Thursday, December 31, 2009

December Update: 100 Books-a-Month Challenge

I must admit, I'm not sure if we've reached our goal.  With all that took place in preparation for the holidays, not a lot of reading took place.  I didn't make a chart as I had planned for this month, but have it ready to begin for January!

We did listen to several books on tapes as we ran our errands, dropped off gifts and on our long trip down South---thank goodness for them!

Well, let's see how we did! ;-)

  1. Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant
  2. The Christmas Witch by Steven Kellogg
  3. Grandpa Bear's Christmas by Bonnie Pryor
  4. Bears on Chairs by Shirley Parenteau
  5. The Christmas Gift by Emily Arnold McCully
  6. The Christmas Stockings by Matthew Price
  7. A Farm Through Time by Angela Wilkes
  8. The Always Prayer Shawl by Sheldon Oberman
  9. Coming Through the Blizzard by Eileen Spinelli
  10. Christmas by Dennis Brindell Fradin
  11. Christmas on the Prairie by Joan Anderson
  12. Arthur's Christmas by Marc Brown
  13. Holly, Reindeer & Colored Lights: The Story of the Christmas Symbols by Edna Barth
  14. Let's Celebrate Christmas by Peter & Connie Roop
  15. Pete Rack Rat's Christmas Eve Surprise by Robert Quackenbush
  16. The Mole Family's Christmas by Russel Hoban
  17. The Legend of the Ragged Boy by Wes Magee
  18. The Family Christmas Tree Book by Tomie de Paola
  19. Christmas at Mud Flat by James Stevenson
  20. Latkes, Latkes Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story by Namoi Howland
  21. Richard Scarry's Best Christmas Book Ever!
  22. How I learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
  23. A Child is Born by Margaret Wise Brown
  24. Uncle Vova' Tree by Patricia Polacco
  25. The Santa Clauses retold by Achim Briger
  26. Hurry! by Jessie Haas
  27. Listen, Rabbit by Alieen Fisher
  28. Under the Christmas Tree by Nikki Grimes
  29. The Gift Stone by Robyn Eversole
  30. Holly Clause the Christmas Princess by Brittney Ryan
  31. Christmas Toyland by Lynn Hollyn's
  32. --- 42. The Hanukkah Family Treasury by Steven Zorn & Rabbi Joui Hessel (10 stories)
43. Merry Un-Christmas by Mike Reiss
44. My G-r-r-r-reat Uncle Tiger by James Riordan
45. Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
46. Where's That Reptile? by Barbara Brenner and Bernice Chardiet
47. The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen
48.  Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
49. Anansi and the Pot of Beans as told by Bobby & Sherry Norfolk
50. Happy Healthy Monster: Elmo's Breakfast Bingo by Abigail Tabby
51. Grandmother and I by Helen E. Buckley
52. The Seven Days of Kwanzaa: How to Celebrate Them by Angela Shelf Medearis
53.  Seven Candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney
54. Winter Poems selected by Barbara Rogasky
55. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
56. The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood
57. Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth
58, Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
59. Imani's Gift at Kwanzaa by Denise Burden-Patmon
60. Best of All by Max Lucado
61. Anansi the Spider: a tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott
62. The Woman Who Outshone the Sun: The Legend of Lucia Zenteno from a poem by Alejandro Cruz Martinez
63. One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes
64. Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
65. For Everyone to Share by Gillian Lobel
66. Let's Play Make-Believe by Paul B. Ricchiuti
67. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
68. Cookies in the Mailbox by Linda Porter Carlyle
69. Carly and the Crabholes by Natalie Williams

