Tuesday, January 5, 2010

notes from the family book club

Last night we finally went out (to Pizza Hut, as the boys got to choose location) for our second family book club meeting. Yes, we're about a month late. And yes, that would be entirely my fault as I'm the one who didn't start her book in a timely fashion. There is no vlog, because A.) I was just too lazy to bring the computer and B.) Gray was feeling in an especially "shy" mood and really didn't want to be on video. Instead, I brought a little journal and recorded some notes. Probably quite boring to anyone else, but I think we will enjoy them when we read back over them in the years to come.

Snippets from Family Book Club Meeting #2:

*Annie had assigned me The Golden Compass.

Annie asked me which character reminded me most of myself. After some thought, I said that it probably had to be Ma Costa, though we are definitely not alike in some ways, too. At this point, Rich told Annie that she was most like Mrs. Coulter's monkey. Not surprisingly, Annie was indignant. I'm ashamed to admit that I could not stop myself from laughing.

After saying that I was on the verge of tears during this one particular scene, Gray said, "Mom, that's one reason you shouldn't read books--they make you cry all the time. Books don't make me cry." To this Rich replied, "Just wait 'til you're old like me, Gray--they'll make you cry, too."

*Gray had assigned Max Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

When discussing how the brothers in the book got along, Max and Gray started pretending to punch each other. I said, "Enough." And when they didn't stop, I said, "What does "enough" mean?" To which Gray answered, "Stop barking!" Followed immediately by Rich saying, "Stop licking the carpet!" Followed immediately by Annie with, "Stop dragging your butt on the floor!" Yeah, "enough" is the command for Baker to "stop!"

*Max had assigned Rich Space Chimps: Mission to Malgor.

No major revelations, but much boy giggling was heard during this discussion.

*I had assigned Annie Looking for Alaska.

Again no major revelations, partially because we were trying to be careful about what we said because we didn't want to ruin the book for Rich who has not read it yet. Annie did, however, really, really love the book. No surprise there, huh?

*Rich had assigned Gray Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Comment from Gray in the midst of discussion: "Voldemort's not so tough."

At one point Gray made some smartass remark to Rich, which I didn't catch. But Rich came back with, "Ten points from Hufflepuff, Stevens!" Gray's turn to be indignant, as he was not thrilled with having been placed in Hufflepuff.

And our new assignments were made:

*Max picked Zelda: Four Swords, Vol. 1 for Annie.
*Gray picked Seekers: The Quest Begins for me.
*Annie picked Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment for Gray.
*I picked Nation for Rich.
*Rich picked Magic Tree House: Night of the Ninjas for Max.

Hopefully our next book club meeting will take place in early February...once again, I'll likely be the weakest link.

January 5th "Good Stuff"

*Max pulling a fast one on the tooth fairy! He'd lost his tooth at school yesterday, and when that happens, the nurse puts their tooth in a little tooth-shaped container thingie to bring home. Well, Max put the container under his pillow, but hid his tooth away for another day. Tooth fairy Rich grabbed the container without checking inside it, leaving the cash under the pillow. OMG, was Maxidoodle proud of himself this morning!!! I, of course, just couldn't stop laughing. :D  (And yes, Max does know "who" the tooth fairy really is...but I think this only made himself prouder of his duplicity.)

*Heading out to take the kiddos to the dentist and finding that Rich had cleared all the snow from the car. As usual. He's just so darn good to me. :D

*Three kids. No cavaties.

*Books that surprise the hell out of you. (Hopefully, I'll talk about this one tomorrow.)

*Making it to the fifth day of the new year before breaking down crying about how overwhelmed I am. I know, that sounds pathetic. It sounds like a complaint. But honestly, I'm trying to be positive here. Breaking down crying is my way of just letting it out and trying to gain some equilibrium again. The fact that I made it five days into the year before needing to do it really is a good thing.

*Unbelievably adorable postcards. Thank you, Shanra! :D But you're wrong about one thing--your handwriting is just fine, my dear!

*Listening to Gray practice his violin. No, he's not very good--he just started playing a few months ago--but I love listening to him nonetheless.


  1. Looking for Alaska was definitely my favourite reads in 2009!

    And thanks for putting a smile to my face first thing in the morning at work! ;)

  2. Hooray! Rich is reading Nation! *dances around the room* Yes, I am THAT excited :D

    I love your family, Debi. Thank you for the peek :)

    And *hugs* re: the 3rd to last thing.

  3. Oh, and I can't wait to hear about the book that surprised you!

  4. So what house do you think you'd be in, Debi? I'm sort of tied between Ravenclaw and Slytherin, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Despite Ms. Rowling's prejudice against the Slytherins, I actually like them (except for the bad guys, of course). It's the Gryffindors I can't stand! :D Jason's a Hufflepuff.

