Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Paddington! [Speaking of Upcoming Shows]

This looks perfectly delightful.

My boys read five of the original chapter book series by Michael Bond (first published in 1958), beginning with A Bear Called Paddington, and Lola is enjoying the audio book performed by Stephen Fry. I think a plush Paddington Bear may find his way into her stocking this Christmas.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh, the Anticipation!

The Librarian - Quest for the Spear is one of our family favorites, and this new spin-off tv series looks like a blast!!

If you’ve enjoyed the National Treasure movies (or Indiana Jones), give these a try! Adventure, humor, and smarts—my kind of movie.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Gift Inspiration

I’ve shared confessions of “terrible gift shopper” in previous posts (notably here and here), so I won’t bore you again with the details. You will notice, however, that the following list is short on toys. My kids don’t play with them. They don’t clean them up. They can’t even think of any to put on their wish list. So I’m okay with not buying them.

Without further ado, I offer you the start of my Christmas shopping list.


:: Fisher Price Classic Record Player

How many of you had one during your childhood? My sisters and I did not, but our family friends did and I loved to play with it! I think I might have to get the Fisher Price Classic Changeable Picture Disk Camera for Lola.


:: The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse

This simple picture book looks delightful for young children.

:: The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus

Lists of words? Yes, please! Melissa Sweet is one of my favorite illustrators. Check out this lovely book trailer:


:: The Boy Who Loved Words

This would be a fun fiction book to pair with the above biography.





:: Snap Circuits Lights


For the fantasy-loving child:

:: Harry Potter Marauder's Map Tapestry Throw

:: Dr Who Wibbly Wobbly Quote T-shirt

:: Schleich Griffin Rider Toy

If I have to purchase toys, Schleich figures are among my favorites—animals, knights, dragons, fairies, ooh-la-la!!


Several people on my list, young and old creative adults, are receiving drawing books this year. So many inspirational titles to choose from!


:: Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals

:: Illustration School: Let's Draw Happy People

:: 20 Ways to Draw a Tree and 44 Other Nifty Things from Nature: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers

:: Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists

:: Creative Doodling & Beyond

:: The Art of Whimsical Lettering 



:: Andrew Peterson: Light for the Lost Boy

My boys have become huge Andrew Peterson fans. They’ve devoured all four books in his Wingfeather Saga, and they continuously listen to his album Light for the Lost Boy. I think it’s time for a new album to play on repeat.



:: Omnisax Anastasia Reusable Shopping Bags 5-pack

I have several of these bags, and they are incredibly handy to slip in my purse. Rolled up, they take up little room and weigh almost nothing, and yet they are extremely sturdy and hold an astonishing amount of groceries or books (whenever we have an impromptu library visit). Beautiful, functional, take up no space—perfect.



:: My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method

:: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Dutch Oven with Dual Handles, 5-Quart

Because easy, hot, homemade bread. Nothing else to say, right?


[You will notice there are no gifts for men on this list. All of the men in my life are notoriously difficult to buy for.]


What Christmas gifts are you most excited about this year?


[This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission on purchases made through these links—even if you do not purchase the recommended item! Thanks for generously supporting my book addiction children’s education.]

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Better Late Than Never

Img2014-11-07_0022fMermaid and George W.

I think “better late than never” is my new “reaching for the stars.” Because I still hit “never” more often than I’d like to admit.

We had a belated costume party with our best friends, and now I’m posting belated pictures of the belated party. Impressive.

Do you remember last year when I lost Lola’s mermaid costume? I’d love to pretend that I found it, but in reality my “make everyone’s dreams come true” best friend found the exact mermaid costume on Ebay and bought it for Lola for Christmas. And this year she got to be a mermaid. I bought both a George Washington and an Abraham Lincoln costume this year. Leif refused to wear one. (Surprise.) He made his own Creeper head, and I suppose that was better anyway. Luke happily chose George Washington. Levi went as himself (ha!!).

I dressed as a lady in waiting (yes, I did). We joined Harry and Hermione and made marzipan pumpkins. Because no party with these 6 kids is a party without marzipan.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Christmas Reading



Are all your Christmas plans in place?

I used to be a big planner. Now I plan about an hour ahead. Sometimes I just wing it as I go along. Who is this person I’ve become?

But who needs gifts and decorations and yummy food when there’s a towering stack of Christmas books to be read?

I’ve been collecting for years, and now I’m not certain if my shelves can hold one more Christmas book—but I’m willing to risk it!

Have you added any Christmas books to your collection this year?

I’ve shared many of my favorites in past posts:

I noticed with excitement that two of my favorite out-of-print Christmas books are available used on Amazon for reasonable prices right at this moment (they’ve often been available only at much higher prices!). Snatch them up before they’re gone!

This year I’ve added The Wee Christmas Cabin of Carn-na-ween to our collection since Ruth Sawyer is the author of two of my most favorite Christmas books. We’ll also be enjoying Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck (because, well, Pearl S. Buck), The Christmas Wish (the photography—oooohhh!), and Christmas Farm (perfect for reading the day we get our Christmas tree).


Next up, Christmas gift ideas!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

More Lola Lovely

Lola Lovely

[She had to give herself “bunny ears” since her brothers weren’t around to do it. Giggle.]