Books on Tape/CD
70. Sally the Runaway Monkey by Ethel Maxine Neff
71. Pokey the Runaway Bear by Ethel Maxine Neff
72. Packy the Runaway Elephant by Ethel Maxine Neff
73. Germs Make Me Sick by  Melvin Berger
74. Cat and Mouse and other short Tales by Lifetime Classics
75. The Princess and the Pea
76. The Story of the Three Bears by Lifetime Classics
77. Flossie and the Fox by Patricia C. McKissack
78. I Can Read About the Sun and other Stars by Troll Associates
79. John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack Keats
80. Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
81. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
82. The Bible Story Volume 9-Stories of the King of Life (Stories 1-9)
83. Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
84, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm by Betty MacDonald
85. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The next are all by Hans Christian Anderson
86.  The Tinder Box
87.  The Princess and the Pea
88.  Thumbelina
89.  The Traveling Companion
90.  The Little Mermaid
91.  The Emperor's New Clothes
92.  The Steadfast Tin Soldier
93.  The Wild Swans
94.  The Ugly Duckling
95.   The Flying Trunk
96.  The Snow Queen
97.  The Shadow
98.  The Little Match Girl
99.  The Story of a Mother
100. The Wood Nymph

Well, I've definitely surprised myself in typing up this list!  Again, I'm very thankful for books on tape this month!!!  How did things go with each of you???  I'm heading to the library (after the holiday) to pick up some more new stories.  Now that the holidays are coming to a close I can get back to a better rhythm.

As you begin the new year, consider joining us in our 100 Books-a-Month Challenge.  I'm sure you're reading tons of books with your family already and we'd love to have you along!  If you'd like to find out how it all started click here.  You can also check the sidebar for a list of families who are participating!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays to You!!

(I found this image here.) 

I just wanted to take a moment to wish each of you, who take time out of your day to bless me with your presence, eyes, hearts, comments, encouragement, etc., a wonderful holiday season.  I've been taking time with my children making gifts, decorations and all sorts of treats.  I'll eventually post some of the pictures I've snapped in all of this.  I've also been taking time to sit and enjoy this time.  We got snow this past weekend and we're hoping for a fresh falling for Christmas!

I wish each of you and your families as very happy and safe rest of the season.  I'm going to take a little break for myself and it may include time away from my blog--we'll see!  Remember that this time of year is about peace and that for those of us who have it--it is our responsibility to SHARE it with all those, family or not, we meet!

I've decided to share with you some of my favorite holiday music...listen to one or all!  Enjoy!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Children napping. 

Wanna play? Click here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

"These are a few of my favorite things!" 

It's cold outside today but thankfully it's warm inside.  We've been busy this week getting our handmade and homemade gifts together.  My goal is to be finished with everything on Sunday so that I can spend next week doing some things I'd like to do---reading, knitting, relaxing, being available for anything that may 'pop' up!

Today, I'd like to share one of the favorite things that keeps me warm during this time of year.  I'm a BIG poncho fan---have a good number of them.  The one that is my all-time favorite is one that I handmade myself.  It's made out of micro-fleece and is rather toasty.  It was my first attempt at making one so isn't the most 'well-made' but that hasn't changed the coziness of it!  It's just the right length to keep my warm as I knit, or read, or anything else!

Here's two photos of it:

What's one of your favorite things that keeps you warm during this time of year? I'd love to hear about it or anything you'd like to share in the comments below!

Have a Fabulous Friday!! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I've joined in with Jumping Tandem in celebrating 12 Days of Peace.
(please click the link above and check it out!)

Yesterday late afternoon I did a little non-Christmas/holiday looking/shopping.  Since I'm making all my gifts this year and haven't been a part of any hustle or bustle (besides what normally is happening at my home--smile), I decided I'd take 30 minutes to just look in one of my favorite stores.  Plus I wanted some more Chai tea and they offer the brand I most enjoy.  While looking on the Clearance isles I came across this plaque:

I thought, how appropriate that I found this while participating in 12 Days of Peace!!

I immediately placed it in my cart and will be hanging it up on my wall.  Since we're focused on 'peace' during this time I've been thinking more about my hopes for 2010.  I'd like for my next year to be peaceful.  Really. And as this quote states--finding it within myself is what will allow me to be full of peace with others!

So as I take another 'still moment' today and think about the Christmas story, I will take some time to find peace within. 

I hope each of you is enjoying today!! Embracing it with open arms.  Taking some time to laugh and spend it with the ones you love most!  And hopefully, taking time to be at peace.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Sharing Monday

The book we're sharing today is one that I found hilarious!  I had to explain to my children as to why I was laughing throughout it. It's entitled Merry Un-Christmas by Mike Reiss; illustrated by David Catrow.

