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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Children and Prayer

Each night for over a year now I have prayed with and over my children before bed. It started after reading Mark Batterson's Praying Circles Around Your Children. After the first week or so my oldest asked me why I was praying over them each night. So I told her I read a book and felt it was important to pray for them. This started the dialogue about prayer and it's importance. In the last 2 years my oldest daughter has memorized the Our Father and the Hail Mary at school, and those have been added into our nightly prayers. Sometimes her leading and some times me. My son memorized both by praying them with us before he got to grade 1 where my daughter learnt them. A few weeks ago my daughter aske to say her new prayer, it is one she learned this year in school. 

Lord open my heart
to be a good friend.
Help me to treat
others the way you did
with kindness, caring and love

It is a nice prayer and I enjoy saying it with her. But as I pray it I think about Jesus over turning the tables in the temple, rebuking the Pharisees, and other events of his life. I am not saying we should not try and emulate the prayer, but love goes beyond simple platitudes and sometimes love is hard. But I need to find the softer side in my life, in my prayers.



(Special thanks to Jared Zimmerer author of The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights for allowing me to use the image above.)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Green Goddess Smoothie - from Body Rebooted - Smoothie Saturday

Green Goddess Smoothie

Guest post by Christina Russell from Body Rebooted a fellow member of Team DDP.

Mix together all ingredients and serve! (Serves 2)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup pineapple chunks
2 cups spinach
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp Maca Powder (optional Superfood)




The Green Goddess Smoothie gives you a blast of vitamins and minerals to get your morning going.  Packed with vitamins A, B-6, C, and E and full of fiber and antioxidants - you'll definitely want to add this smoothie to your weekly line-up!

Check out Christina's blog for even more great health and fitness tips.

Check back next Saturday for another great Smoothie recipe and remember I collect mine and favourites from around the web you can find them shared here in an EverNote notebook with like to original sources.




I will continue to post new recipes from time to time on Saturday as I experiment with Smoothie and Juice recipes. And I collect mine and favourites from around the web you can find them shared here in a OneNote notebook, there are subsections for Juices, Smoothies, Gluten Free Options and Other. 


Friday, 24 January 2014

The Man in the Moon - William Joyce - The Guardians of Childhood


The Man in the Moon
The Guardians of Childhood
William Joyce
Atheneum Books For Young readers
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781442430419


First I must state that my children and I love the movie Rise of the Guardians, so when we started reading books about some of the characters there was a little trepidation, at least on my part. But those worries were unfounded, this and other picture books we have read by William Joyce have all been amazing!  This story tells the tale of the Man in the Moon or MiM for short. He was the first guardian, and his story begins before the dark times, for he was born during the golden age, a time of hope, happiness and a time when dreams could come true. The moonboot crew whistled jolly "toot toot's" and the giant glowworms provided light for him to read. And he had a guardian named Nightlight a devoted friend who watched over him. Their ship their home the moon clipper sailed from one peaceful planet to another. Ever night Nightlight sprinkled dreamsand over the MiM and sang him this lullaby:


"Nightlight, bright light
Sweet dreams I bestow.
Sleep tight, all night.
Forever I will glow."

And as long as Nightlight watched over him he was safe from nightmares. But darkness came to the golden age it came in the shifting shape of Pitch, the king of nightmares. He sought out this boy who had never had a nightmare and vowed to make him a price of nightmares.  The MiM's parents were taking him to earth to him him when out of the night came Pitch, on his Nightmare Galleon.

The MiM's parents made Nightlight take an oath:
"We will watch over the children of the Earth,
Guide them safely from ways of harm,
Keep happy their hearts, brave their soul, and rosy their cheeks.
We will guard with our lives their hopes and dreams,
For they are all that we have, all that we are,
And all that we will ever be."
A great battle was waged. But that is just the beginning of the story. To find out the rest of the tale you will need to read this wonderful book.


The story is wonderful and the illustrations are fantastic. My children will pick up this book and go through the pictures again and again. Overall a wonderful book for the whole family!

