The #TampaTrio and the #DriveMazda 6

In early August the #TampaTrio and I had the opportunity to test drive a brand new Mazda 6 thanks to Drive Shop USA. 

It was beautiful!

Check out that color!

I have never owned a red car and I loved it. The kids and I named her Ruby. 

For a week Ruby drove us to and from summer camp, work at the library, to a meet the teacher day at their brand new school, to Haley's middle school orientation, and Matthew the #bigyellowdog had a say in the vehicle too!

I know that I've mentioned that I currently drive a sedan. A Mercury Sable to be exact. It's fine. It's 11 years old, has 180,000 miles on it, has more bumps and bruises than I can count, but it does its job. It gets me and the kids to school and work without any issue.

And I know that I've mentioned that I desperately need a new vehicle. I need something BIGGER but that won't break the bank, and won't mind  a little bit of dog hair and trio mess.

As I mentioned above I drove the Mazda 6 all over town. One morning I had to drive out to meet the Bookmobile, and snapped a photo so you could see the size of the Mazda 6 compared to a bus. 

The Mazda 6 is just a little bit smaller than my Sable (Snow White.)

But it was still big enough to fit the trio plus all their back to school junk, with plenty of room to spare in the trunk!

I apologize for the foggy quality of this photo. It was so HOT and my camera lens fogged right over when I got out of the car and the trio didn't want to cooperate for a re-take.

On this visit I also brought along Matthew. Matthew, plus the three kids was a VERY TIGHT fit. In fact, Matthew and the three kids couldn't all fit together in the back, so Haley sat in the front, and the airbag turned itself off.

There were so many great features with this vehicle!

The i-ACTIVESENSE technology in the 2015 Mazda 6 was awesome. With features like Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Smart City Brake Support, the Mazda 6 is a step above the rest. With as much highway driving as I do, I really appreciated the feature that alerts the driver with a blinking light in either mirror when a vehicle is in your blind spot.

And living in Florida I also appreciated the automatic windshield wipers. I'm not exactly sure how they work, but they did. As I was driving home from work one evening, a sudden rainstorm came on, and my wipers automatically adjusted based on how hard/fast the rain was coming down. That was really pretty cool.

Again, driving all over Tampa from libraries at one end of the county to the other, I was really able to see how well this vehicle did on highway gas mileage. The literature stated that the vehicle should receive 40MPG on the highway. I did not get that. I averaged 28. 

I also really liked the backup camera. But I couldn't figure out how to connect my phone via blue tooth. The Mazda 6 just couldn't seem to find my phone, so I had to listen to my audio books on CD instead.

Sitting in the drivers seat really had me feeling like I was driving a sports car! The seat contoured to the shape of my body and I felt that I was sitting very low, like a race car. It also had a sunroof, but it was just too hot to give it a try.

But there is one more family member that I haven't talked about. And that is my husband. James is tall. 6'4. We went out to breakfast on Sunday morning and as I was driving us out of the parking lot, I went over a speed bump. I wasn't going too fast, just a normal drive over a speed bump. Well, as you know when you go over speed bumps you tend to go "up" a bit in your seat. Well, James went UP and OUCH. His head hit the top of the car. We hadn't realized it earlier, but he had really no clearance between the top of his head and the top of the car. So keep that in mind when you are out shopping for a new car. Make sure you drive it over a speed bump. Tongue Out


When shopping for a new car, what feature is most important to you and your family??

Ninja books for kids

Ninjas are as popular as ever with kids.  The Lego Ninjago series is a big hit in our libraries, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still have a following, (especially in my house, Ella LOVES the TMNT.)  Here is a list of picture book and juvenile fiction ninja titles published most recently:


 Ninja Bunny by Jennifer Gray Olson. 

A little rabbit tries to follow the rules in order to become a "super awesome ninja," but discovers that his book is wrong about one very important thing.


 My Grandma's a Ninja by Todd Tarpley ; illustrated by Danny Chatzikonstantinou. 

