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


Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh, The Drama!!!

On the way to the performance for Rachel and the summer Drama Camp, Eve tried to do crazy, big-eye stare at the camera:

Are you frightened?

Nah! I didn't think so.

Now for MORE Drama:

Credits: Mary Fran's "How Done It" kit, Christina Renee's Dirty Notes, Nancy Comelab's Cluster Frames, Catrine's Pauline Alpha, Font: DB MICHAEL by Darcy Baldwin at The Digichick, DJB Another Mandy

All of the silhouttes are of the students in the club.

:::::::::::After the Performance we went to Bruster's for some celebratory ice cream:

Credits: We Are Story Tellers "Art Nation Blossom" and "Momtourage"
Fonts: CK Ali's Writing and DJB LORRAINE BOLD by Darcy Baldwin at The Digichick

:::::::::::::House Stuff::::::
Here are some photos of the kitchen after I painted and Michael put up the crown molding. After he finished I got to be "Caulk Girl". I also painted the little words above the window.

:::::::::::::Hilarious...I tell ya!::::

I got this off Janna's blog and had to post it here:

:::::::::::::::Ryan Shupe and The Rubberband::::

is one of my favorite groups and my mom sent me the link that they have released a new album, thanks mom! If you click on the link that says "Jukebox" you can hear the new songs.

Take care! :)

I'm So Glad We've Had This Time Together... have a laugh and sing a song...

My condolences to Harvey Korman's family. I enjoy watching clips of Harvey laughing. It always made me laugh to see him lose composure. Here are a few clips of the things that made me enjoy his humor:

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

Written with Death as the narrarator you would think this book entirely dark and brooding. The book surprised me with the gentle manner that Death appears. He is not boastful, angry, vengeful, lurking, and evil. He is comes across as a reliever of suffering, torn or tortured bodies. Some beg him come, but he cannot. He has a few people that make him pause and watch their lives and take particular note. One of these people is Liesel Meminger who is sent into foster care to a German family in Molching. On the trip to her new family she has a very ill brother with her that dies on the train ride. It is at this time Death takes notice of Liesel and watches her actions. This is also when she steals her first book.

I was eager to read every chapter to find out more about Liesel and her life, set during WWII and Nazi Germany. The characters are in a struggle to survive and that struggle produces acts that the characters, themselves, find immoral but necessary. I'm usually a very ethos person and would have a problem with such characters, but I didn't with these. The starvation had the characters choose to steal for bits of food. During one scene the newly stolen apples are devoured so quickly that the act produces it's own punishment. Liesel vomits up her spoils. Liesel steals books from the mayor's wife, but realizes that the mayor's wife is allowing her to steal them. This complex relationship is amazing to me.

I love Liesel's "Papa" Hans Hubermann. He is a painter by trade and a man with a heart that swells with compassion. That heart is battered by a son eaten up by the rhetoric of the fuhrer. His daughter is indifferent. When Liesel comes to live with him a friendship is formed that withstands so much of the turmoil in their lives. He is a man that keeps promises and alternates hating himself for keeping those promises, and realizing that it is the right thing to do.

There are so many characters in this that I want you to discover them for yourselves. Rudy is a fantastic character with his crazy quirks and his immense loyalty to Liesel that you might fall in love with him, too. Rosa Hubermann and her abrasive nature, but big heart. Death...surprisingly a likable guy.

This book speaks in large measure to the power of words. Hitler used them to try and annihilate a race and took many of his own with his hate speech. Liesel discovered that her power of words could elevate others and give hope to those who had their well of hope depleted.

I cried through the last part of the book. I had grown attached to these characters and it came as no surprise, as Death is the narrarator, that some of the characters were taken by him. No matter the tears, this book was well worth each one.

Take Care! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summertime, Summertime...Sum...Sum...

