Welcome To All Around The Circle!

Glad you've found the time to visit today! I'm Elle and I blog about my family, book reviews, arts and crafts, education and so much more. Life is always changing around here, but we try to keep up the best we can. I hope you'll follow along on our journey.
Feel free to visit other locations I maintain: CraftWithKids NetWork FB Group, SparkPeople Connections, and Lighthouse Lane Tags 'N Snags.


IRL Update!!!!

I know it has been quite some time since I posted an IRL (in-real-life) blog entry.  To say the least, life has been moving pretty quickly around here since the school year began.  
So I'm taking the opportunity today, Em & Kaye's second snow day of the year, to do a bit of an update on the goings on.

Em is now in 6th grade at the middle school and Kaye is in 2nd grade.  Activities for Em consist of private violin lessons once a week for a half hour, 7:30am orchestra practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays at school, 6th grade chorus practices after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Girl Scout Cadettes every other Tuesday from 6:30-8pm, church choir practice from 5:30-6pm every Thursday and singing in church the first Sunday of each month at the 9:30am service.  Em has also been chosen to be in the All City Orchestra concert in a few weeks as well as nominated to participate in the PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) Orchestra Concert in April.  This means some extra music to learn and extra practices to attend.

Kaye's schedule is pretty much Brownie Girl Scouts every other Wednesday from 6-7:30pm and then Girl Scout activities as scheduled.  Kaye also sings in the church choir.  The girls also have done a few Girl Scout cookie booths and have a few more to attend as well.  'Tis the season for the Girl Scouts to make their money for their upcoming troop activities!

The Fall was a busy season.  Em adjusted nicely to middle school and her new schedule.  Kaye is doing a great job in school with reading development and is also doing a wonderful job in math.  Fall is our family's 'birthday season' with Jay and my anniversary at the end of September, Kaye and my birthdays a day apart towards the end of October, Jay's birthday a week before Thanksgiving and Em's birthday a week and a half before Christmas.  Needless to say, I felt like I was shopping for three months!!!!  I am so glad to be done with all of that rushing around!

In my last IRL blog post I talked about the wake-up call from my body.  I continued into the Fall months seeing my chiropractor and am finally on a every 2-week schedule with adjustments.  I had planned on getting back into a workout routine for the new year incorporating my elliptical and hand weights, but I was told no by my chiropractor.  She wants me to walk more and build up my back muscles over the next 2 months before she will allow me to get back on the elliptical or do any type of resistance training.  My plan is to walk either at my church or the local community center indoor track.  Of course that has been next to impossible lately with 2-hour school delays, days off and errands.  I need to somehow get a schedule established so I can get moving!

Jay has been down in the dumps lately because his beloved football season is over.  This pretty much happens every year.  He gets so excited in the Fall for the season to begin and gets down in the dumps when it is over.  

I'm still trying to convince Em to write summaries of the books she reads for my blog.  She looks at it as 'extra' work, but she already had to do book reports and write summaries of her books in her school book journal, so I'm not sure what the big deal is?

As I said, today is a snow day.  We're still unsure how much accumulation we're going to get here in Eastern Pennsylvania, but it could be anywhere from 6" to 20".  It's pretty much a wait and see event.  In between changing the bed sheets, vacuuming, figuring out what the heck to feed Em & Kaye for lunch and general house clean-up, I will be trying to grab some online time today.  Pinterest, Google + and checking on my Bloglovin' friends are on my must do list!  I'd also like to figure out what to read next.  So many books, so little time! If you're in the eye of this big dumper of a snow storm, please stay safe.

Musical Monday #12 ~ Lips Are Movin by Meghan Trainer

This is #6 this week on Billboard's Hot 100

Guess What Tomorrow Is?

The National Readathon is a nationwide reading marathon from Noon to 4pm in your time zone.  
Find out more about this event here.
Look here for local Readathon events near you.

Enjoy your afternoon of reading!

WordLess WednesdDay

We are Part of a WordLess WednesDay Link-Up Today!

Musical Monday #11 ~ Blank Space by Taylor Swift (with Extras)

Taylor Swift. My 12 year old daughter Em has loved her for most of her time on this earth. She shares the same birthday as Taylor (December 13th) and also loves to sing.
Although Em has not followed in her footsteps with playing guitar (Em plays the violin) she continues to be a huge fan. Em isn't allowed on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, but I am sure to share anything Taylor-related with her when I see it. The first video below is what Taylor did for some of her fans this Christmas. I've also included her Blank Space video along with two performances from New Year's Rockin Eve: Shake It Off and Welcome To New York. Of course Em's ultimate dream is to attend a Taylor Swift concert, but until then listening to her music and watching her videos will have to do.

Book Review: Glory In Death by J.D. Robb

Glory in Death (In Death, #2)Glory in Death by J.D. Robb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book of the 'In Death' series.

The time is the year 2058 in New York and Eve Dallas finds herself in search of a serial killer who targets high-powered career women. She is focused on finding the killer, but her well-to-do beau, Roarke finds ways to take her mind off her work and relax from time to time.

Although this book is mainly a suspense/mystery, it is also considered a suspense romance due to some of the 'steamier' scenes. I'm not sure how to feel about Roarke, Eve's love interest. At this point I don't really trust him, as he seems like a shady businessman. Eve's character is a head-strong homicide detective who has trouble letting others into her personal life. I especially look forward to learning about Eve's past, which very little has been revealed at this point in the series.

This following quote is Roarke describing the type of person Eve is and I found it to be a great description of her character: "You're strong, and you're moral, and sometimes you make yourself ill with compassion for the innocent."

I'm not normally a murder-mystery, sci-fi/futuristic reader, but because I enjoy books by Nora Roberts, I felt I needed to at least try this series written under her pen name, J.D. Robb.

One thing mentioned in this futuristic book that I highlighted was this passage referring to Eve's commander's wife, Anna Whitney:
"It wasn't the state salary for full-time parents that had swayed her. It had been the thrill of being in on each and every stage of childhood development."
If only full-time parents received salaries for parenting! Ha!

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first. This quote from the book summarizes why I will continue reading this series: "Lieutenant Eve Dallas crouched down beside death and studied it carefully. The sights and scents were familiar, but each time, there was something new. Both victim and killer left their own imprint, their own style, and made murder personal." Reading the 'In Death' series is like watching a mystery series on television, but even better!