Education, Family, Kids, Money, Uncategorized

Moms struggles with educational choices

My mother once told me, “Finding quality education for your child will be the hardest thing you do as a parent”. She wasn’t wrong.

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I pride myself on knowing a lot about education, educational politics, and different teaching methods without being a teacher. Over the last 3 years I’ve researched the death out of every public, charter and private school in our area to find the right one the fits our family. I know how much each school district yearly budget is, how much teachers get paid, test score and teacher to student ratios.

 

It started 3 years ago when my daughter was in pre-school. Doc was always very bright and pick up colors, shapes, numbers, and read at an early age. Her fine motor skill always needed work, but she could sit still, listen and follow directions. Since she was very well behaved and very tall for her age, we decided to start her early in school. In AZ the age cut off is 5 before Sep 1. Her birthday is Sep 27th.

 

Finding a school that would allow her to test into kindergarten was hard enough, but the blow back I received from parents and teacher (who by the way didn’t know Doc) was awful. Everyone told me not to do it. She would be behind. Let her be a little kid longer. (you get the point)

 

Well… ignoring all of the noise we got her tested, they let her in and she started kindergarten in one of the better schools in our area. She did great and by the end of kindergarten was reading at a 2nd grade reading level. My only complaint about her school was that her classes were very large, her school was very large (We felt like a number) and they were known to give out a lot of homework. I also felt that kids were rushed though the “system” even if they did not fully understand math or reading concepts. So for 1st grade we started the search again and found a small private school near my work. The only down side was it was a private school and we had a tuition bill due every month (Which was still a lot less then out daycare cost and a little more then charter school after school cost). Right now it works out since one month tuition payment is the same as one weeks pay.

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We love our little private school. Classes are small, teachers are loving, homework is at a minimum, and everyone knows everyone else. The 2nd grades play with the kindergarteners, the first graders watch out the younger kids, and the other grade are always helping out the little kids. The sports and afterschool actives are fun and exciting. My daughter never wants to leave.

 

Now that school year is half over, and school registration season is in progress I find myself in the same position as when we left kindergarten. We might be moving so we need to find a school around where I work (since we are moving closer to work). Do I keep her in this private school, which tuition is going up, or do I move her to a great charter school? Most charters are great academically but the amount of homework they send how is crazy and the amount parents pay for afterschool care is a lot! The schools are much bigger and classes can be up to 30 kids.

 

I love our little private school but worry that if tuition goes up each year, we will not be able to pay. As our careers keep moving forward we run into the issue that we will not be able to qualify for scholarship. If we leave Doc would have to start over with friends and connections and risk being “the new girl” in school. We also risk moving from a well-rounded educational system to one that is just focused on test scores. Then when Bam get in school we are going to face this same issue.

 

I don’t know what our answer will be for the next school year… but for the next month this is going to be my main stress and worry.

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Cryptocurrency, Money, Trading, Uncategorized

Cryptocurrency The ups and downs

For this Friday post I am going to change it up a little bit. I am going to talk about money rather then my life.

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One of my new years goals was to start trading and investing. I am a huge advocate of figuring out what you want in life and going for it. Even if you fail at least you can say you tried to do something great. With the right knowledge, courage, and perseverance you can be whatever you want to be. Knowledge and education is a powerful tool. No matter what happens in life no one can ever take your knowledge and life experiences away from you.

I know that I am blessed to be born in a country that allows freedom to make choices and become who every you want.  I know that by saying this my American ideology and sugar coated life shows through. Despite that I want to impower you all to grow in mind and courage and become whatever you want to be.

This year I have started trading cryptocurrency. I started with Bitcoin then moved to Ripple and then diversified from there.  Although its been an up and down market I feel that there is a lot of opportunities to make money and learn about trading.

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Recently Binance.com, a cryptocurrency, stopped accepting ne user due to the overwhelming volume of people interested in buying, selling and trading cryptocurrencies. As of today they reopened the door to their trading platform. I encourage you to check them our if you are interested in trading. Even if you just like looking at charts and trends. Below is a link to their website. Binance.com

Books, Family, Uncategorized

The Gravity of Us

The Gravity of Us

By Brittany C. Cherry

 

Holy cow! This book had all the feels. I couldn’t put it down and ended up staying up all night to read it.

I laughed, i cried,i wanted to yell…

The slow build and characterdevelopment great. Toss in kids, sisters and family…and you have a great book.

The only thing i didn’t like was…like many other books I’ve read…the ending seemed rush. It felt like it took the whole book to build towards drama you knew was coming but then the story was finished in 3 chapters. Other then a rushed ending this book left me feeling loved.

 

Book Description From Goodreads

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

Family, Holiday, Kids, Uncategorized

In The Quiet Place

What’s going on with us?

