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 that....it'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)
memories
the gift of life
creativity
being able to make do with less
my brothers--they are both great men
rainy days
chocolate cake
jokes
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
laughter
tears
being able to feel things deeply
encouragement from my online community (you here!)
passion
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
singing
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
cookies
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
yoga
contentment
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
secrets
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!
playdoh
legos
completed projects around the house! ;-)
being able to teach my children
cuddling and snuggling
hugs
hand holding
kisses
made up stories
the predictability of our life
ponchos
little bit of skill I have in the kitchen
the electric pencil sharpener
candles
my children's friends/cousins
my spiritual journey
wholeness
silence
alone time
girls' night outs
date nights
babysitters
friends who include us like family
corduroy
scarves
mittens
a breath-taking view
farmland
trees
the chance to travel and see new places
nature trails
granola
Tuesdays
whipped cream
chocolate chips
new pajamas for the whole family
talks with my mommy
silliness
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!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Time goes by; seven years already!

Wanna play? Click here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

She's 7!!!


Yes! Today my firstborn baby is seven years old today. I can't believe it. I spent last night thinking about my pregnancy--all the excitement, anticipation and anxiety surrounding it. I've spent almost everyday with her--such a blessing! She is now officially a 'big girl,' no longer a baby. It's bitter sweet!

I love her so very much!!!

Happy Birthday baby!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November Update: 100 Books-a-Month Challenge

We took a trip to the library yesterday to return our second batch of books and get the last set for this month. We've read a lot of good stories. Here's where were are as of today:

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

Only 17 more!! We can be done before Thanksgiving! Whoo Hoo! ;-)

Wanna join us? Click here to find out more!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spontaneous Picnic


I think it's great that we have the time and opportunity to make the most of every day! Today was no different. The weather has been nice, breezy but sunny--no clouds to be seen. So after the kids ran around for a bit, picked wild onions, dandelions, sticks, pretended that they were planting & working in their gardens--we had in impromptu picnic. Now, I did pack us a lunch today, as I've been doing most days. I guess what made today different is that my kids named it so!




Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Sharing Monday

Since we're reading so many new books in the 100 Books a Month Challenge, we couldn't decide on just one book for this week's Book Sharing Monday. So I asked each of my children to pick one book. These are the ones they really liked and chose to share this week. The first two books are all about friendship and how you can find friends in the usual and unusual ways! ;-)

So Much in Common by Laurie A. Jacobs and A Friend for All Seasons by Julia Hubery.

The boy chose this one: Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman & Kevin Hawkes. This is a picture book so he has been able to 'read' and 'read' and 'read' this book since we checked it out! I have to say that because it shows how you can see extra-ordinary things in everyday, ordinary life, my girls have been pointing things out around us that are similar to this book.

We think that you'll enjoy reading these books as well!

Want to join Book Sharing Monday or simply find a list of those who participate? Check out Alex @ Serendipity!

Simple Things


raindrops on the window pane
birds splashing in water
streams of light through curtains
little hands on my face

warm socks on cool nights
smell of fresh baked bread
coffee with half & half
my favorite mug

listening to the kids singing in the next room
laughing at each others' jokes
overhearing hopes and dreams
smiles of satisfaction

call from my best friend
card in the mail
surprise text message
love letter email

freshly made up bed
fluffy pillow
stack of books on night stand
great article in magazine

my bad hair day hat
favorite black boots
hoop earrings
watch from my dad

my son whispering my name
watching my girls play mommy
hearing them breathe as they sleep
quiet house

kettle whistling
warm biscuits and jelly
creamy grits
time to savor the early morning silence

coloring
painting
looking through photo albums
laughing again at an old joke

holding hands
hugging
nice back scratch
rubbing of feet & toes

incense burning
shea butter to rub in my hands
lavender
lemongrass

having time to journal
my favorite silver pen
feeling the words being written
rereading where I've been

walking in nature
leaning against a tree
seeing a new flower
walking through a creek

sunflowers
dandelions
dogwoods
magnolia trees

sunny days
autumn
cool nights
snow

I'm participating in 'Simple Things' initiated by Christina at Soul Aperture. To get a list of others who are participating today click here.

Found photo here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Six Word Saturday/Sunday



How much more can I take?

To find out more...click here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Speak Those Things


They say that the words you speak cause things to be. Thoughts become words. Words become actions. What one imagines she can make reality. Do you believe that? Think about all the motivational talks you've heard. We're told to picture what we want, see ourselves achieving it, make mental plans of attainment and then "go for it!" "get out and do it!" "be about it!" etc.

