Book Review: The Giving Tree


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The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

There’s this tree that loves a boy. They play hide-and-go-seek together. They play king-of-the-forest. The way they make a crown is they gather up some leaves and make them into one.

The boy kept getting older and older and he wanted stuff the tree didn’t have. First, he wanted some money, but the tree didn’t have any money so he had to get some apples and sell them in the city.

Then he wanted a house so he had to take the branches off and build them into a house.

Next he wanted a boat to sail away. But the tree didn’t have a boat so he had to cut the trunk off the tree and make a boat.

Then all he wanted was a quiet place to rest so he sat on the stump of the tree.

First I read it to my Daddy, but if I got stuck he helped me. Then Daddy read the rest to me.

I liked that it got happy and sad. I liked spending time with Daddy while we did it.


What you need to understand about betting

Betting is not something one would just do for the sake of experimenting or as a pass time activity. It is something that must be taken seriously, that’s why people need to read the fantasy news everyday before thinking of placing any bets.

A good bet for us is to bet on the first day of the NFL Draft. There are only four teams drafting on day two. The first day of the draft has always been a big day for some teams, so I will not predict any of the last three drafts, but I will focus on the first day.

This is a long shot, but it is my favorite bet to try out the week before a draft. It is a $1 wager to win $200.

A lot of people see the money as the primary motivation behind putting up a wager, but when it comes to this wager, I truly feel it is for the fun of it. I don’t want to place any wagers for any other reason than to be able to gamble for the day. I feel the betting community is a fun one. I would not want to watch the NFL without making a wager on the first game I see.

I am not a big sports bettor, but I had some exposure to wagering in college. It was fun and the experience was very rewarding for me. Some of my most memorable sports wagers were with my friends, and we often took turns. We were able to make the $100 bet with one wager. One of my favorite bets were a friend’s $50 wager for my home games in college, and a friend’s $200 bet. We are currently on our second bet of the season, and I still think the wagering community is a very fun one.

The one thing I would avoid is betting the exact same thing all the time. That’s just too boring for me. I would rather bet a more spread out spread. Maybe you don’t care that much about football, but if you don’t bet it often you might enjoy the odd football bet. And for those sports that don’t pay out much, you can still get in on a little league league game, or join a church league or golf league. The sports community is really a lot of fun, and it is a bit of a waste to play the same sport over and over and over again.


My New Invention: Pop-up machine

Business phone services have changed radically over the past decade as digital transformation has impacted every part of the modern office. Some call this transition the “phone for people” era. However, this new digital landscape is being disrupted by the rise of “people services” or other mobile-first technology. This shift has opened up a new landscape for the telephone industry, which is changing the role and functionality of telephone service. In this piece, I outline some of the key challenges facing the telephone industry, while also suggesting to work with the best phone service providers, such as Eatel

These changes have opened up a new landscape for the telephone industry, which is changing the role and functionality of telephone service. In this piece, I outline some of the key challenges facing the telephone industry, while also suggesting ways to help address them. These changes have opened up a new landscape for the telephone industry, which is changing the role and functionality of telephone service.

When telephone companies set out to modernize their service, one of the first considerations was to bring voice and data services into closer alignment. As a result, many telecommunications companies have eliminated phone lines from their networks and moved some services, like voice, to wireless and broadband. The result is that, on the average, telephone service is now available over the Internet. Some services remain primarily available on the wireline network, however. Broadband service has become a central component of telecommunications company business models. Because consumers tend to access the Internet through mobile phones, phone service can have a large impact on the overall broadband strategy of a telecommunications company. Moreover, services like cable broadband and wireless broadband also are increasingly important in the U.S. economy, as telecommunications firms compete for business with cable and wireless broadband companies for new customers and content. Moreover, broadband is increasingly used to deliver voice and video to Internet-based video services.

For additional information on broadband providers and related issues, please visit:

About the National Broadband Map and Data: The National Broadband Map is produced by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. This interactive map enables local communities, businesses and governments to compare broadband technologies and services provided by broadband providers across their cities.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national non-profit that brings together local leaders to improve people’s lives. The Institute’s mission is to provide leadership and solutions to

Our Thanksgiving

Ok, so we didn’t watch the parade and we didn’t put together a jigsaw puzzle.  And I cooked a modest traditional Thanksgiving feast…without the stuffing.  What can I say, I was craving the after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches and looking forward to the other usual leftovers we could eat for the entire next week.  I admit that since I’ve been busy with school and work, I’ve kind of missed cooking.  But mostly, I wanted to have the opportunity to spend quality time with each of the girls and have them cook with me.

Hayley loves corn and asked to help me with the corn casserole.  She enjoyed chopping the onion with the food chopper until it made her “cry.”  She also helped me make the pumpkin pie filling.  I invited Jenna to help me make the potato-chive monkey bread rolls.  She was fascinated when she saw how the dough had risen and I explained to her the process.  Skye helped me with the pie crust and the mashed potatoes, which is a favorite of hers.

Hayley asked me last week whether we were going to shoot a turkey, buy a turkey, or just have chicken.  She loves chicken.  According to her, however, turkey does NOT taste just like chicken as I told her.  Turkey is “kind of good and kind of gross.”  The girls were a bit disgusted at first by the uncooked bird, especially when I animated it for them.  Then they were intrigued by it and Skye wondered where all the organs were.  She had studied the body systems last year in school.  They were not particularly excited about eating the gravy when they discovered it actually came from the turkey drippings.

We all sat together in the evening to play Uno H2O.  It’s the waterproof Uno card game.  I don’t know why we purchased waterproof cards.  Perhaps we could use them at the beach or the pool.  All the girls were quick to understand the game and had no trouble playing independently.  They got a little competitive, but there were no tears.  Everyone really seemed to have a good time.  I think it was a great day spent together.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

I’m very pleased with the schools here and with each of the girl’s teachers. We recently just met with them for parent-teacher conferences.

