Wacky Wednesday’s Miscellaneous Thoughts

I decided to have some more direction on my blog this year. Here’s what I’m thinking:

1st Wednesday of the month: IWSG

2nd Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday, where I post my miscellaneous thoughts (will probably focus more on faith and family, movies and music)

3rd Wednesday: Mash-up of Awesomeness (guest posts, interviews, cover reveals, blogfests announcements, etc . . . )

4th Wednesday: YA/NA Book Club–a review of the books I’ve read in the past month *anyone interested in reading the same book for March and posting about it? I’m thinking of Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans, but I’m open to suggestions!

Of course, I’ll always make an exception for my blogger buddies and post whenever they need me to do a cover reveal, ect . . . when it’s not a Wednesday. For instance, I’m revealing Alex Cavanaugh’s cover on Friday and Ciara Knight’s Escapement cover on Monday, so be sure to check back then. But I figured with this schedule, I’m fitting in a little bit of everything:-)

And just in case you missed it, here are the links for my 18 Things blog tour since the last time I posted:

Michelle Ziegler’s blog, where I shared about the time I almost drowned in a septic tank, and I’m not even shitting you right now!

Lindsey Loucks blog, where she asked me 18 fun questions, and I tried to give equally fun answers!

Jessa Russo’s blog, where I shared a deleted scene *paperback and ebook giveaway still up for grabs here!!*

And now for my random thoughts segment . . . .

On Valentine’s Day, my 9yo daughter gave me a list of “18 Things I Love About You.” She’s wanted her own blog for about a year now, but I told her she has to wait until she’s in middle school like her sister . . . so I thought she’d get a kick out of me publishing her list on here. And let’s face it, I only have 4 more years of her saying nice things about me, so I have to document this while I still can! Here’s her cute list (and I kept her spelling the same):

1. Nice

2. Funny

3. acts like a 9 year old kid *coincidentally, this is often my 12yo biggest complaint about me*

4. FUN

5. cool

6. everydays funier with you

7. good cook (hey, I never said all of this was true)

8. shouting out squril

9. prettey

10. sweet like candy

11. kindhearted

12. good friend

13. awesome

14. brave enough to kill spiders

15. careful, except when driving like Jeff Gordon *hindsight is 20/20–probably not a good idea to have my h.s. boyfriend teach me how to drive*

16. nice, small eyes *both my daughters have their dad’s eyes, which people are forever commenting on how big they are. You can watch this video to see for yourself–my daughters would be forever grateful since they really want to become YouTube sensations since their mean parents won’t let them become child actors*

17. great writer

18. And the last thing I love about you is that it wasn’t even hard to think of 18 Things that I love about you

*Awww! Did you have any sweet surprises this past week? What do you think about joining my YA/NA Monthly Online Book Club? Any book suggestions for me?!?

Strong Am I With The Force

Seriously considering this pic for our Christmas card

There are times I’d like to throw hubby out with the trash;-)

Jar Jar in the house! Let’s get this party started:-) I don’t care what people say–I like him!

Emperor Palpatine–No! No! Noooo! Wait, how’d that get on my Blu-ray?

Hmmm, Birthday Party Games idea?

A.K.A. Luke, and look at those light sabers! There’s a scene in my book like this at their h.s. graduation. Oh wait, I don’t want to give away too much . . .

R2 Iron Man . . . making her own R2 will be my 12-yr-old daughter’s next science project. Please buy my book b/c it costs around $3,000, hahaha

Found out a little late she’s not appropriate for kids, oops!

Thank God she hasn’t asked for a metal bikini yet!

Steampunk love!

So that’s some highlights of Star Wars Celebration VI. We were lucky enough to only live three hours from Orlando to make the drive up. I’ll share some insights about it next Wednesday as part of Master Ninja Alex Cavanaugh’s IWSG. What about you? Did you do anything COOL this past weekend? Please share! And if you’re a Star Wars fan, you must check out this trailer for Seth Green’s new show, Star Wars Detours

I’m Watching You William!!!

