything against the cone. Hmmmm.... now that I think about it, it would seem the cup preference began when I couldn't decide between two flavours. Knowing if I got a double scoop would lead to the possibility of one scoop falling off, I opted for the cup. And now, being a one-scoop-only-since-my-waist-can't-deal-with-two person, I still prefer the cup. 

2. What three things do you love the smell of?
Had this been asked yesterday, I probably would have a different answer for one. This morning, I was taking my students down to the tuck shop so they could have their snack. As I reached the tuck shop, I could smell a batch of freshly baked brownies. Oh wow! I just had to get myself one.

And while we're on the topic of food. I love the smell of vanilla. 

I also love fresh cut flowers. With market day every Friday, I try to buy flowers for the house.

3. Giftcards or no?
Hello, my name is Tima and I'm a shopaholic. I love shopping! Every year, Scott and I asked his nieces and nephew what they want for Christmas, and they always ask for gift cards. Bummer. I loose out on the whole shopping experience for them. 

4. What sports did you play in high school and do you still play them?
I was all about the drama in high school. And I mean my life's drama and the drama club. I was so not an athletic type. Come to think of it, I'm still more of a drama queen than an athlete. 

5. Were you in band in high school? What instrument did you play?
Nope! Was never in a band. My musical talent was/is almost as good as my athletic ability! I took piano for a few years. Then quit. I took guitar lesson for a few months, then quit. There's just too much drama in my life!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chef Ethan

After having missed two weeks of cooking class,
Ethan was glad to be back.
Today's menu:
Coconut biscuits (cookies).

Ethan uses his pinching fingers to mix the flour and butter.

He adds some sugar.

Marta helps Ethan to crack his egg, so he can beat it and add it to the flour mix. 

We need some coconut since these are coconut biscuits.

Ethan cuts out shapes and adds some sprinkles.

Coconut biscuits!!!!!