Kids Book Corner

  • Goose Girl
  • Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH
  • Peter and The Shadow Thieves
  • Peter and The Star Catchers
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
  • Stella Brite and The Dark Matter Myster
  • The Island of The Blue Dolphins
  • The Phantom Toll Booth
  • The School Library Journal
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • Tuck Everlasting


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Twisted Sense of Humor

::::::::::::::::::An Enjoyable Read:::::::

My friend, Kim, has some of the best book suggestions. One of the books she suggested is The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.
This book is about an orphaned boy who finds himself quite hungry and in charge of maintaining the clocks in a French train station. He has been stealing toys from the toy merchant and is caught by the merchant one day. The story moves at a fast pace and kept my interest throughout. The black and white sketches with a smattering of old photos are a wonderful and integral part of the story. I highly recommend this book!
:::::::::::::::::::Another Vacation Layout:::::::::

I really liked the history prompts along the footbridge at Colonial Williamsburg. I, especially, liked the stone that asked about what difference you could make and that Rachel's shadow was cast on the stone.

Shabby Princess: Harvest Spice Kit
Darcy Baldwin: DJB MESSIE AMANDA and DJB MICHAEL at The Digichick
Additional Font: Jefferson

:::::::::::::::::Funny T-Shirts::::::::::
Michael recieves a funny t-shirt from my mom every Christmas. This year it happens to be one with his favorite quip, "I'm no rocket surgeon!"

Darcy Baldwin: DJB FOR ANNIE at The Digichick
Kate Hadfield: Space Doodles, Christmas Flowers doodle, Doodle Journal papers
Jacque Larsen: Make Believe It paper pieces
Katie Pertiet: Taped Frame
Lisa Whitney: Painted Star sticker
Kim Christensen: Tag alpha
Weeds and Wildflowers: Cherish Alpha
Shabby Miss Jenn: staples from Old Letters Lil kit
Catrine: Chalked Alpha
Shabby Princess: inked edge from Studio Chic
Bren Boone: Luscious Solids

::::::::::::::::::::::::Twisted Humor:::::::::

Michael sent me the link to this site yesterday,

This is just one of several hilarious offerings at this site and I identify with this one, especially:
My sides were hurting from laughing at some and others were definitly "WHOA!...that was a twisted way!"

::::::::::::::::::::::::::National Treasure 2, Book of Secrets:::::::::

We went to see this flick on Christmas Eve. It was a fast paced, implausible race for the city of gold. The best thing was sitting by Rachel during the movie. She would excitedly explain to me the historical aspects of the movie that she had learned from history or her reading class. She was so excited to explain there are 3 Statue of Liberty statues in the world and were they are located at the same time the actors were doing so on screen. Later she explained about Cibolla or The City of Gold. I nudged Michael so he could be in on the explanation. We brought up our family joke with her about "reading too much" and "listening in class" will rot your brain and that boys don't like smart girls. Then we patted her head and laughed saying, "You know we are joking and we are so happy that you love to learn." I certainly hope she never gets hooked up with any one who doesn't appreciate her joy in learning!
The kids and I like Riley's character in the film because he is the clever patsy and has the funny quips throughout the movie. The running gag about Riley's book that almost no one has read is quite funny. Overall, the movie isn't high cinema, but is fun for a matinee.

:::::::::::::::::::Spiral Frog:::::::::::

I had fun downloading several sketches from the comedy genre by Bill Cosby. That man is a riot. Now that I have kids his sketch titled "The Grandparents" is side-splittingly hilarious. I also downloaded a few Jerry Seinfeld sketches. He and Bill Cosby are great with the jokes regarding sports were the understanding is you go out there realizing that other people are going to try and hurt you. These guys are so clever!

::::::::::::::::::::Much Needed Rain:::::::::

We have been deluged with rain this week and more is coming. Thankful!

I hope y'all have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I don't get very political on my blog because mostly it is a way to record my family and share what we are doing through digital scrapbooking. I will say that today I am very saddened by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. There is evidence of hatred all around us. The hatred seems to be in layers like an onion and as you peel each one back all you do is cry. The mixture of politics and religion are volatile. I see the small embers of anger and hatred when I hear friends and relatives denigrate each others' views on politicians or issues involving different proposed legislation. I realize most of this ire comes from a strong belief, but what upsets me is the lack of respect shown when voicing that belief. I believe that most people reading this blog are very upset about the killing of Benazir Bhutto. I would also like everyone to take stock in how they purport themselves when expressing their thoughts. I feel that the road this suicide bomber was on started one step at a time until he/she bought into the concept that killing people for the cause was collateral damage and smiled on by deity. Through some of the books I have read lately I understand, better, the psychology behind these acts as cognitive dissonance. I fall under this category all to often.