I really enjoyed reading about everyone’s First Loves yesterday through Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blogfest. I don’t think my almost 12-yr-old Kaylee will say it’s ‘love’ yet–but today she’s been with her first boyfriend for 9 months *waits while everyone says the collective awwwwwwwww*. Now, of course her dad wasn’t thrilled when she said yes to her first  boyfriend (a ‘check one’ note was passed in the hall, soooooo sweet, right?), but it’s all very innocent and they’ve known each other since first grade. Still, Dan struggles with being that father that has to intimidate their daughters boyfriends (if you’ve ever met my hubby, you know he’s one big goofball). He for sure doesn’t have that Rodney Atkins persona from that country song “Cleaning This Gun.”  But he does have a secret weapon . . . the little sister! Please take the time to watch this hilarious 40 second video my 7-yr-old made warning Kaylee’s boyfriend, William. They get soooooooooo excited to see their views go up on You Tube & have dreams of Ellen having them on her show someday, lol.

*Also, very excited for almost 400 followers now:) Stay tunned . . . I’ll have another special treat for you when I reach that milestone! So please help spread the word~thanks & cyber hugs!!

A Time to Celebrate!

HaPPy*nEW*yEAr ya’ll!!! One thing I think we could all use more of in our lives is JOY! So while I’m ringing in the new year, I like to look back at the old & realize everything I have to be thankful for. Sometimes I’m just thankful the year is over (did 2007 totally suck for anyone else?). A lot of times it doesn’t feel like much has even happened, until I start writing things down (which is another reason writing is waaaaaaaay cOOl!). Here are my top 5 big thank you’s I have for 2011 (Please hold all applause until the end):

A restored relationship with my father. I hadn’t seen him in 8 years and this year I got to see him 3x (we don’t live close). It was so neat seeing my 7-yr-old meet him for the first time. They are like kindred spirits.

Kaylee started middle school & it’s OK! I must admit I was terrified, even more so when the first week she got herself a first boyfriend. Turns out, we liked the family soooooo much that our whole family is now dating his whole family & planning a trip to Australia in 2013. (We are thinking arranged marriages could be on to something;)

Kaylee started guitar lessons & Ashley started horse back riding. I’m so happy both of them finally found their niche!

I finished my third novel! I’m thinking the third time is a charm & 2012 will be my year to finally land a fabulous publishing deal:)

I’m still married to my Prince Charming, 14 years in August. Ashley said it best on the way home from church today: It’s a good thing you two ended up together b/c if you didn’t, you’d be alone . . . nobody else would want you. LOL. She’s very insightful. Takes after her mother that way (the mocking she gets from her Dad).

Okay, you can applaud now, it’s over:) WHat ARe some of yOUr big THank yOUs? WhAT aRe yoU lOOkiNG fORwARd to in 2012 (make it a good one, according to my brother, it’s all over after Dec. 21st. Either way, let the party begin!) ~Cheers & Thanks for playing

Making My List and Checking It Twice!

Yesterday my 11-yr-old blogged about the perfect gift . . . and to my surprise, instead of naming the top 5 gadgets she wants or something along those lines, she wrote about Jesus (yep, I cried). I commented on her blog that I’ve actually had 4 different perfect gifts in my lifetime: Jesus, my hubby, her, and her sister. Without those 4 people, I have nothing. But it got me thinking . . . what would be on my wish list for “perfect” gifts, even if they are impossible?

1) For Magic to be real . . . particularly the ability to fly on a broomstick. (Airfare is just too darn expensive and I have family & friends spread all around the world I don’t get to see nearly enough).

2) To eat Norman Love Chocolates every day and not gain a single ounce! (Dan was almost sent there again today on another assignment but ended up at the Red Sox Stadium instead, DOH!)

3) To become a NY Times Best Selling Author . . . like the ones I go to the book store for at midnight so I can read their latest release from cover to cover in 24 hours, sporting my homemade fan T-shirt the whole time (ok, my fab sister made it b/c I’m not that crafty, but still. Oh, maybe I should add being crafty to my list? Hmmm).

4) To have a Barnies barista in my home making me Santa’s White Christmas Freezers all day, all year-long (it may be good we don’t always get what we wish for . . . I had to cut back on my coffee intake a few months ago when I thought I may have developed an early case of Parkinson’s . . . turns out many of those same symptoms can be attributed to too much caffeine–oops!)

5) To live in Stars Hallow, which may prove difficult since it is a fictional town featured in Gilmore Girls (anyone else still obsessed with watching reruns of this show?)

6) World Peace (That’s always just a good one to throw in, right?)

7) A perfect gift granted for all my family & friends . . . so what are you waiting for? Tell me what it’d be, just incase we discover magic is real & I can become a Wish Fairy;)

So Fun It’s Scary!!

