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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winter - Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles has come to an end with Winter.

Winter is a lovely princess, the step-daughter of Queen Levena. She is admired by all the Lunar people, and despite the three scars on her face, it is said she's more beautiful than the Queen. And unlike to Queen, she does not need to use her glamour to make it appear she's beautiful. She just is. But not using her glamour, means her mind plays tricks on her.

Winter despises her stepmother. She doesn't like the way Levena treats the people of Luna. She doesn't like the way Levena treats her. She knows Levena would never approve of her feelings for Jacin, the palace guard.

But now, it's time for Winter to stand up to her stepmother. She joins Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress and Thorne in their effort to launch a revolution and de-throne Levena.

Meyer does a great job of building up to the war. She also answers questions we have had since book one. We learn more about the disease, Letumosis, and how the shells were treated. We see Cinder's reactions and thoughts about what to do if she wins and becomes Queen Selene. We learn more about the class system in Lunar, the Nobles vs the Shells.

The Lunar Chronicles was one that I loved at first, but then started to loose some interest. But I'm glad I stuck with it, and finished the series. It was great. Even the play on Snow White in this one.








Blood Kiss - J.R. Ward

I'm a huge JR Ward fan, so spending the week before Christmas, curled up with her latest book, was great!

Blood Kiss is the beginning of a new series, a spin-off to her very popular Black Dagger Brotherhood. We meet new characters, as well as check in with some favourite Brothers. 

Here is the story of Paradise, the blooded daughter of the king's First Advisor. As a member of the elite glymera, she's expected to marry into the elite, have children, have servants, and live a very boring and restrictive life. But she wants more. She applies, and gets accepted into the Black Dagger Brotherhood's training program, where she not only learns to fight, but learns how tough she really is!

Craeg is the opposite of Paradise. He is poor.  He wants to train with the Brotherhood, and eventually, take revenge on those he feels caused his father's death; the glymera.

The story of Paradise and Craeg was great. But what made this book even better was the return of Butch and Marissa. We haven't heard much of them recently, so it was great to see them again.

Marissa must deal with the death of a badly beaten Jane Doe that shows up to her clinic. Not wanting to burden Butch with everything, she keeps it inside. Butch meanwhile, must deal with the ghosts from his own past. Together, they must try to find their way back to one another.

It was nice to get back to the Brotherhood, and meet new characters too.










Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fairest - Marissa Meyer

I am a huge Cinderella fan. I have a collection of different Cinderella books. So years ago, when Cinder came out, I gobbled it. But as the series continued, I felt it lost a little something. But I still wanted to see it through, so I continued on.

Fairest is a novella, the story of Queen Levana, and fits in between book 3, Cress and book 4, Winter. And it fits nicely.

Queen Levana is not a nice queen. Since we're talking fairy tales, think of the Evil Queen and Maleficent, rolled into one. And that would be Queen Levana.

Fairest is her story. I almost expected to like her. Often, when a novella comes out, with the "other side" of the story, there's something almost humane about this character, and although you still do not like them, you soften a little towards them.

Not here! I love how Meyer keeps true to the Levana from her previous books. There are times you want to feel bad for her, you may also start to pity her, but Meyer reminds you, that she is evil. Pure and simple.

Having not been as eager towards the series as I had previously been, Fairest was fantastic. It's gotten me excited again. I am looking forward to seeing how this story ends.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Compounders - Julie Trettel

The Compounders is the debut of Julie Trettel. It's book 1 in a new dystopia series. And it covers alot!!!

The United States of America is going through some turmoil and Mike Jenkins wants to protect his family. He builds an amazing bunker and moves several families in. Here they live, not knowing what's happened to their country, in safety.

After several years of living in isolation, the Elders decide to open the bunker doors. They are allowed outside, but limited time. Holly Jenkins is thrilled to have her freedom and solitude. She sneaks up a mountain to her "special" place to enjoy some quiet time to reflect on the things going on in her life.

And here, she meets Griffon. He tells her about his village and what has happened. The United States of America no longer exists. There is martial law. Food is limited. There is no religion or books. It is worse than Holly's father could have ever imagined.

