Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Reading Plans

How is March almost done? One-fourth of 2012 already past? Inconceivable!

Afternoon distractions.

March reading was very, very slow going. There was a lot on my plate this month (and several additional things that I didn’t expect were added in) which resulted in not as much reading. My goals at the beginning of the month had been to tackle:

I finished ONE book on my list last month (though I did finished a couple others that weren’t on my list.) I finished:

  • Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter (my book for the RtK bookclub that I’m leading in June). This is what killed me this month. I’ll expound more on my thoughts on the book when I post about it for the RtK bookclub, but it is deceptively long. It took me way more time to finish it that I thought it would!
  • Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, linked to the cover of the one I read, but there are tons of version and even a free-for-Kindle copy
  • Hunger Games … reread in anticipation of the movie that came out a week ago. Realistically, I’m not sure that I’m/we’re going to make it to see it in the theater, but I enjoyed rereading this just in case. : )
  • Lewis & Clark & Me – blogged here and read aloud with the girls
  • The Country Artist – blogged here and read aloud with the girls

I am a little over one-third of the way through Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and it’s been slow going. I don’t know if it’s me or her writing style. I am agreeing with what I’m reading, but …. there are just so. many. words. Not throwing in the towel on this one yet, though. I also put a few chapters into Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale/Karen Andreola and will look forward to getting back into this one. The Trumpet of the Swan is also still in progress. And all the books that I had checked out to pre-read for N1? Not a one. We’ll be hanging on to those library books a bit longer!

Can't wait to dive into this.

Looking to April, I’m definitely not going to be as optimistic in my goals. It’s another abnormally full month and we are kicking off family birthday season as well. All good stuff. That said, I would like to tackle:

We’ll see what happens. Some months it’s just hard to get any reading time in when there are so many distractions like playing outside, the enormous amount of laundry created from playing outside, and going to soccer games! I’ve also been doing much pondering on school and where we are going for the last 35 days that we need to get under our belt. (How is it that we only have 35 days left?!) Then there are summer plans to dream over … life is very good.

Happy Saturday and last day of March! We have plans to attend a cousin’s baseball game and there are eggs to color at some point this weekend. Good stuff.

Past 2012 Monthly Reading Goals:
January
February
March

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Read Aloud Thursday // A Little Bit of This and That

We’ve been a little all over the place with our reading lately, so this is a bit of catch up with a couple books that we’ve finished and are worth noting!

To loosely give us a little science, we have been reading about Beatrix Potter and her love of animals. The Country Artist was short biography of Miss Potter that we all enjoyed. Just the right reading and interest level for my girls, and we interspersed the chapters with some of her beloved animal tales. (So far, we’ve slowly read through the ones relating to rabbits.) : )

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This book below has been, by far, one of my favorites for the year. We have absolutely loved anything that we’ve read about Lewis and Clark. Either my memory isn’t that good, or I’ve never really done much reading about them before, but their expedition across the United States was FASCINATING. In our day and age, it is hard to comprehend that the terrain of the US was so rough that it took them 2 1/2 years to travel it. (Granted they were also going by canoe, horseback or foot, but still … it was rough going).

This book is written from the viewpoint of Captain Meriweather Lewis’ dog, Seaman, which he purchased for $20 right before their journey. Seaman was an extremely loyal Newfoundland and has no small part in their adventures. (Of note, there is a unit study of this book for free at Homeschool Share that I had hoped to get to and may still pull from).

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Saving Lewis and Clark from a rampaging buffalo one night was only one of the stories about this dog included in this book.

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While this doesn’t count as something you read aloud, I can also recommend the National Geographic program about Lewis & Clark, Great Journey West. (If you have Netflix Instant Streaming, you can also view it there). Again, fascinating. Like when I read The Long Winter recently to my girls, I so take my life of ease for granted, not really thinking of these men (and women) that travelled and paved the way so that we have the freedom and ability to live wherever we want in this great nation.

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Lastly, and also of VERY IMPORTANT NOTE, I’m including something a little different on this week’s RAT post. A certain kindergartener has discovered the Elephant & Piggie books, and has read them aloud to me this week! Each time she picks one up, she prefaces them by saying, “Oh, mom, this one is so funny!”

While I previously thought these books were cute, I am now a huge fan as I have watched N2 devour them and read them to whoever would sit still long enough to listen.

