Drowning in Books

I love books and reading.  To be honest, I actually HATED books and reading up until I hit about ten years old. I read the book A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle and from that point on, you would not see me without a book.  I was the kid who hid under the covers late at night with my flashlight trying to eek out one more chapter.  I was also the kid getting in trouble for not paying attention in class because I was ‘hiding’ a book behind the work I should have been doing.

IMG_4880
Yes, this is THE BOOK! We had a flood and many of my books were ruined, yet I salvaged THIS book. I just can’t part with it.

 During my teaching days, I also acquired quite a number of books (many different grade and reading levels).  I saved them for my ‘future’ children… good thing I did too.  I passed those books,  along with the books I managed save from my own childhood,  down to each child as they got old enough.   I also would tell family and friends, don’t bother getting my kids toys, get them books, or a gift card to a bookstore.  Yes, I was determined to make my kids at least LIKE books, if not LOVE them.  I attach such fond memories of sitting down before and/or after nap time and reading to my kids….  Of going to the library and letting the kids pick out books.  Even now as they are getting older, I enjoy helping them do research projects and pick out books for school projects.  These are such fun memories that I can only hope my kids will appreciate and hold onto throughout their lives.

Fortunately, my husband also has a huge love of books and reading… almost more than I do (poor guy is too busy to enjoy the luxury of reading lately).  When we started having children, I was already reading to them in-utero.  My house is FULL of books.  All my kids have at least one bookcase in their room and then we have a ‘library/office/music room’ that has three bookcases FILLED with more books.   I think you get the picture.  We are a Lover of Books kind of family.

IMG_4876

I was late in the game getting an e-reader.  My husband kept asking if I wanted one, but old habits die hard, and I couldn’t see myself liking a book where I couldn’t physically turn the pages.  It took some time for me to warm up to that idea. When I got my iPad, the first thing I downloaded was the kindle app.    Although I loved the kindle app.  I still wasn’t sure I’d like the kindle itself.  My husband surprised me on my birthday one year with the Kindle and I was HOOKED!  Now I have hundreds of books on that too!

So, here in lies my dilemma.  We have TOO MANY BOOKS! They are now piling up in corners, and basically any extra space I can find.  

One of Many piles of books
One of Many piles of books stacked around my house

 So, “why not just get rid of them?” you ask.  Well, that is harder done than said.  Honestly, almost each book we own holds some sort of sentimental or emotional memory attached to it.  Why I got it, who I read it with, their reaction to the book etc.  Especially for the kids books. Of course I also have those books that I would like to read or thought I would read.  Getting rid of those would surely mean that in the weeks to come, I would WANT to read them (you know, a Murphy’s Law type of scenario).   Now sure, I could give my books to a Good Will, or a reading literacy program (which I am leaning more towards), but it’s like I know that book won’t be as loved as it was when we read it.   I know…. I need to just suck it up and realize that somewhere, someone WILL enjoy that book and perhaps give them a happy memory as well.

So, here are some questions for you to ponder, and hopefully answer….

  • Do you prefer reading a real book or reading an e-book?
  • Once your books are read, do you keep them or get rid of them?
  • If you get rid of your books, how do you do that (ie. Good Will, garage sale, donate to schools/Friends of the Library etc.)?
  • If you keep them, do you do what I do and find every available space you can to store them?

On that note, I hope you all have a nice day, week and/or weekend!

YouTube: The Good and The Bad

YouTube-logo-full_colorI came into the YouTube realm a little late in the game. I mostly ‘joined’ because I wanted to keep tabs on what exactly my kids were watching. It soon became apparent that I was hooked and really was enjoying the YouTube experience.

I’ll admit that I have a bit of an obsession with reality tv. Yes, my secret shame, but that is a post for another time. YouTube is sort of like the ultimate reality tv. You get a peek into people’s lives… a behind the doors sort of look. No, I am not a closet voyeur or anything like that, but I am always very curious as to how people decorate, cook, and run their households etc. I also like to vicariously travel to places that I would never go and sometimes never want to go. I actually HATE traveling, but I love watching travel videos from the comfort of my own home and couch.

YouTube has opened up a new way of learning for me and for my kids. I am currently homeschooling my youngest child, and much to all my children’s dismay, I supplement their learning at home as well (i.e. I will find extra worksheets, assign extra reading, and add more problems to do… I know, such a mean mom).   I love looking up science channels on YouTube and we watch at all sorts of experiments. Most of these are experiments I could never replicate in my house, but we can watch them, discuss them, and really learn so much.

I am also a craft-a-holic so watching videos on crafts… well, lets just say that I have to be careful and be aware of how much time I spend on the computer. I watched about 4 hours of craft videos one day without even realizing it.

