It’s been a couple of weeks since I introduced you to my son and his family. Plus, that took us off into our family history of foot problems.
Now I want to introduce you to my oldest daughter and her family. Amanda Ellen is named after both my grandmother, Amanda, and my mother-in-law, Ellen. She was born when I was pretty young, although I had been married 1 & 1/2 years. (And yes, her dad and I are still married after 44 years.) Amanda has blessed us with four of our 12 grandchildren.
Amanda and her husband, Rodney, have a yours, mine, and ours household. When they married, Rodney had a daughter from a previous marriage, and Amanda had a daughter, and two sons. Together, they had another daughter who will turn 13 this summer.
Amanda went to school to become a social worker and then she obtained her master’s degree in clinical therapy. She works at our local mental health facility.
She was actually the person who brought the local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to our area. We both served on the board for a few years after its inception.
Rodney works as a union pipe fitter. I’m not sure what all the job entails but he is a very hard worker. At
this time, he is working out of state and is only home on the weekends. Both he and my son, Kelsey, have jobs that require them to be away from home frequently.
Hayley Estelle, has given her mother two beautiful grandchildren, Wyatt Baxter and Skyler Estelle. If you remember, Baxter is a family name that came from my husband’s great-uncle. (Maybe we will start another family name with Estelle.) I do hope both of these names will continue to be passed down through the family.
Hayley and her children live close to Amanda who in turn lives about 6 minutes away from my husband and me. As you can tell, we are a pretty close knit family.
Hayley is currently working in a girl’s group home. Her biggest interests are dogs and horses. She is an excellent horseman and is fantastic at training dogs.
Charles “Dakota” is Amanda’s second child and first son. He graduated from the vocational school where I currently teach. Dakota’s chosen field of study at the vocational school was Culinary Arts. He loves to cook. This fall he is planning on attending college to become a Math teacher.
Tristin Tyler is Amanda’s third child and second son. I’m proud to say that I was able to help chose his middle name. Next week he and his girlfriend, Emily will be graduating from the same vocational school. Tristin’s vocational studies were in automotive repair and Emily’s focus was in patient care. Presently, Tristin is working for McDonald’s and Emily is working at a nursing home. I am not sure of their long term plans right now.
Together, they have a soon to be 2 year old daughter, Elora Jade. Her name always reminds me of a Disney princess.
The youngest of Amanda’s family is Autumn Lyne. The spelling of her middle name comes from the spelling of my husband’s name, Lyne Baxter. Autumn will be turning 13 this summer.
She will be hitting the teenage years. She and my grandson, Dylan, are in the sixth grade. Autumn has been involved in the baton group that Shyla and Zoey are in. She and Shyla are playing softball together
currently. She is a really good gymnast and has sang during the variety shows during her years at elementary school. She is quite a diverse and talented young lady.
Rodney’s daughter from his previous marriage is older than Amanda’s children. Kayla lived with them for a while during the early years of their marriage She eventually moved in with her mother. She and her husband live a couple of hours away from us. She is the mother of two young boys, Ryder and Braven. We do not get to see them very often.
This is the largest branch of of my family. Soon I will introduce you to my second daughter, Breanna Lyne.
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As those people who follow my blog may remember, when I wrote my last 101 Things to do in 1001 days, one of my goals was to read at least 35 books during this time. Even though I have not neglected my reading, I am a little behind where I should be at this point. But I have been reading and/or listening to several books.
One of the methods I have used to get my grandson to “read” and be able to
test on chosen books, is to use the Audible app through Amazon. The app itself is free.
As you can already assess, Dylan is my reluctant reader, so this app has been a life saver for us. He is able to chose a book which is on his AR (Acclerated Reader) list, and I have purchased the audible version of the book and it is downloaded into the app on my phone and ipad. Every morning on the way to school, I played the book, so both him and I “read” the book together. After we finished the book I was able to look up a set of questions for the book which we were able to use for review before he tested. This has been a real lifesaver.
Even though the audible app itself is free, there is a monthly free for this program. You can download one free book with a 30 day free trial. After that, the subscription is $16.99 a month and receive one credit per month to use on a book of your choice.
So I am counting the two books we listened to as two of my approximately 35 books required to meet my goal.
Book One: The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan is the author of the Percy Jackson series. In the Lost Heroes series he continues where things in the last series left off.
The book opens to find teenagers on a school bus heading toward the Skywalk that goes out over the Grand Canyon.
The book centers around a boy named Jason who has had his memory stolen from him and two of the kids who befriend him.
During their quest, these three meet monsters, Greek and Roman gods, and a vast variety of creatures. They also learn a lot about themselves during the confrontations they encounter along their journey.
