Monday, July 25, 2011

43 Days

Why do we expect to obtain an instant mellowed out state of mind with the summer season?  Our lazy summer days became busier than expected and are fading far too quickly.  My "to be accomplished" list tends to have more on it than I'll ever have time to accomplish.  Similar to "my eyes are bigger than my stomach" when it comes to delicious foods.  Everything seems to be bubbling out of my brain and swimming around in my head.  Summer break is not as relaxing as planned.  

The school free time with my boys was intended to be full of fun.  Except at times they decide not to cooperate.  I love my boys dearly and do enjoy extra time with them.  Yet, we deal with more sibling squabbles when school is not in session.  Any parent knows that won't bring you extra peace.

I'm focusing on the times when my boys do cooperate.  We've made some great memories so far and have more yet to come.  Some of the greatest accomplishments this summer involve encouraging my boys to continue reading, writing, and even doing some math.  I may constantly remind them to make their beds or pick up their toys, but I rarely have to fight to get them to pick up a book.

There is plenty left to be done before summer ends.  Time will continue to tick by.  My boys won't be princes of perfection.  Yet, I wouldn't trade these not-so-lazy summer days for anything.  Time with them is precious and before I know it, they'll be grown.

My days become my own in September.  I'll have more time to work on that to do list and I'll miss my boys immensely during the school hours.  Including today we have 43 days left of school break.  Forty-three days is enough time to create some unforgettable summer memories and I intend to do just that.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mother Son Book Reviews: Double Dose of James Patterson

Outstanding O's Book Reviews

Middle School The Worst Years of My Life
by James Patterson & Christ Tebbetts
Illustrated by Laura Park

Rafe Khatchadorian is a normal kid in middle school with a fantastic story to tell.  In the book "Middle School," Rafe deals with Miller the Killer and problems with teachers.  He creates a game called Operation R.A.F.E. that is about breaking the rules.  My favorite part of the story is when he made a joke in his notebook about Miller the Killer Chicken.  The book is a chapter book with pictures that show a lot of expression.  I loved "Middle School" and would read it over and over again.  Rafe's story made me laugh so hard.  I recommend "Middle School" to every kid that loves James Patterson's books and Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Tag your it!  
Mom's review of the latest James Patterson novel for adults is next...

A CMOMProductions Book Review 
Now You See Her 
by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

If I could only use one word to describe this book, it would be INTENSE!  I did have some difficulty throughout this story.  Putting it down!  So as not to ruin the storyline, I'll be staying away from too many details.

Nina, the main character, has secrets that she can't share with anyone.  Not even her teenage daughter.  When the story begins, we briefly see today's Nina, a successful lawyer and mom, before diving into her past.  

A heart break during a college spring break ultimately leads Jeanine to marry a handsome police officer.  While sharing a relaxed Key West lifestyle, disaster strikes, a secret is revealed, and she must leave to save herself and her unborn child.  In doing so, Jeanine also changes her identity to become Nina Bloom.

Flash forward to present day Nina.  When presented with a pro-bono case through her law firm, she discovers an innocent man has been framed for murder.  To help him, she has to travel back to Key West,  risking the life she has built for herself and daughter.  

My mind was racing during this book.  As a mystery lover since childhood, it is not often easy to surprise me, but James Patterson pulled it off.  I did not see everything coming!  If you like suspense, mystery, and unsuspected twists, you will not be disappointed!  This story is fast paced and could easily translate into a great movie.  Don't miss out on Now You See Her.

I'm a fan of James Patterson and now my oldest son is too!  Other books I've read by Mr. Patterson are the 10 books in the Women's Murder Club series and Private.  He has many more books that I have yet to discover (of course they are on my to read list).  As a parent who believes in raising readers, I'm impressed by his Read Kiddo Read website (also on Facebook).  If you have kids, I encourage you to check it out!  Evidently Mr. Patterson is more than just a great author too.  He is cool enough to be a recurring guest on ABC's Castle.  How can I get in on those poker games? 

It was O's idea to do a double Mother/Son book review for my blog!  This was a fun experience to share, even if we were reading different books.  A"one for you, one for your child" double book release was a smart move by James Patterson, or his people.  O and I will watch for more opportunities like this one.  Don't be surprised to see my fellow eager reader (or maybe both of my boys) giving more reviews in the future.  We may even read the same kid friendly book and tell you what we think from a parent's & child's perspective.  Stay tuned!