We first met with Jenna’s 2nd-grade teacher, Miss Holland. She just started teaching at Fairfield this year and seems to be a good match for Jenna. Jenna told us that she doesn’t like recess because there’s nothing to do. Apparently she just stands around watching the other kids. She likes to swing, but the swings are always being used by other children. We mentioned our concern about Jenna’s anxiety to Miss Holland, who ensured that she would observe Jenna during recess. She did mention to us that Jenna has been coming out of her shell since school started and has been speaking up more during class. She is interacting with the other kids at her table and seems to be adjusting well. She is doing very well academically, and particularly enjoys math, reading, and writing. Jenna loves to read. I enjoy listening to her while she reads aloud, with her various voice inflections, and I am often surprised by her subject matter choices. She’s very inquisitive and loves to learn. Miss Holland’s only suggestion for Jenna: to color the accompanying pictures to her stories more often. If that’s her main concern, I think we’re doing pretty well. She’s in Brownies again this year, which she absolutely loves. She gets to sell Girl Scout cookies, so now I have a great excuse to buy those Thin Mints…

Continue reading Parent-Teacher Conferences

Hayley and Daddy Go To War


At Hayley’s recent parent/teacher conference we were told Hayley likes to play “compare”. It is a card game in which the students each flip a card and the student with the higher card gets them both. It’s a lot like the familiar card game War. So, today, I taught Hayley how to play War. And she beat me.

Good job, Hayley. I had a lot of fun with you. You were very fast at determining which was the higher card. Mrs. Arnold is correct, you are competitive!

A Typical Saturday

I didn’t have to work Saturday, which is unusual. The rest of the day was pretty normal. We visited the bookstore and the library. Then we went to Target for some essentials we had been putting off. In the evening Kirsten made cookies. As usual, I stole some of the dough. After the girls went to bed Kirsten and I made a $5 repair to save a $100 blender. Aren’t we boring? We love us, though.

The girls at Portland Public Library

Continue reading A Typical Saturday

Kirsten: Thanksgiving

Ah, there are so many things to be thankful for. I am most thankful for my wonderful family. I love those days that neither Brent nor I are working and we can spend time together. We have such a great time together, and usually we end up going to the bookstore, library, coffee shop, or to the coast (when it’s not too cold) to hang out, talk, and read. Brent is more than my best friend, and he keeps me sane.

Our daughters are so wonderful. They light up my life and truly make parenting rewarding. Skye, Jenna, and Hayley each have such unique personalities, and our little family would certainly not be complete without each of them. I’m thankful for all the relationships I have with my family and friends. I only wish I could see everyone more often. The time passes too quickly.

I’m grateful for the opportunity for learning and growth, and for the lessons that come from defeat. It is what we aspire to be that colors our characters–and it is our trying, not just our succeeding, which ennobles them. The best lessons are usually the hardest; and defeat often counts among these latter. The only true defeat lies in letting defeat win. Continue reading Kirsten: Thanksgiving

Brent: Thanksgiving

I like St. Patrick’s Day because it’s a time to drink beer, pinch people and have a parade. I don’t like most holidays because they’re all about food and getting stuff. Aren’t we fat enough already? And don’t we have enough crap stuffed inside our about-to-be-foreclosed McMansions?

Seriously, the traditions of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s Day and wedding anniversaries are for stupid people and invented by marketers. I’d rather not.

Does that make me a curmudgeon? Getting together with family is wonderful. So is football. But I could do without the feast.

I’ve created a budget, now what?

Once youve estimated your own budget, you might start looking at homes within your price range. You might even look at a couple of homes in your price range, but decide that youre not ready to spend that much. Thats fine. The important thing is to get a good budget, I recommend using this budget app. After that, if youre still not ready to buy a house, you can buy an apartment (if you have a job and dont have to commute to work). Thats a much cheaper and, in some cases, a much better choice than buying a house. If you have the resources, by all means buy a house. The sooner youre able to do this, the better.

Also, once youre in a house, youll notice that things arent very different from how they were in your previous apartment or town house. Youll have lots of furniture in your new home that youd never have in your old place. That, again, is a good sign that your home is a good investment. I’ll continue to update this thread as I discover new info and I make updates to this guide, so if you find information that would help you, please let me know. If youre ready to buy a house, buy one. You will see better things in a house. But, when you get it, don’t sell it, unless you have the money to make up for the loss in value.

As for the rules:

If you are considering buying in the suburbs, use these rules.

The first rule is that you can’t have a house in the suburbs and an apartment in the city. You’ve got to sell both the suburban house and the apartment. This is easy to understand. Buy the house and rent it out for more money. This is what I do. Buy a house and rent it out. And when you sell the house, you make the money back by renting the place out. The second rule is to use the city’s tax code. If you sell a house, you can’t use that money to buy another house and then use the money to buy an apartment. If you do this, you won’t be able to sell your house and go to the city for the rent. Instead, you’ve got to use the tax code to get rid of your house and buy the apartment in the city. There are exceptions, such as if you’re going to be staying there, you can keep your rental. If you have a family member living there, then that’s fine.

The third rule is that you’ll need to pay taxes. Once you sell your house, you’ll have to pay taxes on the money you make. You’ll pay taxes on the money you make before you sell the house. Your tax bill depends on whether you’ve paid income tax or sales tax on your income. You’ll be taxed on all the money you make after you sell your house.

You’re probably wondering, “If I’m buying my first home, then what are the different steps I should take?” There are actually three separate steps to getting a home if you’re buying a first home.

You need to put in a down payment this is the amount of money you need to pay the lender. This includes the bank’s fee for providing you with the down payment, the broker’s fee, and the