Books by William Joyce:
Guardians of Childhood Novels:

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (2011)
E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! (2012)
Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies (2012)
The Sandman and the War of Dreams (2013)

Guardians of Childhood Picture books:
The Man in the Moon (2011)
The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie (2012)

Rolie Polie Olie:
Rolie Polie Olie (1999)
Snowie Rolie (2000)
Sleepy Time Olie (2001)
Big Time Olie (2002)

Other Books:
George Shrinks (1985)
Shoes (1986) - Written by Elizabeth Winthrop
Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo (1988)
A Day with Wilbur Robinson (1990)
Bently & Egg (1992)
Santa Calls (1993)
The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs (1996)







Monday, 20 January 2014

Doll Bones - Holly Black

Doll Bones
Holly Black
Margaret K. McElderry Books
an imprint of
Simon and Schuster
ISBN 9781416963981


From the second I saw the cover of this book there was something that compelled me to track it down and read it. It was likely a combination of being a big fan of Holly Black's works and something about the cover made me think about the book Children by Maggie Clark. And this book did not disappoint. This book was my top pick in the second quarter of 2013 and my second top fiction read in all of 2013. But that being said it had taken me a long time to circle back and write my review. In part I was hesitant because the book had such a strong impact I did not want to over react in my praise of it. And in part the book is different enough I was unsure how to approach writing a review of it. The story is dark, spooky, a little creepy and a whole lot of awesome.

Poppy, Alice and Zach have been friends for a log long time. And for most of their friendship they have played 'The Game' a continuous and continuously changing game. They use props for the game and take turns deciding what happens next, it is a high adventure of thieves, mermaids, pirates and more. But ruling over all the lands is the Great Queen, a bone china doll, who resides in a display case. The Great Queen will curse and dispose of those who displease her in the game. When Zach suddenly stops playing and declares the game over mid adventure it looks like their friendship might be at an end also. But Poppy lets the others know she has been dreaming about the Queen, and soon the game and reality seem mixed and the three going on a real adventure to help put a restless spirit to rest.

 The story was a very compelling read. Almost like a campfire ghost story coming to life. Something to entertain that ends up scaring. It was very well written. If you are a fan of Black's other works it is a great addition to her canon. If you like a spooky story this one will grab you and not let go!


Other Books by Holly Black:
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories (2010)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (2013)
Doll Bones (2013)

The Modern Faerie Tales
Tithe (2002)
Valiant (2005)
Ironside (2007)

The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Field Guide (2003)
The Seeing Stone (2003)
Lucinda's Secret (2003)
The Ironwood Tree (2004)
The Wrath of Mulgarath (2004)
Arthur Spiderwick's Notebook of Fantastical Observations (2005)
Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (2005)
Care and Feeding of Sprites (2006)

Beyond Spiderwick
The Nixie's Song (2007)
A Giant Problem (2008)
The Wyrm King (2009)

The Good Neighbors
Kin (2008)
Kith (2009)
Kind (2010)

The Curse Workers
White Cat (2010)
Red Glove (2011)
Black Heart (2012)

Anthologies
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (2009)
Zombies vs. Unicorns (2010)
Welcome to Bordertown (2011)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Beet Blaster - Smoothie Saturday


Beet Blaster 

Ingredients: 
1tbsp Flax Seeds 
1tbsp Chia Seeds 
1/4 Lemon Pealed 
1 cup Frozen Raspberries 
1 Beet quartered 
1 Beet Greens chopped 
1/2 Cup Orange Juice or is using a Juicer 2 Oranges 
1/4 inch Fresh Ginger chopped 
Water to max line 

I use a NutriBullet so combine all ingredients and blend until smooth and frothy. If juicing then skip the water. 

This is the first in a new series of post. I will post a new recipe from time to time on Saturday as I experiment with Smoothie recipes. And I collect mine and favourites from around the web you can find them shared here in an EverNote notebook with like to original sources.

Nutritional Information:
357 Calories
62g Carbs
9g Fat
10g Protein
37g Sugar


I will continue to post new recipes from time to time on Saturday as I experiment with Smoothie and Juice recipes. And I collect mine and favourites from around the web you can find them shared here in a OneNote notebook, there are subsections for Juices, Smoothies, Gluten Free Options and Other. 


Friday, 17 January 2014

Tin Star - Cecil Castellucci

Tin Star
Cecil Castellucci
Roaring Brook Press
A division of Holtzbrinck Publishing
ISBN 9781596437753
eISBN 9781596439146


Every book I read by Cecil Castellucci impresses me more than the last. I have read each of her book multiple times and often go back for a quick reread because I enjoy them so much. This one even more so.

To journey to the star's is something humans have dreamed about for generations. Unfortunately once we got there we were considered a minor species and Earth Gov retreated back into an isolationist stance.  But for Tula Bane, aboard the Prarie Rose, is a young woman journeying to a new colony called Beta Grande with a group called the Children of Earth. Led by the unequivocal and charming Brother Blue. The novel begins with Tula being beaten unconscious and abandoned by Brother Blue for asking too many questions. She is abandoned on the remote station the Yertina Feray, there she is helped and becomes partners with Heckleck a soft of giant alien beetle and strange aid from a Loor, the constable on the station Tournour.

