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, August 30, 2008

So Much Time, So Little To Do...

STRIKE THAT! Reverse...

::::::::::::::Nutty Noahisms:::::::
This is what Rachel, Noah's big sister, posted to her blog:

"I was downstairs and Noah was playing one of his silly games and he was losing in a battle with some other player and he suddenly gets a really good move and shouts "You wanta play Hardball HUH I'll give ya HardBAll." Well it just shows what an interesting little boy he really is. Very Freakish actually. Strange Strange boy..."

Here is the comment I left her:

"One of my favorites was last week when the two of you were playing Monopoly and you asked him if he wanted the "Get Out of Jail Free" card and he responded with, "I'll take my chances with Juvey!" In that Clint Eastwood voice. What a goof ball! It's fun to share those nutty Noah moments, Thanks!"

:::::::::::::Yet, Another Noah's Baptism Layout::::::

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

This book was written in stream of consciousness style. The story is about a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway who is throwing a party in the evening. There are a few characters that are fleshed out in the book. The one that I found the most intensely interesting and deep was the returned soldier, Septimus Warren Smith. Septimus goes to war to preserve his ideals of Shakespeare and the woman he loves and comes back a man hollow and destroyed. The repetition of the phrase, "...he could not feel" was so incredibly sad. The broken man who could not be made whole. The book was hard, for me, to get into for the first few pages, but once I got my feet wet, so to speak, I felt like I was on a tour with an orb weaver as my guide. She revealed how the different characters were interwoven with Clarissa's life and I found their descriptions very fascinating. Woolf's imagery is quite interesting with such word pairings as, "Sinister serenity," in regards Miss Kilman's character. Clarissa is a rather pessimistic, snob, but she also possesses charm that help balance out her character and keeps her from being a boring one-dimensional person like the rest of the characters fleshed out in this book.
Make sure to have a bookmark handy because there are no chapters. There paragraph indentions to give a visual page break. Overall, this book was well worth my time.

If you enjoy metaphors, similes and quotes you will enjoy this collection. The front cover with the fish on a bicycle is such a fabulous image. I particularly like the simile by Samuel Butler, "Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them." Another quote by the same person makes me think of the pages I put together for my kids, "Every person's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of that person."
I like this one about recognizing nature, "To a person uninstructed in Natural History, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall." Thomas H. Huxley
This quote about personal responsibility, or the lack there of, "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." by Stanislaw Lec
One last one, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overallsw and looks like work." Thomas Alva Edison


We received the results of the Criterion Referenced Comptency Test, on Friday. Noah and Rachel both did very well. The score that stood out the most, to me, was the score Noah had for his "Reading" portion. He answered all the questions correctly. My thoughts went to gratitude for Mrs. Brown who helped Noah in 1st grade with a "Reading Recovery" program for kids struggling with reading. She helped give him the tools for sounding out words and making sense of how the sentences work. He absorbed everything she taught and enjoyed his time with her. I appreciated her observations and encouragement of Noah. I will be forever grateful for her abilities and the positive impact on my son. The kids look forward to baking some brownies for her this week.

Take care, all!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another Noah Page:

This is Noah getting a bear hug from his cousin, Christopher.
Credits: freebie from Vinnie Pearce, date stamp by Amber Clegg, font: PTRemington

::::::::::::::Interesting Walk::::::

On mile 4 I saw a GINORMOUS bullfrog on the path. I tried to get close, but the dude was super fast. He made it through the fence and to the pond lickety split.

Mile 5.5 I saw a really cool Eastern Box Turtle on the path were there are runners and bicycles in the woods. I picked the handsome little turtle up and placed him off the path in the direction he was headed. Turtles are just too cool!

