Friday, January 31, 2014

We've Been Reading (The Never-Ending List)

The Children of Noisy Village
This book was so good that we stayed up late to finish reading it all in one day.

 Definitely a read-a-loud because there are a few brief parts that I had to skim over, but I LOVE this book.  One of my goals is to show these little people examples of real people who have walked through the tough stuff of this world well--and I think this book gave us some good conversation starters.

Falling Up (Shel Silverstein)
The Missing Piece (Shel Silverstein)

For School

M's Reads
(7-8 years old)

Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew
Camp Creepy 

And then she got burned out on mysteries and moved on to these...

The Year of Billy Miller

Meghan Rose On Stage

Grandma's Attic
More Stories from Grandma's Attic (Grandma's Attic Series)
Still More Stories from Grandma's Attic (Grandma's Attic Series)

The Talented Clementine

The Double Dabble Surprise
The Chicken Pox Panic
The Crazy Christmas Angel Mystery
No Grown-ups Allowed
Frog Power
The Mystery of Case D. Luc

Cul-de-sac Kids Books 7-12
The Stinky Sneakers Mystery
Pickle Pizza
Mailbox Mania
The Mudhole Mystery
The Crabby Cat Caper

What We Didn't Finish
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
We LOVED the first part that we started--we even read the part about Christmas about a week before Christmas--I love it when the timing matches up like that.  BUT, it's a really long book and we have a huge list of other books that we're reading. (And we've maxed out our renewals.)  Someday I hope that we'll finish this one--I really like her writing style.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny--Detectives Extraordinaire! (Audio)
I think this is pretty funny, but the humor was above their current level so they weren't really liking it.  We might come back to this some day because it is clever.

The Mysterious Benedict Society
Another clever book that they will probably LOVE in a few years.

(This only took me about 2 weeks to write!  Whew!  It's amazing how quickly I forget what we read--these lists are clutch in helping me to remember so that someday I'll be able to re-read some of these again with Beza.  Also, it totally works as a list to add to our quarterly homeschooling reports--like the one due quite soon. ;) 

*This post includes affiliate links.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Five for the Week

Around here lately...

We've been hibernating.
(And if I'm lucky, this little guy will snuggle up and sleep nearby.)

And when we're not under warm blankets (wearing long underwear, 3 layers and fleecy slippers), we're eating.
Jicama is our new favorite healthy snack.  (Super yummy dipped in guacamole.)

And this week--pumpkin cupcakes (not muffins) with maple cream cheese frosting.
We did escape out to "Math Night" on Friday. ;)
 (Their favorite game--graphing M&M colors--because what's more fun than graphing?  Oh, right--eating M&M's.)

Also, the deer have been making frequent appearances around here.  We love watching them because sometimes you might just catch them doing this move...

or this. :)

Have a great weekend!  (Stay warm!)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Five for the Week

This week's highlights are courtesy of Nana who came to stay for almost the whole week!

1.  But, the week started with hanging out with (aka "babysitting") a few of our little friends.  The kids laughed their heads off watching Cinderella and then J read the whole crew a pile of books before they went home.

2.  Nana came on Tuesday and left on Sunday morning.  She was the queen of games and books and snuggles.  (And endless patience. :)

2.  She also insisted that I take an afternoon off AND J and I got to go out three nights in a row!
(The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a french restaurant and a meeting at church.)

3.  We got a bit of snow on Saturday.  What better time to realize that the freezer was frozen?

4.  It was also the perfect weather for trying out my new snowboots--and to "piant" the snow with colored water in spray bottles.  (To save on shoe storage space I had been using my rain boots with fleece liners--and they just weren't cutting the mustard.)  Snowboots that I apparently should have been wearing on Sunday morning when I was on my way to the car with my arms full of a box of balls for Children's Church and a broom for cleaning off the car when I hit a patch of black ice and landed FLAT on my back just like that.  After I got over the shock of my sudden new view of the sky I let out a simultaneous moan and laugh.  Oh, to have seen myself.  After realizing I wasn't badly hurt J declared the scene a yard sale.  I escaped with bruised elbows and a mildly tender back--and a healthy fear of slippery ice that I can't see. :)

Thanks for coming to spend time with us, Nana!  We love you!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Funnies: The Stuff He Says

T has been on a roll lately.  Here are a few of his latest and greatest.

A text from J while skiing.
From the slopes--sitting in the lodge at the top of the mountain eating a much anticipated brownie.
J: Was it as good as you imagined?
T: Yes...I think it's even a little better than I imagined.

And then...
T:  Daddy,  I think I'm the 100 millionth person.
J:  Oh, yeah.  Why is that?
T:  Because there are so many people!  I think I'm the 100 millionth ever made.

His thoughts on school pictures.
"As a kid, and I don't know, maybe when I'm bigger I'll change my mind, but I would never buy those photos.  You could just take your own.  You could just look at them and put on the same clothes and take your own picture."

A few more.
J: It's supposed to snow over a foot in the mountains.
T:  Wow!  It might even snow two foots!
T: Two feet!

After trimming his new winter beard considerably, J asked if anyone noticed anything different about his face.  M noticed right away.  T did not.
J: Ask her what is different about me.
T:  (Turning to M) What is different about me?

Little guy definitely keeps us laughing (without even trying). :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Five for the Week

A few things from the week...

1.  The kid's bathroom got a mini-makeover.  From neutrals to blues (it's a tiny step in a more colorful direction).  (Story-starter cards from eeBoo.)
(That rug is ridiculously lush.)

2.  My room also got a makeover.  A superhero and cardboard robot inspired-theme.  Complete with a crayon zip-line across the bathtub.  
(Clockwise: The zip-line with ninjas on guard.  The book that inspires these creations.  My dresser--aka superhero and cardboard robot hang out. More giant robots in the hallway.  A palace of sorts in the corner of my room.)

3.  Speaking of makeovers, the light over our kitchen table also got a new look.  I have had enough of of the "interrogation" bulb shining in my eyes so I tied a piece of white fabric over it--making my own diffuser if you will. :)

4.  These two have been using their new Christmas head-lamps nearly every night to get in a few more books.

5.  And this?  It's them pretending to be bat parents (naturally).  It was a little experiment to show how mother bats can find their babies by smell.  (We put different scents like curry powder and vanilla and banana and vinegar on cotton balls.  They each picked a smell to be their "pup" and  had to identify it by smell only--eyes closed.)

And that's just a bit of our week--the first week back at school after a nice long Christmas break. :)

Thursday, January 09, 2014

This is Better Than Bilbo Baggins' Cake...Or Not

T has been on a Hobbit kick.  (They're reading it for the second time with J.)

Last week, T said that my breakfast dish was so good--"Better than Bilbo Baggins' cake!"  The next day he said that maybe Bilbo Baggins cake was actually better.

Me: Do you even know what Bilbo Baggins' cake tastes like?

T: Well, no, but I know it's really good.

Me: *Sigh* Well, if you're going to compare my food to someone else's you should at least know what it tastes like.  Let's go--we're going to make one.

T: No, Bilbo Baggins made the cake by himself.  I help with the dishes.

J: He's right.


A quick search turned up a lot of recipes with English measurements.  I settled on this one, making the conversions and replacing the caraway seeds with poppy seeds.  It is actually really good--like a hint-of-lemon pound cake.  T LOVES it.  (Although in his imagination he thought it would be covered with blue icing.)

Our recipe.  (Modified from the original HERE.)

It makes a great afternoon snack.  Complete with fork and knife pounding (and Dwarf faces).

While singing this song.  (That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!)

Isn't this what everyone does in the afternoon? ;)