Tula Bane is a no-nonsense type of girl. She is learning to do what she must to survive. She is the only human on a remote space station with no way to get home and no way to move on. She is stuck grieving for her lost family and for being betrayed and abandoned. When a trio of humans about her age arrive and immediately start offending everyone on board she is torn between the life she has built on the station and the need to communicate with her own species. The book has a number of twists and turns many leaving you hanging.

I must state I loved the book and have already read it twice. I reached out to Miss Castellucci upon finishing it and have confirmed there is a second book coming in 2015. This was one of my favorite reads in 2013 and I highly recommend it! 


Books by Cecil Castellucci:
Boy Proof (2005)
The Queen of Cool (2006)

Beige (2007)
The P.L.A.I.N. Janes (2007)

Janes in Love (2008)
Geektastic (Editor & Contributor 2009)
Rose Sees Red (2010)
Grandma's Gloves (2010)

First Day On Earth (2011)

Odd Duck (2013)
Tin Star (2014)

Stone in the Sky (2015)

Music By Cecil Castellucci
Twist Her - Nerdy Girl (1996)
Whoever - Cecil Seaskull (1998)


A Visual Bibliography for Cecil Castellucci
Author profile interview with Cecil Castellucci

Monday, 13 January 2014

Unsoul'd - Barry Lyga

Unsoul'd
Barry Lyga
Barry Lyga LLC
AISN B00EXAHGXM


Any book that begins with this line is going to be interesting: "That day, I had a bagel for breakfast and sold my soul to the devil. In retrospect, the bagel was probably a mistake." You see Randall Banner is thirty-five years old, a struggling author with a devoted fan base who is desperate for more, yes he wants more money, more fans more of everything. I recently had the opportunity to interview Randall and now for more about the book about him!

Randall Banner sells his soul to the devil in order to get a mega hit book. He wants to be Stphen King big, J.K. Rowlings big. No he wants to be bigger he wants to be more. But sometimes success comes at unexpected costs and with unexpected complications. Randall is about to find out that all his dreams and most of his fantasies can come true but what has he given up to get them.

Read this awesome book and follow Randall as he pursues everything on his bucket list and then some. Find out if there is an out? Or figure out how it feels to lose your soul.

This book is Barry Lyga's first adventure into adult fiction. As someone who love his Young Adult writing. I did approach this with a little trepidation but it was unwarranted. No be warned there is a lot of graphic sex in this book, there is lust, gluttony, greed, avarice just about all the 7 deadly sins. But it is a great read and will keep you glued to the pages. So join Randall as he goes on a romp from struggling author to mega star!


Books by Randall Banner:
Flash/Back
Down/Town
Come/Back
Night/Light
Unknown/Title


Books by Barry Lyga:
I Hunt Killers:
I Hunt Killers (2012)
Game - I Hunt Killers #2 (2013)

Blood of My Blood - I Hunt Killers # 3 (2014)

I Hunt Killers Short Stories:
Down Time (2018)
Lucky Day (2014)
Career Day (2012)
Neutral Mask (2013)
Blood Boy (2014)

Brookdale High:
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl (2006)
Boy Toy (2007)
Hero Type (2008)
Goth Girl Rising (2009)

Bang (2017)

Archvillian:
Archvillain #1 (2010)
The Mad Mask - Archvillian #2 (2011)
Yesterday Again - Archvillian #3 (2013)


The Flash Series:
Hocus Pocus (2017)
Johnny Quick (2018)
Tornado Twins (2018)

Other Books By Barry Lyga:
Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A definitive Guide (with Alison A.W. Lyga - 2004)
Wolverine: Worst Day Ever (2009)
MangaMan (with Colleen Dorren 2011)

Unsoul'd (2013)
After The Red Rain (2015)
The Secret Sea (2016)

Short Story Project 2017
The Ghosts at 95
Loving The University
The Ideas of March
Four Minutes
Pulse vs. the Killing Fiend
Her Decade
The Life Cycle of Stars (Ignition)
Bobby
Trading Worlds
When I Die
The Autopsying of Michael Edward Morgan
Meet Me Tonight
...

