Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: "The Help"

I will admit that I am a book-a-holic. I LOVE reading books. Sometimes they are new ones, sometimes they are old favorites that I just want to read again. I am usually reading at least two books at a time. One on my own and one with my husband/family as we travel places. I know that several of my friends enjoy reading too, so I thought I would start doing a book review. I must say that I am just expressing my opinion about the book. I will try hard to not give the story away. The first book that I picked is :
About a year ago, my book club read this book. It took me awhile to get into it, but I really enjoyed reading it. After reading the book, I saw the movie and thought that they did a really good job with it.  If you want to know what "The Help" is about, you can read the synopsis here.  
Recently, I decided to listen to the audiobook. (I find that I spend SO much time in my kitchen that I might as well listen to something while I'm there.)  I must say that this is one of my FAVORITE audiobooks that I have listened to.
I think the reason that I enjoyed this audiobook so much is that each of the main characters (Aibeleen, Skeeter, and Minnie) is portrayed by a different reader. It brings the book to life and is almost like listening in on their lives.
I love this book because it is not just about civil rights, but it teaches so many other things. For me, I learned to make sure I tell my children that "You is smart, you is kind, you is important" often. I want them to remember that when others might put them down. I also learned that social lines are only there if we choose to draw those lines. Several the women in this book were willing to step out of those lines and reach out to others that would not have normally been in their circle of friends. What a great thing to remember - be accepting of others,  even if they don't look like you!. I also was reminded that we really aren't that different regardless of race, religion, or any other differences that we might perceive. We all want to be safe, loved, valued, and happy. Overall, I enjoyed this book - both as an audiobook and a regular book. I would have loved it, except that there is a part with a nude drunk man that I felt was a bit more descriptive than I thought it needed to be.  The point could have been made without the nudity or at least without being so descriptive. I loved the movie and was glad when I found out that scene was not included in the movie.

Fun and free (or cheap)

As summer winds down and school begins, we get into school mode and not play mode so much. Luckily for us, school doesn't start until after Labor Day!  I am trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer break with my kiddos.
This week I decided to focus on simple, but fun things to do. We have visited a few parks in our area, gone bowling (we get 2 free games each day for each kid during the summer), painting pictures, reading new books (thanks to the local library), and preserving food. It has all been inexpensive, simple, yet very enjoyable and quality time. That's my favorite kind of time to have!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fun and Free

My spotlight for a fun and free place this week is "Treehouse Museum" in Ogden, UT. (http://www.treehousemuseum.org/visiting_treehouse.php) This is an amazing children's museum with a TON of fun things for the children to do. I took our little monkeys there last week. We spent almost 4 hours there and they weren't ready to leave. We had 1/2 price coupons so it wasn't too expensive. They are having a free day this coming Saturday (Aug. 18). (I think they have a free day each month during the summer.) I highly recommend trying this place out.

Just FYI - Next week (Aug. 19-23) is KUTV Viewer Appreciation Days at Lagoon. Mention it at the window and you will can buy one adult ticket, get one free. Unfortunately it doesn't count for children's tickets :(.
Also, Thanksgiving Point is doing their $2 Tuesdays this month. You can get in to any of their places (gardens, farm, and dinosaur museum) for just $2 on Tuesdays this month. Just be warned it is usually packed! But for $2 instead of $10/person, it is a GREAT deal!

Have a great week!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fun and Free (or cheap)

I will admit that I am a sucker for a deal or freebie. I also hate to pay for something at full price. I have been able to find lots of fun places to go with our little monkeys without paying an arm and a leg :) Sometimes it is free or sometimes it is for a discounted price. I decided that there might be other people out there that would be interested in knowing about the deals that I have found. So I am going to share with you  some of our favorite places and adventures that we have been on.  I'll start off with two fun things that we did last week. I'll try to post about one place each week. Here it goes:

1. Hill Aerospace Museum: http://www.hill.af.mil/library/museum/  (Located in Roy at North end of Hill Air Force Base.)
    This is a fun museum that has full sized air force planes and helicopters both inside and out. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. There are picnic tables outside underneath some of the huge airplanes. The monkeys and their cousins LOVED eating lunch there. They were amazed that the wheel was taller than any of them! They also enjoyed looking at the planes inside. If you have older kids, you could probably stop and read some of the info, but with my little monkeys right now, I just let them lead and will stop to read more as they get older. Another fun thing is the kid's area that they have. It is open Tuesday-Saturday. The monkeys love playing there. It has a dress up area, lego area, and lots of fun activities for the kids to do.

2. Elephant Rock Hike, Muellar Park, Bountiful UT (http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/mueller.htm
     We went on this trail last week with my friend and her two little ones. It is a great trail for younger children with a gentle climb and mostly shaded hike. The full hike is actually 3.5 miles one way, but it is nice because you can go as far as you want and then turn around. Watch out for bikers, hikers, and dogs. There is a picnic area close to the trail head that you can stop to eat lunch at, however it costs $5/person or $8/vehicle.  There is a small stream that is great for throwing rocks in or playing in for a few minutes.

I hope you enjoy trying these fun and free spots. Let me know how you how you like them and if you know of other fun and free (or cheap) activities for families!
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