Friday, January 31, 2014

January Review

Can you believe it's the last day of January??  2014 is already flying by!  I thought I would start a monthly post with my blog details for the month.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chivalry is Not Dead

Life As Always

It's Thursday again, which means it's time to link up with Jamie, Lindsey, Jenni, & Sarah for "Live and Learn Thursday"! 

This week has been super crazy in terms of winter weather here in Pennsylvania.  On Monday, we had a sudden snow squall long after the time when school could be delayed or cancelled.  I walked out to start my car, and was surprised by how much snow there was.  I headed off to work, already dreading my drive up the mountain because the roads aren't usually good on a mildly snowy day. 

I started losing traction right here in my hometown part of the trip, and I probably should've just turned around, went home, and used an emergency day.  BUT I had things to do at school and classes that I didn't want to miss because I was supposed to be out on Tuesday for a conference.  So I pressed on.

I typically am a slow driver in the snow, but I was actually doing pretty well.  I was going between 35-45 on the mountain (which has a speed limit of 55 mph).  Soon, I started to catch up to an SUV in front of me, so I needed to slow down.  Unfortunately, as the mountain became steeper, and because I started slowing down, I began to lose traction and was having difficulty climbing upward in my Prius.  My speed ended up being around 20 mph, and I was FINALLY able to get to the top.  I was so frustrated and a bit scared by this point, so I pulled off the road at a pull off spot and grabbed my phone to call off of work.

I saw a truck pull off in front of me, but I didn't think anything of it.  Just as my school's phone started ringing, I looked up and saw Tony, the security guard at my school.  It turns out that he had been traveling a few cars behind me that day.  He asked if I was ok, and if I wanted to ride in with him.  At first, I hesitated because I can be an even more paranoid passenger than a driver, but really, what else was I going to do?  I maneuvered my car (with a lot of difficulty) to the best place I could to leave it, grabbed my things, and climbed into his truck. 

His truck handled the crazy roads much better than my car, and even though we were late, we weren't the only ones!  It turns out that a few hours earlier, when the decision needed to be made for a delay or cancellation, things were fine.  The roads were mostly clear, and there wasn't any precipitation.  It just hit all at once.

I am truly grateful that Tony was traveling to work at the same time I was that day.  He didn't have to stop.  He could've kept going.  Honestly, if he hadn't, I probably would've been stuck waiting for AAA to come pull me out of the area I pulled off of the road.  I wouldn't have been able to get out.  (Luckily, when we returned that afternoon, I was able to pull back onto the road without any trouble.)

So, it is true.  Chivalry is not dead.

What did you learn this week??

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review: Gregor the Overlander

Something great is going on in the world of Young Adult Fiction.  Seriously, I like these books just as much as "adult" books.  It's also convenient as a 6th Grade teacher.  I'm reading things that my students are reading.

Did you know that Suzanne Collins has not only written The Hunger Games Trilogy??  (Which, you totally should read if you haven't already...)  I was perusing one of my Scholastic Book Orders a few months ago, and I saw a set of books by Suzanne Collins called The Underland Chronicles.  I quickly decided to use my bonus points to get it.  I finished reading the first book in the series a couple of days ago.

The books in the series:
1. Gregor the Overlander
2. Gregor and the Prophesy of Bane
3. Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
4. Gregor and the Marks of Secret
5. Gregor and the Code of Claw

Here are the details from

This irresistible first novel tells the story of a quiet boy who embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny -- and find his father -- in a strange world beneath New York City.

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I wasn't sure that I was going to like this book. It's kind of strange, and a little out of my element. The more I read, the more I enjoyed the interesting but dark and exciting world that Suzanne Collins was creating. I found myself drawn into the story with a need to find out what happens. I sympathized with Gregor and his determination to find his father, keep his sister safe, and to return home. 

This book is a great first start to the series, and I'm looking forward to reading the other four books!

View all my reviews

If you're looking for a new series or enjoyed Suzanne Collins' writing in The Hunger Games, I would recommend this book! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday

It's cold.

REALLY cold.

Yesterday, I was so cold at one point, I decided to go change into my PJs.  I put on a pair of my Long Jane pajamas from Victoria's Secret and then put sweat pants and a sweatshirt over them.  I had on a regular pair of white socks with warm fuzzy ones on top, and THEN I drank a yummy cup of warm gingerbread flavored tea.

This isn't the pair I was wearing, but I DO have this set.  :)
So I'm home from school today.  (Sorry, Sarah...)  Our pipes are frozen, which  means I currently have no water.  Awesome.  Good thing the potato soup I'm planning to make for dinner doesn't need water.  (I'll be sharing the recipe soon!)  On the bright side, I don't have to do the laundry like I planned.

I just watched The Grammys from Sunday night.  You know you're a blogger when you "take notes" during award shows that you want to post about.  Take a wild guess what Monday's Music Monday post will be about...

There's still time left to enter my giveaway for free ad space here on Rebekann's Random Thoughts!

What's going on with YOUR Tuesday??

Monday, January 27, 2014

Music Monday: The Monkees

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned before that my musical tastes indicate that I should've been a teenager in the 60s.  What an amazing decade of music!  (Did you see my Top 10 Beatles songs posts?  Part 1 and Part 2)

Another band that I've always loved from this time actually formed because of a TV Show.  The Monkees aired in September 1966 and ran until March 1968.  The show was inspired by The Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night.  The videos I've chosen are from the TV show.

