When I am Not Reading or Editing…

…or raising girls, or working, or homeschooling, or making bookish gifts for my Etsy store, or trying to squeeze in time with my amazing boyfriend, or going to college… I take pictures! I love nothing more than getting in my car before the sun rises, and getting pictures. I love nature, flowers, plants, wildlife, and macro pictures are my favorite!

But Autumn in West Michigan is definitely my favorite time of year!

I Wrote How Many Book Reviews?

I thought I should do a final post for 2014 of how many books I actually read, how many of those resulted in book reviews I posted, and anything else I may have thrown in.

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I could really tell from my blog activity what months were the most busy for me. Or should I say, what months I was working on the toughest MBA college classes.

I did a whole lot of nothing in the summer months when it came to posting book reviews. I was really busy from September to December, and although I have every good intention of reading at least 3 more books when I finish the one I am currently on, I thought this would be a good time to do this post.

As a side note, I am off work until January 5th, and am kid free until January 4th. Which means I have a whole lot of reading-in-bed-writing-reviews-playing-with-the-cat-nap-time planned 🙂

For the year as a whole, I posted to date, 67 book reviews.

Of those 67 reviews, 18 were of books I had previously read, so for 2014 I read 49 new books. Not too shabby for being a single Mom of a whole lot of girls, working 50+ hours a week, and going to college for my MBA. The 18 on books I previously read were a combination of Halloween features, Christmas features, and books that I had read in the past that had a great impact on me.

The Cricket on the Hearth

June was the only month I did not post any book reviews, and October was my busiest month, with 12 book reviews posted. I have to add that for December I am currently at 7, and do plan on at least 5 more before the New Year, but certainly do not expect it to exceed October.

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Some notables for 2014 for me:

I made the very tough decision to begin working on my MBA. After working non-stop for 2 years straight to get my BBA, I did take the entire year of 2013 off, as I promised my girls, and did not start college again until January 4th, 2014.

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After many months of contemplating, searching, and debating, I became the very proud owner of Beeblebrox Bare Bottom Benjamin Blu, or Benny to me! He is a Hairless Sphynx cat and I am not ashamed to say that little ball of wrinkled-velvety-soft skin has changed my life! I like to tease my 4 girls about their “little brother’, but believe you me, that little guy has gotten me through a lot of weekends when I was wide awake all night long from being a 3rd shift worker and having the weekend off.

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I made the decision to leave my Supervision position with my company and go back to a Materials Coordinator position that I had previously worked in for almost 5 years. I have worked for my company for over 18 years, and am so thankful to have such a wonderful employer.

I joined the Editorial Freelancers Association, and am currently working on getting myself set to begin editing and proofreading books for new and current authors. I have a love for books and the English language that I would probably have a very difficult time putting into words in order to get anyone to understand. (Now that is ironic, right?)


I would personally like to thank each and every single one of you for liking, following, or just commenting on a random blog post. I could not begin to tell you the excitement I have when I see that someone liked a post I made, and even better yet, left a comment, or followed my blog!

I will be setting some goals for myself for 2015, and there will be more to come on that!

That Cinderella Girl – Again


I thought I would have finished this book by now, but I had a change of plans outside of my control this weekend so I am a bit behind my schedule. I am nearly finished and I think one more review should be the end of this story before I move onto the next story.

This book is still as interesting as ever. The author took it upon herself to follow around girls up to the 8th grade, getting a feel for how different a 10 or 11 year old acts now compared with how she herself remembers her and her friends acting at that age. We are raising our children in an environment that is completely different than the one we experienced ourselves. Do you remember when the very first Atari 2600 system came out? When your family got their first VCR, and rented their first movie, likely from the local grocery store because there were no chain rental stores? Remember getting a cordless phone, and you no longer had to wind up the “was-10-feet-but-is-now-35-feet-because-I-stretched-it-to-my-bedroom” phone cord hooked to the phone in the kitchen? My girls will never know a time when there was not a computer in the house. Or a cell phone. Or a DVD player. They have no idea what a cassette tape or player even is.

Wow, the reminiscing has taken me off task! Back to the story. One observation:

From Cinderella Ate My Daughter (pg 162), by Peggy Orenstein, she noted that “doll sales have declined by nearly 20% since 2005. Girls are casting them aside in favor of online play, which offers even fewer opportunities to go off script.  …a quote from a 9-year-old Barbie.com fan: ‘I don’t think I’m good at making up imaginary things; I didn’t know what to do with dolls.’ “ This is a very sad thing for me to admit but I cannot remember that I have ever bought my 9-year-old a baby-doll. Ever. She has had a couple Barbies, Monster High dolls, and numerous Fur-Real Friends animated stuffed pets. The one gift she has consistently asked for, along with 2 of her sisters? Webkinz. You know, the Beanie Baby answer to the internet. They each have several. She was never drawn to baby-dolls, and I never gave her the opportunity to decide if she liked them by just getting her one regardless of her asking or not asking for it.

And a quick observation about social networking, namely Facebook, which has been a troublesome nuisance in my house for one of my girls. Peggy Orenstein points out that “one of my favorite books as a child was Joan Walsh Anglund’s ‘A Friend is Someone Who Likes You’. These days, a better title might be ‘A Friend is Someone You Have Actually Met in Person’ (pg 165). This is in the chapter titled “Just Between You, Me, and My 622 BFF’s”. You know the Facebook pages; the ones where the person has over 1000 friends. This person with 622 friends was a girl in 8th grade, who insisted she had at least met each person on her friends list once. What does an 8th grader need 622 Facebook friends for?

So as I finish up the end of this story, I can definitely say my eyes have been opened to the way I have allowed companies to market to me and influence my decisions. And here I thought it was just my girls asking me for stuff all of the time.