:::::::::::::::::Curriculum Night::::::::::

Michael and I just finished curriculum night for Aaron. We enjoyed hearing from the teachers who seem really good. Michael got the exciting job of calling Aaron after each classroom visit to ask about the assignments that he had been given. It was interesting that Aaron's response of, "No homework", had an entirely different meaning. Now we know, a little better, what to ask and look for from school

Marcus is going to let me borrow his camera so I can take the school photo. Thanks, Marcus! He is also an enabler, by the way. I have been googling information on a new Nikon product thanks to his information. It is the first SLR with video capability. The Nikon D90 sounds pretty nifty. Let the begging and rationalizing BEGIN! ALMS for the poor!!!! :)

Take Ibuprophen is kicking in, so I think I can go to sleep now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feeling Melancholy

On Monday, I checked my driver's side mirror for a spider web. There had been a web, most every day, for 3 weeks. When I first saw the orb weaver working on its intricate circular web I thought to flick it off with a stick. My fascination for the hard work and natural beauty of the web won out, though. The fastidious little brown, orb-weaver would create a web about 6 p.m., then have the web eaten and the window left clean the next morning. Talented and tidy...such a great combination. There was a night, last week, when I needed to make a run to the grocery store and I saw the busily moving body diligently at work for the evening. I just smiled and jumped in Michael's truck for the trip. The poor spider did have to make a few 40 mile an hour rides to my mom's house and home. The kids would worry all the way if the spider would be okay. I found myself hoping to get a stop light so the little one would have the time to scurry back to the safety of the side mirror housing. Sometimes it would, sometimes it would just set about repairing the strands that kept it tied to the car.
Well, on Monday I came out of the grocery store and pulled out of the parking lot and the spider's little body tumbled from the mirror housing. Since I was in the middle of the road I needed to keep moving to avoid an accident. I watched as the silk thread snapped and my little spider companion blew away. I figured it had died a few days before, so I wasn't surprised. I just felt an overwhelming feeling of melancholy for this little, natural artist that put a pretty web for us to be dazzled by, then clean it up so we didn't look like trail trash driving around town. So long, my eight-legged pal!

::::::::::::::::::Picture Day:::::::::::

I'm going to help at the elementary school for picture day. It should be a day of organized chaos. I hope to come out smiling in the end, too!

::::::::::::::Another Layout for Noah's Baptism Book::::::

This is a photo of Uncle Benjamin trying to help Rebecca depress the spring on the pogostick, but she was just too light. He tried jumping on the pogostick, but the 80 lb. weight limit kept him from having any fun.
Credits: Jacque Larsen's Frog Legs, Fonts: DJB LIZ and DJB Julianna in a Hurry Darcy Baldwin, Kate Hadfield's Doodle Frame


I've been working on learning the program for the school yearbook. The learning curve isn't too bad. There is some functions that I would like to work differently, but it is okay, so far. I have been asking around for some one with a better camera to take the 5th grade photo, or let me borrow, but no luck, yet. I have about 3 weeks, so I hope to have it figured out soon.

Off to school! Take care.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Age Gap...

Eve lost her first tooth last night! Michael yanked a very loose tooth. The bottom tooth was so wiggly that Eve thought she might swallow it in her sleep. (We don't count the upper tooth that was pulled due to trauma in the official "Lost Teeth" count".

I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not Camera Shy, Just...

Camera Clueless::::

Rainbow Kit by Karen Lewis at
Fonts: DJB MICHAEL by Darcy Baldwin, Artistamp Medium

School house freebie and background paper by Jacque Larsen, Doodle frame by Kate Hadfield, Krafty Alpha by Edeline Designs, Font: DJB Mandy by Darcy Baldwin, Word art by Emily Merritt

Studio Paris by Debra Tope, Evitangel freebie by Cinnamon Designs, Bus doodle by Kate Hadfield, Font: DJB Julianna In a Hurry, and DJB Mandy by Darcy Baldwin @ The Sweet Shoppe, Distressed frame overlay by Something Blue Studios, Krafty Alpha by Edeline Designs

Yesterday, I took out some stuff to recycle, started a load of dishes, then laid down to read my book (Mrs. Dalloway)while waiting the last 30 minutes for the kids to come home on the bus. I set my glasses down for a minute, then I heard banging on the door. Apparently, I can fall asleep! I don't think I have had proper sleep in 14 years and since my short cat nap doesn't really count my record is secure. ;) It is nice to know my body still can sleep okay, if given the chance. I think I must have the need for spontaneous napping because I'm pretty sure if I set out to nap someone would have called, or I would have a thousand things going through my mind that would have distracted me.

:::::::::::::::::::::Jonas Brothers:::::::::

Rachel was invited to go with a friend to see the Jonas Brothers in concert. She called me all giddy around 11:00pm to tell me she was on the way home. She plopped into bed a little after 12:00am. Surprisingly, she was hard to wake up today. I hope she blogs about the concert. She said Demi Lavato was the opening act and it was Demi's birthday, as well. Brynna was so kind to invite Rachel.