Here's how it begins:
It was Christmas morning and Noelle was opening her presents.  She got a new doll, a dollhouse, ice skates, roller skates, a computer, and a bike.  Oh yes, and a pony.  "Gee, thanks," she said with a yawn.
My oldest immediately looked at me in surprise.  (We often talk about being gracious and appreciative when we're given gifts.)

Noelle put her bike in the garage with all her other bikes...and let her pony play in the back yard with all her other ponies.

My second said, "Mommy, she had lots of bikes and ponies???!!"

Noelle lives in "Christmas City, in the state of Texmas.  It's the one place in the world where it's Christmas 364 days a year."

She, her parents and her friends look forward to that one day a year that is Un-Christmas.  All Christmas decorations are taken down.  Noelle gets to go to school (since school is out for Christmas).  She gets to watch 'regular' TV--no Christmas specials or parades.  She also looks forward to a visit from a big chubby man with a sack!  You'll have to check it out to find out just who that is and how things end!!

It's a funny little story that gives a different perspective to all the commercialization of Christmas.  I think you'll enjoy it too!

Why not join in with us on Book Sharing Monday!  It's a great way to share your favorite books!!  Stop by Serendipity and let Alex know.  You will also find a list of all those other families who are regular participants.  We'd love to have you!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


There are days I feel invisible.
No one seems to hear what I'm saying or respond to what I'm doing.
Sometimes I think it's a super power--
other times--not so much.

I just stopped by Everyday Possibilities and watched this short YouTube video.
It's very inspiring!!
Something that I needed to hear today.
Perhaps you do too....take a look.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Cook. Clean up. Cook. Clean up.

Wanna play? Click here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

These are a few of my favorite things!

This morning I treated myself to a nice, very warm cup of coffee.  As much as I love coffee, I haven't been drinking it on a daily basis--not even a weekly basis.  So it's definitely a treat when I have a cup.  Some friends spent Thanksgiving in Jamaica and brought back some Jamaican coffee for us to try.  Let me tell you--it is the truth (so is the rum that accompanied it)!!  I also enjoy Peruvian, Kenyan & Ethiopian coffees.  Each has a distinct taste and flavor.

So today, I'm simply sharing with you a photo, of my favorite mug, with another soon-to-be favorite coffee!


[The reason this is my favorite mug, you ask? My daddy sent it to me on the first day of my first 'real' job--right out of college--as a second grade teacher in the Atlanta Public School System--I was scared to death, mind you!!  It had a bouquet of flowers in it then and made that first day more bearable.  I have loved it since.  Thanks again, Daddy! I love you too!!]

Won't you share one of your favorite things this Friday? Leave it in the comment section below.  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a fantastic Friday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

8 Things: Generous Gifts for Trying Times

I always look forward to doing the *8 Things lists.  Today is no different.  With the economy as it is and people beginning to realize that they have to live the rest of the year, gift giving during the holidays has definitely changed.  This is not all bad, in my opinion.  We get to be more creative and gifts have the potential to be more meaningful to the giver as well as the receiver.  Rachelle has come up with a great list for gifts one can give on a tight budget.  I'm taking a few moments to think about some gifts that differ from her list.  This may be more difficult than I thought.  Heck, who am I kidding?  I've been giving like this for years! LOL!

My *8 Generous Gifts List

  1. Give a 'certificate' to a mom for an afternoon/evening/night out--free babysitting!! (we mothers will LOVE this!)
  2. Bake loaves of bread (banana, nut, pumpkin, wheat, etc.) to give.
  3. Share your favorite cookies along with their recipes.
  4. Make your holiday cards adding personal touches for each receiver.
  5. Hand write a letter/love note telling what you like/love about him/her.  (Remember when this was the thing?! )
  6. Give handmade gifts--knitted, crocheted, sewed, quilted, cross-stitched, painted, "scrapbook-ed," baked, colored, etc. etc.
  7. Offer to teach one of your friends and/or their children a skill or something you're good at.  I'm sure there is something that you do that they'd be interested in learning--photography, graphic design, knitting, painting, sculpting, speaking another language, etc.
  8. Get a group of family and friends together and go volunteer at a local shelter together over the holidays.  Isn't this time about giving?  How better than to give to others WITH your loved ones!

