Saturday, December 27, 2008

what's your favorite READ?

On my recent visit home for the Holidays, I took notice that there were many, many readers in my family. Books were in abundance and it was common to find many family members curled up the couch with their nose in a book. Now, it didn't mean that people were not also involved in the happenings of the household. It is true that you can be involved in a conversation, play with kids, and be enjoying a book.
One must remember that while visiting "home" at my mom's house, there are typically 3 to 4 families staying in the house with 2 to 3 kids within each family........a lot of activity. Quiet reading time is not going to happen too easily.
I began to investigate WHAT people were reading and found it was quite interesting.
I thought it might be fun to share some favorites or recommended.........

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Marley, A dog like no other
Diary of a Whimpy kid
the Music of Dolphins

A dog named Christmas
Tale of Desparaux

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Anythink Dora

Are You My Mother?
Green Eggs and Ham

Old Man of the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Kim-Three Cups of Tea
Kathy- Davinci Code
My Sister's Keeper

Mike Mac
How to Win friends and influence people
The Firm

Tunnels by Roderick Gordon

Pillars of the Earth
World Without End by Ken Follett

One Thousand White Women

Twilight Series

Eat, Pray, Love

Mary Jo-
Twilight Series

Well, there you have it.....a sampling of many different readers in the McMonagle household.
So many different ages, many different interests and perspectives but always a shared common
What a great holiday time we had together.

Lexi and Taylor

Trev playing in the abundant snow in Wisconsin

Lexi and Cathy and Tom (Godparents)

Trevor, Kevin and Adam adventuring outdoors

Sara, Lexi, and Taylor


Sunday, December 21, 2008

family time

Holiday time is often time to be with family.......and i love it and my kids LOVE it.
My sister Amy moved to Belgium with her family about 2 years ago and are back for the holidays.
What a wonderful time to reconnect. Really, the kids are at such a great age where they love to hang out and play and the adults can catch up and talk. McKenzie is the "baby" of the cousins and she is growing up fast at 4 years old. Our family is getting older for sure, life goes through stages and phases. Another reminder that life is all about change, every phase is wonderful in its own way, each having its own joys and challenges.

THe kids and I leave tomorrow morning to DePere to spend the week with Grandma Rosie and cousins and Aunts and Uncles.
A favorite time of year for all of us.
A time to be thankful for family. To know how blessed we are and to embrace everything about it.

I look forward to taking many more pics of my family and doing a post holiday Post.

Love to everyone during this special time of year.

My sister Amy

Three Peas in a Pod
Sara, Lexi, Taylor

Emily and McKenzie

The Girls

Best Buds- Trev and Kevin

Adam and Dylan

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A time to SHINE

This past week Lexi and Trev both had big performances and did they ever SHINE.

Trevor decided to play the Tuba in the 5th grade band this year. Trevor takes the Tuba very seriously and practices very hard.
He had a great band performance. Trevor had a tuba solo with one other student and sounded great.
Lexi has been dancing with You Can Danz and had her first dance show. Lexi has a lot of girlfriends in the same dance class and has a lot of fun. We enjoyed watching her perform two dances at the holiday show. All the girls did great and looked like they were having a great time.

Enjoy the photos. I am so proud of Trevor and Lexi for wanting to learn new things and having fun doing it!!

Trevor and his friend Zach, the other Tuba player

Lexi and her cousin McKenzie

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

standing up for what you believe in

Today i had all kinds of goals. I was going to get the christmas decorations out, I was going to organize Lexi's new room, start my weight lifting routine (that coach john and i just talked about and put together), and i was was really excited to hear a speaker talk about the importance of character and values in our youth today. WELL........that all went out the window when a migraine snuck up on me at work and I had no meds left (not good). So, as soon as school was out, I got home as fast as I could, got in the door, gave myself my shot and fell into my bed.........was awoke by Trevor's text 2 hours later and felt some relief. After grumbling that my evening was shot and trying to just figure out what i could do........i remembered the amount of snow in my driveway.........i managed to bundle up and head outdoors. I tell ya, that was the best thing i did ALL day. That fresh air and little bit of physical labor woke me, made me smile and got me going. My migraine was about 75% gone, just enough diminished to get myself in the car and on my way to the inspirational speaker.
I am so GLAD I did.

The speaker was from Youth Frontiers and talked about Character and the importance of teaching our youth today. He talked about the challenges of our society today and how we are responsible for modeling and educating our youth, morally and ethically. Respect, compassion, honesty, graditude, humility. These are concepts I want my kids to not only understand but to live by everyday. And yes, I want to be the parent modeling and using teachable moments everyday. I want to be the parent that takes time to really BE with my kids. I want to teach them that WAITING for things is important. That even though they often don't see it, they have enough. That losing is just as important as winning. That Effort is everything. That nobody is perfect but everybody is precious. That while technology is a gift it can have barriers and must be used appropriately and with rules.
This is not an easy job, this often means I am the one to say, "no", "not today", "its bedtime", "not during dinnertime" but I understand that and hearing this speaker tonight reinforced why this job needs to be consistent. I know the payoffs will be great!!

So, this is our family blog. Trevor and Lexi love reading it and looking at the pictures. My hope is that they will be contributing some writing soon. But, last post had them a little concerned. My commenter Dana, thinks she knows who I am. Dana does not know me. This upset my kids. Trevor was just concerned for me, wondering if I was ok that she made those comments. I assured him I was ok. My Lexi, she wanted to meet Dana and let her know that she is a bully. That it is not nice to say those things about people you don't know. That is what bullies do. She says, "we learned that in school." She continued to say, "Mom, if she met you......she would never say those things about you."

moral courage: To paraphrase Edmund Burke, the only way for evil people to succeed is for the vast majority of good people to do nothing.