 

20171225_2021541611412716.jpgENJOYING THE QUIET

It was nice having the week of the Christmas off to relax and spend time with the family. Cuddling with Bam made me realize that I need to stop, slow down and enjoy the little moments. The moments where I don’t worry about the house being a mess, I don’t worry about the dishes in the sink, I don’t worry about the house, or our family budget. I just take time focus on us. Focus on smiles, the laugher, and how much Doc and Bam have grown up. I needed a week just to settle down, sit still and enjoy the people around me.

 

I knew the Bam was talking but in all my busyness I didn’t stop to think that she her own little person. She has her own thoughts and ideas and she wants to share them with the world. Yesterday I had an entire conversation about how she fell on the playground, hit her head, Mrs. M helped her, Mrs. J gave her ice, Mrs. E kept an eye on her and her head still hurt but she was going to be alright. She tells me what clothes she wants to wear, what food she wants to eat and what she wants to do during the day. Its like I blinked, and she just grew up.

 

The same goes for Doc. A year ago, it seemed like she was tripping over her own feet and now she doing back flips and cartwheels. She’s reading at a 5th grade reading level and all she wants to do during the day is cuddle and read. She’s a good sister and more well behaved then I give her credit for.

 

20171227_114300119126310.jpgNEW YEARS

I feel that the new year is a clean slate with new things and new opportunities. We don’t make New Years resolutions. We make New Years goals. My goals is to slow down and let things go. I am the type of person that needs to schedule, plan, and control everything around me. I hate when unplanned events or things come up. I try to control the uncontrollable which makes me stressed out and unhappy. This year I’m just letting go of all the things out of my control and taking time to step back take a breath.

 

This year there are a lot of unknowns with out house, school, jobs, finances and family. All I can do is make plans to the best of my ability then hope for the best. Before I jump to stress and anger I need to approach everything with calm and collection.

 

Let’s see how well this will work out in the upcoming months.

Books, Uncategorized

Paper Princess

What did I just read? This books was described as Cruel Intention but I don’t think it was as cruel. I enjoyed this book but I don’t think it should be a YA book. There is way too much sex, drinking and drugs. This book is basically a bunch of rich spoiled brats messing around and making assumptions about peoples past. I would describe it as the 90210 or OC or Gossip Girl depending on your age.


With that being said I really did enjoy this book. I found I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what’s going to happen and what happened in the royal past that made them the way they are. Since this book ends in a cliffhanger I guess we will have to wait to find out what happens in the next book.

I’m giving this a 3.5 because I couldn’t put it down but I hate cliff hangers. I think these books could have been combined and a few things taken out.

Good reads description


From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. 

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

Books, Uncategorized

Bind The Soul

Bind The Soul

By Annett Marie

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My Review

This is book two of the Steel and Stone series and I loved it…more then book 1. What is this series and why am I loving it so much? Thank you for Kindle Unlimited for suggesting it!

First of all this book is very dark, violent, and disheartening at times. I really enjoyed pipers character development and felt that this book conveyed a lot more of her feeling and emotions. Pulse the love story heat was still there but it has it sizzle moments. I felt the piper was a much stronger character in this book since she went through saving the Sahar in the previous book. In this book she really finds out how strong she is and what she is capable of doing. Her mission is to save Ash from the underworld, but I feel that there is way more to the story that the book description says. She has to travel to the underworld which hamons can’t really do. Then she has to find Ash and give up her soul. Then figure out how to save herself from everything and every situation. Then get out of the underworld and fight like heck at every turn.

This book is a real page tuner and although it’s a YA book and meant for a now 16 year old goth high school girl…I found myself wanting more. I will be reading the next book soon!

 

Book Description

The most important rule for an Apprentice Consul is simple: Don’t get involved with daemons. Well, Piper is planning to break that rule — big time.

After a near-deadly scandal with the Sahar Stone, she has the chance to return to the only life she’s ever wanted. All she has to do to keep her Apprenticeship is forget about Ash and Lyre. Ash might be enigmatic and notoriously lethal, and Lyre might be as sinfully irresistible as he is irritating, but they’re not bad for a couple of daemons.

There’s just one problem: Ash is missing.

Really, she shouldn’t risk her future for him. He lied. He betrayed her. But he also saved her life, damn it. Wherever he is, he’s in trouble, and if she doesn’t save his sorry butt, who will? But with every dangerous secret she unravels, each one darker than the last, she slips deeper into Ash’s world — a world with no escape for either of them.

 

Check out my Goodreads Page.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58385000-katherine-schilling

Holiday, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas Friends

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you and your family enjoy the wonderful holiday. Try not to stress over food, gifts, kids and life! Enjoy the time you have with one another no matter how small or large your family it. This is the time too look back on the year and reflect on the good, bad and funny. Make sure to look towards next year with hope and happiness.

