Monday, August 31, 2009

Treasure

Treasure by Suzanne Bloom (Ages

This book is an absolute treasure!  I received many giggles and laughs all the way through.

Two very unlikely friends - a goose and a polar bear hunt for treasure, only in the end to have found the perfect treasure - each other.

I caution you though.  If your children have not started the, "Are we there yet?" groan from car rides.  They will.  However, here's a fun response that will be sure to toss those boredom blues out the window when you say... "Let's look!"

I'm looking forward to getting her other book, A Splendid Friend, Indeed.  I'm sure this one will be a treasure too!

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Tractors

Tractors (By Air, Sea, and Land) by Paul Strickland (Ages4-8)

"Tractors" is a colorful illustration of different types of farm tractors, then and now.  Children who love different kinds of vehicles will also enjoy this short book.  It's not a story, almost a what's what or how to book.

This is what tractors looked like fifty years ago.  They were smaller and less powerful.  These tractors did not have cabs or protective coverings.
This old tractor has a wagon that can carry lots of different things, like sheep or other animals.
At the end it give you an opportunity to ask your little readers what they learned.  The questions are already there for you.  For those not familiar with farm equipment, tractors specifically, this is a fun way to get to know them.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's on My Nightstand - August

It's that time again when 5 Minutes for Books hosts the monthly carnival - Whats on Your Nightstand? Click on over and see what everyone else is reading, or better yet, link up yourself and share with the rest of us what you are reading. No blog is necessary. You can always join in by leaving comments on what you are reading.

I've been reading a lot of books with the kids for the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog, so I have not had much time for reading of my own. Because of that, I've tried to scale down the number of books that I am reading. I truly love our library system!

So, among the children's books they love me to read, I am also juggling time for a few of my own.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
I was at my annual sales conference in July and one of our speakers referenced this book. Just from her highlights, I wanted to read more.

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
These are just a few. There are more, simple, easy, common courtesy things that could make the world a better place. Even though I am at a business sales conference, the same principles hold true and I'm so glad it was part of the speakers agenda.

And I'll add my own. Always leave things better than which you found them.

The book is filled with short stories of valuable life lessons. If you haven't read it and are curious, get it, you'll love it.

Becoming a Person of Influence by John C. Maxwell and Jim Dornan
I picked up this gem at the library, while browsing titles in the self hep section. I picked it up mainly because I recognized the author (John C. Maxwell) and more importantly of the subtitle How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others.

Everyone has influence. Think about it. If you connect with anyone, you influence them in one way or another. I've always wanted to positively impact those that I come in contact with, but most times (I've learned) that good intentions don't always mean the message is perceived that way. I've learned a lot about myself and other people in the few short chapters I've covered. I look forward to reading and learning more.

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
note: I selected this book from Thomas Nelson to review as part of their Book Review Bloggers program. It is a free book to me in exchange for my honest review - positive or negative. You can join also, just click the button on my side bar.
I've just started reading this one and all I can say is this. If someone had talked to me about the Gospel when I was younger the way that Richard Stearns is through this book, I'd be a different person today.

Take a peek for yourself and be sure to visit often to read my final review.

Buy
Read


Thank you for stopping by and "reading" along. Have a Terrific Tuesday!

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Life's a Journey


"Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way. Yesterday is history Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift; that is why we call it the present." ~Unknown

Until now, this blog has served primarily as my place to keep track of books that I and the kids have read, in addition to reviews for Thomas Nelson.
One of my mini goals in life is to inspire my children to have a passion and love for reading and learning. That will not change moving forward, however, I'm adding an additional subject matter. It fits right in actually.

For sometime, I've been researching the ins/outs/howtos of homeschooling. By definition, to homeschool, homeschooler or homeschooling simply states to educate one's children at home instead of sending them to school.

As a family, we've been educating our children since birth. ABC's, 123's, pottie training, please & thank yous, self care, etc... Why does it seem for far fetched to continue educating them? My family doesn't see it that way.

So, m
y decision, for now, is to let the kiddos go to school. They actually started earlier this month. They are enjoying themselves so far.

I am not closing the door on homeschooling. My family tells me that I can't do it, they play the socialization card and tell me I'll ruin them, yadda, yadda, yadda.
I plan to continue working with them {kiddos} at home, be super involved at school and see how it goes. I am disappointed that I am not getting any support from my family. None. Although, I am not surprised.
I have talked with a local homeschool group and know I do have support through that channel and I am grateful for it. :)
I gave into my family because right now my family situation is quite... unfamily oriented. I'll spare you details, but know the pressure of having my husband 1300 miles away, makes it difficult. I am stressed and feel as if everything is crashing in on me. I'm taking the time that my children are in school to regain the control & confidence that I've lost.
The homeschooling community is so supportive, give more to others and don't ask for anything/much in return. At least that has been my observation. If that observation is true, then that is a community that I want me and my children a part of. It just fits with what I feel in my heart.

