Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree

Why do I not remember this book from my childhood? I remember the green cover but I did not remember what it was about.

I read it to my second grade class today. We use it a Social Studies lesson about goods/services and wants/needs and how they are interrelated. Holy cow, I almost started crying while I was reading it. From a CHILDRENS BOOK! It had the same effect as the first time I watched the movie Up. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to crawl in a hole in cry for years or to bake cookies and be happy with the simple things in life as long as I got to spend time with my loved ones. I think growing up I just had his poetry books like Where the Sidewalk Ends and I mostly remember that one being funny, not sad. It’s been about 10-12 years since I had read anything by him though.

I am definitely going out this weekend and buying it for my home collection. Any other emotion wrenching books out there that I need to read??? I would love to get my hands on them! Lately in my class I have been on a fractured fairytale kick. We’ve read Armadilly ChiliThe Three Little Gators, and Bubba The Cowboy Prince. I think my favorite is Bubba. I love Cinderella and it’s set in Texas! It doesn’t get much better than that! My kids went crazy over the Fairy Godcow. They’re been making comparison charts over the good and evil characters in the stories and the Fairy Godcows have definitely been the most interesting illustrations.

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World After by Susan Ee

She has done it again! Blown my mind with her amazing writing skills. This author makes me like science fiction! I’m more of a hobbits and dragons fantasy reader, not horror/people creating monsters type of girl. But I love these books! I love Penryn. I love Penryn’s name. I love Raffe, because he sounds like the sexiest most smolder-iest guy ever! My first ever fictional love was Edward Cullen from The Twilight Saga. But I’m older, and more the wiser and have grown to love Raffael, The Great Archangel, The Wrath of God… you know… a sexy tall, dark and handsome with wings and biceps! What’s not to love?

I would say that I would really love to see these books made into films but in all honesty, I’m pretty sure they would scare the heebeejeebees out of me. Those “locusts” scorpion things sound downright creepy. Those are the kind of things that give me nightmares. Like Shelob, and those irksome monster-spiders from Jumanji.

I know Penryn isn’t the sort of heroine that is popular these days. These days everyone roots for the underdog like Adelina from The Young Elites by Marie Wu or like tiny, frail Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. I love Penryn’s character though. So she’s tough? She can fight and she’s strong willed. She earned her courage and her fight from dealing with all of the ghosts from her past,mother, and present. You go Penryn! It’s not overly cheesy to me I guess. Katniss was a little cheesy, Penryn just tells it like she sees it. And I respect that.

I keep scratching my brain trying to figure out how Susan Ee is going to end the trilogy. Will Penryn and Raffe end up together? If they do will she become an angel somehow? Or will he give up his badass angelness, and all it’s glory to be with her? Or is Ee going to throw us a major curveball and have them part ways in the end? Or (Heaven forbid) Raffe or Penryn doesn’t survive the ending?

I just know it’s going to be a tough wait until May for the third and final installment of the trilogy and I will be very sad to say goodbye to Penryn and Raffe. Even Dee and Dum! Both the first and sequel have only taken me 3 days to read. They’re THAT good.

Also, where did her crazy mom get to?

I Missed National Readathon Day!

World AfterSo I am catching up today on Sunday Funday. I finished The Bane Chronicles last night and started World After by Susan Ee. Angelfall got a little more sci-fi and darker than I usually like but I have to know what happens with Penryn and Raffe! And Ee is such a quirky writer. I love her writing style. You know you are reading a good book when the sarcasm makes you repeatedly giggle to yourself as you are reading it.

I was a little bummed I didn’t get to participate in the readathon yesterday but that’s okay. I had a pretty awesome Saturday. I started the 21 Day Fix by Beachbody last week so I got up immediately and did my Upper Body workout because I knew there was a lot on the agenda for the day. Yesterday I could barely walk from being sore, now my arms feel like they’re about to fall off. I guess that just means it’s working!

Ricardo and I met my mom at a cake bakery yesterday around lunch time and we got to try different flavor wedding cakes! We finally decided on the cakes we will be having at our wedding in May! And we booked our caterer last weekend! Rudy’s barbecue will be catering and we will be having a chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries waterfalling down from it and a white and strawberry cake, with yellow ombre icing for my brides cake. It feels like we’re finally getting things in place! We plan on talking to a travel agent soon to plan out our honeymoon! Any good suggestions on where to go?

