Tag Archives: adventure

July to September 2015 Goals

This summer was such a busy summer with a lot of technical problems, such as my laptop. So, I never got to do a recap of my July goals nor introduce my August goals.

July’s goal was to Explore My City.
Sub Goals:
– Go to the library at least twice.
We went once, but got a lot of books that Rhys really enjoyed. Even Justin got a book!
– Have a picnic twice, in different locations.
We never had any picnics.
– Visit one new place (aquarium, park, museum, local restaurant, historic site, splash pad) per week.
We did go to a few local restaurants and the splash pad, but didn’t do a lot–mainly becuase we just didn’t have the funds.
– Visit the Community building and try to get involved
This was a definite bust!
– Go to Bear Lake for the Morrell Family Reunion!!
Going to Bear Lake was the best thing this summer! It was so fun and I want to go back!
Although I didn’t really hit the goal in the ways I intended, I still feel that I achieved it. Rhys and I went running quite a bit and biking, and always took different routes. We also spent a lot of time in the park in our backyard. I also took a few de-stressing drives around the city in places I had never been before. 
August’s goal was to Strengthen My Family:
Sub Goals:
– Plan a small anniversary
Check! We had my parents watch Rhys for two days while we went out to Texas Roadhouse and watched Jurassic World and slept in.
– A date a week (doesn’t have to be spending money)
This didn’t really happen. But, we did spend time together watching shows or playing games.
– Visit the temple once with Justin
Sadly, this didn’t happen. But we need to!
– Have sibling dates
I had lunch with my brother, but didn’t do anything with my sisters.
– Have deep and honest conversations with my other relatives
This didn’t really happen.
– Do learning games/adventures/activities with Rhys every day
Rhys and I have spent a lot of intentional time together. We read a lot of books, played a lot of one-on-one games. We had dance parties, explored the creek in our park, and learned a few body parts.
I kind of did really crappy with my August goals and to be honest, wasn’t the best wife. I was pretty lazy as wife and not equally yoked to my husband. I have to really be intentional and work on that.

September–Work from Home
Since I won’t be teaching after the first week of June, I still want to help earn some sort of an income–some play/date money for the family. I want to get into tutoring or small online transcription/free-lance jobs. I also want to start selling something–maybe Scentsy. I think since I will have time, also learn more about and sign up for blogging campaigns and affiliate programs.
Sub Goals:
– Find a sell-from-home job and learn all there is about it
– Find work-at-home freelancing or transcription jobs
– Join blogging campaign sites and participate in campaigns
– Join affiliate sites and learn all there is to it
– Learn more about couponing and money-saving skills

This is actually a pretty important goal as I don’t have anymore teacher income. Justin and I are a little nervous about being able to afford the rent of our townhome on just his income. So, wish us luck!
What are your goals for this month?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

July Goal // Explore My City

This has been quite the interesting month. Quite the big transition has been happening–learning to take care of Rhys 24/7 (which I haven’t done since he was a year old), not working, etc. So, it’s been a little hard to figure out a good balance between errand/household duties, being a good and attentive mom for Rhys, quality time with Justin when he’s home, and finding time for my own hobbies and interests. But, I’m slowly, slowly starting to get the hang of it.

June’s goal was to Organize My Home:
Sub Goals: 

– Deep scrub the entire house
I just have to do the washer and dryer, kitchen, and downstairs hall (with the storage closets), and the living room floor/floorboards. But, I am waiting until we purchase the new couch we have our eyes on since there will be some rearranging done! I would also like to do the outside of all the windows since they are dirty snow and rained stained, but I have no idea how to reach them (especially the 2nd floor ones) and we are just renting, after all!
– Organize all cupboards, dressers, closets
I have started to do this, but I’m actually waiting for Justin to help a bit, as well as my Mom, so it will get done probably in the next two weeks.
– Organize the household files
I was actually going to do that yesterday, but I was super sore from an intense workout on Monday, and coughing up a lot of mucus. But, it will get done today!
– Do a Deseret Industries (like Goodwill) run
This will happen after closets and dressers get reorganized.
– Reevaluate budget
We are in the process on working on this.

I decided that this year, my word would be motivation, and I feel I was motivated this month. Although, half way through the month, I got YET ANOTHER UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION (seriously! I’ve gone maybe two weeks without having a UPI this entire calendar year so far), and there were some days where Rhys was just having a hard day. It was also a little difficult to figure out when to actually deep scrub since I didn’t want Rhys around the chemicals, but I like using his naps for blogging and a nap myself…

I have also been working on my unit plans for Teachers Pay Teachers. I got one whole one up, with other additions, and I’m working on my second unit plan. But, I’ll be working on it all summer.

July–Explore My City

There were a lot of things Justin and I never saw or did in Provo and we regret it. So, I want to explore Salt Lake County and get to know it’s history more. There is so much here to do or visit or see, and now that Rhys is getting to age of exploring, I want him to.
Sub Goals:
– Go to the library at least twice.
– Have a picnic twice, in different locations
– Visit one new place (aquarium, park, museum, local restaurant, historic site, splash pad) per week
– Visit the Community building and try to get involved
– Go to Bear Lake for the Morrell Family Reunion!!


What are your goals for this month?

{Check out this lovely lady}

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Book Review | Cry of the Icemark

Yaay! I finally finished my first book of the summer.
I had actually stolen this book from my younger sister about 4 years ago, read the first 10 pages, then never finished it. It’s been on my shelf ever since then and taunting me, so I finally decided to read it.
And, there is a reason this easy, 400 page YA fantasy-adventure took two and half weeks to finish!