::::::::::::::::::::Speaking of Kind::::::::

My neighbor, Kristen, needed some vinegar for a marinade, so I gave her a few tablespoons. In return her daughter brought over two delicious slices of steak. The taste was delightful. I'm hoping for the recipe!

Off to go walking and help in the school library! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Settling Into a Routine

Credits: template by Pattie Knox, papers from Primavera kit at Catscrap, Font: DJB MANDY by Darcy Baldwin at The Sweet Shoppe, and arial

Things are getting to be a little easier with getting the kids up for school. Eve has lost her angst about going to school. Everyone gets dressed, comes down for breakfast, then brushes their teeth when they are finished eating. All work is to be finished and signed the night before to make the morning go smoothly. I'm sure that there will be kinks, but the majority should go okay.

I will be helping out in the school library bi-monthly, which should be fun. Helping kids find books to read just sounds cool to me!

I am, also, the yearbook advisor. I sent out my first email to the volunteers to find out what each one was willing to do. I am meeting with the art teacher this morning, as well, to pick his incredibly creative brain.

We went to curriculum night for grades 3-5 to see what the teachers planned for the year. Michael went to Noah's class and I went to Rachel's. I was impressed with the teachers and believe they are top notch.


I walked 6 miles to compensate for doing nothing on Sunday. The weather was really cool. There were a bunch of walkers in the morning. I went right after Aaron's bus left. I had a nice stroll to the top of the subdivision with Sherrill, Nick's mom (friend of Aaron's). She was taking their new puppy, Chrissybear, for a walk. Sherrill is so fun to talk with and it was nice company.
There were a few park regulars, but there were a couple I haven't seen in a week, so I guess their schedules have changed. I smile at everyone who will make eye contact with me and the funniest thing was this young jogger would smile back. The 4th time he passed me he put his hand out, so I gave him a high-five. On the 5.5 mile point of my walk I saw him running through the woods and he said, "See ya later!" He made me laugh because he was in such a good mood. It seems like too many walkers and joggers put on such a serious demeanor like they are at work, or just plain miserable. It was nice to see somebody enjoying themselves and being equally as friendly.

It is cleaning day for me, so after my meeting with the art teacher I'm off to the dentist.

Peace out!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Point and Shoot...and Don't Forget The Flash!

::::::::::::::Fun Morning::::::::

I went to the elementary school this morning to take photographs for the yearbook. The school was visited by a former student that happens to be a major league baseball player. He brought along his wife and mother-in-law. His mother was already at the school because she is helping with the 5th grade gifted program. Everyone was enthusiastic and the grins and cheers were fun to hear. I didn't tell my kids he was coming because I didn't want them to be disappointed if he didn't come to their classrooms. He, in fact, did not go to Noah or Eve's class, but the last class he visited was Rachel's. I went in to give her a hug and a nice lady helping the students asked if I was Rachel's mom. When I told her yes, she praised Rachel for her writing ability and vocabulary. Her smile and enthusiasm was so genuine that I liked her instantly. (It is also nice to hear your child spoken of in such glowing terms, too). Rachel had to break into our conversation and say,
"Mom, take some pictures!" What a fun morning!

::::::::Cool Word Art:::::::

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::::::::::::Funny Video:::::::::
I saw a link to this youtube video at and the lady's voice is amazing and she is a riot.

This is one of the funniest songs in Spamalot:

::::::::::::::::::Cool Kaleidoscope Action:::
My brother-in-law sent me links to these sites. I am enamored with kaleidoscopes. They mesmerize me. Try these out:
Do this site first:
Kaleidoscope one
Then have fun with this one:
Kaleidoscope Two

::::::::::::::::Layout of Noah:::::::

Credits: Karen Lewis' Out of This World revisited at the


My tendinitis has decreased substantially since I put in the extra arch support under my regular insoles. YEAH! My favorite thing to see on my walk, today, were a couple of bluebirds. WOW, they are gorgeous! I listened to Astronomy Cast episodes about The Milky Way and two episodes on rockets.