Are you planning to work out or start a path to a healthier you?  You are probably not the only one.  Give the gift of being someone's partner in this.  Whether  it is speaking over the phone to touch base and give encouragement to actually walking together or going to the gym together, this is an invaluable gift!

So hopefully this has given you some good ideas!  I'm interested to seeing what you've come up with.  Go to Rachelle's blog, Magpie Girl, to find out more about *8 Things, grab a button, and play along!

Happy Gift Giving!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Ok.  So I have some words today.  We read the above book...

My son went into his room and after asking to make use of my gloves, reappeared like this:

See the resemblance?

(shaking head)
that's my boy!!!!!
(he's 3, btw)

gotta love it!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home-Grown Love

(Photo by Penniepicker*)

So I've changed the name of my blog.
Made it more inclusive for all I do
all I share here.
My life is so much more than homeschooling
and raising children for that matter
although that is what this blog was mainly about
when I started it.
It's grown...I've grown...we've grown!
It needs to include more.

A very dear friend (who truly knows me--inside & out)
suggested the name after reading over my blog
when i read it
i LOVED it immediately!
(thank you!)

it's perfect
well, as perfect as it can be
for now :)

All that I do, whether directly for my children or not
is ultimately for their good.
Learning more about myself
loving and accepting me, for me
practicing extending myself to others
becoming more flexible
only helps them to love themselves
and share that unconditional love with others--
our reason for being

So, for now, at least,
you can still find me at the same ulr
perhaps I'll change that as well, eventually
will let you all know, though

Now let me get back to growing some love....

(*Photo above is from Penniepicker's photostream on flikr and can be found here.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Book Sharing Monday

Good Morning to you!

Today we'd like to share one of the holiday books we've been reading this month.  It's Under the Christmas Tree by Nikki Grimes.  We were surprised to find out that this is a book of poems (yeah, we just grab it off the shelf at the library without looking through it). 

The illustrator, Kadir Nelson, does a beautiful job depicting the poems throughout the book. 

The poems are funny and silly to meaningful and full of spirit.  We think you'll enjoy it, too!

Would you like to join in or perhaps see other books of those who participate?  Check out Alex at Serendipity.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The 'Perfect' Gift

Earlier in the year I took the Handmade Pledge with regards to purchasing things.  The idea is to support those who sell handmade items. I think it's a great idea and if done thoughtfully promises the receiver a wonderfully unique and special gift.  This year I won't be purchasing handmade, but rather will be making them with my own hands.

I've spent the past few days thinking about what handmade items I'll be giving for this holiday season. I've looked through a host of stores. Read through lots of crafting sites/blogs to get a sense of what others are giving/making this year. I even took a view through some handmade YouTube videos. After looking at what I've previously made and given over the years (knitted scarves, blankets, quilts, aprons) I've been looking for something that will be useful as well as pretty--something worth getting! ;-) No need to add to the clutter and unwanted items we all seem to have around the house!

Well, the other day I finally came upon something that speaks to all my objectives: 1) it keeps me within budget, 2) it is handmade, 3) it uses recycled items (an added bonus!) and 4) it has the potential of being the 'perfect' gift!! There is only one problem--I can't share what it is.

Several of my family members and friends who are on my holiday gift giving list have now started reading my blog. While I am very thankful for this it now poses a few issues. LOL. I don't want to spoil things for them! Nor do I wish to get the "don't worry about me this year" call/email/text. (smile)

But since I'm so excited about it, I'll be taking photos and taking notes so that I can share once the gifts have been given. Part of the fun in making gifts is seeing people's reaction to what you've made just for them! The other part is actually taking the time and using one's hands.

I am thankful that I have family and friends who appreciate a handmade gift. I'm so looking forward to sharing what I'm doing with the rest of you here. I will keep you posted!!!! (smile)

Until then...check out the link upon. Perhaps you'd like to take the Handmade Pledge yourself!