I was given the book, in exchange for an honest Amazon and Goodreads review (I'll post them shortly). I loved the story. I'm a dystopia fan, and this is probably one of the more realistic ones I've read. I also enjoyed how Holly grew, not just age-wise, but she matured and found herself.

But here's what I struggled with. Holly. I know she's growing and changing and learning what's important and finding her way (and that sentence has too many ands). Holly struggles with her feelings for Milo, her best friends brother and the pastor's son. The Elders would like to see them as a couple. Holly has feelings for him, but she's not sure he's the one. Then she meets Griffon. He makes her feel like no one else. But while she spends her Sundays-Wednesdays with Milo, she secretly makes her way to the cave on Thursdays-Saturdays to be with Griffon.

Then all hell breaks loose and Griffon is shot. She brings him and his family into the bunker for protection. She finds her strength and decides she needs to help the small town. And here she becomes close with Griffon's friend, Jared. And now she's confused about her feelings for him. Yes, she's a teenager. Yes, she flips flops in and out of love, but just when you start loving the story-line, you get sucked into this. Sorry.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Writer's Workshop - Quote

1. Share a quote you love.


This week, I chose MamaKat's first prompt, sharing a quote I love. I'll be honest, it took me awhile to think of one. Not because I couldn't think of one, but because there are many I love. They range from cute As you wish (Princess Bride) to funny Do you think God gets stoned? I think so....look at the platypus (Robin Williams). Being a teacher and Canadian, Justin Trudeau has a great one too; I am a teacher. It's how I define myself. A good teacher isn't someone who gives the answers out to their kids but is understanding of needs and challenges and gives tools to help other people succeed. 

But in the end, I chose this one from Maya Angelou. I mean, doesn't it really sum things up?

I've been thinking a lot about my dad recently. This quote really sums him up. Everyone who met him will tell you what a great man he was. They may not recall what he said, exactly, and while many will remember things he did, what made him great was how he made you feel.

Ethan commented once about a friend. He referred to the child as a "frennemie". When I asked him to explain, he couldn't really tell me what this child said or did, but it was how the other child sometimes made him feel.

This summer, Ethan and I spent the day with one of my childhood friends and her partner. We had a great time. Ethan excitedly told his dad about our great day. But again, it wasn't a thing she said or a specific thing she did that made Ethan love our day. It was how she made him feel.  In fact, he's already asking if we'll see her again next summer!

I think Maya Angelou was an amazing woman. And this one quote is one I think everyone should remember.






Saturday, December 5, 2015

Kiss Kill Love Him Still - Jamie Blair & Dawn Rae Miller

I'm a huge Dawn Rae Miller fan. Her books have never let me down, so when I heard she co-wrote a new book, well, I just had to get it.

On Goodreads, Dawn Rae Miller has said, "If you like Pretty Little Liars, John Tucker Must Die and/or Gossip Girl, you'll enjoy Kiss Kill Love Him Still". Well, while I've never seen PLL and don't really recall John Tucker, I did enjoy GG, so of course this would be for me!

Kiss Kill Love Him Still is an easy read. And I can so see it as a TV show. The characters are lovable, yet not likable. They are horrible people, yet they are not. They have bad attitudes yet are funny. They are probably the most shallow characters you'll meet. And since you know this, there's no surprise! You just enjoy the story.

Jackson Landis is found dead. At first, it's unsure if it's accidental, suicidal, drug-related or homicide.

Reggie is distraught. She was his drug dealer. He exchanged sex for drugs, but the thing is, she fell for him. She was also with him the night he died, but he got a text and kicked her out.

Haddie is an overweight, frumpy student who works at the library. In exchange for sex, Haddie wrote Jackson his term papers. Oh, and she too fell in love with him. But if her father ever found out that her purity ring was just for show, she'd loose her trust fund. Hopefully Jackson took this secret to his grave.

Livie is Jackson's girlfriend. Only she's ignorant of his extra-curricular activities. Her activities include shoplifting, which Jackson has videos of. She can only hope to find them before someone else does and she's arrested for grand larceny.

Val is the girlfriend of Jackson's roommate. But she's also in love with Livie. And Jackson knew this, so he was blackmailing her.