I wish you and yours many blessing and a happy holiday.

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Family, Kids, Uncategorized

Finding your soulmate at 20 years old. Lessons on marriage

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I don’t claim to be an expert on marriage or love or relationships. I just know that ours works. Sometimes it’s rocky, sometimes is easy, sometimes I just want to scream or throw a shoe at him. Most of the time I just want to cuddle and watch Netflix or take a drive somewhere new.

 

Tyler and I have been together for over 12 years. In this day 12 years might as well be a lifetime. I honestly know only a few couples that have been together for as long as we have. One of those couples just happens to be my parents who celebrated their 40th year anniversary in June. Their marriage, in my eyes, was always great. Growing up I always knew that they loved me and each other. I often would come around the corner and see then hugging and smiling to each other. Sure, they had their little fights and arguments, but they always worked everything out eventually.

 

Our relationship is anything but prefect. I would like to say that we never fight or that any issues just magically go away but that’s just not true. From early on in our dating relationship it almost seem like our relationship was doomed. We kind of had a Romeo and Juliet thing going on with his parents. Long story short it ended up with his mom saying, “It’s her or us…and if you walk out don’t come back” which Tyler responded “bye” as he grabbed my hand and we walked out the door. At that point we only knew each other for 4 months. I had a similar thing with my friends and in the end, I though, I either have to listen to them of take the leap and follow my heart.

 

We moved in together shortly after and that first year was rough. I mean rough. I honestly don’t know why we didn’t give up and just walk away…Our fights were ugly, mean, and I would be lying if I said I never threw shoes (or other objects) at him from time to time. But though it all we always managed to cool off, come together and work it out. After the first year things settled down. We got married. Bought a house. Added some dog, cats, and turtles. Then eventually had kids.

 

Again, I am no expert, but I believe all successful marriages have to have these key support blocks in order to work, function, and survive.

 

Being best friends

Tyler is my best friend. I can talk to him, tell him everything, keep his secrets and just enjoy spending time with him. All great relationships have to have a friendship element. Someone you can talk to. Someone you have a history with. Someone you can share a hug or a cry with. Someone who is just there for you. After all it feels like I have a messy roommate rather than a husband. Finding quality time together is very importation.

Whether it’s going to Walmart or just watching TV I want to be around him. Just spend time with him. I guess it also helps that one of my love languages is Quality Time.

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Working together

We all heard crazy teenagers on 16 and pregnant say how having a baby should bring us closer…Unfortunately for them it doesn’t work that way. Yes, I feel that having kids has brought us closer together but not in the way you would think. Let me explain. Bringing home a baby for the first time is very new and scary. No one really knows what to do. All you know is that you have to keep this thing alive. Tyler and I had to work together to figure things out. We understood that at a certain point we would both have to get up in the middle of the night to feed and change the baby. As kids grow up you have to work together on coming up with discipline styles and house rules that fit the child and family. Then working together to make a family budgets to figure out how your going to afford daycare and school. Working together to figure out solutions will bring you closer together.

Now you don’t have to have a baby to learn how to work together. I just used that as a high stress in it together example. Working together on problems, solutions, game, or planning events will help form a stronger bond. Yes, there will be little spats but in the end of you learn how to be a team. How to support one another and what your roles and strengths are.

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Let the small things go

Does it make you money or does it make you happy? If the answer is “no” then it doesn’t matter. This isn’t true in every situation but then it comes to compromise or letting things go it does. Some things are not worth the fight. I’m talking about the little arguments that really do not matter. Its really the little fights that will turn into a big deal. For example: “Did you take the trash out” can turn into “You never do anything around here” “You’re worthless” “I do everything” “Why am I even married” … you get the picture. Figuring out what the little trigger is avoiding it or working around it will help out. No one really wants to take out the trash but maybe asking “Would you mind taking out the trash while I do dishes” better way to avoid and argument.

 

Trust

When I say trust, I mean trust 100%. My father would tell me that he trusted me 100%. If I ever broke that trust it would take a long… long time to earn it back. Know that made me think twice about lying or getting into big trouble.

Great relationships have 100% trust. I have to trust Tyler with everything from money to being faithful. I will get to the faithful part later. Tyler and I both work full time jobs. He pays for half the bill and I pay the other half. He knows that if I every found a late bill or a notice of the utilities being shut off I would be upset since I trusted him to handle things. If for whatever reason things were tight he knows that he can talk to me and we will work things out together. The same goes the other way.

I also have emotional trust. I trust that if I tell him something important we will not laugh or get upset. We would work it out together.