(I found the image above on Google.) 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Six Word Saturday


Sabbath. A wonderful time for rest.

Wanna play? Click here. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

"These are a few of my favorite things."

I'm 'doin' hair' today--both girls' and mine.  It is a task but not like it used to be.  For those of you who may be 'natural' in how you wear and do your hair I just thought I'd share my VERY favorite homemade hair conditioner.  I have to say, every time I use it, I feel wonderful.  Not only do I enjoy the smell of it, but it leaves my/our hair lovely (moisturized, without too much oily-ness).  I came upon this recipe in viewing a natural hair care video on YouTube (yet cannot remember which one).

Homemade Hair Conditioner
1/2 avacado
3.5 oz coconut milk
3.5 oz coconut oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1Tbsp castor oil or honey (I use honey)

Makes 2 cups

After cleaning hair & scalp (I use a no-poo cleaning**), put conditioner in hair.  (I part the hair and put it in at the scalp and massage it through to the ends.) 
Cover hair with a cap and leave on for 1-2 hours.  (I usually sit under a dryer for 15-30 minutes.)
Rinse in warm water until water runs through clear.

**No-Poo Cleaning
Baking Soda/Water paste (rub into scalp & rinse.  do as many times as necessary)
Then rinse with an Apple Cider Vinegar/Water Mix (1/3 ACV & 2/3 water)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Little Drummer Boy

The freedom to put together one's own 'drum set' and bang it out!

I enjoyed the noise!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

100 Books-a-Month Challenge: December

...And just like's time to start again.

This month we are going to focus on holiday stories as well as some books about giving. We spent yesterday afternoon in the library enjoying a local zoo's presentation. Afterwards we loaded up our bags with as many books as we could carry! Now that's we've made it through our first month and each of my children were able to 'see' our progress--they've been asking to read more. Now, of course, I have no intention of saying 'no' to their desires to read more than 100--but reminded them that Mommy has been doing most of the reading. 100 books are a lot of read in addition to all the other things that I do. My middle child suggested that we ask others to read to them as well--which is a wonderful idea!!! Since the holidays bring with them visits from family & friends, we'll be asking our visitors to join me in reading to the kids--perhaps we'll make it over 100. Let the record show that I'm quite fine with our 100 goal! (smile)

Happy Reading to each of you who have joined us. If you're new click here to find out more and sign up!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Sharing Monday & 100-Books-a-Month: November Completion

Wow!!! We did it! I have to say that I got a bit nervous over the last few days with all the preparation I did for thanksgiving. I was extremely tired and we didn't really as much as I had thought. But we spent most of the yesterday finishing up out last stack of books for the month of November.

Before I shared our completed list, we're going to share one of the books with you for Book Sharing Monday.

It's a poem written by Alice Walker illustrated by Stefano Vitale: There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me. I enjoyed it and it gave my girls another perspective in viewing the world around them. Here are a few of the lines, in random order, that we enjoyed the most:
There is water at the tip of my tongue, tasting me.
There is a dance that lives in my bones, dancing me.
There is a story at the end of my arms, telling me.
There is a pen nestled in my hand, writing me.

We definitely recommend this book. We're in the process of writing our own poem/book using this as an example! I just love the idea!! If you're interested in joining in Book Sharing Monday, please let Alex know. We'd love to have you!