So when I read this story to my children the other day I was blown away, again. Here's a little bit about the book/story itself. It was short and to the point.
Leon and Bob by Simon James
It got me all teary. Leon has just moved to a new place and is friendless. He has an imaginary friend, Bob, who he takes with him everywhere. Leon notices that another family has moved onto the street where he lives and there's a boy his age. He talks things over with Bob and decides to go over and met the new kid. As he's running up the steps of the new neighbor's house he realizes that Bob is not longer with him. He stops mid-way, sits on the steps and tries to decide if he can do it without Bob. He finally decides he can and invites the new boy out to play at the park. They exchange names--the boy's name is Bob.
So is it possible for us to 'speak into existence' people, friends, companions, relationships that we've imagined? How awesome would that be. I'd like to think so. What about you?

I got the image from here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

Today I'd like to share with you some of our new favorite titles from all the books we've been reading. I'm proud to say that we're 30 books away from our goal this month!! That's because we've been reading 5-10 almost every evening. We normally read 3 books every evening (each child picks a book) so that's 90 books-a-month and I know I read and reread books throughout the day. So 100 books really isn't hard to do. (Just want to encourage those of you who are thinking you may not reach the goal---you will!!)

Anyway, here are the titles we are really enjoying. We'll be making another trip to the library next week, I'm thinking...

Oh, So Silly! by Susan Alton Schmeltz
This book contains silly things through it in the pictures. My kids so enjoyed finding them and laughing about them.

How My Library Grew by Dinah by Martha Alexander
This story is written from a little girl's perspective chronicling the building of her neighborhood library. My oldest like the idea of having a library built across the street from her house.

Hunter's Big Sister by Laura Malone Elliot
This is one in a series of books about Hunter, a little Raccoon. We've read two of them so far, but we've read this one at least five times now. My girls like how close to their life it is--the teasing, the copying, the bothering. They find it hilarious. I like that it ends with Hunter and his sister realizes that they love each other a lot.

A Fairy Went A-Marketing by Rose Fyleman
This is a simply rhyme about a fairy. What we like most about this book is the pictures. They're the 'take-a-closer-look' kind where every time you look you see something new. I also like the message it communicates about how we can do little things to make our world and the little creatures in it safe and free. How we can enjoy it without disregarding it.

Waking Up Wendell by April Stevens
It book was a lot longer than I thought it would be. It shows how things happen each morning that affect the next thing...that finally awake Wendell. There are several skills that you can reinforce with your child when reading (counting, order, alphabet). My children have enjoyed retelling it by looking at the pictures.

Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman
This is our first actual picture book in that there are absolutely no words at all. The pictures are fabulous. They show how one can find "circus life" in everyday regular activities. We've "read" this many times since checking it out last week.

What new favorites are you discovering with your children? We'd love to hear about it!
Enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sound of Music?


It's really one of my all time favorite movies. My daughter has begged me to let your watch if for the past few weeks. It's a once a year kind of movie. We finally watched it over the past two evenings. I was reminded of all the songs and what I loved best about the movie as a child: the longing to find my "special someone" in the sea of faces; having a large family in which there wasn't a lot of fussing; living next to water or a large mountain to run around on...

Today has been filled with "cuckooing," "do-re-mi-fa-so-la-te-do-ing," singing at the top of all the staircases and dancing all around the house. As cute as it started out to be, this morning...I'm about at me wits end this evening!!! If I hear one more "cuckoo!" I think I'm going to scream!!!

Yeah, I'm finding today a bit of a challenge--physically and definitely emotionally. This time of year is tough anyway, with the sunsetting earlier. My 'day' is over at 4:45 and I still have a few hours before I can officially send the kids to bed (without having to pay in the morning). We've been taking advantage of all this "night time" by filling the time with reading. Since starting the challenge (100 Books-a-Month Challenge, that is) reading is something we've made time in our days for nightly. But it seems that the kids just know when I'm wearing thin and push things to the extreme. Know what I mean?

I'm finding that listening to music for me is helping my spirit, along with a nice warm mug of something. There are many things I do enjoy about this time of year...but I'm missing the sun right now. Perhaps I'm missing more...

How are you coping with the time change, less day-light and feeling overwhelmed? What music lifts your spirits?

...and for those who want to reminisce a bit click here. ;-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homeschool Day @ Valley Forge National Park

Two Thursdays ago, we attended a Homeschool Day at Valley Forge National Park. The park itself is very beautiful during this time of year. The leaves are changing--trees showing their true colors and all. We were a family of many who attended this event. The weather was unseasonably warm--in the low 70's. We learned a bit about how life was in the 17th century and what was going on during that time.

Wanted to share some photos....

































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