For more Read Aloud Thursday posts, make sure and visit Amy over at Hope is the Word!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Project Life Week 12 // March 18-25

Week 12. After the crazy week 11 we had, this was almost normal – regular school + life stuff.
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On the left:
  • a little bike shopping for the littlest girl on Sunday afternoon. She won’t stop growing.
  • littlest girl also went for a sleepover to her cousins’ house on Monday evening (the benefits of being the only one not in school right now).
  • I succumbed to spring and our backyard Wednesday afternoon.
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Up close at some of the journaling. The far right card actually goes with the front of my one 6x6 insert.
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Ever wonder what to do when your munchkin gets a hold of your camera or phone and all of a sudden you have 15-20 pretty funny self-portraits. The grid was created in photoshake on my phone and then I ran it through the instagram app to even out the colors. (I could have done the same thing in photoshop, but since I was making the collage on my phone I just finished it there. The little banner is from Elle’s Studio and the wooden “b” is from Studio Calico, I think?
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The back of the 6x6 is the packaging from our recent Friday family movie night. Super duper hit with all of us. (You need to make sure and watch the trailer parodies in the bonus features).
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On the right:
  • typical Wednesday dinner before we head to Awana, complete with a couple neighbors thrown in the mix.
  • biggest and littlest.
  • a collage (this one was created in photoshop) of what we’ve been studying in school.
  • a super fun Saturday night outing for me and N1.
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And there you have it! Week 12 is a wrap. : )
Project Life is a product and a system created by Becky Higgins and available on Amazon.com. It can be anything you want it to be. You can view all my posts about Project Life here. I'm always happy to answer questions about how Project Life works for me, if you have any.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Project Life Week 11 // March 11-17

Week 11 of Project Life. An incredibly, incredibly busy week around these parts. (Yet no insert amazingly enough!)
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On the left:
  • the first mow of the season. The boy was right out there with him (safely away from the mower at all times), but compelled by some strong force that he must be pushing something in the grass because Daddy was.
  • all this spring rain is making our yard so super green. It is just beautiful out there.
  • a pic of what we are currently (and slowly) meandering through as a fun chapter read aloud.
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On the title card, I snuck in a photo collage of my calendar. March has been nuts and April looks about the same. Trying to take it one day at a time.
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Last week, I won Erica Hernandez’s new digital kit Indexed off her blog. It is cool. I tried to stick with the papers and journaling cards from the kit for the most part so that everything would be matchy-matchy even though my normal tendency is to use all sorts of stuff from the PL stash. Both of the two journaling cards below are from the kit.
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The “this week” card is from Paislee Press. The pic of my looking-so-very-big-boy is on a card from the Indexed collection.
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The turquoise background paper + flag are both from the Indexed collection as well.
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On the right:
  • field trip! The girls and I, along with my BFF’s three oldest, went and saw a play at the Nashville Children’s Theater. Their programs never fail to disappoint and this was no exception. Excellent show!
  • getting headshots of the girls for passport photos. More on this at a later time … you’ll notice my liberal use of smudging on several spots in the remaining photos. : )
  • Decided to stick with a 4x6 journaling card (from here) for Friday because we had so much going on that day.
  • we celebrated a friend’s 5th birthday at a very cool kid play-place. 
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A few close-ups of journaling spots. The far left card is from the Indexed collection.
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The background paper on the top is from Indexed as well as the left journaling card below.
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I made liberal use of photoshop below, trying to fit several shots in one spot. My favorite is the pic of the boy going down the slide. This was his first time to try out one of these plastic slides and on the left you can see his first attempt. The second attempt he was right-side up.
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Thanks for sharing in my Project Life again this week, and thank you, Erica, for the chance to play with your new kit! : ) 00
Project Life is a product and a system created by Becky Higgins and available on Amazon.com. It can be anything you want it to be. You can view all my posts about Project Life here. I'm always happy to answer questions about how Project Life works for me, if you have any.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Early Spring Reading List

I had a hard time settling on books for N1’s (2nd grade) early spring reading list. There wasn’t anything that jumped out at me, and her interests weren’t spurring on any inspirational ideas either.

I ended up just reaching for some of my trusty reading lists that I keep in my planner and picking five books that we hadn’t read yet.

1. Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. I actually finished this one at the beginning of March and it’s a sweet story with a vintage air about it. There are several sequels (and you can find this one free or very cheap for Kindle).