Each girl has their reason to love him, yet want him dead. Which one did it? Or did any of them?

Kiss Kill Love Him Still is told in the point of view of each girl. We see their love, hate and fear. And we learn that Jackson had a lot of secrets. And while he was good at keeping secrets, he also shared small bits, as protection. So whoever killed him, must have wanted their secret dead along with him!













Friday, December 4, 2015

Dear Mum

Hi mum,

I know today is a hard day for everyone, but especially hard for you. It's been a year since dad left us. You were at his side. You were so sad, and I remember you saying how you and dad had a deal, that you would leave first.

But mom, despite how hard this year has been, I have to say how proud I am of you.

Rasool and I have different memories of our mother. When I was in primary school, you worked full time. I remember you coming to my school when I got into trouble. I remember taking the bus downtown to meet you. We'd go for a late lunch, then go home. I remember how the bottom of your desk drawer was filled with shoes!

When Rasool was in primary school, you stayed home. And this was great for us. But it means he remembers you differently than I.

When dad passed away, I worried about you. I still do, but you have amazed me. The strong mother I remember is here. I was scared that you would not be able to handle his passing. And while it has been hard, you have remained strong. Over the course of this year you have:

*  Faced many obstacles, and you have never given up.

* Stood up to me when I told you what I thought.

* Shown more forgiveness than I could ever imagine possessing.

You continue to teach Ethan. You continue to show Hailey your love.

You are an amazingly strong woman.

I'm so proud to call you my mom.




Thursday, December 3, 2015

Writer's Workshop - Roman Bucket List

Create a December Bucket List

Can you believe it's already December? Where has the year gone? This month is full of exciting things. Christmas break, Christmas in Rome, end of semester projects. Best of all, we're heading to Rome for Christmas, so of course I need to create a Roman Bucket List!


1. Take a tour of the Vatican



2. Climb the Spanish Steps


3. Christmas market
I'm told there are many great markets to visit! All the sites I've seen say the one at Piazza Navona is a must! 

4. Christmas Day Walking Tour
Seeing how it's just the three of us in Rome, and we don't know anyone, we've booked ourselves a Christmas Day Walking Tour 

5. Ice Skating at Sant'Angel
Doesn't this look wonderful?
6.  Santa Maria Maggiore Christmas Crib
Apparently there are many nativity scenes to be seen. But this one is carved in marble. Gotta see it in person!



7. Menorah in Piazza Barberini
There's apparently a large Jewish community in Rome. I did not know that. And I need to see for myself how large this truly is!

8. Check out the Colosseum
I mean, can you really go to Rome and miss this?

9. Gelato
When in Rome, eat gelato! 

10. Dinner with this fabulous lady
And her family!!!

Courtney and her family will be in Rome on the 26th. So the Nisbets' and Williams' are getting together for dinner!!! Am soooo looking forward to seeing this lovely lady again. 












Blood Vengeance - Tessa Dawn

The Blood Curse series is definitely one of my least known favourites. It's got everything any vampire fan would want. Vampires, bad-asses, fights, and, in most cases HEA.

Blood Vengeance does not disappoint. This is Ramsey Olaru's story. He's the big, brutal Sentinel who fights with a pitchfork Trident! He learns that Tiffany Matthews, the queen's bestie, is his destiny. Tiffany is no stranger to the world of vampires, and is not thrilled with the idea of being someone, yet along some beast's, destiny.

There are many series out there, that you get to book seven, and there are no more surprises. While you still love the characters and storylines, part of you thinks I could write this. Not here. Tessa Dawn has thrown in all kinds of surprises, you never expected.

In Blood Vengeance we learn a little more about the history of the House of Jadon and how they survived the initial curse. We see a softer, humorous side to Ramsey. We see the tight bond of friendship, between not just Brooke and Tiffany, but the men brothers of the House of Jadon. Now, no destiny can occur without it's struggles, but the obstacle here is one you would not expect. One you never knew could happen. The Dark Ones will do anything, anything to get ride of the Light Ones. But, will they win this time?







Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sharing

My dad had a way with words. He wrote beautifully. I use to think I took after him. Now I think my brother inherited that. Last year, my brother wrote this. I love it. And it took me a long time to find it on Facebook, so, without his permission, I'm sharing it here, so I can always find it.

