2013-2014 OBOB Competition

I am starting my 4th academic year at my job – and will be participating in my 4th OBOB competition. OBOB = Oregon Battle of the Books.

The following 16 books are this year’s selections. I hope to read all 16 by the competition in March 2014. I will post reviews of the books as I read them.

OBOB 6-8 Poster

Grades 6-8 Division
Bigger Than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder, 2011.
Magyk by Angie Sage, 2005.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson, 2011.
Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica, 2009.
Milo: Sticky Notes & Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg, 2011.
The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Regan Barnhill, 2011.
Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury, 2007.
The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin, 2010.
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, 2011.
Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French, 2009.
Second Fiddle by Rosanne Parry, 2011.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, 2000.
TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow, 2010.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi, 1990.
Uglies  by Scott Westerfeld, 2005.
Wildwood by Colin Meloy, 2011.

I have the majority of these books in my library. Time for volunteer at the Scholastic Warehouse to get the rest.


Out and About – Hillsboro Hops

I married my husband nearly 20 years ago. I’ve been a football fan since I can remember (go Niners). But he is a baseball fan.

So, I became a baseball fan.

I started my job 3 years ago – and one of my colleagues is a baseball fan, too.

So, guess what we did this summer during program? Yup, a baseball game.

Hillsboro Hops ticket

So, we took a big pile of kids to a Hillsboro Hops game on July 26. It was hot, but the kids had a REALLY good time.

Our goal is to take kiddos to places they might not get to – and this was a great destination for them.


Heading Back to School…

So, school starts a bit later in this neck of the woods. The teachers and staff are taking their “furlough” days before school starts. So, school starts September 9.

As you know, I work at a middle school in Oregon. It’s a GREAT place to work. I love the staff. I love the kids. I love my job – most of the time.

The reason? I laugh more here than I do in most parts of my life – not to say I’m not laughing it up every day. But at work, there’s a lot of funny stuff.

Case in point, the middle schooler’s locker:


This particular kiddo found most of his homework (some of it completed), his house key (actually 3 of them), and the phone number of a girl he liked a few months back. Important stuff can get lost in there.

Savour your last moments before school starts – and if it has all ready started, enjoy! These are fun years.



Summer Reading…

So, as is true at so many libraries, our local library (Multnomah County Library) hosts the “Summer Reading Program” every June – September. Kids line up to read their books and gather points – so that they can have a t-shirt and other cool prizes.


So, I bought myself a shirt. And, this summer, I have read a total of ZERO books. Well, that’s not true: I have read 1/2 of a book. During the week of August 25, I will have a vacation, so I will immerse myself in a book of some sort. The newest Dean Koontz? An old Stephen King? A new Bruce Hale (S.P.I.E.S. – I hear it’s great)? The 5th Wave? Vampire High? So many to choose from:


Hi – my name is Patti and I’m a bibliophile – and book-aholic.



Summer is done!

I partnered with a colleague to host a summer camp with about 100 middle school students. We did some awesome stuff.

Classes include Basketball Camp, Arts and Crafts, Cooking, Rockin’ Science, Mad Science, Soccer Camp, Open Gym, Game Time!, Recycled Art, Animoto, Baseball Camp – and AWESOME field trips! They are:

The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center

After a HOT bus ride, we made it to the Discovery Center. The staff was amazing and the site was interesting.


Hillsboro Hops Baseball Game

This is the first season with for the Hillsboro Hops Single A team.


Oxbow Park

We combined this field trip with the high school. We did hikes, kick ball, arts and crafts, and quiet activities.


Mt. Saint Helens

A little over 2 hours away, this was one long trip! But SUPER worth it. I wish we could have stayed longer.


School starts in four weeks! We start late this year because of furlough days. But, in my mind, it’s starting too soon! I’m all ready pooped!



My last few days

It’s been a little wacky these last few days – heck, WEEKS, but who’s counting?

Although we spent the weekend brain-farting, the spousal unit and I were extremely pooped when we started back up on Monday. We both had a pretty intense cold that just knocked us down. We spent the weekend watching brain-fade TV and relaxing. I think we finally left our pajamas on Sunday – only because we had to go to Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers

I think I just finished week 4 of my “maintenance” routine. That means 2 more weeks to go until LIFETIME (which = FREE meetings and support). $40 a month has been soooooooooo worth it (don’t get me wrong), but ZERO sounds great, too! I am maintaining quite well. My goal was 135 and I’ve gained and lost about a pound each week. THAT IS PERFECT! I’m not supposed to be below 133 or higher than 137.

Wait until Thanksgiving. I think the Sunday after T-Day is my final weigh-in. Wish me luck.


Wellllll, I am approximately 5000 words behind. The cold this last weekend wiped me out – and I spent Friday with my dad.

Annnnndddd, I read a book:

The Hunger Games

The first in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy about a “game show” (of sorts) where young people aged 12 to 18 are tributes in a fight to the death.

Quite good!

Unfortunately, I have the second book in the trilogy, Catching Fire, next to me on the desk. It’s a little too tempting.

Cooking with the Kiddos

WHAT WAS I THINKING!!?? Yesterday, I planned a “day of cooking” with 16 rambunctious, monkey-energied children. The good news? There were no heat sources involved (I thought that much ahead). But we made Energy Balls with peanut butter, banana, graham crackers, and various toppings. What a mess!!

There just wasn’t enough time! They made (maybe) 20 balls. Sigh. Ah, well, whatcha gonna do?

Off I go. Chores to do, novels to read, novels to write, children to educate (hee hee – I’m REALLY the one who gets the education).

Have a good one – whatever you do.


Life is busy(-er) again

The time has come for all good persons to get back to work. And that would be me.

I was a little nervous about going back to work – especially after this last summer, but I managed to process through it and place some understanding into the mix. And (voila!) no worries.

My hours have been cut, but that’s all right. I can use the extra time to write. 1.5 hours doesn’t really seem worth it gas-wise, but I love love love the kiddos! And my job, so 1.5 hours is okay with me. I might volunteer those days, but we’ll see. It depends on how much of my own stuff I have to do.

Fall is here – and I’m loving it. The leaves are turning and its nearly sweater-wearing time. I’m almost at goal for Weight Watchers (about 1 pound to go) and I’m buying new jeans and bras on Friday. Good times. I hate jeans and bra shopping. YUCK! But it’s necessary. I’m practically disappearing in my current jeans and I haven’t had a proper bra sizing in decades (who knew?). And where am I going? The Pepto Bismol Pink Puke Place – Victoria’s Secret. Duuuuuuuuuuuude could they make it more pink? Egads.

How are things in your neck of the woods?