Today I'm speaking with Dianna from The Kennedy Adventures! In addition to her responsibilities as a wife and the mother to four children (including twin sons), Dianna works as an ER nurse. She's one busy lady, but I'm so glad she takes the time to blog. I especially enjoy her posts that use miscellaneous writing prompts to determine her topic(s). I never know what I'll learn about Dianna, but it's almost always something to which I can relate. Or laugh about! Or learn from! Plus, her kids are SUPER CUTE.
1. How old are your children and what kinds of activities are you looking forward to this summer? Abigail is my oldest, and she is 14. She's decided she wants to learn to play tennis, which means I am going to get her enrolled in some clinics this summer. I was an avid tennis player before the 3 small fry arrived, so I am THRILLED that she's interested. She will also be busy with voice lessons, and I'm trying VERY hard to encourage her to participate in marching band. We are also on a mission to get more active, so we will be walking/running/exercising together. I'm also planning on a Mother/Daughter book club. I have a rule for myself . . . if she's required to read a book for school, I will read it as well. I'm planning on a book a month for us together, and we will take turns selecting the novel.
For the small ones . . . oh boy! I have a goal to keep as busy as possible, since this will (theoretically) keep my house clean, as well as give my husband a chance to work in peace. We are members in about 4 different moms clubs, so I literally could go somewhere on a daily basis . . . parks, water parks, tours of restaurants, playgroups at moms' homes, etc. We will be hitting the library for story times as well. I'm also going to concentrate on starting to homeschool my youngest daughter. I love Tot School and Preschool Corner for ideas. We are going to work on shapes, letters, counting, as well as fine motor skills this summer. Lastly, I'm also going to TRY to do things with Rachel alone periodically. Since I weaned her, when I was pregnant with the boys, she has been a major Daddy's girl. Time alone with me will do both of us some good.
2. Your twin sons recently celebrated their birthday, which brings up the topic of children's party ideas. What's been your most successful birthday celebration so far? I'll be totally honest . . . I am NOT a good party hostess. I'm usually pressed for time, no matter how much I plan. I feel like I have to work the room, and usually end up getting irritated at Brett, because he will be chatting with someone, and I need him to help me 'run' the party as I think it should go. Food, presents, cake, etc. Darn shame he can't read my mind!
I tend to think it simple for children's parties . . . we shoot for outside, at a park, since the 'entertainment' is provided, and it's cheap! Without a doubt, the most successful birthday party was last year's dual party for my girls . . . I had a joint birthday party for Abby and Rachel at a local park. We had a HUGE turnout, the weather was stunning, food was a hit, and we all had a good time. Of course, I was swollen up like a tick afterwards, but otherwise, it was great!
3. You've mentioned on your blog that you love to read—what kinds of books do you enjoy and can you recommend a couple to us fellow bookworms? My tastes run the gamut . . . I love all types of books! My all time favorite is the Harry Potter series. If you are an adult, and have passed these by as childrens' books, think again. You'll be hooked. Brett started reading these after he and I had been married for about a year, and he loved them as well.
Since my daughter wanted to read the Twilight series, I got to read them as well. They are a fast, easy read, and while not as well written as I would have liked (not as well developed characters, etc), I did enjoy them. For those interested, I'm a Team Jacob girl. Also in the young adult vein is Cornelia Funke. I loved The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, as well as Inkheart. I have yet to make it through Inkspell .. . I'm not sure why I'm having trouble with it. While I'm thinking about it ... I'd like to pick up Kingdom Keepers . . . I heard the author (Ridley Pearson) on a podcast, and he was very entertaining.
Thanks to my very good friend Angie, I've been reading a lot of Jodi Picoult. Some of the themes are a bit disturbing/thought provoking . . . kind of like watching a train wreck. You can't help but be drawn in. Thus far, I've read My Sister's Keeper, Harvesting the Heart, Change of Heart, and I'm working on Perfect Match. I may have to put these aside for a while, since the themes tend to be a bit heavy to deal with in big doses.
If you have female children, Gardenias for Breakfast is a must read. I'm going to put it on the mother/daughter book list for the summer. For chick lit, I love Marian Keyes (another Angie recommendation). I've also been known to read James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell novels, but haven't done so recently. I read The Other Boleyn Girl and loved it, but the next Phllippa Gregory novel Brett brought home for me was awful. (Earthly Joys . . . yuck)
I'm also all over parenting/breastfeeding/homeschooling/healthy eating books. Right now, I'm reading The Vaccine Book, and I'm attempting to read/implement The No Cry Sleep Solution. It's also time to break out The Happiest Toddler on the Block again, since the boys are older.
My faith is very important to me, so you'll often find me reading Catholic literature. I'm working on A Mother's Rule of Life, and I'm planning on picking up The Rosary: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary, since I've seen it recommended on many Catholic momma blogs.
4. How would you describe your writing style to someone who's never read a "mommy" blog? Ha! Definitely conversational . . . I write just like I talk. I started my blog as a way to chronicle my pregnancy with twins. Along the way, it's turned into a hodge-podge of talking about my children, raising them and the challenges, Catholicism, being conservative, being frugal, breastfeeding, attachment/natural parenting, homeschooling, and everything in between! I love it! It offers me a chance to showcase my life, blow off steam through a creative outlet, and meet LOADS of just downright nice people, all over the country.
5. What did you have for dinner last night? Bow tie pasta, with six cheese tomato and meat sauce, along with fruit salad.
Thanks so much, Dianna! You sound like me, with 5 books on my nightstand at any given time. I really appreciate all the great ideas for reading material—I actually have never read a Picoult novel! I'm not sure if I could handle the subject matter; I'm a sobbing, hysterical mess just watching the movie preview for My Sister's Keeper. I'm not even kidding. I'm tearing up right now just thinking of Cameron Diaz shaving her head in support of her daughter . . . ergh . . . sniffle . . . sorry, go ahead and talk amongst yourselves . . . I'll give you a topic:
Friday's Five. Next week. Same place.
Friday's Five: Jen (Li'l Man's World)
Friday's Five: TwinMama (Bringing Up Twins)
Friday's Five: Michele (The Stefo Crew)
Friday's Five: Geri (saddlepotatoes)
Friday's Five: Lana (The Kids Did What?!)
Friday's Five: Lisa (Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy)
Friday's Five: Helene (I'm Living Proof that God has a Sense of Humor)