 

Being confident in yourself

If you don’t love yourself…how to you expect other to love you? In high school we were all awkward teenagers with zits and body issues but as we grew up we started to figure out who were we and embrace ourselves. Yes, there are still things that I might change in my looks since I’m pass 30…but I know that I am beautiful in my own way. I know that I am a good mom because my kids are happy and health. I might not be super mom, but I do the best I can for my family. That confidence that I have reflects outward. Tyler sees it, my friends, see it, and my kids see it.

Back to faithful thing… Tyler works for Direct TV and he is in people’s homes a lot. A lot of time he is in multimillion dollar homes with “desperate housewives”. It would be very easy for me to get insecure and wonder where he was or who his talking to. It would drive me nuts. I trust him to be faithful because he knows and see that I am not only beautiful and smart in his eyes…but that I am his…and only his.

One thing that attracted me to Tyler was his confidence. He might not be the perfect Magic Mike Tyler guy, but he is my perfect guy. His confidence and how he holds himself and lifts up those around him it what makes me attracted to him. The same goes for me. I know that in Tyler’s eyes I am his 10. I work in a very male dominated field, but I never once would think about cheating. I love my husband for who he is for me and who he is for our family.

 

Embrace the imperfections

Life is not perfect. People are not perfect. So why does marriage have to be perfect. There are things Tyler and I struggle with and have to work though. There are times when things do not go the way we plan. There are times when money is tight, and stress is high, but though it all we get though it together. We learn from the imperfect moments and grow together. We embrace each other imperfections and work around it. Sometime the imperfect moments become funny stories later.

 

I’m not a marriage expert and I don’t think that every relationship is perfect. Most relationships can work out if both partners are willing to work though the tough times and laugh though the fun time. With a lot of faith, trust, time, and work a relationship can get stronger and last 50+ years.

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Books, Uncategorized

Chase the Dark

Chase the Dark

By Annett Marie

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My Review

I’m not sure how to feel about this book. I enjoy young adult novels but I usually stay away from heaven/hell books and books that have a lot of mythology. Plus if we are judging a book by it’s cover…let’s be honest this one does not scream read me unless you are a 15 year goth chick in high school…which I guess at one point in time…many years ago…I was.

I enjoyed this book but when I think about it there were a few things I wasn’t thrilled about. On one side I really enjoyed the story, humor and action in the book. This book was an interesting twist to the classic division between Heaven and Hell and demons and angels It also mixed of different mythologies and different paranormal creatures. On the other side I think the author rushed on a few details and didn’t fully explain a few plot holes. I liked Piper’s character but felt she was too immature and naive to understand anything of the underworld. I also thought there wasn’t enough world building.

In the end, despite the lack of details above, the story had me hooked and I found myself wanting to what’s going to happen. I also really wanted a stronger love story but I think the heat was just enough for this book. I will be reading and reviewing book 2 next week. Stay tune! (In my opinion book two is a lot better since its darker).

 

Book Description

Piper Griffiths wants one thing in life: To become a Consul, a keeper of the peace between humans and daemons. There are three obstacles in her way.

The first is Lyre. Incubus. Hotter than hell and with a wicked streak to match. His greatest mission in life is to get Piper into bed and otherwise annoy the crap out of her. The second is Ash. Draconian. Powerful. Dangerous. He knows too much and reveals nothing. Also, disturbingly attractive — and scary. Did she mention scary?

The third is the Sahar Stone. Top secret magical weapon of mass destruction. Previously hidden in her Consulate until thieves broke in, went on a murder spree, and disappeared with the weapon.

And they left Piper to take the fall for their crimes.

Now she’s on the run, her dreams of becoming a Consul shattered and every daemon in the city gunning to kill her. She’s dead on her own, but there’s no one she can trust — no one except two entirely untrustworthy daemons … See problems one and two.

Check out my Goodreads Page.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58385000-katherine-schilling

Family, Uncategorized

Time to think about STO donations and taxes

Dear Friends and Family,

We did the math and we found it would actuality cost us more in after school care, books, supplies and sports if we sent Doc to our local overcrowded public school. Say what you want about private school and the kids you think go to them but our school is a very diverse group of families that come from all incomes, backgrounds and neighborhoods. Bethany Christian School offers everything from art, sports and STEM. All of the teacher know the students by name and all of the older kids look out and help the younger kids. I don’t know how many times I went to pick up Doc from school and some the the Jr. High kids waved at her or told her to have a great weekend. Doc is happy and thriving at this school.

We are very excited that we were able to send Doc to BCS this year. This is important to us because this school is able to provide the environment, high standards and quality education that we are looking for. If you know anything about me, I am obsessed with education and support school choice (All types of schools). Finding BCS has been a lifesaver!

At the end of the year, many people look to make charitable contributions. In case it fits into your giving plans, I wanted to share with you that there is a non-profit organization you can contribute to that can help defer some of the tuition costs of sending Doc to this school, while providing you with a federal tax deduction.