Via

Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill is about Thirrin, Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield, the 14-year-old crown princess of the cold, snowy, war-like country of Icemark (think Viking culture in the Scandinavian Peninsula). To the north, is the Land of Ghosts, ruled by the Vampire King and Queen, sworn enemies of the Icemark. Werewolf bands roam the lands, as well. To the south, is the dangerous, rational, technicological, ever-growing empire of Polypontia (think like if the Roman Empire had access to muskets and cannons). The Polypontian Empire invades Icemark and kills the king in battle. It is now up to Thirrin to create alliances with the White Witches, Vampires, Snow Leopards, Tree-folk, and WereWolves to save her small kingdom.

It is a very interesting premise, and I like how Hill pulls Scandinavian myth, Roman history, and even the myth of the Amazon warriors into this novel. However, I had to drag myself through the novel because Hill cannot write to save his life! It felt like a teenager was writing this book. The protagonist is barely 14, yet has the attitude, knowledge, and stamina of at least a 17 year old. A lot of the dialogue was forced, characters didn’t stay true to themselves, events were very predictable. It really was the dialogue that killed me. Oh, my, gosh!

The last 150 pages of the 470 page novel focused on the final battle. But, there were only two fronts: Icemark and Polypontia. Now, I know that Tolkein (Lord of the Rings) and Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time) spends just as much time on battles, but they break up their bands so there are numerous, numerous characters at different parts of the battle that the author focuses on. Hill writes the battle with almost an omniscient third-person, so it’s as if we are watching the battle from a distance rather than being in the battle.

There is a sequel, as it is a series, but it takes place 17 years later and focuses on Thirrin and her husband, Oskan, whom she meets in the first book, and their 5 children. (And the romance between the 14 and 15 year old children is almost non-existent in the first book!) I’m not going to read it. I’m glad I’m done with the book and can finally return it to my sister. If she doesn’t want it, it’s going on my classroom’s bookshelf. Who knows? Maybe my 7th and 8th graders will enjoy it more than I did.

I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Book Review | The Scarlet Pimpernel

Before reading this book, I had no idea what a Pimpernel was. I had heard of a pimpernel before in an old movie I watched with some old roommates, so I thought it was the Court Jester because it is about a band of outlaws who help a baby with a birthmark get placed on his rightful throne.
But no, that wasn’t it.
The Scarlet Pimpernel takes place in France and England during the Red Scare of the French Revolution. The common people, the plebeians, the citizens are supporting the new “Republican government” of France and sending numerous aristocrats to the guillotine. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a mysterious Englishman who helps to smuggle these aristocrats out of France and into England, since England doesn’t support the French Revolution. 
The main character is the French Marguerite, the wife of Lord Percy, the richest man in England, who is also a bit of a slow man. Marguerite, however, is known for her fashion sense as well as her wit. She gets blackmailed into helping a French ambassador find out the Scarlet Pimpernel, so he can send the man to the guillotine. But, she finds out that her husband is the Scarlet Pimpernel, thus she races against the French ambassador to warn her husband of his impending doom.
It was a fun read–very easy. There were quite a few large words that didn’t necessarily need to be in the simple book. Descriptions were a little over the top in the use of language. But, if you had just barely learned English before you wrote a novel, like Baroness Orczy did, you’d want to show your command of the new language as well. 
It has romance, intrigue, society, danger, adventure, fights (both verbal and physical, both marital and otherwise). It is captivating–I was supposed to be marking it up and taking notes to help me prepare to teach it, but half-way through the book, I stopped because I forget, I was so pulled in.
I do admit, the beginning is quite slow–it doesn’t really pick up until about page 100 (a 1/3 through the book). I also don’t think it fleshed out Lord Percy very well. It did a great job fleshing out Marguerite, her thought-processes and emotional turmoil. But, for all I heard from friends, “I love Percy” “Percy is my favorite!” “Oh Lord Percy!” I didn’t see why. Yes, he pretended to be an oaf and yes he was the prideful Scarlet Pimpernel, but it didn’t flesh him out as much I feel it should’ve to let us love him more. Right now, I’d rather love Darcy from Pride and Prejudice than Lord Percy because you at least get to know Darcy a bit intimately. (And we all remember I don’t like Darcy.)
Overall, it is a good plot, a fun and engaging tale, perfect for a movie, which they’ve already done! I can see my students enjoying it. 
Thus, I give it a 4 out of 5.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

What is Reading?

Reading is having fun. Reading is having an adventure, becoming new people, living different lives, all without moving an inch.

Being literate, to me, is the continuous practice of being able to read comfortably. You have to practice reading, just like anything else, but enjoy it. If you are mumbling and grumbling, how will you improve?

What I love about reading is it it shows our divine potential. Our divinity is our imagination, which in writers is manifest before readers as books and stories. It is their own world given to us to participate in. And, since I am a history teaching major, it also means that I become a time traveler and am able to witness history live in front of my eyes.

The books I read as a kid are still the same genres I read today. I’ve always been entranced with historical fiction and fantasy. Maybe it’s because I, myself, am a daydreamer and a writer that I year for a time and place not my own. To see mysteries at work and understand them is what I love the most. Sometimes I’ll even read specific characters’ dialogue out loud–I become them; I live a different life.

Reading is what dreams are made of and how they come true.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.