Contributed to:
Geektastic (2009)
Who Done It? (2013)

Author Profile and Interview with Barry Lyga

Author Profile and Interview with Randall Banner




Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Coldest Girl in Cold Town - Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Cold Town
Holly Black
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN 978031621310
eISBN 9780316213110


I have yet to read a book or short story by Holly Black that I have not enjoyed, in fact he books almost always end up in my Top ten List for the quarter or the year. But this book blew me away. It takes the original short story by the same name and expands upon it in such an amazing way. It is a story of revenge, of survivors' guilt, of hope and of love. It is a vampire story that asks lots of questions and leaves many things open to interpretation.

Coldtowns is the American response to a worldwide vampire epidemic. Vampires, and those infected are isolated into walled cities. Humans can enter but you can only get out with a token earned by turning in a vampire. Coldtowns have life feeds to the internet making them look like a part every night. But the reality is darker, bloodier and a mix of prey and predator.

Tana is a teenage but not typical. Her mother had become a vampire and attached her. She constantly deals with the guilt of that event. One morning she wakes up in a house full of corpses after a party, her and her overly charming and conniving ex-boyfriend are the only two left alive. Chained in the room with her ex is a vampire. Tana decides to tray and save them both. In order to try and save them she must race to the heart of the nearest coldtown but like so much in life not all is as it appears.

This story was gripping and compelling. I did not want to put it down. The story with take you through a range of emotions, from anger to sympathy, to angst to hope. But of all emotions hope is the most dangerous. This book will take you for a ride, and leave you wanting more.


Other Books by Holly Black:
The Poison Eaters and Other Stories (2010)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (2013)
Doll Bones (2013)

The Modern Faerie Tales
Tithe (2002)
Valiant (2005)
Ironside (2007)

The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Field Guide (2003)
The Seeing Stone (2003)
Lucinda's Secret (2003)
The Ironwood Tree (2004)
The Wrath of Mulgarath (2004)
Arthur Spiderwick's Notebook of Fantastical Observations (2005)
Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (2005)
Care and Feeding of Sprites (2006)

Beyond Spiderwick
The Nixie's Song (2007)
A Giant Problem (2008)
The Wyrm King (2009)

The Good Neighbors
Kin (2008)
Kith (2009)
Kind (2010)

The Curse Workers
White Cat (2010)
Red Glove (2011)
Black Heart (2012)

Anthologies
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (2009)
Zombies vs. Unicorns (2010)
Welcome to Bordertown (2011)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Sorrow's Knot - Erin Bow

Sorrow's Knot
Erin Bow
Arthur A. Levine Books
an imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9780545166669


Erin Bow is a local author and though I have yet to meet her in person with each of her books I read I have a greater appreciation for her skill and talent as a written, from her poetry published as Erin Noteboom. This book was a very compelling read, once started it was always hard to put down. And I found that for days afterword's the story and characters kept coming back to mind. Sometimes remembering the events from the story and sometimes wondering what happened later.

Sorrow's Know is set in what could be comparably a Native agrarian socity. But it is a world haunted and living things are hunted and always need to be vigilant for every patch of darkness or shadow can contain the shadow beings that will enter you and consume you. Most people live in the plains away from trees, forests, hills, and there shadows. But some carve out an uneasy living in the forest, living in towns protected by wards made from magically knotted cords. Each young woman is chose to train or apprentice under another so that the community will always have the skills it needs to survive. Otter believe her mother will chose her to train as a binder under her as she becomes a woman and takes he place in society. She is devastated when Willow does not pick her and it is just the beginning of things becoming untied. 

With a great darkness rising and an attack coming can the untrained and unprepared Otter figure out what needs to be done to save not only her friends but her whole village? This is an incredibly well written book give it a try!


Books By Erin Bow:
Plain Kate
Sorrow's Knot

Prisoners of Peace:
The Scorpion Rules 
The Swan Riders

As Erin Noteboom:
Ghost Maps: Poems for Carl Hruska
Seal up the Thunder
The Mongoose Diaries

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

List of Favorite Movies 2014

Favorite Movies and TV Shows 2014

The Wolverine
Sherlock - Series 3
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 1
Dead Man Down
I, Frankenstein
The Game Stands Tall

Guardians of the Galaxy
Fed Up - 2014
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2



I started keeping track of the books I finished reading in October of 1995, and movies watched in January of 1996. I have lists for:
All Books Read by Year
Favorite Books By Year
All Movies and TV Series Watched by Year
Favorite Movies and TV Series by Year


I also do a Top Ten List of books each quarter and for the year. They can be found here. I was also asked to pick a Top Ten Catholic Books I have read, you can find that list here (and occasionally I add a note when I come across something exceptional.)