Which brings me back to my quote from the beginning. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is uncertain, make the best of today, because it is what you have. You may or may not agree with my interpretation, but that's ok.

Have a great day! I hope you come back to share this journey with us and I look forward to getting to know you and you get to know us.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

TBR

BTT asks:

Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?
*sigh*

Hmm... Books that I want to read, have started reading, need to read or said I'd read, did I miss any?

Again, I *sigh* as I think of all the books that I SO WANT TO READ and there is just not enough time in life to read them all. It's depressing if I think about it, so I try not to.

My books are every where. I even have some in storage, I know, abuse. I can't help it. I move a lot. Otherwise, you can find them next to my bed, on the table in the dining room, in my purse, on my dresser, on hold at the library for me to pick up or my over-flowing bookshelf. Not to mention all of the children's books I read aloud to my kids. Those are floating everywhere too, just in case they want to pick one up.

No rhyme, no reason, they are just every where. Even books that I have read, that I like, I keep around. Others I give away. It can be maddening sometimes.

I sometimes read more than one book at a time and sometimes, I read a book more than once. Not sure if that is really a good idea, but hey, I'm not reading a 'how to' on building a rocket ship or splitting the next atom bomb, so what can it hurt.

If you'd like to read how other readers handle their TBR's click on over here. That way, you won't feel so alone! :)

Booking Through Thursday (BTT) is a weekly meme that is about (mostly) books and reading. It's fun to connect with other readers and it's easy to join.

Have a Great Day!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Great Read to Prepare your Little Ones to Visit an Art Museum

Visiting the Art Museum by Laurene Brown and Marc Brown is a wonderful book to get you and your children ready to visit an art museum.

It's illustrations and photos of real life art make it a fantastic starting point. Journey from Australia to Samoa to America to the Ivory Cost to Mexico. See sculptures and paintings and learn something yourself along the way.

A nude Frisbee player? Really? Pharaohs all wore false beards. Interesting.

Follow a young family of five as three children and their parents navigate through the ups and downs of visiting a museum.

Can you imagine?

Comforting your six or seven year old afraid of a ceremonial costume while your tween is making comments about that nude Frisbee player. Oh, and don't forget the toddler sneaking out of their stroller while you gaze at a portrait too long.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Luck

Although I don't remember it very often and it is something I need to work on, but I love it when I realize how lucky I can get sometimes.

A couple of weeks ago I snagged a classic at the library for my little ones. I couldn't resist. It is a classic. Or at least I think it is.

Here is the lucky part. The kiddos started school last week and on Friday my son brings home his first homework assignment. He's in Pre-K.

Please work with your children on the following sight words. This will help them have a head start in kindergarten. Thank you so much for your cooperation!
  • go
  • at
  • here
  • down
  • and
These same words are all throughout this short and sweet board book. Go and See. It's perfect! I hope to find more of these gems.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

I can do it!

I do it! I do it! LET meeeeee doooooo it!!!!!
Jumping up and down on the verge of tears.

Wait honey, let me help you.
Trying to finish helping her little sister... doing whatever. Brush teeth. Comb hair. Pour milk, juice, etc...

No! I do it, myself!

Ever get that?

If you have little ones fighting for their independence, you get me. If not, well, then maybe you do, maybe you don't.

If you do, you and your little freedom fighters will love this cute Little Critter story, All by Myself by Mercer Mayer.

Mercer Mayer's Little Critter stories, which address all major issues of growing up, are perennial favorites of parents and children.
Yep, I'd have to agree. The littles loved the story and ask for it again and again for story time.

If you'd like more fun beyond story time or to incorporate with story time, go to Little Critter's website here.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Lazy Days

Ever have one of these days?

I love days like this. Exploring and learning where imagination (with a little prompting) inspires further curiosity.

Ever try to recognize those white puffy clouds into something you know and just, well, can't? I can only imagine how the title of this book came to be.

It Looked Like Spilt Milk
by Charles Shaw

While reading, I would say, "Sometimes it looked like a" and before I could say whatever it was, my kids would blurt it out laughing and giggling. While I finished, "But it wasn't a ...". It didn't matter. We were laughing the whole way through.

Again.

And again.

And again.

And when I hinted that I'd had enough by saying, "Ok, what's next?" They stopped laughing. LOL I've had to extend my library loan to the max and we have to take it back tomorrow. Not LOL. So, we'll be adding this one to our wish list. thankyouverymuch

Anyway, even though it's recommended for children 4-8, go ahead, get it. Even, if just for you to remember those lazy days when you kicked back to watch those puffy white things stroll by.

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