Friday, December 31, 2010

My Year in Books (A review)

I had a lofty goal of reading 100 books in 2010.  I didn't quite make it.  There were some lengthy books in my list this year so I don't think I'll be beating myself up too much over falling short.  The sword of truth books come to mind first off.

I've been working on this list all year and I'm really happy I was keeping track.  Looking over it now, there are some books I had forgotten I'd read and some I really wished I hadn't read at all.

I think I'm going to make 100 books in 2011 one of my resolutions this year. 

The Reading List:
1. Alan Bradley - The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
2. David Cristofano - The Girl She Used to Be
3. Robert Munsch - The Munschworks Grand Treasury
4. Jean Auel - Shelters of Stone
5. John Jeavons - The Backyard Homestead Mini-Farm
6. Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
7. Terry Goodkind - The Pillars of Creation
8. Peter D'Adamo - The Genotype Diet
9. Jason Wright - The Wednesday Letters
10. Terry Goodkind - Naked Empire
11. Heidi Ayarbe - Freeze Frame
12. Scott O'Dell - Island of the Blue Dolphins
13. Khaled Hosseini - A Thousand Splendid Suns
14. Nicholas Sparks - The Notebook
15. Alan Bradley - The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
16. Nicholas Sparks - Dear John
17. Terry Goodkind - Chainfire
18. Anne Tyler - The Amateur Marriage
19. Alan Bennett - The Uncommon Reader
20. Don Piper - 90 Minutes in Heaven
21. Michael Scott - The Alchemyst
22. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code
23. Terry Goodkind - Phantom
24. Catherine Gilbert Murdock - Princess Ben
25. Brandon Mull - Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison
26. Cesar Millan - A Member of the Family
27. Paulo Coelho - The Witch of Portobello
28. Anita Diamant - The Red Tent
29. Terry Goodkind - Confessor
30. Sarah Gruen - Riding Lessons
31. Alice Sebold - The Lovely Bones
32. Kathryn Stockett - The Help
33. Stephenie Meyer - The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
34. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
35. Ann Brashares - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
36. Melanie Benjamin - Alice I have been
37. Rebecca Stead - When You Reach Me
38. Cynthia Lord - Rules
39. Rick Riordan - The Red Pyramid
40. David Dosa - Making Rounds with Oscar
41. Elizabeth Hasselbeck - The G Free Diet
42. Margaret Mitchell - Gone With The Wind
43. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony
44. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox
45. Stieg Larrson - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
46. Elizabeth Berg - Home Safe
47. Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
48. Jeanne DuPrau - City of Ember
49. Maggie Stiefvater - Linger
50. Jeanne DuPrau - The People of Sparks
51. Jeanne DuPrau - The Prophet of Yonwood
52. F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
53. Jeanne DuPrau - The Diamond of Darkhold
54. Frank Bruni - Born Round
55. Sara Gruen - Ape House
56. Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre
57. Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland
58. Lewis Carroll - Through the Looking Glass
59. Rhoda Janzen - Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
60. Kate Jacob - The Friday Night Knitting Club
61. Christopher McDougall - Born to Run
62. Philip Pullman - The Golden Compass
63. Philip Pullman - The Subtle Knife
64. Philip Pullman - The Amber Spyglass
65. Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
66. Chris Cleave - Little Bee
67. Kate Jacob - Knit Two
68. Voltaire - Candide
69. Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged
70. Suzanne Collins - Catching Fire
71. Suzanne Collins - Mockingjay

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookie Tradition

One of my favorite Newman family Christmas traditions is our annual cookie day.  We gather, have lunch, catch up on family news and bake cookies until we all have reached our maximum sugar tolerance for the season.  The star of the cookie show is hands down the sugar cookies!   By the end of the day we each have our own tins of fudge, chocolate chip cookies, rice crispy treats, sugar cookies, and pecan sandies.

It is usually a girls only affair.  The boys are sent off to buy us presents or have a sushi date or buy guns...you know, the usual boy stuff.  Since Bobbo is still a small, man-child he gets to come still.  Plus he needs to put some miles on his 'boy apron'.


Decorating sugar cookies

We were short a few of our usual attendees this year and they were noticably missed. 
Bobbo, Me, Karyl, Kayla, Nicole, Nancy, Emma & Donna

Six Days

My little guy was born six days before Christmas. Six days. 


















This time of year holds memories now, not just of the anticipation of Christmas and the joy of the season, but also blurry memories of late nights, round the clock feedings, snuggling by the fire and watching the Christmas tree lights twinkle with a sleeping baby tucked gently in the crook of my arm.


This is Bobbo's first ornament.  I might need to keep it for myself after he's grown.  It's hard not to look at it without getting teary eyed and wishing for babies brand new all over again.

"How delightful," Said Pooh, To be so brand-new"




"A Baby is always doing something brand-new," said Piglet.

"I suppose that's what makes a baby so special," said Pooh. "That and being so huggable and sweet."


p.s.  Nat the fat Rat puts that feeling into words so much better than I do, here and here.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

The 2010 Christmas Tree Adventure

Waiting for Mitch to fix his 4-wheel drive


There was snow this year!
Not too terribly much but enough to sled for a while and have a snowball fight.















Emma requested a *small* tree this year

The Boy picked out, cut down, and loaded the tree all by his lonesome this year.  But I secretly love him for that because pokey pine needles make me cranky.














The Christmas card reject

It has come to my attention that the Woozies are short one fabulously cute family photo to grace the surface of this year's Christmas card.

So in lieu of us standing outside in our bikinis.....we took a million dorky pictures of us in our snow gear.

This one didn't make it past the cutting room floor.










What girls do when boys are playing with chainsaws


Two of my favorite people: Andrea and Sheri. 
















Roasting Marshmallows
The major difference between my childhood Christmas tree adventures and the current ones is the campfire. 
I must admit, I'm a fan.  Warm hands, burnt marshmallows, roasted hot dogs....













All told, it was a good day.  Except for Mitch's 4 wheel drive not working properly and the one Christmas tree casualty we had on the way back.

and p.s. Middlegate has the tastiest Bloody Marys ever!  They need to be on every body's to try someday list.

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