Now, of course there is also a lot of DRECK out there on YouTube, stuff that I can’t believe hasn’t been pulled off or marked.  That is one of the reasons I do check up on what my kiddos are watching. My older kids though, are often the ones that show me all the ‘questionable’ material on there, and there is A LOT.

The other thing that has shocked me about YouTube are the comments. Oh My Goodness are people vicious on there! I mean just down right mean! My kids taught me about Trolls, which are anonymous persons who WANT to make trouble and cause commotion on that video. Again, it just shocks me and has made me more than uncomfortable when I think about just WHY these people write what they do. What sort of sick thing are they getting out of it?  Then I think about the people who posted the video and are reading those awful comments.  You’ve definitely got to have a thick skin if you are going to post videos, that is for sure.

For the most part though, I really like YouTube. I like that people can share and express themselves. I like that it is, to a degree, a mini global community. I love the creativity on there too.  From all the different types of channels to how people present their videos.  There is so much we can learn from one another and to be able to watch it is all the better!

I hope you all have a GREAT WEEK!

(Did you notice the logo up there?  If you read my previous post, you all know I am such a computer dolt.  I am just really excited that I figured out how to post pictures!  Hopefully my posts will be a bit more colorful now 😉 ).

Blogging Adventures and Computer Illiterateness

Let me just begin by saying, that this will not be a post about me complaining about how computer illiterate I am.  It’s just a fact.  However,  I hope to make all of you out in the blogosphere understand the depth to which I am trying to overcome this malady… if you will.  It has made for many a great ‘Amy Stories’.

Being as computer illiterate as I am does, however, pose a problem for me in that it will take me a while to really figure out this blog and how to  make it what I want it to be.  From the posts and formatting, to the pictures, and to all the other technological stuff  like widgets (I have no idea what they are, but I like the word).

Again, I’m not complaining, but laughing even as I am typing this out. Take for example this blog post.  It has literally taken me two days to post.  I lost the whole post TWICE and I still don’t know why (my  husband found me angrily talking to my computer early yesterday morning using a few choice words I normally wouldn’t use LOL)  I couldn’t figure out an appropriate title, forget the tags…although I am happy that I actually know what those are.  Something weird  kept happening while I was typing (I would type way faster than the words would appear…. so annoying).  And lastly, I still haven’t figure out how to download… or is it upload.. pictures.

I have to say, that I ENVY my kiddos who are so tech-y. Even when they were younger they could easily figure out how to use our computer and phones etc. I now have to go to them for advice on just what the heck I am doing when it comes to my computer!  Between all of my kids they have blogs, gaming channels, servers, Vlogs, Snapchats, Facebook, Vines, Tumblers, Pinterest  and who knows what else.  Luckily my wonderful husband is a computer genius and can ‘keep an eye’ out for their online activities.  (It’s truly scary what can happen to kids out in the internet universe).

I really want to make a go of this blog though.  I feel I have a lot to share.  Before kids, I was a teacher.  I taught all sorts of  classes from preK to high school level and even some adult education courses.  My favorite teaching experiences were when I was teaching Family and Consumer Science courses.  Teaching life skills to teens was actually a blast! Teaching 4th graders was also fun because they were at an age where they would still listen and respect you, but were old enough to be so much more independent.  Then there were the Kindergarteners who were just so full of energy and life (I don’t think I could teach kindergarten now though…they have too much energy for me).

Anyway, my point is that I love teaching all different subjects for all different age groups.   Hence, the idea for this blog came about.  I want to use it as an outlet to not necessarily teach, but share knowledge with other like minds.  (Ohhh, that sounds so official… and bland.) How about I want to share knowledge with others in a fun way?  That’s a little better. Alright, I just want to share with you all my daily adventures and funny stories about LIFE.

I do hope you’ll all stick with  me for a while.   At least I hope this blog will  make you smile at my weekly life stories whether they are about cooking for my family, crafting, or at this point TRYING to figure out why computers or anything electronic, don’t like me.

Have a Great Week Everyone!

A Newbie Blogger

Hi All. Welcome to my blog…  monamie123  or as some of my family and friends know me…  Amy of ALL Trades (and Master of None).

I am new to the world of blogging.  I decided I wanted to share some of my crafting, cooking, baking tips (or disasters) and any other fun experiences/adventures I may have.  I also may share some of my funny child rearing or marriage stories as well.  Don’t worry.  I won’t inundate you with those though.

I am quite a homebody and love trying out new things.   I am far from an expert in those things, and the stories that ensue from my ‘trying’ usually end up as great Amy Stories.  I think others would hopefully find my ‘Amy Stories’ as humorous as I do because really, at the end of the day, it is better to laugh about it than get mad (of course I’ll need reminding of that later ) ;o).

In the meantime I hope that this blog will be a vehicle to not only teach others, but also add some humor into helping you and others try new things.