Now to the 100 Books-a-Month Challenge. If you've liked to find out more about the challenge, click here. Here is our completed list. We are taking a trip to the library this afternoon to get our next set of books for the month of December.
1. Tapenum's Day by Kate Waters
2. Samuel Eaton's Day by Kate Waters
3. Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters
4. Mole and the Baby Bird by Marjorie Newman
5. Leon and Bob by Simon James
6. A Cache of Jewels and other Collective Nouns by Ruth Heller
7. Old Cricket by Lisa Wheeler
8. The Tinderbox by Han Christian Anderson
9. The Leaving Morning by Angela Johnson
10. A Fairy Went A-Marketing by Rose Fyleman
11. Who's in the Tub? by Sylvie Jones
12. Where did bunny go? by Nancy Tafuri
13. Lila and the Secret of Rain by David Conway
14. Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
15. Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard
16. Waking Up Wendell by April Stevens
17. Got to Dance by M. C. Helldorfer
18. Birthday by John Steptoe
19. Berenstain Bears & the Escape of the Bogg Brothers
20. Ups & Downs with Oink and Pearl by Kay Chorao
21. Hunter's Big Sister by Laura Malone Elliott
22. Franklin in the Dark by Paulette Bourgeois
23. Franklin's Birthday Party by Scholastic
24. Franklin's Bad Day by Paulette Bourgeois
25. Franklin is Bossy by Paulette Bourgeois
26. Franklin's Class Trip by Paulette Bourgeois
27. Franklin's Neighborhood by Paulette Bourgeois
28. Franklin and the Tooth Fairy by Paulette Bourgeois
29. Franklin Goes to School by Paulette Bourgeois
30. My Dadima Wears a Sari by Kashmira Sheth
31. Oh, So Silly! by Susan Alton Schmeltz
32. How My Library Grew by Dinah by Martha Alexander
33. Wolf! by Becky Bloom
34. Amelia's Road by Linda Jacobs Altman
35. The Real McCoy: The Life of an African-American Inventor by Wendy Towle
36. Savina: The Gypsy Dancer by Ann Tompert
37. Who is Driving? by Leo Timmers
38. Potato Pancakes All Around: A Hanukkah Tale by Marilyn Hirsh
39. Little Bear's Trousers by Jane Hissey
40. Belinda by Pamela Allen
41. Overnight at Mary Bloom's by Aliki
42. Tom Thumb by Margaret Hillert
43. Pilgrims of Plymouth by Susan E. Goodman
44. Ramadan by Suhaib Hamid Ghazi
45. On the Mayflower by Kate Waters
46. In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
47. Safety First--Fire! by Eugene Baker
48. Crocodile Listens by April Pulley Sayre
49. The Giant by Claire Ewart
50. Mr. Carey's Garden by Jane Cutler
51. Too Many Babas by Carolyn Croll
52. Mario's Mystery Machine by Sibyl Hancock
53. Knitting Nell by Julie Jersild Roth
54. The Boy Who Loved the Rain by Barbara Haupt
55. How Hungry Are You? by Donna Jo Napoli & Richard Techen
56. High in the Mountains by Ruth Yaffe Radin
57. It's Raining, It's Pouring: A Book for Rainy Days by Sarah Pooley
58. A Friend for All Seasons by Julia Hubery
59. Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever! by Don Freeman
60. Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein
61. Hunter's Best Friend at School by Laura Malone Elliott
62. Escaping to America: A True Story by Rosalyn Schanzer
63. An Island Grows by Lola M. Schaefer
64. The Year at Maple Hill Farm by Alice & Martin Provensen
65. Muskrat will be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau
66. Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman
67. So Much in Common by Laurie A. Jacobs
68. The Greatest Picnic in the World by Anne Grossnickle Hines
69. OUCH! by Ragnhild Scamell
70. The Chalk Doll by Charlotte Pomerantz
71. Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke
72. Button Breaker by Stephen Cosgrove
73. Snicker Doodle by Stephen Cosgrove
74. Trollerella by Karen M. Stegman-Bourgeois
75. The Berenstain Bears' Report Card Trouble
76. Pondlarker by Fred Gwynne
77. But excuse me, that is my book by Lauren Child
76. Arthur's Baby by Marc Brown
77. Arthur's April Fool by Marc Brown
78. Rub a Dub Dub as told by Kin Eagle
79. Happy Mother's Day, Mami! by Leslie Valdes
80. The Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute (anymore)
81. Krustnkrum! by Anne-Marie Chapouton
82. Dora's Chilly Day by Kiki Thorpe
83. Big Sister Dora! by Alison Inches
84. Vision of beauty: the story of Sarah Breedlove Walker by Kathryn Lasky
85. Brothers in Hope: the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams
86. Princess Party by Joy Allen
87. Purplicious by Vistoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann
88. I love you the purplest by Barbara M. Joosse
89. That's What Friends Are For by Florence Parry Heide & Sylvia Van Clief
90. A good day by Kevin Henkes
91. Kitten's first full moon by Kevin Henkes
92. Julius, the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
93. The Longest Night by Marion Dane Bauer
94. Raising Yoder's Barn by Jane Yolen
95. Baby Brother by Tanneke Wigersma & Nynke Mare Talsma
96. The Ten-Alarm Camp-Out by Cathy Warren
97. There is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me by Alice Walker
98. Brrr! by James Stevenson
99. The Paradise Garden by Colin Thompson
100. The Moon in my Room by Ila Wallen