Summertime... is time for Poison Ivy! Yes, I have it for the 4th year in a row. No matter how "clever" I was scouting my yard for the nasty things they snuck up and got the back of my left knee. It was probably when I was traipsing through the yard with the poison ivy killer spraying their kind. The irony isn't lost on me, neither is the itching pain. Alas, I'm a bit of an oozy mess on that one knee. Sorry, too much information, I know. On to more fun updates:

:::::::::::::::Cousin Esther:::::::
came to Georgia for a 2 week visit from Utah. She was so fun! She brought flower hair clips for all of the little girls. They were thrilled. We also got to have dinner with her, yesterday. We met up with some of the siblings, spouses and Michael's mom at the Olive Garden. I wasn't feeling too well, but the meal went very well and we got to talk guitars, food, vacations, and work with our brother-in-law, Matthew. Here is a layout with Esther and a few of the girls who were wearing the clips:


Block template by Emily Merritt from Momtourage
painted doodles and papers by Kitty Chen from Momtourage
background paper by Mossa from Primavera kit
Birgit's orange paper from the Primavera kit
button flower by Kate Hadfield from May's BYOC
Emily Powers elements and papers from Momtourage and Art Nation Blossom
Weeds and Wildflowers freebie by Gina Marie Huff "Thank you"

::::::::::::::::::Beep Beep::::::
Karen Lewis has an adorable new kit at digital freebies this week...

My youngest DS, Noah, and his Pinewood Derby car.

Beep Beep by Karen

Beep Beep Chipboard Cutouts by Karen
A Month at a Time date stamp by Karen Lewis
Curly Swirly Alpha by Karen Lewis at The Digichick
Font: DJB SISSY and DJB MANDY by Darcy Baldwin at The Digichick:

:::::::::::::::::::Rec Room:::::

Anna Benjamin has a blue and brown themed kit at scrapbookgraphics...

Credits:A cherished photograph of my grandaddy and his older siblings.

Credits: Anna Benjamin's Rec Room kit and Preppy kit.
Font: DJB My Dear Marsha by Darcy Baldwin at

Template by Cindy Schneider at the Sweet Shoppe.

::::::::::::::::::Just for Fun Pages:::::

using Lorie Davison's "Moonlight Kit" from Scrapbookgraphics...

Misc. Credits: Dawn Inskip's clock parts from Weather Station.

:::::::::::::::::::Drama Camp:::::::

Rachel started her 4 day drama camp, today. She was exhausted when I picked her up from the school. She also ran off the neighbor's house who is attending the same class so they could create a prop for their play. The theme is "spies".

:::::::::::::::::::Outdoor Pool:::::

Michael took the kids to the outdoor pool near our house and they had a blast going down the water slides. Eve was just tall enough to take part. I stayed home with Aaron so he could finish up his last school assignments. He has a final draft and an assessment, then he will be finished for the year.

Take care!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Noah's Baptism

Noah was so excited on Sunday because he was baptised. Here are a few photos of his special day:

Here are Aaron, Rachel, Noah and Eve. Noah says that the plastic lawn chairs are his "throne", which makes me think he has rather low expectations for kingly wealth.

Michael told the kids to all pout, so they would laugh on the next photo:

Poor Rachel, she just looks so confused:

Michael and Noah in the Primary room:

Another strange Noah expression:

Getting ready for the ordinance:

My mom gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and baptism:

Michael and Noah after getting dressed:

My SIL, Missy, was our pianist:

My SIL, Shelene, was the chorister:

Noah really appreciated everyone for coming and a few folks were able to come back to our house for refreshments. My dad smoked pork tenderloin, my SIL, Laura made brownies and chocolate chip cookie cake (she sent it via Marcus because she wasn't feeling well), Melissa and Angela made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, my mom brought drinks and hot dogs, Granny Sydney brought spagehetti, Michael and I provided chicken nuggets and various sauces. The kids played well together and the adults got to talk. The weather was gorgeous, so we were able to leave the door open and people could be on the porch or just move, more easily through the house. Melissa and her kids lingered the longest and climbed trees and played dress up.

Grampa Jim joked about getting Noah an ant farm, but it became even funnier when Granny Alice actually bought him one. She gave it to him, yesterday. I just have to send off for the ant colony, which should arrive in 4 to 6 weeks. I will mail off for them on Tuesday. So our house will be the home of 1 ferret, a gazillion sea monkeys and a colony of ants. I wonder if Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kindgom will be knocking on our door soon asking if they can start filming our family?