We are working with Arizona Tuition Connection, an organization certified by the IRS as a 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to providing tuition support to families like ours. Contributions are 100% tax deductible and can be recommended to go to our family.

Tuition is expensive and we are not rich at all. We usually live paycheck to paycheck and try to save a little bit each week. With Bam in daycare and Doc is private school every thing I make goes to the kids. If you are looking to provide a charitable contribution by supporting someone you know, I would appreciate you considering this option.

If you do find this fits into your giving plans you can donate online at www.arizonatuitionconnection.com/donate or call them at 480-409-4106. They will send you a receipt for tax purposes.

Learn more about out-of-state donations here.

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Books, Family, Uncategorized

Coraline – Neil Gaiman

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I might be bias since I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. At one point I wanted to name our 2nd child (Bam) Coraline but this was shot down my Tyler. I enjoy his adult books but I find myself attracted more to his children’s books.  They are a twist on what we think fairy tails should be. They are dark, twisted and creepy but overall fun to read. Even if the theme of the book is scary and dark I always come out feeling happy and more aware of the world around me. My kids love the movie so much I had to put a ban on it for a few months.

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Coraline reflects the woeful fears and trials all children experience. How many times have we as children, wanted some other life? Or maybe new parents? The power of evil and the contrasting innocence of the child breathe life into these vivid pages. Dissatisfied with the dull, boring role of life, Coraline revolts against both societal norms and authority. Her innate sense of adventure survives the distressing and horrifying atmosphere.

Call it whatever you like. For me it was more of a fairy tale because it’s adventurous and it traveled me to a very bizarre world which most children would find fascinating but adults would freak the hell out. Neil Gaiman’s breath taking imagination encircles our limitless past and closes the gap between years.

This is still one of my favorite books out there. If you enjoy this story I would recommend Graveyard Boy and Stardust.

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Book Description

‘An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons…. a real bedtime-buster’.
The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring….

In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it’s different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there’s another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Neil Gaiman will delight readers with his first novel for all ages.

Family, Holiday, Kids, Uncategorized

Its been busy…Short Monday Post

It’s been busy. Between three birthday parties on Saturday, Bam tummy issues, and Christmas crazy I haven’t had time to post anything. I promise I will have a great insightful post for you by Friday. For now enjoy these photos from over the weekend.

 

Books, Uncategorized

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

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My Review

I wish I could give this story a better review but just I can’t. In all honesty, I wanted to like it, finish it and be proved wrong. It wasn’t an awful book but I felt that this book was two stories in one. Worth reading if you have the time but not on my top books to read list.

A part of me was quite enthralled by the characters and plot. I’ll say it…ive seen these creatures before, you know… the romeo and Juliet styled love, but the author has managed to take this and all these aspects in the novel and create a completely unique book.

On one side I thought the Karou and Akiva story was just ok. (3 Stars) Karu was strong but immature (She was only 17) and Akiva was a little weak for a male lead (broken with a tragic past). The story started out really slow and then built to the backstory story. I wish the book started with the backstory and ended with Karu’s story. I think the book would have flown a lot better.
That being said I loved loved loved the backstory of Akiva and Madrigal. (5 Stars) I felt this story and characters were very strong and full of love. Very much Romeo and Juliet with happiness and heartache. I love the playfulness of Madrigal and the love the boldness and love of Akiva.

A few times I considered putting this book down. I lost interest more than once and the pace was starting to drag. Not a good sign when you read to enjoy a book but then something would happen and I’d continued to be hooked. In all honesty, I wanted to like it. I saw such promise in the book and the first few chapters were strong enough to pique my interest. Sadly it just didn’t last. You may have noticed that I’ve tried to stay on the vague side about certain things, and this is to make sure that you can pick up on them and decide for yourselves when it comes to you reading the book itself.

I acknowledged that early on and I appreciated it, I really did, but I can’t help but feel that something just isn’t there. I might read the next two books in the series one day but for now I think it’s time to move on.

Check out my Goodreads Page.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58385000-katherine-schilling

 

Goodread book description

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Family, Holiday, Kids, Uncategorized

Being a stage mom, struggling with holiday cheer, and loosing at football

This was a pretty busy weekend for our family. Friday was Doc’s Christmas play, then Saturday this Grinch was forced to grow her heart two sizes too big to decorate the house, then Sunday we went to the football game. Lets just start from the top…

 

Christmas Plays

Getting to the play was a crazy driving road rage nightmare. Not only do I work, but there is a long commute between our house, the school, and my work. This involved me getting off at 3:30, picking up Doc from school at 3:40, driving home to pickup Tyler and Bam at 4:10, driving back toward Scarlett’s school in traffic (4:20 to 5:00) eat dinner before the play by meeting up at the school at 5:45.