I find some of my solace in these verses:

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Russian nesting dolls:

My sister-in-law, Angela, is a wonderfully talented artist. She drew my name for Christmas and created these dolls:

Darcy Baldwin: DJB MANDY at The Digichick
Shabby Miss Jenn: Tree Trimmin' Party
Christina Renee: Sassy Lace, vintage frame from UA Collection

:::::::::::::::::Silly Christmas Layout:::::::

My nephew, Gabriel, was sporting a mohawk and I thought it would be fun to have his dad and a couple of uncles share in the hairy goodness.

Darcy Baldwin: DJB MICHAEL at The Digichick
Tia Bennett: Pixel Mischief
Shabby Miss Jenn: Tree Trimmin' Party
Christina Renee: Glitter Splats, Just for Fun Doodles
Sausan Designs: Needful Things book
Erica Hite: Nessa Alpha
Kate Hadfield: Primary Rubberbands and Doodle Tape


I will be back with some Christmas layouts. Today has been spent with the kids arguing over and with the new computer, watching Season 3 of Dr. Who, Meet the Robinsons, Ratatouille, and Ben 10 Season 2.

I hope y'all had a happy Christmas! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pure Silliness and A Laugh

I hope your Christmas festivities are going well! Here is just some things that make me laugh.

Santa Doodles by Kate Hadfield
Glitter Glue by Flergs

:::::::::::Emo Philips:::::::::

A sketch that makes me laugh:

::::::::::::Spiral Frog Downloads::::::

The site has several cool items from Orson Welles. I was able to get The Christmas Carol with Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge in the old radio production. It is wowee wow wow cool!

I also got the song "Family Affair" by Mary J. Blige. I love the line when she says "Let's get it percolating...". I used to watch my stepmother's old coffee pot percolate and I think the imagery is so perfect.

Several songs by 3 Doors Down: "Kryptonite", "Be Like That", "When I'm Gone", and "Here Without You".

A Scottish band from the 80's that I really liked called, strangely enough, Texas. I downloaded "In My Heart" and "Mothers Heaven".

:::::::::::::::Marshmallow Guns:::::::

Michael, Aaron and I went to Home Depot the other day and got 1/2 inch pvc, with non-threaded T fittings and caps to make miniature marshmallow shooting guns. Michael tested the full length of pipe out by shooting booth Aaron and me with marshmallows he had brought for testing purposes. Those things hum and have quite an impact. Today was spent with Michael putting these little babies together. Each is coated with colored duct tape to show ownership. Mine has a combination of green and blue. Christmas day should be interesting, indeed. We are all going to end up with small little stick welts.

:::::::::::::::Free Rice Update:::::

I'm up to 25,200 grains of rice. I'm having a blast playing along and learning new words. It gives me something to do in between tying Aaron's fleece blanket. :)

:::::::::::::::Tomorrow Calls For...

the baking of more baklava.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Aaron Informs Me Today Is Thursday!

I figure most of you are up on all of your dates, but I live in a perpetual fog!

:::::::::::::Eve Swimming:::::::::

:::::::::::::A Family Reunion Layout:::::::::

My niece, Dakotta, and her icy stare!

Text: Dakotta and Corinna were having a very busy and messy day. This is only one look in Dakotta's arsenal. She will sternly stare at people of any age or gender, so watch out paparazzi!

Photo by: Marcus John Taylor
Darcy Baldwin: Rubbed Out Alpha and DJB GINAM1 at The Digichick
Christina Renee: Dirty notes, Glitter Splats, Label alpha, Bookplate Alpha, Just for Fun Doodle
Catrine: Chalked Alpha
Sausan Designs: flower from Needful Things
Shabby Miss Jenn: frame from Tree Trimmin' Party
Natalie Braxton: Things on Strings
Nancy Comelab: Vintage Frame
Tia Bennett: All Taped Up brush frame
Paint The Moon: Freebie flower

::::::::::::::::::Good Deed::::::::::::::

Aaron heard me coughing at the computer and he said, "Mom, let me fix you some chicken soup!" So in 15 minutes I had a steaming hot bowl of soup in front of me and a hug from my 13 year-old. What a nice "Hallmark" moment. Thank you, Aaron!