and just like's time to start again! ;-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

8 Things for a Peaceful Holiday

Ok. So I haven't done an 8 Things list in a while and I'm happy to be able to participate again!

This list is about what things will make for a less stressful, enjoyable holiday that centers/focuses on what truly matter to me/my family instead of getting caught up in all the hustle and bustle of things. Rachelle puts it so lovely so definitely check out her blog post!!

8 Things for a Peaceful Holiday

1. Make a list and stick to it--whether it's gifts, parties, cards
2. Playing holiday music to keep us in 'happy' spirits
3. Making cookies and treats with my children to take to Daddy's students
4. Planning with friends which three 'events' we'll take the kids to (so they can enjoy time with their friends).
5. Locate the holiday videos so they're ready for our weekly movie night
6. Get an Advent Calendar and do it this year!
7. Decorate the tree & house Christmas Eve
8. Make plan with husband to get children's gifts together prior to Christmas Eve! (So we don't have to stay up all night this year!!!)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Looking over my life. So thankful!

Wanna play? Click here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

So it's the day after Thanksgiving. Still so many things to be thankful for. I read a devotional thought regarding Thanks-living. So as I strive to 'Let God Bless Me,' I also want to focus on living thankfully as well.

Today I just wanted to share a few of my favorite things about Thanksgiving, that I was reminded about yesterday:

  • the regardless of the who's, how's, the what's, the why's or why not's--I have a great family and in the end have a wonderful time with them!
  • my cousin, Angela, makes the BEST macaroni & cheese (which is one of my favorite dishes) and I enjoyed a few helpings!!
  • pumpkin pie
  • red-velvet cheese cake (oh so yummy!!!)
  • the private jokes that those of us who cooked shared
  • having a place
  • watching the younger cousins get to know each other and play, like us 'big' cousins used to
  • my best friend--she was available via phone and we had several good laughs
What are some of your favorite things?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

More Thankfulness

I am indeed thankful. I have been blessed with so much. I want to make sure that I take the time on a regular basis to think about these things, and all the others that I may fail to put into this list. My life is full of little things that when put together create a really lovely life.

I am thankful for....