Doc was Mary in the play. She didn’t have any singing or acting lines…just a bunch of stage directions. Before the play the school asked the majority of the kids to wear white under their costumes and of course from the time it took us to walk from the car to the stage door…she has somehow gotten her clothes filthy. Really?! 1 minuet walk from the car to the door! I’m telling you kids! This is the reason my house has a layer of dirt in it everywhere I turn…

In this years Christmas Play the school put on a huge production of Jingle Bell Beach. The story started out with the traditional nativity story then opened up in to a holiday singing competition at… you guessed it… the beach. The play was filled with laugh out loud moments, fun dancing and singing, and talented elementary school kids. The show ended in a touching moment that showcased what the story of Jesus’s birth means to us today. Very cute!

Then my toddler Bam decided to say she had to poop (rather loudly) during the play and all I thought was no not now…I’m going to miss the play and no one is going to take photos (which was true). The rest of the play included me walking around the lobby and in the back of the auditorium with Bam hoping no one noticed us.

It was kind of a stressful and frustrating night. I know at times like these I just have to go with the flow and roll with the punches. My kids are only kids once and as the years move on I realize that if I do not slow down and take the time to enjoy even the tough nights…I might miss their childhood completely.

 

Forced into holiday cheer

It’s not like I hate Christmas I just hate messy houses and clutter. One of my love languages is giving gifts (the other is time). I swear if the logical side of my brain didn’t step in I would go broke by buying everyone gifts this holiday season. In fact I love gifts so much that I will deal with hearing “Last Christmas” for the 10th time just so I can get something that would brighten up someones day…
Anyway…Back to the decorations. I love the look and feel of Christmas. Tyler decorated the outside of the house, set up his Christmas Village and we all helped put up the tree the weekend before. There were empty boxes of stuff everywhere and all I wanted to do was relax…not clean the house. When I mentioned this to Tyler he told me I was a Grinch and that there were a lot of other decorations that needed to be set up. Once I set them up Tyler said he would put the boxes away and my house would be in a semi sate of clean and organized. So Saturday that’s what I did. I hung lights inside and even set up a Stranger Things (season 1) theme in our window. Bam took a nap and Doc helped untangle lights and put up hooks. It turned out pretty great and in the end I think my clean freak Grinch heart did grow two sizes.

 
Sunday Football

On Sunday we dropped the kids off at Titi Dido’s house and went to the Cardinals game with Tylers close friend and his fiancé. Yes they lost but we knew it was probably headed in the direction…and that our season was over anyway. The game was fun. We had club level and Jenika and I enjoyed a few drinks while the guys had their little bromance. Afterwards we went to dinner and waited over and hour for our Uber to show up. It was a pretty good day despite the loss. I guess I don’t really have any profound insight on this day…I could say “I realize football is like life and that sometime you win, sometimes you loose, but its always good to be around close friends”.

 
 

 

Books, Uncategorized

The Air He Breathes

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This book was very emotional. Usually I stay away from books that start out with the loss of soul mates and young children. This book has both and I was in tears throughout the book. I also try to stay away from shorter books since I like to get lost in the pages for days and weeks. For this book I stayed up late reading and finished it in one day. It’s one of the downsides to being a big bookworm I guess.

I really liked how dark and heavy this book was. It’s about emotional healing and finding yourself. The character development was well thought out and the writing was beautiful. As I read thought this book my heart would break as I looked at my husband sleeping in bed next to me and my daughter on the baby monitor.

Yes there were a few plot holes in the book when you sit down and think of things logically. For example Liz just goes off for a year to live with her mom…who took care of her house? Who paid her mortgage? How did she afford her bills if she wasn’t working? I find it very hard to believe that she can just leave with no explanation on how she was able to afford things especially since she need a job to pay for bills when she got back. Also, who watches her daughter when she works? The same could be said about Tristian. If he works in a shop that doesn’t have any customers then how is the business able to stay a float? Ok I am getting away from the point. We read books to get away from reality not to over analyses and worry about things.

I didn’t like how unrealistic the plot twist was. It made the story very unbelievable and hard to follow. I also didn’t like that the whole gossipy small town didn’t have a clue about Tristian’s past. I also find it hard to believe the Liz and Tristian did not have the full details of their loved ones deaths like who was in the other car and what happened to the other family. I find that a little hard to believe.

Overall it was a good read with a highly emotional twist. This book is not for people who get emotionally involved with characters or people who have a soft spot for kids.

Amazon Description

I was warned about Tristan Cole.

“Stay away from him,” people said.
“He’s cruel.”
“He’s cold.”
“He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.

But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty.
We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.

Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

Family, Holiday, Kids, Uncategorized

Family Photos and Toddler Meltdowns

Why are family photos always a big deal filled with meltdowns and time crunches?
On Sunday we were scheduled to take family photos with our very good friend and amazing photographer Christine. We planned this day about two months ago since Christine just had a baby and I wanted to make sure she had enough time to recover and hang out with family. The weeks leading up to the big photo day were filled with running around to find the perfect family matching outfits. Figuring out what looks best on who and what outfit doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes I wonder why should we even bother but then your mind starts racing thinking about it.

You know how this is…

The one time we can show the world that our family is well put together.

The one day can manage to coordinate and match their outfits with out looking like that weird family.

The one day to show the world that we are all a happy family.

The one day to show the world that…

Today we are awesome parents…

Today we have awesome kids…

Today we live in a world of sunshine and rainbows…

Today we have our shit together…

Today our kids are well behaved…

You get the picture…no pun intended.

Anyway…We found the perfect outfits. We relaxed all day. The kids took baths (which is a big deal in our house). We got Bam down for a nap and she slept for 3 hours. I’m thinking this is going to be great!

 

Then it came time to get ready. 3:15pm After trying on my dress I remembered that I was going to take it in a little since the store only had a medium and not a small (I know woman and moms out there hate me for not having any post baby fat…but its genetics and I hate my body just like every other woman out there). So this meant that I had to rush to sew the side of my dress up…and we had T minus 30 min until we had to leave. Luckily I got it done with in 15 mins. Maybe it wasn’t perfect but screw it…Its done (now 3:30pm). I was able to get Doc dressed, wake up Bam and Tyler from their naps… and get everyone out the door by 3:45pm. YES…I managed to be supper mom yet again…LOL

We get to the place and everyone is in a good mood. The first few photos go great. Everyone is laughing…Tyler and I can’t keep a serious face on when we do our couples photos… the girls are running around…everything is great…until it wasn’t. 

Bam my strong willed child

Bam baby #2 and the last baby I will have

Bam our sour patch kid

Bam!

Bam got it into her 2 year old mind that she was done. Done with photos. Every time Christine would hold up the camera she would turn away. Every time we said cheese she said “No”. Every time we picked her up she wiggled out of our arms. After first set of tears fell…you couldn’t stop the full on meltdown she had. She demanded in her two year old voice that she was done and ready to go home. She was done…which meant Tyler was done since they are so alike…and I was done because the more Tyler got upset the more tears Bam had and the bigger the meltdown. In fact the only person that wasn’t done was my superstar Doc…

Doc my sunshine and rainbow kid

Doc who will argue every reason why unicorns and magic are real

Doc who loves to be the center of attention

Doc who dances to her own song even when no one is watching.

Doc!

Needless to say…a months worth of prep = 20 min of photos = Hopefully we have at least one good photo!

Family, Holiday, Kids, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving week with Kids, Family, Food, and Reflections

Thanksgiving week with kids, family, food, and shopping

What is there to say about the craziness of the holidays? Overall it was a good week filled with joy, family and laughter. Like any family with kids it was also filled with tears, meltdowns, and crazy running around. Well here goes…

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The Husband

The week started off like any other week at our house…crazy. Tyler was supposed to have the whole week off but when he looked at his work calendar he realized that he put in his vacation request for the week after Thanksgiving. My mind automatically went to panic mode…Who is watching the kids, What about food? Who is going to be home to make sure the cleaning people don’t steal anything? Tyler on the hand was calm on the outside but I could tell he was worried since his job never approves employees vacation even though he has been there longer than anyone else. Needless to say it all worked out since he used Flex days on the week.

The Kids

It was grandparents day at Doc’s school. To say she was excited would be an understatement. She was talking about all week and jumping up and down and singing in the halls. I get it. My kids LOVE their grandparents and my parents LOVE my kids…more so then me…or so it would seem. The day was filled will scavenger hunts, games, and reading. Seriously do they even do anything educational at school? Kidding…maybe. Anyway….After the half day of grandparents day she had the rest of the week off…Oh the joys of school breaks!

Since Tyler was off all week Bam and Doc hung out with him. Every day I came home they were still in their PJs and their hair was a little messier but she was happy. As Tyler would say “My job is to keep them alive…” He’s right I guess but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little jealous I had to work M-W.

 

Turkey Day

As with all of our Thanksgivings we send an invite out to our family and friends letting them know our house is always open. This year it was just my parents, our household, and my sister-in-laws family (Rob, Dido, Chops, and Roc).  It worked out better that way and I am thankful to have our small family unit. Dinner was filled with Doc telling jokes that didn’t make sense (which kind of makes them funnier) and Rocco chasing the girls around. 