 Last year post-Halloween when all the ‘stuff’ was on sale, my two daughters asked me if we could buy it for a Halloween party the following year. I can’t believe it’s that time already. They each invited their own set of friends and planned out the whole thing together and I thought it sounded so fun that I should share (just incase your kiddos are throwing a party, too). Plus, I don’t know what else to blog about right now, lol. I was going to blog about Kaylee’s first middle school dance with her first boyfriend, but I unexpectedly had to fly to Michigan on Friday and so I missed the event *sniff, sniff. So I will save that blog for the next dance. Here’s Kaylee and Ashley’s schedule of activities:
 
6-6:30–Freeze Dance & Musical Pumpkins amongst all the wicked cool dry ice!
6:30-7–Costume Contest Judging for Most Original, Funniest, Scariest, & Overall BEST
7-7:30–Decorate their own cupcake and make I-Scream Sundaes with Halloween candy/ red punch is Vampire Blood
7:30-8–Minute to Win It Games: Dress the Mummy, Candy Elevator, Face the Cookie with Halloween Oreos
8-8:30–Scavenger Hunt in the yard with Halloween items (squishy eyeballs, witch fingers, bat rings, small pumpkins & squash, fall leaves, ghost & scarecrow figurines)
8:30-9–Flashlight Tag
 
So what do ya’ll think? Have any fun ideas to add to the party? We’re trying not to make it too scary since half the party will be second graders, muah ha ha! ~Happy Haunting everybody 

Ideas for Friday the 13th Family Fun

“It’s Friday, Friday. Gotta get down on Friday. Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend.” Um, sorry, when I think of Friday and Scary, I think of Rebecca Black’s song. Seriously though, if you want family fun ideas for Friday the 13th tonight, here’s some I’ve done with  my kiddos in the past.

Menu

Appetizers: Deviled Eggs & Witches Fingers (mini pigs in a blanket with a squirt of Ketchup on the tip)

Main Meal: Spooky Sandwiches (used a ghost cookie cutter from Halloween)

Dessert: I-Scream Sundaes with Monster Mash on top (used M&M’s, Peanuts, and Reeces Pieces)

Movies:

Gotta suggest my childhood fave’s first: Goonies, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Bettlejuice, & Addams Family. Monster House and The Spiderwick Chronicles is another good one from recent years, and of course can’t leave out Harry Potter. If you’d rather play a game, how about Clue Jr.

Happy Friday the 13th all, may bad luck NOT be with you as it is with me (left school early with sick kid, but at least it gave me time to blog today).  And if you haven’t already, You Tube the Friday song–classic! I enjoyed Glee’s version of it this past week much better.

All I Want For Mother’s Day . . .

Every Mother’s Day (and virtually every holiday, birthday, anniversary), Dan has a hard time coming up with something to get me. I thought I’d take pity on him for the kids sake and post some recommendations for the three of them.

For Dan to wear something other than boxers around the house for this one day. (Yes, they are short-like but I have this feeling the girls will be horrified when they’re old enough to realize they were seeing their Dad in his underwear all these years).

For Ashley not to ask me to pull her finger the entire day (which will require great restraint and sacrifice for this silly 7-yr-old)

For Kaylee to figure out a magic formula to bypass all the query/synopsis/marketing strategies/competitive analysis/author bio’s/manuscript history, etc, ect  needed to submit a few sample chapters to a literary agent and just get me published already (what, she is a genius–I think she can, I think she can, I think she can).

For the kids to get along peacefully the WHOLE day (okay, if I could figure out a way to do that, I WOULD be published, lol).

So, whatdya think–am I too demanding? (Dan, you’re soooo not allowed to answer). HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MY FELLOW MOMS (and especially my own).

You Might Be A Redneck If . . .

Cheers to being a Redneck. The Ayres family at the Fountain of Youth.

At church the other week Pastor mentioned you might be a redneck if you think our sanctuary is pretty (it used to be a bar). Then I noticed something during our family vacay to Saint Augustine this week (History sidebar for those who may not know: St. Augustine, FL is the oldest city in the U.S.–not Jamestown, VA as many believe. St. Augustine was founded almost 200 yrs prior but is often ignored in history books b/c it’s a Spanish, not English, settlement). N-E-ways, the thing I noticed is we very well may be rednecks! I thought it was a little odd when Dan started listening to country music a couple of years ago after being such a hardcore rocker for so long (Dan says he relates to the songs better now that he has a family & converted me to country music too).  Here are the top 5 observances from our trip to argue my case:

1. You might be a redneck if you think we’re staying in a nice hotel if you don’t have to cut through a gas station to get to it. (The Comfort Inn we stayed at you actually had to cut through 2 gas station & a diner to get to the entrance so Dan thought the Holiday Inn w/ direct road access was much nicer).

