Thursday, June 6, 2013

Reading Challenge: Aggie's Inheritance

These 3 books I read last year, but I never got around to the review.  I know I am late, but I loved  these books.  It is a great series by Chautonia Havig.  I had it almost done, but the last book in the series.

 When I found Ready or Not by Chautonia Havig, I have never read any other books by this author & I was not sure, but I saw it on Facebook's Pixel of Ink for free.   I am not sure which one in this series I got first.  I received all 3 of these this way from this Facebook page.  Thank you so much.  This series is so good.  I could not put it down.  I really hope that there is a fourth book in this series.  I love this series.  You never know when it is your time.  Now onto the series:

Ready or Not
book 1

Aggie is out of college, wondering what is next, & thinks she is prepared for everything.  Aggie gets the call that no one wants.  That call that tells her that her sister & brother in law was in an accident.  Aggie's sister has 8 kids & she is appointed their guardian.  Aggie has 8 kids at one time to handle.  Normally we get 9 months to prepare for each baby coming, then a year or so between each new baby coming.  Aggie's sister, Allie, & her husband, Doug, had that time between each baby, but Aggie does not have that.  

Would you be able to handle 8 kids at the same time?  Would you take your sister & brother in law's children?  Aggie has to deal with her brother in law's mother, Mrs Stuart, who gives a new meaning to the term mother in law from Hell.  Would you do everything you could to keep them away from Mrs Stuart?  I will answer these questions at the end of my review.

 I do not like Mrs Stuart.  She uses emotional abuse with everyone around her.  What makes me so mad about Mrs Stuart the most is that she said "Children, your Aunt Agathena is here to sit with you for awhile.  Now you must be very strong for her.  If you give way to tears & emotion, you will bring disgrace on your parents, and I know you don't want to do that." (Page 61 Kindle).  What a nice Grandmother she is!  How can one grieve without tears & emotions?  I do not like how Mrs Stuart refers to all of the kids as "motherless" and "fatherless" because to me they will always have a mom & dad no matter if they are living or not.  Right?  I also think it is an insult to Mrs Stuart's son & daughter in law.     One last thing, why would Mrs Stuart leave the children alone?  This can be used again her & her husband in court!!

When Aggie was talking to Vannie, she says "we need to just live a normal life until the pain is more like emptiness when we think of them.  Like a  piece of us that isn't there anymore, and we wish still was."  I think this is really good advice Aggie told her niece during this difficult time.  When we lose someone like Aggie & her nieces & nephews have, we have to find a "new" normal.

Aggie told Vannie more by saying "I think that we need to remember is, they were finished with this world.  They had accomplished all that God wanted them to.  And I must say; you were quite an accomplishment!" (Page 51 Kindle) This was very beautifully written.  It reminds me that we are very lucky to have our love ones with us for how long we have them.   We should not take that for granted.  I am very thankful for my husband, children, family, & friends.

Iris gave Aggie some advice "If you don't want a child to do something, you have to make the behavior counterproductive.  They must want to avoid the consequences and never do it again."  (Page 113 Kindle).  I really love when Iris told Aggie that "If they complain about working, give them more work, for practice in doing it pleasantly.  Every time they complain, give them another small job.  Don't get sarcastic or unpleasant yourself.  You'll just reinforce what you don't want them to learn.  If they speak unkindly to a sibling, make them say five nice things about their sibling.  Make whatever they did, not worth doing again."  (Page 114 Kindle).  I am going to tell Ashleigh's therapist this & see what they say.  Love this a lot.  We are going to use this.  I will print it out so we can remember it.  I think it will help us.

"Aggie realized that people who said mothers at home didn't get enough exercise were more than ignorant; there were foolish!" (Page 125 Kindle).  This is so true.  We are always looking for something like ds, ds bags, library books for school even though we have a rule to keep them in their school bags, which are to be hang on the white cabinet, shoes, which also should be on the bottom of the white cabinet!!  I am always running up & down our steps.  We also lose shoes a lot or coats because the kids do not put them where they belong every day.
For Keeps

book 2

How would you do back to school shopping for 8 kids?  Think of how much that costs, but think about how many shirts, jeans, skirts, shoes, socks, etc you would need.  Ouch!  Could you sew clothes for your nieces?  I could not.  I can only sew curtains, pillows, etc.  I can not do clothes.  I would learn for my nieces & my daughter(s).

Mrs Sullivan gave Aggie some good advice.  They were talking about Vannie's sewing.  She said "So what?  She learns and moves on.  You must quit expecting everything to go right the first time."  (Page 33 Kindle)  I learned this early on with my kids.  Not everything has to be perfect.  What the kids needs is time with us- dishes, cleaning can wait or we have a cleaning together day then we have something fun together.  The kids love when we all do the cleaning together.

Mrs Stuart does not give up.  I can not believe what she keeps pulling.  It makes me appreciate my mother in law.  I am so grateful she is not like Mrs Stuart.  

I love all the things that Luke does for Aggie & the children.  I am not going to get into details for those who have not read the book.  There is one that I especially love that is on the outside of the house (Page 68 Kindle) so you will need to go to that page to find out!  hehe!!  I love when I do that.  

A favorite quote from the book is when Vannie said to Aggie, "Mommy always said that if we don't grow and embrace the new things the Lord brings into our lives, we become pathetic.... no, apathetic."  I love how Vannie & the other children are sharing good memories of their mother especially of what she taught them.

I need to keep reminding myself of this: Luke told Aggie this "If you let yourself convince yourself it's too hard, pretty soon every little bump be overwhelming." (Page 89 Kindle).  This is so true.  Breathe! As a friend as told me, Breathe!  Thanks Melissa.   

Here We Come

book 3

Aggie is getting married to the man of her dreams.  She misses her sister.  She always thought her sister would be here on her wedding day.  Aggie has her family surrounded on her wedding day!

Would you take your sister & brother in law's children? Would you be able to handle 8 kids at the same time?  Yes & yes, I could & would handle 8 kids with organization.  A chalkboard with the weekly schedule (yes, I do this myself now)!!  Organization for shoes, backpacks, coats!!

 Aggie has to deal with her brother in law's mother, Mrs Stuart, who gives the meaning to mother in law from Hell.  Would you do everything you could to keep them away from Mrs Stuart? Hell yes, I would keep them away.  As a friend says all the time she would call her "bat shit crazy"!!

I highly recommend these 3 books.  I was glued to these books.  Very great book!

Keep on Reading
 P.S. Discussion Questions for You:
Ready or Not:
1. What does Aggie has to deal with during Ready or Not? 
2. Do you think at the age of 22, you could raise 8 kids?  Why or why not?
3. Where does Aggie move her & the kids?
4.  How many times does she have to deal with Mrs Stuart?
5.  Who helps Aggie? With what? Why?
6. Name all 8 children.
7.  Who said " These children haven't grieved right.  They are wound up tighter than an over-tuned fiddle.  Any time now, one of them is gonna snap, and then there's gonna be trouble"

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