You are my biggest fan, my biggest supporter. No matter what I did, you always told me you loved me. You always made sure I knew you were proud of me, and that meant the world to me. I miss you dad.
I've done so many things you never imagined your child would do, good and bad....ya mostly bad...but you've always been there.
I got a job working bar at 18 and told you this is what I wanted to do with my life, and you loved me, even when others wondered what was wrong with me, you gave me the love, freedom and support to live my life.
I'm covered in tattoos, and while you tell the world you can't stand them, you always ask about what new ones I have and what they mean.
I told you I was going to school to drink wine, lol, you told me to have fun and always asked how it was going. You always encouraged me.
I'm so sorry it took me so long to understand you, but dad, I do. I get it now, have for awhile. It's not about me, just like it was never about you. It's about those that are important around you. It's about your wife, your kids, your family. It's about making things better for them. That's what you were about, that's who you are.
I've learned so much from watching you dad. We are from different worlds, different generations, but we are the same person...dad, for once, take some credit, you did it! Give yourself a good pat on the back dad. Your daughter and your son are strong, and your grandkids will be strong. More importantly they will be raised with same love, respect, support and understanding you showed us.
I'm hurting right now dad, but my family has a new angel watching over us, and that brings the biggest smile to my face.
I promise you dad, I will do my best to be as great as you were. I will give it my best, just as you always asked I did. I love you, I miss you. I know you miss us too, but you can now see your parents, and I know how much that will make you smile.
Oh dad...I am so lucky to have had you for a father. I wouldn't be who I am without. Thank you. I know I always told you I loved you, and even when I didn't I know you knew it. But I never said thank you.
Thank you for always being there. Thank you for the words of wisdom, thank you for knowing when not to say something, thank you for the guidance, thank you for showing me how it supposed to be and thank you for showing me what is real.
I'm smiling dad, and you made me this way. I love you.

Friday, November 27, 2015

One Year

November 28th, 2015

Dear Dad,

It's been a year since your accident. A year since I got the call to go to the hospital. A year since I last saw you. A year since I never got to say good-bye.

Yes, dad, I'm still angry. Not as much as before. But still angry that you left. But.... this is not a letter to yell and scream at you. No, this is me, your loving, yet ever-so sarcastic daughter (by the way, who did I inherit my sarcastic nature from? You are the complete opposite of sarcastic) here to let you know how you made a bad choice. By leaving us, you missed a whole lot of goodness that 2015 brought.

So where do I start? Go month-by-month and tell you what you missed each month? Or maybe I should bulk the great events? Well, while you were not a fan of crowds, you were always there for family, but this year, you missed out on some amazing events.

In May, Jamila got married. I know you got a chuckle out of her choosing the 23rd as her wedding day. I mean, I got married on her dad's birthday, so it's only fitting she got married on your birthday. I'll be honest, this one made me bitter. Mum felt she should be there, and I disagreed, but let's not argue about who's right (cos in case you've forgotten, I'm as stubborn as a mule). And while you missed out on a gorgeous wedding, Karima spent the day with mum. She took her shopping and they spend the day talking about you. Karima sent me this picture. She takes after you, and takes care of her family.



In August, Zahida got married. While we missed that wedding, Rasool went and kept mum company. I'm told it was a lovely wedding. And you missed it!


 October was the best though. The first great niece/nephew got married. Granted Rehanna is a niece not nephew, and she is your first great niece. She had a simple yet gorgeous wedding. Ethan and I made it there. I know how close you were to Shelina, she really could have used your support. But I was there. And Ethan had so much fun.



Speaking of which, here's another great you missed in October. Being in Canada with Ethan. Did you know he had never seen autumn colours before? He was in absolute awe at the colours and the leaves and the crunchy sound the leaves make when you walk on them. 


Oh, and before you go on thinking that that was the end of the year of weddings, well, you'd be wrong. In December Amin-Mohammed gets married. See dad. That's four weddings you missed out on. And four weddings where you were missed.

But weddings weren't the only thing that 2015 brought. There were babies too. 