2. You  might be a redneck if you are upset some of your water spilled out of the bottle (water is FREE after all, but this was special Fountain of Youth H2O).

3. You might be a redneck if you still want to eat at the Cracker Barrel despite being surrounded by 80 local restaurants that offer a much more fine dining experience. (Which is why you N-E-V-E-R leave the choice up to a tired 7-yr-old, rookie mistake & can’t believe we made it!)

4. You might be a redneck if you drive around the downtown district for a half hour to look for cheaper parking (about $2 in savings, but dunno how that balances out w/ gas–which was $3.70 per gallon in St. Augustine, wondering how that compares to where you live??).

5. You might be a redneck if you slather on SPF 80 every morning and still manage to get burned. (We forgot to pack sunscreen and had to stop at the CVS there & I think some funny business is going on there b/c we’ve never got burned with 80, and they wanted $20 for an umbrella there–WTH?!)

I’m sure Jeff Foxworthy’s are much funnier, and I’m also hoping any copyrights on these jokes have long expired while posting this blog. And btw Pastor, we do think our church is pretty:)

My Year in Review

Christmas Mug Shot

The Ayres Family Christmas Mug Shot

Last blog of 2010! Hard to believe it’s the end of another year & decade as well. Below is the annual Christmas letter I wrote, and thought maybe some of  my Facebook/Twitter/Blog friends might enjoy it. The following sums up my year pretty well:) Happy New Year!

Dear

  1. Family
  2. Friends

 Here we are at the end of another 365 days. Hope you enjoy our 2010 Christmas letter over a steaming cup of hot cocoa! I’m still in teacher mode so see how well you know the Ayres family with a multiple choice quiz.

 Dan:

  1. was mistaken for Goofy, Captain Jack, & the Beast on our Disney Wonder Cruise in January
  2. dragged us to Disney’s Star Wars weekend in May, & used ‘the force’ to transform us into Jedi fans (on Halloween, the girls even dressed up as Ahsoka and Amidala)
  3. served as last minute, last resort, stand-in groomsmen in my step-sister’s wedding in N. Carolina this July, once again receiving the honor of walking me down the aisle (thankfully, minus the fluorescent green tennis ball shoes this time)
  4. joined the circus in November

 Jamie:

  1. is in my tenth year of teaching (seriously, where does the time go!?!)
  2. revised, revised, revised my never ending novel and will pitch to 3 agents in January (shameless plug: visit http://www.JamieAyres.com to learn moreJ)
  3. read an average of a novel a week this year (Facebook me if you need young adult book suggestions-I read what I write. . . The Hunger Games trilogy my fav so far)
  4. saddened to discover on our first trip to Savannah that all the sweet locals saying, “Well bless your little heart” weren’t really hospitable, but mocking me (but after being married to Dan for 12 yrs, I’m quite used to that, lol)

 Kaylee:

  1. participated in the Battle of the Books competition for school, is currently on the Odyssey of the Mind team, & earned straight A’s the whole year in 4th grade
  2. stood in line for six hours on her 10th birthday to get into opening day of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure (well worth the wait!)
  3. is in her last year of elementary school (which is why I cry every time I hear Taylor Swift’s song “Never Grow Up”)
  4. speaking of Taylor, KK memorized every single word to all her songs

 Ashley:

 1.   lost more teeth than any 6-yr-old I know (which is really saying    something)

2. is cut off from buying any more Webkinz (Dad’s orders) after she purchased #41 (though she bypassed his rule by asking Santa for a reindeer one)

3. became even more obsessed with fashion when she discovered Justice

4. ran her first 5k & did such a great job, I’m hiring her as my personal trainer

 In closing, the Ayres family:

  1. Wishes you a Merry Christmas
  2. Prays for you to be happy, healthy, and safe in 2011
  3. Swears all of the above answers are true (okay, maybe Dan only went to the circus, but what’d you expect? I’m a writer, I make stuff up). ~Cheers, hugs, & God bless!!!