my favorite navy blue socks--they are sooooo soft
having more than enough clothes & shoes
having friends/family who send just what my kids need (new shoes, clothes, underwear--being at home is a sacrifice)
parent who totally support my decision to homeschool--and go out and get things we can use!
a husband who works so that I can stay at home.
my digital camera
a working washing machine & dryer
my library card
books on tape/CD
my computer (albeit a 'hand-me-over')
the hot glue gun (has so many handy uses)
the gift of life
being able to make do with less
my brothers--they are both great men
rainy days
chocolate cake
the skill of knitting
new recipes
collard greens
time to think, hope & dream
my sewing machine
a long, hot shower
being able to share with others (homeschooling stuff, books, clothing, food)
journaling, blogging--chronicling my life
being able to feel things deeply
encouragement from my online community (you here!)
massage therapy
cousins who live close by and have children my children's ages
a living grandmother, who is 85 yo
being able to experience the ups and downs of parenting
finding my voice
setting healthy boundaries
living authentically
having time to make homemade
cooking from scratch
books that touch my soul
good music
family game night
dancing around the house
laughing out loud
playing dress-up
being able to have pets (2 dogs)
being/feeling safe at home
good friends!!
finding a great buy the other day--new curtains for the bedroom
Jaya, Kari, Melvin, the three loves in my life!!
seeing the importance of connecting with older people--learning from their experience
V & S Subs
my new face wash--simply LOVE it
a best friend who will travel from anywhere to "be there" with me
finding more things in common with more people
widening my circle of influence--being the change...
a comfy bed with electric blanket
art that my children create
a new vehicle
good movies (Tale of Despereaux is most recent)
love letters
my health
good books
having the energy to read, read, read and read some more to the kids
thinking of you cards
butter on fresh-from-the-oven homemade bread
the thirsty towel after my shower
loving my natural hair
making changes that are earth friendly
sunshine to warm a chilly day
caller ID & voicemail
land for my children to run & play on
the kindness of strangers
knowing smiles
hard times
smells that remind me of....way back when, childhood, home
the good that comes from 'not so pleasant' situations
life lessons that I'm learning
my Aunt Ersula--who is helping me love me even more!
completed projects around the house! ;-)
being able to teach my children
cuddling and snuggling
hand holding
made up stories
the predictability of our life
little bit of skill I have in the kitchen
the electric pencil sharpener
my children's friends/cousins
my spiritual journey
alone time
girls' night outs
date nights
friends who include us like family
a breath-taking view
the chance to travel and see new places
nature trails
whipped cream
chocolate chips
new pajamas for the whole family
talks with my mommy
clean plates at the end of a meal
flexibility--physically, emotionally, interpersonally, mentally
clean water
wild flowers
my daddy's unconditional love
someone to lean on
a God who cares more than I can understand

this time to be thankful...

So wherever you are and whomever you may be with, take time to be thankful today...and every day! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Am a Thankful Parent!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I like that as hard as the 'market place' has tried, they have not successfully commercialized it. It's the time of year to gather with family and friends, and sometime even strangers, to remember what we have to be thankful for.

Today, after reading my cousin's new blog post, I decided that I, too, would make a list of the 'mommy things' I'm thankful for.

  • sticky-finger hugs (yeah, there's messy, but I love them!)
  • opportunity to listen to their thoughts and ideas about things
  • Kari's laughs
  • the boy's kisses
  • Jaya's jokes (they're really getting good!)
  • teaching them how to cook/bake
  • listening to them sing
  • watching how creative they are with making art & building things
  • seeing the wonder in their eyes when they discover something new
  • the fearlessness in my son's eyes when he tries something new
  • rocking them
  • having them snuggle close when we read books
  • eating popcorn while watching a movie
  • blowing bubbles for them to play with
  • being thanked for making food that they like
  • that there are three of them--they can play together and occupy each other's time so that I can blog! ;-)
  • how Jaya is stepping up and really helping me around the house
  • the way Kari always hugs me at bedtime
  • that both of the girls thinks being a mommy is a GREAT thing!
  • how my son says, "I love my mommy!"
  • being able to give my children time
  • packages from my mommy in the mail with exactly what we need inside!
  • that each of them is rather healthy--few sick days!
  • how they act their best when we're around other people
  • that they really like "doing school" and miss it when we just "go with the flow." ;-)
  • that they like to be read to and "read" books to me
  • hearing their little feet in the morning
  • seeing them making friends
These are just a few...but ones that come immediately to my mind. What are you thankful for as a parent? Post your link or add your list in the comments.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Sharing Monday

Today we're sharing another one of our library books: The Real McCoy: The Life of an African-American Inventor by Wendy Towle. This is the story of Elijah McCoy. We learned about his childhood and how he came to invent everyday things. The phrase "Real McCoy" was coined by people who wanted to know if something was really one of his or a counterfeit. We read this story over two days and really enjoyed learning all about his life and inventions.

Want to join in Book Sharing Monday? Check out Alex at Serendipity.

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Princess Birthday Party

This was our first "official" birthday party. I have to say that I'm quite pleased about my decorating skills! I stayed up all Sat night getting everything together so the morning of the party would go smoothly! I'm exhausted now. But Jaya had a wonderful time! Friends came to celebrate with us. She took lots of photos with her new camera, too!


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