::::::::::::::::::First Aid:::::::::::::::

Our next door neighbor, Kristen, was kind enough to agree to teach a first aid course to the Scouts last night. She had them realize that there is more to administering aid then just attending the victim. She explained about being aware of the scene of the accident and that you don't want to create more victims by just rushing in without accessing the situation. Michael was hightly impressed with all of the information and how she demonstrated everything to the young men.

::::::::::::::::::Reading Book::::::::::::

I am on chapter 3 of Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) and have already begun to do my classic paper tearing and bookmarking pages to reference when I'm finished. The examples used by the authors are so appropriate. I analyze what I would do in certain situations and realize that the slippery slope of self-justification is quite a busy thoroughfare with a whole lot of casualities at the bottom. Here are a few excerpts that really had me thinking:

"Self-justification has costs and benefits. By itself, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It lets us sleep at night. Without it, we would prolong the awful pangs of embarrassment. We would torture ourselves with regret over the road not taken or over how badly we navigated the road we did take. We would agonize in the aftermath of almost every decision... Yet mindless self-justification, like quicksand, can draw us deeper into disaster. It blocks our abily to even see our errors, let alone correct them."

The chapter of cognitive dissonance was a real eye opener. In the section called "Spirals of Violence-and Virtue the authors explain that the concept of "catharsis" fostered by psychoanayltic beliefs about expressing anger and behaving aggressively gets rid of anger is patently false. They write, "Actually, decades of experimental research have found exactly the opposite: That when people vent their feelings aggressively they often fell worse, pump up their blood pressure, and make themselves angrier." They go onto say, "venting is expecially likely to backfire if a person commits an aggressive act against another person directly, which is exactly what cognitive dissonance theory would predict." What they relate is that once you have harmed someone you must then justify why you would do such a thing, then it creates a need to reduce your dissonance where you blame the victim of your outburst and you are more likely to escalate your next violent outburst.
In regards to the virtous cycle the authors write about how doing something good leads to changing our thinking of others. For example if we don't like someone, but on a whim do something nice for them we may begin to make the connection that that person must not be so bad, or I wouldn't have done something nice for them. That thought leads to the thought that maybe that person is not as bad as I thought.
Later on the book references an experiment by Benjamin Franklin during his time in the Pennsylvania legislature where there was a man who couldn't stand him. Franklin decided to win this guy over. He asked to borrow a rare book from the man's library, which the man agreed to lend. Franklin returned the book within a week with a note of gratitude. After that the man came up to speak to him "with great civility" and they continued from then on to be great friends until the man's death. Franklin wrote, "...the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says, 'He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged."

This book is fascinating.

::::::::::::::::::::::We have Advent Calendars Galore::::::::::

There is an advent calendar in the kitchen and in the girls' room, but Rachel still decided to decorate her dry erase board with a Santa Claus and a countdown of the days until Christmas. Oh, the pressure! The kids think I'm not serious when I tell them there are no presents for them in the house...but I'm not. The only day for us to go shopping is today. Michael and Aaron have a campout this weekend and from what the calendar says I'm out of luck come next week. I may be giving the kids my reading book and explaining them the concept of cognitive dissonance during my self-justification speech on why time just got away kids what a bag of Milky Ways...chocolate makes things better...really!

Smiles and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Helping In A Small Way...

Michael told me about this site: Free Rice. He heard the owner of the site interviewed on NPR. This is a fun and educational way to spend some time while helping others! What a bargain!

I'll be back after more embroidery work!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Past...

I was going through some old photographs and found this family photo, so I decided to play with it:

Darcy Baldwin: DJB Mish and DJB MICHAEL at The Digichick
Amy Cheeseman: Grinchy Christmas freebie (2006)
Michelle Coleman: Hand Stamped Alpha
Shabby Miss Jenn: Tree Trimmin' Party
Mo Jackson: Moodle frame, Moodle Alpha
Holly McCaig: Doodle Frame
Catrine: Pauline Alpha

:::::::::::::Christmas Presents:::::::

I saw this on Janna's blog and thought it was pretty cool:
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Later, gators!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm Not Dead, Yet! I'm Feeling Happy!...

...or Eve's premonition at the library. I told Michael that Eve wanted to go by the library, so he said cool and away they went. After checking out her library books Eve inquired how long she would get to keep them. Michael looked at the check out slip and replied in a goofy excited voice, "Wow! You get to keep these until January of 2008! That's next year!" Then Eve said, "You'll be DEAD in 2008!" Michael was a bit surprised by this revelation, as were we as we laughed at this prediction. Hey, but maybe this time next year we could be on that Crossing Over show, or hanging out with Sylvia Browne...better yet, I think I'll just fix a healthier meals and hope for the best!