Gulla and Mohammed gave Amira a little brother. And the best, is just this past week, Faiza had a gorgeous baby boy. Rashida aunty is a proud grandma to another grandson. There seems to be a lot of boys in this family!


Your grandkids have also had a great year. Ethan turned 9. We took him to Disney as part of his birthday. Hailey turned 2. She's quite the chatterbox. She knows her way around the condo too, which is quite cute to see. 



                                          
Now I know, that biologically these two are your grandkids, but let's be honest, you have two others. Imaan and Afraaz have grown and it's scary. They are no longer in boarding school in India. They are in Canada now. Afraaz is in Nova Scotia  and Imaan is in Toronto. 


Imaan would like you to see her new haircut.

While we're on the topic of grandkids and school, your great-niece Haseena is spending this year in Denmark. She got into an amazing Masters program. You'd be thrilled with her accomplishments. 

Karim, is still quite the character. I sometimes wonder if he and Ethan are in competition for funniest relative. He thinks it's very important that I share his newest tattoo (because he knows how much you loooove the ink)!

He says to tell you the birds can either be he, Aneez and Faiza,
or the 3 grandsons of Rashida Aunty.
You'll be happy to know, that your sister has cut him out of her will for this latest shenanigans.


Now, I should be honest, Karim isn't the only one to get a new tattoo. I got one too. It's a Lily of the Valley. Your birth-flower. The whole time I got it done, I wondered if it was an oxymoron to get a tattoo to commemorate you, while you were not a fan of them!

2015 was also a great year for me too. Guess where I went this summer? Boston. Well, to be honest, I didn't really see much of Boston. I spent most of the week in Cambridge. Harvard to be exact. Yes dad, your daughter spent a week at Harvard. I thought of you all week. I especially figured you'd come for the weekend, and we'd go the walking tour together. You would have loved that.


Canada also had a great year, or will have some great years ahead??? In October we voted in a new Prime Minister. There's a Trudeau back on the hill. The Harper years are over. And you're going to miss Trudeau2.0!

I know you can't come back. And as angry as I get, I'm also still sad. I miss you, dad. Everyday. I wish you'd stayed. I wish you were still here. Ethan and I talk of you often. You'll always be a part of our lives. You'll always be in our heart.

All my love,

Fatima











Writer's Workshop - So Very Thankful

It has been too long since I last participated in one of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshops. So to celebrate my return, I've chosen her So Very Thankful Tag!


1. Name a color you are thankful for.
Black. Ok, ok, it seems obvious, but it's true. Imagine life without black. 
* There would be no night. That beautiful black sky that enhances the sparkle of the stars. 
* The little black dress. Nope, would not exist.
* Bright pink gets toned down when mixed with a little black. 
Black is awesome!

2. Something your spouse does that you are thankful for.
He puts up with me. No seriously. I joined the Panto this year. Which means I've been at rehearsals almost every single night. I've hardly seen him in the last few weeks. And he's rarely complained.

3. Something your kids do that you are thankful for.
He makes me laugh. Ethan has a great sense of humour. You have to admire that in a kid. I'm thankful for a son who laughs. I’m thankful for a son who loves to get goofy.


4. A food you are thankful for.
Chocolate.
Granted, I had to think about this. There are so many choices. Pizza, coffee, ice cream. But then I realized chocolate is the key. Chocolate comes in so many shapes and forms. You can have chocolate chip cookies, chocolate ice cream, chocolate milkshakes, a mocha coffee has chocolate. You can’t go wrong with chocolate!

5. What recent good news are you thankful for?
Good news…. We’re off to Rome for Christmas!!!!

6. Name a drink you are thankful for.
Hmmm….. another tough one. Those who know me well, know it’s a toss up between coffee and wine. But, I think I’ll surprise everyone and say water! Cos you need water to make coffee, and ….hmmm…. do you need it to make wine?

7. Name a restaurant you are thankful for.
Salt. Hands down. Katy serves the best breakfast in town. She makes a mean cocktail. Ethan loves going there for milkshakes. And it's a great place to go for coffee. 

8. Talk about an animal you are thankful for.
We do have a fabulous dog, Butch. So it wouldn’t be right not to be thankful for him.