This was the theme song:

I absolutely loved Davy Jones.  He passed away in February of 2012.  :(  My cousin and I got to meet him when he came to our local amusement park for a free summer concert.  We even got kissed on the cheek!!
Here are some of my favorite Monkees songs!
"Last Train to Clarksville" from The Monkees

"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" from More of the Monkees

"Pleasant Valley Sunday" from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd.

"Daydream Believer" from The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees

"Valleri" from The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees


This last song was released after the show was off the air.  So the video is not from the show.

"Listen to the Band" from The Monkees Present

Did you ever listen to The Monkees or see the show?  Have a favorite song??

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happies & Crappies- 1/24

I was going to title this post "Friday Facts," but then I remembered that Amber co-hosts "Happies & Crappies" on Fridays, and it gave me an even better reason to write today!

~We had an in-service day on Monday, a two-hour delay on Wednesday, and a two-hour delay today!  I will never complain about extra sleep.

~Today is Scott's birthday!!  I doubt he'll actually read this (so I'll be sure to tell him in person), but Happy Birthday, Baby! :)

This is us with our friend Jen on New Year's Eve!
~I started sponsoring Scattered Seashells, and my sponsorship with Poppiness will begin on February 1st! 


~I have a giveaway going to win an ad spot on MY blog!  You should totally go enter
~I drank a delicious cup of Godiva hot chocolate last night.  :)

~Those lovely extra hours of sleep from the happies were caused by FRIGID temps here in PA! 

~I have been in a panicked state driving to and from work every day this week.  God bless the people who get stuck behind me.  I drive as slow as a 90-year-old lady when the weather is like this.  I've been abnormally paranoid and terrified this week, too.  I was gripping the steering wheel so tight on my way home yesterday that my hands hurt by the time I got home!

~I've had headaches off and on this week.  I can't tell if it's the weather, sinuses, too tired, or if I'm a bit dehydrated.  I've been pretty thirsty, too....
What's been happening with you this week??

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What I've Learned this Week

Life As Always

I'm linking up again this week for Live & Learn Thursday!  I learned something really important this week.

One of the reasons I switched to Blogger last January was so that I could have the opportunity to have people sponsor my blog.  I had sponsored others' blogs, and I wanted the chance to have that type of interaction with other bloggers.  I did have a couple of sponsors: Ashley from A Party of Four (her blog was "Simply, Ashley" at the time) and Elizabeth from The Young Retiree.  After their sponsorships were over, I didn't get any more sponsors, and then Passionfruit changed their policies, and I knew I couldn't justify spending money each month when I wasn't earning any!

Fast forward to a few months ago.  I decided to set up an ad shop with PayPal and get going again, but I haven't had any takers.

SO I tweeted some of my favorite bloggers who offer sponsorships and asked for their advice.  The general consensus was that I needed to include stats on my Sponsor page.  I also decided to get back out there and sponsor a few other bloggers!  One last suggestion was that I give away some spots to allow people to experience a sponsorship with me and encourage them to stay on after their "trial" is over. 

That is exactly what I'm going to do, but first, let me show you my revamped sponsor page:
Looking for a blog to sponsor?  I'm your girl!  My blog is growing, and I'd love to help you grow your blog, too!

Rebeckann's Random Thoughts

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Review: A Dangerous Inheritance

On Friday, I officially completed my first book of the new year!  Only 19 more to go!

I kicked off 2014 by reading A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir.

Here is the synopsis from
England's Tower of London was the terrifying last stop for generations of English political prisoners. A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the lives and fates of four of its youngest and most blameless: Lady Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's younger sister; Kate Plantagenet, an English princess who lived nearly a century before her; and Edward and Richard, the boy princes imprisoned by their ruthless uncle, Richard III, never to be heard from again. Across the years, these four young royals shared the same small rooms in their dark prison, as all four shared the unfortunate role of being perceived as threats to the reigning monarch.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. As you all know, I love historical fiction, and I really love historical fiction based on these time periods in England! At first, I found it a bit confusing because the book switches back and forth between two characters in completely different time periods....who both have the same name: Katherine Plantagenet and Lady Katherine Grey. The former is referred to as Kate. It was also interesting that Lady Katherine Grey's story is told in the first person, and Kate's is in third person. 

At first, I wasn't convinced that these stories really went together, but as the book went on, I began to see how they were relevant to each other.

Of course, I did find myself wishing that the courses of history could change within the story, as I always do! I love what Alison Weir does with the stories of these women, despite many lacking historical documents about them.

View all my reviews

If you're on Goodreads, we should be friends!  Come on over and add me!

You can also check out my books to read and books I've read so far on my Reading List page here on Rebekann's Random Thoughts.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Music Monday: Carrie

I can't tell you how much I love Carrie Underwood.  She is the person I have most recently seen in concert,  and that was after years of not going to any!

In November of 2012, my student teacher at the time, Kelsey, and I went to see her at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College.

Before the concert
We had really great seats!  We were off to the side, but very close to the stage, and I was able to get some great pictures!
Good Lord, what do I need to do to get those legs??
This was super cool.  Carrie has a duet with Brad Paisley called "Remind Me".  When she did this song in the concert, the screen projected Brad (on the left in the back) with images from the video.
If you haven't heard this song/seen the video before, here you go!
She had this really amazing floating stage.  It took her and the band out over the floor seats to the back of the arena so they got a chance to see her up close!
This was toward the end of "Blown Away"
I'm currently obsessed with "Good Girl".
I do not think, though, that anything can top Carrie's version of "How Great Thou Art."  It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it (not to mention major chills from the first note), and every time I've sung her version in church.  The video version here is with Vince Gill.  I'll leave you with this one!  (If you only watch one video in this post, please do yourself a favor, and make it this one!)
Have a great week! 
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