Monday, 6 January 2014

List of Movies Watched 2014

Movies and TV Shows Watched 2014


The Wolverine
Sherlock - Series 3
Sherlock - Series 3
That Awkward Moment
RoboCop - 2013
The Wolverine
X-Men Origins Wolverine
X-Men 3 The Last Stand
X-Men 2 X2
X-Men
X-Men First Class
The Wolverine
Tinkerbell - The Pirate Fairy
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Iron Man I
Captain America The First Avenger
Iron Man II
Thor
The Avengers
Iron Man III
Spy Kids I
Spy Kids II Island of Lost Dreams
Spy Kids III 3-D Game Over
Spy Kids IV All The Time in The World
Smurfs 2
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 1
Edge of Tomorrow
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Captain America
Dead Man Down
The Avengers
Iron Man I
Iron Man II
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
I, Frankenstein
Lucy
I' Frankenstein
Iron Man III
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Captain America The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Snow White and the Huntsman
Divergent
The Giver
John Carter of Mars
The Wolverine
The Game Stands Tall
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Incredible Hulk - 2008
The Hulk - 2003
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Rio 2
Barbie and the Secret Door
X-Men Days of Future Past
Transformsers Age of Extinction
Red 2
The Black List - Season 1
The November Man
Ray Donovan - Season 1
Star Trek - 2009
The Avengers
The Equalizer - 2014
The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe
The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe - BBC
Prince Caspian
Intersteller
Hank Zipzer World's Greatest Underachiever - Series 1
Big Hero 6
Dracula Untold
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Fed Up - 2014
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2



I started keeping track of the books I finished reading in October of 1995, and movies watched in January of 1996. I have lists for:
All Books Read by Year
Favorite Books By Year
All Movies and TV Series Watched by Year
Favorite Movies and TV Series by Year


I also do a Top Ten List of books each quarter and for the year. They can be found here. I was also asked to pick a Top Ten Catholic Books I have read, you can find that list here (and occasionally I add a note when I come across something exceptional.)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

List of Favorite Books 2014

Favorite Books 2014

Creating Your Personal Life Plan - Michael Hyatt
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

The 7-Day Prayer Warrior Experience - Stormie Omartian
Be A Prayer Warrior - Glenn Langohr
Prayer Warrior Book Of Prayers - Stormie Omartian
The Power of A Praying Husband Book Of Prayers - Stormie Omartian
The Power of A Praying Parent Book Of Prayers - Stormie Omartian

7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting & Prayer - Bill Bright
Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn - Greg Leitich Smith and Andrew Arnold
Pope John XXIII The Good Pope - Wyatt North
The Road We Must Travel - Francis Chan, Eugene Paterson, Bill Hybels, and many more
Saints Alive News Stories of Old Saints Volume II Celtic Paths - Andrew M. Seddon
Saints Alive News Stories of Old Saints Volume I Saint of the Empire - Andrew M. Seddon
Lucky Day - I Hunt Killers Prequel - Barry Lyga
Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Hooks, Helps and Hurts Us - Murray Carpenter
Tiassa - Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Book 13
Clean Comfort: A Roadmap in Food and Memories: How I Went From 345 lbs. to a Size 8 by Learning the Real Meaning of Feeding Myself Well - Stacey Morris
2 Meal Solution - Mike O'Donnell
3 Rules 21 Days: The IF Life Transformation - Mike O'Donnell
Jacob the Baker - Noah benShea
The Last Stand of the New York Institute - Bane Chronicles Book 9 - Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson
The Desecrator - Steven Brust
Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust
My Own Kind of Freedom (A  firefly Novel) - Steven Brust
Jhereg - Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Book 1
The Incrementalists - Steven Brust and Skyler White
Peacemaker - Marianne de Pierres
Fathom Five - Unwritten Books 2 - James Bow
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health - William Davis
Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? - Madeleine L'Engle
Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga - Benjamin Lorr
The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life - Tony Horton
Career Day - Jasper Dent 0.5 - Barry Lyga
Neutral Mask - Jasper Dent 0.6 - Barry Lyga
Blood Boy - Jasper Dent 0.8 - Barry Lyga

Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White - An Incrementalist Short Story
Blood of my Blood - I Hunt Killers #3 - Barry Lyga




I started keeping track of the books I finished reading in October of 1995, and movies watched in January of 1996. I have lists for:
All Books Read by Year
Favorite Books By Year
All Movies and TV Series Watched by Year
Favorite Movies and TV Series by Year


I also do a Top Ten List of books each quarter and for the year. They can be found here. I was also asked to pick a Top Ten Catholic Books I have read, you can find that list here (and occasionally I add a note when I come across something exceptional.)