When Ethan's grandma suggests they take a zip line to school, Ethan realizes that his grandma is a little different. In fact, she's a ninja! Ethan is soon the hit of the school when his grandma drops from the ceiling at show-and-tell, and teaches the kids karate moves and how to do backflips in slow motion. But when his grandma deflates his team's soccer ball, everyone is upset--including Ethan. Why can't he just have a regular grandma? But when Ethan tries out his new karate moves during the championship game, he's happy that his grandma isn't ordinary.


 Little Kunoichi, the Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida. 

Little Kunoichi, a young ninja in training, is frustrated. Inspired by tiny Chibi Samurai's practice and skills, she works harder than ever--and makes a friend. Together, they show the power of perseverance, hard work, and cooperation when they wow the crowd at the Autumn Festival.


 Dojo Daycare by Chris Tougas. 

One morning, six young ninjas are dropped off at Dojo Daycare. As soon as their ninja moms and ninja dads have left: KABOOM! KAPOW! The ninja boys and girls kick, push, punch, and quickly turn the place upside down in a full-blown ninja riot. Try as he might, the hapless master can't control the children, and the disaster plays out through lunchtime and story time. No one heeds the master's repeated mantra of honor, kindness, and respect-- until one little ninja steps up and rallies his ninja pals to undo all that they have done, just in time for pickup.


 Ninja Boy Goes to School by Nathan D. Wilson. 

A little boy explains what it's like to go to school--when you're a ninja.


 Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop!by Todd Tuell ; illustrated by Tad Carpenter. 

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal a young ninja who uses his special moves to sneak up on the family dog, take a cookie from his brother, and escape Granny's kisses, but before day is done he meets his match.


 Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz. 

In this twist on "Little Red Riding Hood," a certain wolf trains to be a ninja in order to catch his prey, but he is not the only one mastering a martial art.


 Ninja!by Arree Chung. 

A ninja must be strong, courageous, and silent! He creeps through the house on a secret mission. There may be obstacles! But have no fear--a true ninja can overcome all challenges.


But not only primary readers are interested in Ninja stories! Check out these great titles for the older readers in your life!

 Get Mooned by Kevin Serwacki and Chris Pallace.

Best friends and ninjas-in-training Joey and Johnny are sent on a special mission to investigate their rival ninja school's use of advanced technological weapons.


 The Sweetest Heist in Historyby Octavia Spencer ; illustrations by Vivienne To. 

On a trip to New York City to visit Randi's aunt, the ninja detective trio explores Randi's old neighborhood in Brooklyn, where they uncover an art heist involving FabergeĢ eggs. Except no one will believe them. So they'll just have to catch the criminals in the act.


 The Ninja Librarians : the Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey.

Dorrie and her brother Marcus accidently open a portal to Petrarch's Library, where they discover a secret society of warrior librarians who travel in time, protecting the world's greatest thinkers from torture and death for sharing knowledge and ideas.


So what do you think?? Any of these ninja books sound like something your child would like to read??

Special thanks to HCPLC for helping to curate this great list!



What I'm Reading Wednesday

I am so busy. Life can get so hectic sometimes. I'm sure you all know that feeling.

This week I have only had time to read one book, but at least it was a good one!


Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty is about" Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow them. But apart, each is dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage, and Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, holds out hope for lasting love. In this wise, witty, and hilarious novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio."


Being part of a trio. That's something I can somewhat understand. Not that I am personally part of a trio, but I have a trio. Sure, they aren't triplets, but having 3 kids all one year apart certainly involves laughter, drama, and mayhem. My kids speak their own language, share their own inside jokes, and have what my husband and I call "the power of three." It's really pretty cool.

I love Liane Moriarty. The first book I read by her was called What Alice Forgot and it was fantastic. And then recently I read The Husband's Secret, which was so so good!! And I have waiting in my stack of books, Big Little Lies so I'll be getting to that one soon!!

What are you reading?