Thanks, again, to everyone who could come to the baptism, send something, or just wish Noah well. He was one happy kid! :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Bit of This and That

I asked my mom if she would like me to come up with a blog header for her new blogger account and she said sure, so this is what I came up with for her:

you like?!

:::::::::::::::::::::::Enna Burning:::

This book was intense. Hale doesn't skirt emotions, fallible human decisions and their reprecussions. Enna Burning continues the story begun in The Goose Girl, but this one focuses on Isi's friend Enna and her discovery of the language of fire. The inadvertant discovery by Enna's brother Leifer of a vellum that contains the knowledge of fire speech is the catalyst. Enna learns this language and it allows her to feel like she is a more valuable person because of her ablility, but the fire has a will of its own. Enna begins to live a mentally and figuratively tortured existence. The core friendships in this story help bind it together and give a great framework for the book to delve into weighty issues of how it feels to kill someone with fire, being guiled by those who have the gift of "people speaking", war guilt, and awareness of your place in the world.

I recommend this sequel book with a The Goose Girl first to give a better understanding of the strong relationship held by Enna and Isi. Also, be aware of the intensity of emotions and imagery in this book. Hale doesn't cut corners on anything.

I had Aaron coming out to me while I was doing yard work asking if he should tell everyone to brush their teeth and get ready for reading time, an hour early, because he was anxious to finish the book and find out how it would end. Each of Shannon Hale's books, so far, have created that kind of excitement in the kids.

:::::::::::::::::::::::Next Family Reading Book::::::

Aaron and Rachel voted for River Secrets, which is the 3rd book in the Bayern series that started with Isi's story. This book is Razo's story. He is a friend to Isi and Enna. I'll let you know about this one when we are finished.

:::::::::::::::::::::::House Work:::::

...lots of that to do so,

I hope y'all have a great weekend! Take care! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

8 Things About Noah

::::::::::::::Noahism of the Day:::::

Yesterday, Noah walked up behind me as I was typing at the computer and asked, "Mom, can I have 20 bucks, or at least a hug?!" Silly boy should know by now I never have any money, but hugs are a bumper crop!

::::::::::::::8 Things:::::::::::
I saw this on my friend, Kim's blog, about her son who just turned 8 and I think it is such a great idea that I will use it here. Here are 8 things about Noah, in celebration of his 8th Birthday:

1. Noah asks questions about almost everything:

2. Noah really loves to tease his big brother, Aaron. This is often a painful mistake.

3. Noah finds reading enjoyable, especially if the books are about annoying kids and underwear.

4. Noah has the ability to sleep better than anyone I have ever met. When he says he is sleepy. He just lays down and falls asleep. Snap...lights out...snore! He has fallen asleep on the ride down the escalator in the Metro in Washington, D.C. I knew he was tired so I kept taking photos and I have the progression all the way to the bottom where we had to hoist his sleeping form to keep him from being stepped on.

5. Noah's favorite stuffed animal, for several years, has been "Oinkey". Oinkey has traveled to many places and has been loved to scruffiness. Noah also loves chicken. He eats chicken, but not bacon. Somewhere in Noah's brain there is a definite distinction. I think it must be that chicken and ketchup work so well together.

6. Mr. Noah-It-All was a name given to him by my step dad, Jim. I think it is the perfect name for him. He loves to ask questions that he knows the answer to, or thinks he does, then when you answer he usually says he already knew it.

7. Noah loves all things science and loves to ponder deep questions of the universe.

8. Noah surprises us with what he chooses to ponder in the art world:

Noah is 8 and one of the sad realizations for me is that this will be the last year I will be able to carry him down the steps for breakfast. This is our routine: I pat him on the back, behind, or rub his foot to wake him up and I call softly, "Noahie Monster, time to get up." He groggily wakes up and I pick him up for a hug and then he runs to the bathroom. I wait for him to finish, then he either jumps on my back, or he jumps up and I carry him downstairs (hoping I don't take a tumble with my boy built like a truck).

Being Noah's mom has been filled with unexpected twists and turns. I have a little boy who loves to give "huggies", and will be only in his underwear 2 minutes before the bus comes because he doesn't have the pair of pants he wants. He made up an inane knock, knock joke, that only makes me laugh...and I do every time. He has an infuriating habit of saying, "I know" when I don't think he does. He loves math, science, reading and Ben 10 cartoons. He snores, sometimes and has been our only kid to go to the emergency room. I know for certain that the next 8 years will be nothing short of bizarre with a good huggie in the mix!

