Friday, November 8, 2013

7 quick takes volume 1

I've never done a 7 quick takes post before but here goes nothing....

1. little girl T has been sick and I'm in constant fear that we will have to return to the hospital again, especially since every time I speak to a doctor they say "oh RSV, she'll probably get sick again." Not the right thing to say to the mother who counts her daughters breaths every time she gets a cold.

2. Little boy L, has an ear infection and had his second session of speech therapy this week. 

3. Little boy D, had a great report from his Kindergarten teacher at our conference this week. A few things to work on but overall good report. He has been enjoying copying words/phrases he sees on other objects. Like this gem that came home Monday after CCD:

(Translation: for a child has been born and he is named wonderful counselor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace)

I'm not exactly sure what he was suppose to be doing at the time but I like it! (I know he wasn't suppose to copy it).

4. Our van has been returned, hallelujah! I can't run around if I can't take all three kids with me.

5. Just finished a session of physical therapy this morning. It always starts out enjoyable (nice heat therapy on my back and neck) and ends with me walking out in pain. I'm not sure that's how it is suppose to work!? I know I feel much better than when I originally started last week.

6. Headed to my parents this afternoon for early Thanksgiving with them, my brother, and sister-in-law.

7. Loved Once Upon a Time this week. It's getting better because I almost gave up on the show a few weeks ago.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pancakes Help Me Think

I'm making pancakes this morning and I thought to myself, this is the perfect time to blog about one of D's favorite characters,kid detective, Nate the Great.

We discovered Nate the Great when D was 3. I was looking on Amazon for books to get him and discovered a list of great audiobooks for kids. I ordered the first disc from the library and he listened to it while we ran errands. He was so engrossed in the story, he didn't want to get out of the car when we got to our stops. I knew we had a winner!

Nate the Great is intended for older kids ( I would guess 1st-2nd grade) but I cannot recommend the audiobooks more for younger kids. The man who does the reading is awesome! He does different voices for all the characters. I find myself slipping into his version of one of the female character every time I read the stories aloud to D and L. Yes, we still read the books aloud to our children even though we own the audiobooks. The kids like to hear us read them, plus they still love to get the actual books out of the library. 

If you need a good book to keep your kids quiet in the car I highly recommend trying this series. 

Eat some pancakes this morning in honor of Nate the Great.

Disclaimer: I apologize for any grammar or spelling errors. I do not have time with three kids to worry about my grammar, especially when no one reads this blog.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Library

I cannot express how much I love the library. I did not appreciate the library enough as a kid. I did not appreciate our librarians enough in elementary, middle, and high school. It wasn't until I went to college and grad school that I discovered the joy of the library. I remember taking books out as I kid. I remember the librarian knowing how much I liked books with princesses, saving the newest ones for me ( I think that's how I read The Paperbag Princess for the first time). Yet, it wasn't until college that I discovered the peace a library can bring. I also discovered that you could order basically any book and as long as it was at another library in the system. I thought this was only a perk of a college library, little did I know how wrong I was!

 When I moved to Allegheny county I discovered how awesome public libraries are today. I can go online, search the entire Allegheny county library database for any book, movie, book on cd, or music cd that I want. I merely have to add it to my cart, request the item, wait a few days, and it is waiting at the front desk for me to check out. I love it! I order stuff all time. There are books I want to own and there are books I like to borrow. Right now I'm on a biography kick so I have been getting biographies out of the library so if I hate the writer I do not feel guilty for wasting my money. The library even lets you borrow books on your Kindle or other e-reader devices. I haven't tried this out yet but I will someday ( my Kindle is full of books I've downloaded but I haven't been in the mood for those lately, plus I still love the feeling of a book in my hand). 

The library was a life saver when D was little and we were trying to keep him quiet during church. Every two weeks I would go to the library get twenty "new-to" D books out and give him ten books each week. He'd sit quietly every week looking at books he had never seen before and we'd make it through almost the entire service before we heard a peep from him ( unless i choose poorly for the week). We don't do that now with him because he is old enough to pay attention and L is too loud with books (not exactly the quietest thing to hear a child "moo" or "roar" during church!) but it was just perfect for D. I was so thankful for the library every few Saturdays. I must have looked like a nut to the librarians!