2. The Boxcar Children. A book that has been sitting on her shelf for sometime. Amy has reported recently that her daughter (and N1’s penpal) has been devouring these, so I stuck it on the list as well. She read this in two sittings yesterday.

3. The Light Princess. (George MacDonald) She says that she has listened to this already on audio (prior to this reading list), but I’d still like her to read it. Not one I’ll die over though since she’s already listened to it.

4. Doctor Doolittle. This is one that she was already reading on her Kindle when I made the list, so I went ahead and put it on there to give her a little jump start on one her books. (Of course, as soon as I did that, she moved on to something else without finishing it, but I have hopes that she’ll go back to it and complete it.) Smile

5. Heidi. Another classic that I’ve never read. She’s read an abridged copy of this (I think?) but is ready for the full version.

6. The book of John. This is a first for me to put a book of the Bible on there. She has a Bible study that she(we) is part of of that is studying the book of Acts. With Easter coming up in a few weeks, I was curious as to whether she would be interested in reading this on her own.

Pretty soon it will be time to start thinking about her late Spring/start of summer reading list! Not that these aren’t fun, but I’m hoping to put some special summertime reading on there for her, and am already pondering that list. Any suggestions?

Good Intentions

I have intentions of trying to find time to blog. But then we have days like this.

Blossoms.

And this is calling me.

The quiet reading moment didn’t last long, but I’m going to snatch these spring moments while I can!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Project Life Week 10 // March 4-10

Week 10 in our family’s Project Life album. A little disjointed this week as it seems all the pictures I took were either on Tuesday or Saturday of last week. The week lacks a little of its chronological flow, but all the pics I wanted to include made the cut so it’s all good. : )
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On the left:
  • T and the girls playing a game of Monopoly in the evening. I admit it. By the time we were done with dinner that night, I just wasn’t up to a game of Monopoly with the girls. I was pooped. Daddy jumped in and saved the day while I took the boy (and eventually B) upstairs to hang out and play and straighten up. Teamwork. : )
  • A photo from N1’s chess club. 4-on-4 chess. I never heard of such a thing but thought it looked crazy cool.
  • A random breakfast photo. N2 loves eggs (especially egg sandwiches) and I don’t mind making them for her because it keeps her full until lunch.
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On my title card I included a small photo of what took the bulk of my free time one day. Sorting clothes that we currently had, had been given, and what we need to get rid of. Glad to have that behind me for this season.
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A journaling card shot. The “recorded” card is foldover card with some personal info from T’s annual review at work, including his current salary information he brought home in a printout. I cut it down and glued it inside … I think in 10-20 years, the girls will find it interesting what their Dad made at work in 2012 and be able to compare it to current salaries. The numbered journaling card was a freebie but now you can buy it here.
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I had one insert this week. I used a Design B Project Life insert and cut it down. The bottom left photo is a vertical 4x6 that I didn’t have a spot for, so I cut it in half and ran it across two journaling spots.
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The back side was all abut B’s first soccer game!
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On the right:
  • a photo of N1 on a sick day. Sprite + kindle + blanket.
  • What we are reading … lots of Beatrix Potter!
  • The girls singing at a music team rehearsal/fellowship at our house last Friday night. When T has microphones plugged in and available, these two are not far off.
  • A photo of the sisters that I took when I was trying to snap the boy’s 17 month photos. (See, they eventually do stand still for photos again). I spliced together a little photo + digital journaling card I had in my stash from Crystal Wilkerson’s summer kit and called it good.
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Up close on the journaling cards.
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“What I (heart) right now” is from Paislee Press.
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Another week in the bag. : )
This week, I had to reorder page protectors for my album. When I started out in January, all that was in stock was the small pack of Design A which is what I use for my weekly layouts. (I’ll use my last pages from that pack to capture week 11). When I went to reorder, Amazon was out of both the small and large pack of Design A (large is now back IN stock), so I ordered the big variety pack. I’ll get another 10 weeks of my basic weekly layout pages + all sorts of other pages that I can play around with for inserts. Looking forward to getting to play with them soon. : )
Project Life is a product and a system created by Becky Higgins and available on Amazon.com. It can be anything you want it to be. You can view all my posts about Project Life here. I'm always happy to answer questions about how Project Life works for me, if you have any.