Bam slept though most of the day since she was sick…and hardly touched her dinner…poor baby. Overall it was still a good day.

 

Reflections

This thanksgiving will mark the 3rd thanksgiving we did not celebrate with my in-law. Sometimes when I really think about all the thing they are missing it makes me sad. We have been burned so many times by them that this year we didn’t even want to make an effort. Last year (2016) when we invited them, they made this huge deal about how it wasn’t good enough that I invited them, they needed Tyler to invite them too. Not only did Tyler need to invite them, he had to call up and have a conversation with his dad to say how he’s sorry for who knows what and that the rift between them is all Tyler’s fault. In 2015 we had a huge thanksgiving planned with everyone bringing something. A day before the big turkey day they cancelled on us and said they just wanted to have a quiet day at home…but they wanted us to come over to their 800SF 3 bedroom duplex. In 2014 Turkey day was ruined by my father in law yelling…YELLING at mine and Didos kids (At my house by the way) because they we being too loud by laughing and squealing like kids often do. My mother in law also overstepped by giving tablets to the kids after both dido and I took them away since they we fighting over them.

 

SO maybe it was a good thing they weren’t there. It just makes me sad that this marks over 2 years that my kids haven’t seen them…2 years!  Bam just turned 2 in October and she has not idea who they are! Its sad really.

 

Anyway…that was our week in a nutshell.

Books, Uncategorized

A Court of Wings and Ruin

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Like other comments reviews on this book… I agree that this book doesn’t have the same flow as book two. I enjoyed this book but there were times when the flow was a bit choppy. Parts were very hard to read and I had to reread it to really understand what it was saying. I felt that some of the “surprises” in the book were just thrown I there and just because they didn’t really have anything to do with the story. At times I just read through chapters just to get to the “good” stuff or fighting scenes. The final chapters is where this book really shined. The emotions were very intense and I felt for all the characters. I always hate ending a good book series but I will read this one again… or maybe just book two and three again…

Book summary from Amazon

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

Books, Uncategorized

A Court of Mist and Fury

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Wow. Just wow. This book is much better then the first book in the series. I couldn’t put this book down and read every free moment I had. I laughed, I cried, and I was surrounded by the “darkness” of the world. The Ferya’s character development from mortal to immortal is very complex and I felt every emotion. I liked Tamlin but Rhys I very complex and although his character is very complex. I’m hoping book three is just as great. Its been a long time since I’ve been obsessed by a book.

It’s so hard to put into words how amazing this book is and just how much I love it. Now, anytime I recommend this series to people I tell them that the first book is merely building up to the real story, which begins here.

This is by far one of my favorite books. I will read it and listen to it over and over. I only wish that there were more then three books!

Book summary from Amazon

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court-but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms-and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future-and the future of a world torn apart.

#1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah J. Maas expands Feyre’s world beyond even her wildest imagination in this seductive and stunning sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Books, Uncategorized

A Court of Thorns and Roses

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This series is a game changer. While book one is not my favorite in the series after reading book two and three I had to reread this book to better understand thr characters motives. 

This was a change of pace but not for Maas. Whereas the Throne Of Glass series is fantasy/romance with the romance being secondary, this was romance/fantasy with the romance coming more to the forefront. Don’t get me wrong, the fantasy was here in droves and certainly did not suffer for the romance, but the romance came first. And that’s okay by me. I really liked how Maas wrote the fae in this book. Here, they are truly the fae of legend, many are utterly terrifying, others are good and decent and still others are somewhere in between. She explored fae nature and the faerie courts in a lot of depth which I greatly enjoyed. This is supposed to be a loose retelling of Beauty And The Beast with elements from other myths and legends and I though that Maas did an excellent job of taking all those elements and making them into a unique and beautiful story all her own. I’ll start with the characters. I really liked them all. Feyre had quite the journey here, from being a very angry and closed off person to being one who opens herself up to Tamlin’s love and softens and grows and changes and ends up making an enormous sacrifice at the end of the book. Tamlin was so refreshing for a love interest, instead of being this douchebag who magically gets reformed by love, he’s a good guy from the onset and one that I rooted for, he had some nice growth of his own. I found that Maas kind of flipped the Beauty And The Beast trope on its head with Feyre being more the Beast and Tamlin being more the Beauty. Lucien was another great character and I was so glad that I didn’t think much of Feyre’s family, they were pretty crappy to her. The plot itself was great! It was very action packed and moved swiftly and was also very suspenseful! It did drag a little in the middle but the ending was welm worth it. This series is a nice change of pace for Maas and one that is superbly written and highly enjoyable and one that I recommend to all fantasy fans and fairy tale retelling fans. This is not for the younger fans though, this is new adult for sure and does have a steamy and frank sex scene.

 

Book summary  from Amazon

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.