Picture Monday! Giveaway Monday!

I love Giveaway Monday. Not quite as good as Toast Your Tuesday with Twix or Find Five Bucks in Your Pocket Friday, but still a decent day. This week the folks at Faith Words have generously donated THREE sets of the YA series The Miracle Girls. I’ll talk about the third book on Friday, but I do like this series. Cute covers, cute girls, and it’s relevant YA lit. These novels are not sugary sweet nor are the characters too perfect. In fact, as I was reading A Little Help From My Friends, just yesterday, I came across a kissing scene.  So what else do you need to know about THAT book? Who wouldn’t want it?

Okay, so to win one of THREE sets of this series, you must answer this question: You just won 20 million in the lottery (just suspend any moral protests for now, m’kay?). What is the first thing you buy for SOMEONE else? I’d buy Miller the Puking cat a new stomach. Or maybe I’d just buy him a new owner. To get in the running for the books, you must leave your answer in the comments by Friday at midnight, Turkmenistan time. I will announce the THREE winners Monday.

I have parent teacher conferences tonight. And tomorrow night. Instead of saying my prayers that the parent meetings will go well, I am praying for good food. The school always feeds us and sometimes it doesn’t go so well. And on nights like these, food is all you have to cling to. Well, that and the contraband People magazine you have hidden under your gradebook.

I’m So Sure isn’t quite out yet (Nov. 1st!), but we just got one of our first reviews. Thanks to Deena of the blog A Peek At My Bookshelf for reading it in advance and spreading the word. You can read her take on I’m So Sure HERE.

Miller has been his usual charming self lately.  Last week I had company coming over for dinner and was scrambling to clean the house before they got there. I hear this explosion in the kitchen (which actually is not anything new) and hear Miller scrambling to get away. His contribution to house cleaning time? Spilling kibbles all over the kitchen floor.
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“Wow. That is a huge mess somebody is gonna have to clean up. I don’t have opposable thumbs….so it’s not me.”
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“Maybe if I don’t make eye contact with her, she won’t think I did it.  I am not looking….still not looking…”
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“Oh, forget it. I’m not cleaning it up. I’m outta here.”

Miller is also all sorts of help when it comes to laundry. I usually just dump my laundry on the floor of the living room, then sit down and watch some TV.  Puker Kitty decided to lounge among the towels so he could also catch up on his Glee.
miller laundry
“Will you fast forward through the white teacher dancing? He makes me uncomfortable.”

While my cat is special in the head and doesn’t have the average number of kitty brain cells, he occasionally likes to break out in a good fight. With sheets.
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“Egyptian cotton, you are no match for me!”
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“Five hundred thread count, your feathery softness is a mockery to my kung fu skills.”

In other picture news, I thought I’d share some of the food I “had” to endure during How-To speech week. It was rough, I tell you. Like this cinnamon roll.
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That’s not just zoomed in. That cinnamon roll is the size of a dinner plate. And it was allll mine. I did take it to the teacher’s lounge and share it. But not before grabbing a big bite out of the center–where the good stuff is.

And check out these cupcakes.
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Aren’t they cute? Spiders. Spooky!

And I got to sample lots of cookies.
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It’s a tough job, but I feel like it’s my responsibility to sample student food just to make sure it meets my high standards of flavor and safety.

You know, I get asked a lot how I balance teaching with book writing. I rely on my high tech organizational tools, of course.

hand shot

That would be my hand after a day of speeches. That was a note to email a friend and stop by Old Navy. And the whip cream? I have no idea. A kid said the words “whipped cream” in a speech, and I wrote that down instead of whatever it was I actually needed to remind myself. But a few containers of Cool Whip never hurt anyone.

A few weeks ago my electricity went off. I got under the kitchen cabinet where I keep some random dishes and the candles. I couldn’t see well, so I knocked everything over and out of place. Including a bag of flour.
flour explosion

I have no idea what the flour was doing with the dishes. Kind of like those moments where you stick the cereal in the fridge and try to put the milk in the cabinet? I guess that’s how it got there. Anyway, who knows how it landed in that particular cabinet. All I know is I spilled it. All. When the lights eventually came back on, I took a picture of the mess. (Clearly I was looking for ways to put off cleaning…)  It was a huge disaster. Another disaster from that night was that all the candles I had to light were variations on fall scents like cinnamon, maple, pumpkin pie, etc. The smells combined and took over the entire neighborhood. By the time the electricity came on, I was too high on waxy fake sugar to even care. I had to pop three Tylenol and call it a night. I have since purchased a battery powered lantern. One that doesn’t smell like grandma’s kitchen times one thousand.

Have a great week. Be sure and enter the drawing for the Miracle Girls books. And happy birthday to my sweet four year old niece. And my dad. Oh, and my sister. And anyone else born in October.

JEN