After the cake tasting my best friend came out to our house and we went and pampered ourselves with some pedicures. She and I both started our teaching jobs at the same time so we deserved it! She’s teaching 5th grade and I teach 2nd grade.

Two more of our friends came over later and we had a Scream marathon and had pizza and beer. It’s sad but I had only ever seen the first Scream movie. I fail at being a 90s kid. To be honest, I had always been a weenie when it came to scary movies up until about a year ago. I was put in social situations where I was forced to watch The Conjuring and The Blair Witch Project and then I realized it wasn’t so bad. I guess I finally grew up and quit being scared of the dark at age 22! The other Scream movies were mostly comical because they’re so 90s. There are all these horrible, gorey scenes and then…. queue 90s rock music! Haha Oh my gosh… and Courtney Cox’s baby bangs. What was up with that? Awful. I kept thinking Monica what are you wearing!? 

All in all, it was a pretty understated, epic Saturday. Sometimes the best of times are the most understated ones. I feel very blessed to have the friends that I do and that we can do lame things like order pizza and watch old 90s horror films and not have to go out to have a good time.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

I started this book with crazy high expectations. I have been reading The Mortal Instruments books since high school and have been a huge fan ever since. I don’t think I have ever read a Maureen Johnson or Sarah Rees Brennan book before though. I finished this book yesterday evening, but I had started it well before Christmas. I normally finish books a little quicker. However, for the duration of this book I had also read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer  and started Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. So I had several projects going at once and I had just begun my teaching job. I have to say though, the ending was a little slow. I wasn’t a big fan of how the first story in the chronicles ended. I read the whole story about Magnus and Ragnor in Peru and you never actually find out what happened in Peru! After that there were a few stories I think that could have been omitted. I really started getting into it around the middle of the book when characters I knew and loved started popping up. Like Tessa and Will Herondale. That’s when it got to where I couldn’t put it down. After Tessa, Clary and Jocelyns stories came Alec and Isabele Lightwood. I think the best chapter was the last one with Isabele calling and leaving neurotic messages on Magnus’ voicemail regarding Magnus and Alec’s break up. She’s a hoot! I must say I rather liked the stories with Raphael Santiago too. He’s so dark and mysterious. He would be the Downworlder I would go for…if he didn’t forever look like a 15 year old. Camille’s stories got kind of old, Ragnor was all over the place, and Magnus had so many loves I could barely keep up with them. I kind of wish there had been more in there about where he came from. There was a short tidbit but I wanted to know more about his mother.

I would definitely recommend this book. Maybe just skip the first story or two. They don’t add much to the story or to the character building of Magnus Bane.

Bane

Week one!

I survived my first week as a 2nd grade teacher. It was a whirlwind at the beginning of the week.

For starters, we left Plano on Christmas Eve and stayed in Forney a few days with my parents and then flew to Virginia on the 26th. This was the first time I had seen most of my fiances family in a year (before we go engaged!). We spent half the time in Virginia and the other half in Maryland. While we were there we celebrated Christmas and New Years with them. They are Hispanic (from El Salvador) so they eat 12 grapes (uvas) right at midnight and have to finish them before 12:01, so that they have good luck for each of the 12 months in the new year. This is quite a bit different than my family’s tradition of eating cabbage and black-eyed peas for wealth and health in the new year! It’s always fun learning more about his culture. I feel like our cultures are so different even though we were born and raised in Texas. At least until he was 14.

While we were there we also went shopping in Georgetown, tried a Tapas restaurant in Bethesda, went snow-tubing in West Virginia, and his mother taught us how to Merengue and Salsa dance! The whole trip was full of new experiences. Such a great way to start off the new year! The next time we see most of his family will be at our wedding in May.

We were up North from December 26th until January 3rd. And I had to go back to work on the 5th. Luckily it was a teacher workday that Monday so I had an extra day to prepare before the kiddos started back. My best friend on the other hand, got into her new classroom on Sunday January 4th and had to start teaching the next day! She hadn’t even met her team yet! I would have been a mess that whole week but she’s a lot better at handling stress than I am. Actually, she had just gotten home from Virginia on the 3rd as well. My mom came and picked the 3 of us up from the airport. It was a great vacation up North but a few breather days in between traveling and starting a new job would have been nice. They always say you do the best at things that you are thrown into! The successes and failures show you what you’re made of. All in all, I would say that I had a pretty great first week. I feel much more prepared for next week than I did this past week and I plan on sleeping in this weekend. I have a few pictures of the break as well, but they’re still on my camera. Whomp.