Happy Birthday, Noahie Monster! Love, Mom!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Sea Monkeys Have Landed!

...well, they have begun to hatch. Rachel is ecstatic. I will try to grab a photo of the joyous...mother?!

Here are a couple of layouts with Dawn Inskip's new Puppy Love doodles that are so cool:

A scraplift of Holly Griego's "Unlock Your Dreams"

Credits: Dawn Inskip's Puppy Love, Embossed Alpha Set 1, Weather Station, Oh Boy
Heather Manning and Dawn Inskip's Collaboration "Evitangel",
Treasures to Scrap:
Emily Powers' Art Nation Blossom
Jofia Devoe's Swirl Therapy
Jenna Desai's Spring Doodles

::::::::::::::::::Busy With Projects::::::::::

I have been occupied with projects around the house and trying to help the kids with all of their school functions and work. Noah's birthday is tomorrow, so they, all, will be on a sugar high throughout the week. His baptism is scheduled for this Sunday, too, and he is so excited.

Take care!

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'll Clean My Room for Sea Monkeys!

This declaration was rather compelling coming from my 10 year-old who thinks the phrase "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" is someone's idea of twisted humor. She thinks layering your clothes means to drop them on one another when she takes them off, but that might make one assume that she leaves them in one pile. She is much more random them that. I think Chaos Theory started in her bedroom (my mom reads this blog, so I'm going to go ahead and stick in here that she would say it started in my room). Rachel found a book titled, Science in a Bottle by Sandra Markle and on pg. 53 the chapter is "Raise Sea Monkeys". This chapter has lit an ember of excitement, so intense that she begs, frequently, for sea monkeys and cleaned her room. I'm just wondering if the room will stay clean. I'll give it a week to decide if she will be able to get these little guys.

::::::::::::::::Layouts with Eve:::::::::

This page is a scraplift of Christine's page I saw on the Catscrap blog.

Birgit's Retro Paper and Leaves kit, Birgit's alpha for the April Collab at Catscrap
Catrine's alpha "Pauline"
Font: Another Typewriter,
Kate Hadfield's Doodle Frame
Jofia Devoe's Swirly Birds

My daughter, Eve, had her hair gelled back for her ballet recital, which made her eyes really stand out. I told her she had such lovely eyes, so she opened them big and wide for a silly photo.

Credits: Emily Powers "Art Nation" found on the Memory Makers website,

Darcy Baldwin: DJB Another Mandy at

misc. font: CK Cursive

Take care! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mighty Casey Has Struck Out...

My darling Rachel had no joy in Mudville (aka Science Olympiad). She came home very sad because she had lost in all three of the categories she had entered. She was the most upset because she was unable to win any of the prizes, which she hoped to use for a birthday gift for Noah, next week. She wanted to get the gift through her own efforts. Last week she lost her coin purse that contained all of her money, so she so this as her last chance for a gift. I told her that I was proud of her for trying and that I could take her to the store to find Noah something and she could give it with her name.

She was happy about her art class where they studied Michaelangelo's "David". Here is Rachel's version:

:::::::::::::::::I Love You Bunches::::::

Dawn Inskip: Love You Loads and Typecast Alpha

also at Treasures to Scrap and
Catrine: Explore Solids

Darcy Baldwin: DJB My Dear Marsha, DJB MISH

extra font: CK Cursive

:::::::::::::::::Playful Monster::::::

My youngest DS was sneaking up on my oldest DS.

Karen Lewis: Monster Mess Page Kit by Karen

Monster Mess Alpha:

Darcy Baldwin: Blister Pack Date Tag

Font: DJB SISSY by Darcy Baldwin

::::::::::::::::Yard Work ::::::::

I worked in the yard a lot, yesterday. Eve "helped" me clip weeds and avoid poison ivy. I have located several no places with poison ivy has cropped up, so I dread my next round of Caladryl, but the rains came and put off my need to self-medicate for a few more days.

Take care! :)