Sunday, January 31, 2016

Christmas in the Desert

Another fun time in the desert for Christmas with Derek's family..

They take their gaming seriously.. 
Stashing remotes all over..

The view from South Mountain.  The trail we wanted was closed, so this was second pick.
Still had some nice views, although camera phone doesn't really do a good job of capturing it.

Just outside of South Mountain is this little nugget of history...

Rachael making sweater-shaped cookies for an Ugly Sweater party.
She's like the best themed-party-thrower-person ever.
 There was a wig...
It was basically the high-point of Christmas Eve shenanigans.. 

Nativity re-enactment...
Pie-Face Game.

Painted Rock Petroglyph Site
Christmas Day.
There's some really interesting history tid-bits about this area too..

It was a waterfall trail, but there's only a waterfall when there's rain...
so you'll just have to use your imagination here.

Lots of Minecraft N' Chill

Hiking at the Sonoran Desert Preserve
via Dixie Summit

Look how cute they are! 
Dennis hiked with us for a far as he could, he was fighting some sickies so he waited for us at the bottom.  He got some pretty awesome photos of the cacti.

Fun times my friends, fun times!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Never Judge a Book by its Movie...

Based off of books that I read that year, if they had a movie made, I tried to watch it. 

Unbroken: Movie doesn't even come close to the emotions you'll feel when reading the book, nor does it impress upon you how amazing Louis Zamperini really was- as an athlete and a solider. 
I Am Number 4: Movie made the story more teenagery.
City of BonesGag me with a wooden spoon. 
Phantom Tollbooth: By far the best!
The Giver: interesting take on the book, but the book wins.
Wicked: ok not a movie but a play, that is VERY VERY loosely based off of the book... The play wins by a landslide. And I didn't even finish the book because I couldn't stand all the politicalness of it all.
The Indian In the Cupboard: movie was enjoyable.
The Hatchet: The movie is called "A Cry In The Wild" actually...
Cirque du Freak A Living Nightmare: But the movie calls it the Vampire's assistant, which is actually book 2, and movie portrays only book 1... in a horrible, horrible way.
1984: Thanks to YouTube I was able to watch the 1956 B/W version of this movie. Didn't hold as much of the suspense as the book carried, or maybe that's just because I already knew what was going to happen?

Boys in the Boat: Ok so there really wasn't a movie based off of the book, but there was real footage of the Olympic race that I watched on YouTube.  The real footage & then the directed footage done by Leni Riefenstahl was pretty nifty to watch!
Ender's Game: I enjoyed the movie although it did stray from the book, but not enough to "ruin" it for me.
Odd Thomas: Yikes!
Eragon: Double Yikes!
Baptists at Our Barbecue: If you ever were wondering if it's possible to take an already cheesy book and turn the movie into something even MORE cheesier.. this is your evidence. And they did a lot of unnecessary changes.
Lord of the Flies: Meh.. I got really bored watching this movie.
The Martian: Probably the closest a movie has come to being just like a book. I thought Matt Damon did a really good job portraying what I had in my head how Watney was. Good movie even without reading the book, however it does drop the F bomb twice which I was not expecting since the movie is rate PG-13, apparently movies standards have changed.

Ready Player One is set to come out 12/15/2017!!!! SO EXCITED!!!!

Top Reads: '14 & '15

2014 & 2015 get to share the spotlight.

2014 I read almost 90 books, not all of them counting towards my goal but that's beside the point.
Trying to pick just 4 out of the 90 was pretty rough.
But here they are:

1) Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
2)  Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
3) Unwind by Neal Shusterman (Just book #1, not the series)
4) Anything written by Leonard Sax or Malcolm Gladwell (they're educational so it counts as "one")

Honorable Mention:
The Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

This year I've read 90+ books (the goal was 30,000 pages), so out of all those books, here are the top 5...

1) The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown (or at least the 2 that are published, lots of pressure on you Mr. Brown to make #3 bomdiggity come 2016!)
2) Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (just the first book, not the series)
3) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
4) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
5) Hounded by Kevin Hearne

Honorable Mention:
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
The Martian by Andy Weir (if it wasn't for the swearing it would've been a top read for sure).

2016 won't be as crazy with number of reads since I've already proved to myself that I can do it.

Friday, January 8, 2016

12 out of 12

The month of December...

Derek tried to cut off his toe...

Birthday date for Madi..
Her turkey face.. (we were chased by the turkey at one point too).
The Bald Eagle was not impressed with our silliness. 

"Hey look I'm a beaver! Yum Yum!"

This adorableness happened...

Waffled Foods & The Lights at Willard Bay with Tyler & Kris


Friendsgivingmas 2015 with a New Orleans theme was so delish!

... and I became addicted to "fancy" cheeses..

Since we couldn't watch the meteor shower due to the storm, we took a midnight walk in the snow.

Ragnar LOVES the snow!

First Friday night art stroll that led to a free movie screening at Weber State, which ended up with us getting free books of the travel log of said movie, which led to free pizza at Lucky Slice.  I've never had Lucky Slice, and I will never eat there again unless it's free...
At the movie was also the first time I felt over-dressed.. in my Captain America shirt & jeans.. it was definitely a different crowd for that movie.. the ones who partake in a "higher" lifestyle (and all the boys had longer hair than me!).

 Jessica, Me, Amber M. Andrea was at dinner with us but then had to leave.

Free headband.. "Ugly Sweaters"

Lots of Snuggles! 

We got some super cool icicles.. 

Read these other books after last book post:
Stand Alone:

Caledonia Fae #1

The Kane Chronicles #1, 2

Seven Sisters #1

Exalted #1

Stone Braide Chronicles #1

This brings my totals to:
33,229 Pages
95 Books
1 Incomplete book
An over-achievement that wasn't stressful at all!