9. Name a beauty product you are thankful for.
MAC. I love their eyeliners and lipstick. Never leave the house without it on, so what would I do without it?

10. Name a cleaning product you are thankful for.
An actual product or type? Laundy soap is high on the list. Need clean clothes, right?

11. What social media platform are you thankful for?
Is it a cop-out to say Facebook? I like that it’s a one-stop shop. I can see what my friends and family around the world are up to. I’ve joined groups based on blogs, interests, teaching. I find great articles on exercise, nutrition, parenting, teaching. I know people are getting frustrated, and need a Facebook break, but I’m still enjoying it.

12. Tell us why you are thankful for the last person who texted you.
Last text I got was from my brother. And while we were not close growing up, he’s become this incredible husband and father. I admire him. I look up to him. He amazes me every single day.

13. Name a candy you are thankful for.
Chocolate covered almonds. Chocolate and almonds. What more could you want!!!

14. Name an app on your phone that you are thankful for.
Whatsapp. I get to text people all over the world. I have a family group, where we text all kinds of things to each other. I have a ladies’ night group, where we make plans each month. I even have a wine group, where I just text out and my mates are there waiting with a glass. (ok, they don’t really wait for the text, but you get the idea).

15. What are you looking forward to that you are thankful for?
I’m looking forward to another exciting year with my fabulous family!!!




Monday, October 19, 2015

Brighter Than the Sun - Darynda Jones

I'm a huge Charley Davidson fan. I mean, seriously, what's not to like about this girl. She's a PI, she names her body parts, she's strong-willed and feisty, and, let's not forget, she's the Grimm Reaper!

For eight books, I've followed her and her antics. And while I love her, I also love Reyes. You know, the son of Satan.

So then here comes Brighter Than the Sun. This is Reyes' story. According to Goodreads, it's book 8.5 of the series. I'm thinking it fits in better after book 1. But does it really matter?

First Grave on the Right introduces us to Charley and Reyes. We see how they meet and as we grow to love Charley, we also love Reyes. But he's always a part of her story. This time, it's his story.

In Brighter Than the Sun we learn Reyes' side of the story. We are brought into his nightmare with Earl. We see his love for his sister Kim. And we learn how Charley saved him from the nightmare that was his life.

If you're a fan of Charley's, and how could you not be, you'll love Reyes' story too.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Five Greats

Another fabulous week has come and gone. We had some great highlights. Check it out.

1. Flowers



Out new house has a little, but lovely garden. This week, I came home to find my housekeeper clipped a few flowers, to brighten the inside of our house as well.

2. Girls' Night





A great evening filled with friends, food and laughs.

3.  Teacher Conferences



Ethan's teacher had great things to say about my boy. So we celebrated with milkshakes. 

4. Blue Jays



We may not be at home, but that doesn't mean we're not as excited as everyone else over our beloved Blue Jays.

5. My Boy


The Grade 4 students had their first Interhouse. This one was on athletics. And I just love this shot of Ethan. He ran the 200m, and even though he came in third, you can see the joy in his face as he crosses the finish line. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Witches of East End - Melissa de la Cruz

Meet the Beauchamp women. They are witches, who are forbidden to use their magic.

Joanna is the mother. She has the power to heal. For centuries she has been forbidden to use her powers, but when a little boy falls ill, she goes against the council's orders, and heals him. Soon, she starts helping others, and even brings one back from death.

Ingrid is the oldest daughter. She has the power of foresight. Having lived a quiet life as a lonely librarian she feels compelled to help her friend, suffering from infertility. Soon, word gets out that she can help, and women come to her for help and her "magical knots".

Freya is the wild one. She's fallen in love with Bran and is engaged to be married. But she's drawn to his brother. And her happiness spills over to her work, as a bartender, where she begins making magical potions that allows others to fall in love.

It would appear all is well, despite them using their magic, until things in their little down go bad. An elderly couple is attacked, a young girl goes missing, the waters are polluted and people are getting extremely sick. Is this the work of the witches? Or is there something more evil out there?