:::::::::::::::::Guitar Hero...NOT::::::: Aaron does really like the Guitar Hero games, but requested a real guitar. He and Michael went up to a local music store called Music Go Round and they picked up this: an Ibanez Acoustic Guitar :::::::::::::::::Vacation Layout 58...I Think?::: This is from our vacation to Colonial Williamsburg. Rachel and Noah were able to hold a cochineal beetle that is used to create red dyes. Darcy Baldwin: DJB LENA, DJB KENNAscript at The Digichick Shabby Miss Jenn: Tree Trimmin' Party Christina Renee: Grunge Frames, Sassy Lace, Signature Collection, Botanical Brush Michelle Coleman: Hand Stamped Alpha :::::::::::::::The Christmas Tree is UP! These are my favorite Nativity pieces. They were made for me as a Christmas gift a few years ago by my brother-in-law, Reuben. He and his wife are both talented artists. I was beyond words excited to get these and they are a treasure! This is one of the beaded and pinned ornaments hand made by my husband's grandmother, LaVone Moulton. The kids get excited to put them on the tree each year. They really miss their "Granny Great"! These are a couple of vintage ornaments form Granny Vone's Christmas tree that Michael would look at as a child, so she gave them to him several years ago. This is one of my favorite Southern ornaments. It is a piece of painted okra! Here is a beautiful amaryllis that Rachel's Primary teacher gaver her. We have really enjoyed watching its growth. to read!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Oh, My Darlin'! Oh, My Darlin! Oh, My Darlin!

...Clementine! Yes, that's right is the season for the tasty, seedless, round bits o'joy! Clementines rock the proverbial house! If you are unfamiliar with this seedless delight here is some information: Click Me!

::::::::::::::::::::Book Review:::::::::

We finished reading Magic And Other Misdemeanors last night. The kids were huddled around me like I was going to give them some football calls. The story kept all of us guessing, but not disappointed. The twists and turns were interesting and the kids really love the sub-plot about Sabrina and Puck. This series makes me think what it would be like to send Nancy Drew into Wonderland...clever and suspenceful! Two thumbs up!

:::::::::::::::::::::Yet, More Brillant Index Cards:::::::

I'm off to paint some more!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

So, Whattya Been Doin'?

,...just curious.

The tree is still not lame is that!!! The kids are rotating who is sick and I've been busy painting downstairs, so maybe tonight???!!!

::::::::::::::::::::Perfect Attendance:::::::

is what Rachel had until a fever, headache and sore throat sidelined her, yesterday. She felt crumby today, but she went anyway. She is, usually, my healthy kid. Noah who is my croupy kid still has perfect attendance, surprisingly.

:::::::::::::::Swimming Update:::::::::

The kids' have their last swim lesson with Laura tonight. She has been an amazing instructor. Eve went from only floating on her back with some help from Michael to feeling like a little mermaid swimming under her own volition. YEAH! We need to get Noah into a SCUBA program because he wants to spend all his time underwater.

:::::::::::::::::::::Family Reading::::::::::

The kids are clamoring for me to not stop reading the newest Sisters Grimm book Magic And Other Misdemeanors. It was a near riot last night when I stopped reading at the end of chapter 8. The kids would stop me intermittently while I was reading to postulate who might be the Master of the Scarlet Hand and who was stealing the magic items.


My stepdad is taking Aaron and Rachel to see a Gladiator's hockey game tomorrow. They all like hockey, so they, hopefully, will have a blast.

:::::::::::::::::::::Lunch with A Friend:::

I was able to grab lunch with my friend Phyllis on Monday. She is so fun and we got to talk and eat, which are a couple of my personal favorite hobbies. We stopped in at a restaurant that other friends have raved about called Los Hermanos. We munched on chips, salsa, jalapeno cheese dip and chicken enchiladas. I threw in some tasty Mexican rice.

:::::::::::::::::::::A Sweet Invitation::::::::

Shabby Miss Jenn who I was a guest creative team member for November has asked me back as a guest for January. I thought that was super sweet of her!

:::::::::::::::::::::Gave Up The Ghost:::::::::

My dear smoothie maker has joined the appliance graveyard! It did, however, go out with a last hurrah by making me a delicious drink of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, bananas, blueberry yogurt, frozen vanilla yogurt and milk. Luckily, there are always a large supply of smoothie makers around.