Although Percy Jackson is not in this book, he is mentioned many times during the reading. We have not seen the last of Percy Jackson.
This was a very long, involved book for younger reluctant readers. However, both Dylan and I enjoyed the book very much and he chose to read the next book in the series for his next assignment.
I was happy he did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Book Two: The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two: Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
As with book one, this book opens with the introduction of a teenage boy who has lost his memory. Do you see a pattern here? Have you figured it out? I’m not telling; you’ll have to read the book.
Again, this book also introduces and has us traveling with three young people who also have to complete a quest so their kind can survive. They learn their own strengths and weaknesses as they not only fight for their own survival, but also the survival of their home camp.
I became more interested in these books than my grandson has. When it was time for him to get out of the car, many times I would be tempted to just let the book play so I could continue to listen until I got to work.
We both were really excited at the end of the book, but it has left us hanging until we begin the third book of the series. The downside is we will not be listening to the next installment until the beginning of the next school year.
If anyone is interested in Greek and/or Roman mythology, this series of books would be an excellent way to learn more on this topic.
Book Three: Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
I also listened to this book on audio. I think I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable with audio instead of reading an actual book.
In her book, Ruth has broken down the steps for living well and spending less. The book goes through 12 steps to achieve this goal.
Most of the book was written through her own life examples of how she achieved each step in order to live her ultimate goal which is the title of the book.
I have read several negative reviews which center around her using her own experiences as a way to explain each step. My response would be how are we supposed to learn and teach if we have not experienced these things ourselves? I would ultimately rather learn from someone who has been there.
Also, there were several negative comments about her use of religious beliefs and her addressing these beliefs in her book. This is how many people manage their lives. I live all areas of my life with values instilled in me through my spiritual foundation. This is who I am; so all my writings and activities will and should let people know where I stand religiously.
This was a easy and quick book to read. I recommend it to those who follow Ruth Soukup and her blog. It gives you insight into the how and why of who she is and what she does.
Book 4: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
This is the last book that I finished on my audible app. After I would drop Dylan off at school and turn off his book, I would play this book on my way to work.
In this book, Steven Covey says there are seven habits of highly effective people, hence the title.
The first habit is that highly effective people are proactive. As a classroom teacher for 20+ years, I would 100% agree with this. In being proactive and anticipating certain possible behaviors, I have been able to maintain a structured and productive environment for my students.
We as effective people have to look ahead in able to make the best decisions now. By deciding now, we are able to know how to respond to outside stimulus.
Habit 2 is to begin with the end in mind. How often do we start a project not knowing how it will end? How do we want this to finish? What kind of responses do we want from our project? Look toward the end to know what to do in the beginning and middle.
Habit 3 is to put first things first. Prioritize. When I was in college one the first day of classes, the students were given a syllabus of required assignments. By the end of those first days, I would always feel overwhelmed, wondering how I was going to manage to get everything completed. I would prioritize by due dates and the depth of individual assignments. I always managed to complete all assignments this way.
Habit 4 involves maintaining a win-win situations in your interactions with other people. Compromise so that those on both sides of the coin feel like they have not given up everything to complete or move forward.
Habit 5 tells us to seek first to understand, they to be understood. Let’s start taking more time to try to empathize with those around us instead of demanding they follow our lead without question. I often see people do this when they stereotype other races or those of different social and/or economic backgrounds.
Habit 6 says synergize. In other words, step out of your box. Try somethings new. Let’s expand our horizons; only then can we understand the world around us.
Habit 7 is about sharpening the saw. We all need to take time to rejuvenate ourselves, to learn new things. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Only then can you lead an effective life.
At times, I found this a hard book to listen to and to keep focused on. Covey writes in such a way it made it hard to understand all he was trying to teach his readers. He has went on to add to the original book and has written the 8th Habit of Effective People. At this time I am undecided whether or not I will be reading it.
Those are the books I have finished reading lately. I would love to hear what have you been reading.
I am trying to use up some of the things in my freezer before grocery shopping this weekend. I knew I had a some tilapia so I went in search of a recipe that I already had the ingredients on hand. I found this recipe through Pinterest. It was posted by Deborah at Taste and Tell.
Everyone liked this dish. I plan on making it again.
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I just used some that I already had in the refrigerator.)
2 t. paprika
1 T. chopped parsley
1/4 t. salt (optional)
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 tilapia filets (about 8 oz. each)
lemon, cut into wedges (I didn’t have any lemons so this was left out.)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
In a shallow bowl, mix together the Parmesan, paprika, parsley and salt. Drizzle the tilapia with olive oil, then dredge in the cheese mixture, coating it well. Place on the baking sheet.
Bake until the fish is opaque in the thickest part, 10-12 minutes. Serve with the lemon slices.