    The things your kids say crack me up. I love the tooth fairy trick. Morrigan hasn't yet admitted to knowing who the tooth fairy is, but he keeps leaving notes with questions like, "Can I have your email address?"

    And I agree, Shanra's handwriting is just fine!

  5. I love that your family does a book club together...what precious memories you are building there!! Sounds like another month of great reads to come!!!

  6. Hey! What's wrong with Hufflepuffs? :O


    Hugs to your feeling overwhelmed. I do that sometimes, though instead of crying, I spend inordinate amounts of time doing nothing and making myself miserable when overwhelmed. Crying is WAY more productive :D

  7. I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed right now Debi :( But you're right...sometimes you just NEED to have a little breakdown...or a big breakdown...and just get it all out. I sure hope you're feeling better my friend.

    And I'm so so so so so excited that you have that very kind husband of yours reading Nation :D

    AAAAAND, Max,'s tooth fairy trick CRACKS ME UP!!! :D

  8. Melody,
    Simply couldn't agree with you more about Looking for Alaska...in fact, I'm sort of craving a reread already even though it's only been a bit over a year since I read it.

    Isn't Nation the *perfect* book to choose for Rich?!! I had a book picked out for everyone else if I got their name, but I hadn't decided for Rich. Until Nation popped to mind...then I knew there could be NO OTHER OPTION. :D
    And thank you, my sweet friend.

    I don't think there's much question that I'd be a Hufflepuff. Gray, however, wants nothing more than to be a Slytherin!
    That sooooo cracks me up about Morrigan leaving notes to the tooth fairy! He's too dang clever!!!

    Thanks. Despite a bit of grumbling from Max (our reluctant reader), we really have fun with the whole thing. I'm not sure I'm going to love my assigned read this month, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. The Seekers books are Gray's favorites, so I really ought to give them a chance.

    Hey, I'm with you! Can't see that the sorting hat would put me anywhere other than Hufflepuff.
    And thanks. And I never really thought of crying as productive, but I guess it sort of is for me...it usually gives me a chance to regroup anyway. :)

    Thank you, dear friend. But honest, I wasn't trying to complain. Sometimes life is just overwhelming...and these years of homeschooling Annie definitely qualify as overwhelming years for me. But I know things will get better. And in the meantime, a big old crying fit gives me the chance to let go of the self-pity for a bit, before it builds to the next breakdown. Overall, I think my crying fits are probably healthy for me. :)
    Of course, you'd think Max's trick was funny...you'd have been right there helping him!!! :D Seriously, that little monkey is the one most likely to turn me fully gray, but he is also the one who makes me laugh my ass off on a regular basis!

  9. I have to love your hubby for the Hufflepuff comment! I laughed outloud! (thanks Rich)

    very curious what book surprised you. I love it when a book does that!

  10. I love the tooth story. Max is a very clever boy.

    I have Looking for Alaska in my pile to read soon. I can use it for one of the thousands of challenges, I stupidly signed up for, obviously thinking that somewhere along the line an extra five hours had been added to each day of the year, purely for my benefit.

    Completely understand the overwhelming feeling. I feel like that most days too. I used to eat for comfort, now I jus stop everything and read instead.

  11. Sometimes you've just got to cry. *nods* I've had that feeling too. I hope it helped you feel better! *snugs*

    And yay for postcards arriving! I still wish I could find more of the really pretty landscape postcards they had months ago, but I can settle for cute cards. ^-~ (My handwriting, by the by, depends on whom you ask and when I write. My exam, for example, is near-illegible.)

    Max's deviousness made me laugh. ^-^ (And I love your family bookclub. It sounds so wonderfully vibrant and lively.) And wish Gray luck with his violin practices! ^-^ (Long, long ago I tried learning the violin as well. Wasn't my instrument, though.)

  12. I confess that the only book I've read from that list is Diary of a Worm :) I think it is such a great idea that you meet to talk about your books. My husband has read one book since I have known him! Tim would rather read informational books than a novel.

    The tooth fairy story is very cute! That's some clever guy you've got there.

    take care,

  13. LMAO about max and the tooth - good one, Max! I also cracked up at the "enough" story! My word is "STOP" in this really loud growly voice. Doesn't work, but I scream it anyway!

    I think Voldemort is plenty tough...I find him creepy and dark enough that I always cringed when he showed up in the books. Good for Gray for taking him on!

    And I have my cries while watching my TV shows that I DVR...just about any show (including my soap opera!) can make me cry in an instant when I am overwhelmed. I don't seem to take the time to cry when I need to in "real life", but I get it out via TV!