We discovered the joy of books on cd for car trips, through our local library. If you are going on a trip get some books on cd for your kids, you may just have a reprieve from "are we there yet?" I highly recommend the "Nate the Great" books on cd. The man who reads them is great, he gives all the characters distinct voices that will influence your reading of the books forever! I look forward to the days when we can borrow The Chronicles of Narnia for a long car ride ( we've already read the first two to D but L is a little uncooperative with the LONG readings and no pictures and I don't think he'd listen to them yet). I also can't wait to listen to Anna of Green Gables and Anna of Avonela with little girl T. I know I loved the version read by Megan Folley when I was a middle schooler. I listen to them on tape over and over again.

If you are lucky enough to live close to a public library and you haven't used it, go check it out! Things have changed dramatically at libraries over the years. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Monkey with a Tool Belt - a review

My two sons love all-things boy; dirt, cars, trucks, construction, tools, police officers, knights, and firemen. At some point my eldest son, D, wanted books about tools. I started doing searches on Amazon for good books for boys on the subject of tools. I finally came across a book that seemed intriguing so I requested it from the library. D immediately fell in love with the main character, Chico Bon Bon.

There are three books in the series starring Chico Bon Bon, Monkey with a Tool Belt, Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem and Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Seaside Shenanigans by author/illustrator Chris Monroe. These are great if your child likes silly creative stories. The illustrations are simple, yet incredibly detailed. We have read this series countless times and it never gets old or boring, even for me. All the books are ultimately about problem-solving but the kids do not realize, because of the great storytelling. 

In Monkey With a Tool Belt you are introduced to Chico and learn about his skills as a handy-monkey. In Monkey With a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem, Chico has to deal with a mystery that creates noise. Finally, in Monkey With A Tool Belt and the Seaside Shenanigans, Chico has to solve another mystery and fix a lot of problems at a seaside resort. I hope Chris Monroe adds more to this series because I know my boys would be thrilled ( we have her other book, The Sneaky Sheep BUT D is afraid of it and we haven't made it through the entire book yet).

I highly recommend this series for any child in you life, especially the boys!



Monday, June 3, 2013

The Beginning...

I have jumped on the blogging bandwagon even though I know very little about blogging (so be prepared for mistakes!). I have been thinking about starting a blog for awhile but just couldn't think of a starting point. This week I finally thought of one. Books. I wanted to be able to share all the great books my family and I have found over the years.

If you have ever seen our home, our kids have their very own HUGE bookself. My husband's office is filled with very large bookshelves. We have books in the hallway, our bedrooms, the dining room, and usually(with my sons), on the floor. When we moved into our home from an apartment our fathers both complained about the number of boxes filled with books and now with three kids we have a LOT more books. I buy books frequently. In our community there are these awesome book sales a couple times a year and I get stacks and stacks of books for the kids (and for us too). We take books out of the library to "test" out before I add them to our ultimate wishlist. I have spent countless hours on searching listmania for books on various subjects for my sons. We LOVE books in this house! So I want to share with others the great books we have discovered.

So my plan is to share my/our thoughts on children's books and maybe occasionally throw in some young adult and adult books. I recently got Children's Book A Day Almanac by Anita Silvey out of our local libary so my personal goal this summer is read some of the books that are recommended in there. I like to read the books before my kids get their hands on them so I'm going to be doing some "advanced" reviewing. If I find any gems I'll let you know. I'll probably offer some subject lists (for example, construction books) and links (if I can figure out how to do that...). At first the posts maybe "BOY"-heavy but eventually there will be "GIRL" books too (my daughter is only 4 months old so I have little experience with girl books except for the books I personally loved as a kid).

I hope you enjoy our journey into the wonderful world of books!