Friday, October 2, 2015

Chef Ethan

Ethan has started cooking classes again this term. Last week, they made a fruit salad, vegetable salad and a vegetable soup. It was great seeing Ethan try new foods, and even decide which veggies would compliment each other in a soup.

This week's class was about roasting vegetables. The kids were introduced to herbs and spices. Fresh and dried. They were then asked to choose 3 fruits they wanted to roast and 3 vegetables. These were then split into two, and different herbs and spices were used. I love how the teacher has the students choose the fruits, veggies, herbs and spices.

The next day, Ethan decided he was in charge of the side dish. Ethan decided we were going to have carrots, cauliflower and zucchini. And we would have some rosemary to add some flavour.


Busy chopping

The veggies

Carefully washing the rosemary

Adding the rosemary

Out of the oven. Dinner is ready!

Thank you Ethan. The veggies were great!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

This Makes Me Happy

One of the things I love about our school, is the service learning. Students in Grade 5, and up, are asked to take part in at least one community service activity. There's also a lot of service learning, and connections made within the classrooms.

For several years, one of the service learning programs, has been a friendly exchange between our students and students from the Buguruni School for the Deaf. Students from both schools, have enjoyed a special relationship. Our students have been involved with the Buguruni School for several years and a successful exchange programme is in place. IST students enjoy visiting the school, learning some sign language, playing games and football together. Buguruni students also come visit IST and enjoy sharing food, watching Tinga-Tinga tales, creating arts and crafts and...well...playing football!!!

A few years ago, as part of their personal project, one 10th grade student started a Henna Painting initiative. Many girls from Buguruni have joined the Henna Artist Group.

This year, many of these girls will be graduating primary school. This past Friday, they came to IST to have an art sale. The money earned from the sale will go towards either their secondary school education, or even the possibility of starting up small businesses.  I showed up shortly after it began, and was stunned, to see most of the paintings had been sold!!! While sad to miss out on some great art, I did manage to get one (as did Ethan) and the sight of these gorgeous paintings and these beautiful girls made me happy.






Sunday, September 20, 2015

Five Greats

1. International Chocolate Day


Sunday was International Chocolate Day.
Our friend, Katy,
celebrated the day with an amazing chocolate-filled
menu.

2. Bagamoyo



Ethan had his first overnight field trip.
He had a great time.
And when he came back the next day,
he went on a playdate.
Guess my boy is growing up!

3. Kheer
Once a month,
my mom makes this incredible
Indian rice pudding.
I love it!
Scott thinks it's too sweet,
and Ethan ....
well...
I don't often share it.

4. Chicken Soup
I'm sick.
Which is no fun.
When Scott's sick,
I'm around.
When Ethan's sick,
I'm here.
When I'm sick,
the world continues.
But I went into the Deli
and whined to our dear Sam,
and she informed me she made chicken soup.
Yum!

5. Licorice Tea
When you're sick,
you don't feel like doing much.
And while I know I should drink a lot of water,
I just don't feel like it.
This is when licorice tea is great.
You stick a tea bag in your mug,
and all day long,
you keep topping it up.
Perfect!

Kiss of a Demon King - Kresley Cole

While it sucks being sick, the upside is all you do all day long, is sit with a cup of tea and read.

And read is exactly what I've been doing for the last couple of days.

Meet Sabine, Queen of Illusions. Her main goal in life is to survive. After dying many times, and being brought back to life by her sister Lanthe, survive seems make sense. Unfortunately, she is also the half-sister to Omort the Deathless (like he cannot die). Sabine and Lanthe are at his service since he has given them a poison that causes a painful death. Asides from the antidote, the only way to stay alive is to take the poison continuously, which he provides, as long as they do what he says.

Omort's latest request, is for Sabine to capture and seduce Rydstrom, the demon king. But Sabine has plans of her own. She plans to use Rydstrom to help her over throw Omort, and gain her freedom.

Meet Rydstron, the deposed demon king. He is finally within reach of his goal, the killing of Omort and recapturing his throne. However, on his way to meet an accomplish for his quest, he is captured by Sabine and her illusions.

And so the battle of wits begins.

Will Rydstron escape? Will he seek revenge? Or will they realize they really have a lot more in common then meets the eye and work together? But, can they trust one another?