:::::::::::::::Check Up::::::::

I, finally, went in for a check up at the doctor's office on Tuesday. The appointment was with the midwife who delivered both Noah and Eve. I made sure I had current pictures to show her. She was thrilled to see the photos and asked to keep them for her scrapbook. She said she gets baby pictures, but rarely any as the kids grow up. We talked about all the kids, adventures in homeschooling, personalites and life. She is such an awesome person and I was so blessed to have her deliver two of my kids. When she went out to grab me a pen to write the information on the back of the photos she came in and said the nurses were glaring at her for taking so long with me, but she just smiled really big. It was so nice to catch up with her and thank her for the important part she played in my life. If you live near me and ever need a midwife I know one of the best! :)


Michael posted this to his blog, so I will link you up:

The Protractor Story
What a nutty kid!

Take Care! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


...defined, by me, as a person having a thirst for reading. That is what I have been doing, intermingled, with getting the kids ready for school, and walking at the park. I just finished a couple of books.

I enjoyed the fourth book in the Twilight series, which follows the life of Bella Swan. There is intrique, mild gore, really great cars and designer clothes...what more can a girl ask for...oh, yes...really great looking vampires and werewolves. I will give no spoilers, so if you are in need of a twisted love story (are there any easy ones?) you would be interested in this series.

This book is by the same author as the Twilight series, but it is a stand alone novel. The story is about Melanie Stryder and an alien soul called Wanderer and what happens as they become one after an alien invasion of Earth. The book moved at a fast pace and I liked the character development. One of my favorite characters was crazy Uncle Jeb. His quirky sense of humor added levity to a serious subject. The books discussion of free will and stewardship is really well done. I really enjoyed this one.

My next read is:

:::::::::::::::::::::Some Happy Kids:::::::::::::

We are Dr. Who fans at our house and the speculation was running wild with what was going to happen to The Dr. after being shot by the Daleks. The kids really like David Tenant, but I find that they end up liking all of the Doctors. We all liked how the season ended with the human/Dr. being left to live out his life with Rose. They did want Donna to stay a part Doctor, though. All and all, a great season finale.

::::::::::::::Eve's First Day::::::::

Eve has been really nervous, but here she is smiling at the bus stop:
Credits: Karen Lewis' Lil' Miss Sunshine at
Font: DJB Sissy by Darcy Baldwin @ the Sweet Shoppe Designs
Curvalicious by Karin M. Designs

Aaron (on the right) with his friend Nick waiting for the bus:

::::::::::::I Saw This on Kim's Blog:::::
You Are Jasmine!
Image hosted by

Independent and adventurous. You don't want much; just to break out of the guilded cage society has put you in and experience life to the fullest. Following orders isn't really one of your strong points, and you would rather live a life of poverty than being forced into something that you hate.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

::::::::::::::::10 YEARS:::::::::::

When I was walking to the park the other day I heard a song called "Beautiful" by a band called 10 Years. The lead singer has an amazing voice and the musicians are equally cool. Video of Beautiful. I love the line, "Silicon and stars collide, the rest will fall in line."

This song is pretty cool:

Cool Acoustic version:

Here is "Waking UP"

Take care! :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An Amusing Day...

This was on Julie P's blog:

V I c T O r- I6 A

:::::::::::::::::Six Flags::::::::::::::::

We took the kids to the amusement park on Monday. Aaron didn't feel like puking until after riding Goliath with Michael. That was at the end of the day, so the only ride he and Michael missed was Splash Water Falls. Aaron did manage to get soaked by standing at the observation deck. He was splashed 15 or 16 times. He was quite delighted and refreshed from the experience. We kept a steady pace with Eve along for her first trip to the park. She was so brave. She rode the Scream Machine, which I don't think I rode until I was eight or so. She said she loved it all and wanted to ride again. It was really cool to see Aaron keep her close for her first spin on the Dahlonega Mine Train. She was ecstatic after the ride came to a halt. The Mine Train is a family favorite. My all time favorite thing to do is bumper cars. We only did that one once, so the kids could do the different rides. Here are some photos and a short video:

::::::::::::::::::::::::Book Reviews::::::::::::::::

This book had quite a fascinating premise. I enjoy science fiction/time travel books. The unfortunate part was the story was infused with a rather large amount of base language and imagery. I suppose the primal nature of having to leave all of your clothing and anything else material behind when you time travel lends itself to that kind of personality. It was very off putting to me. I read about half of the book before I read the jacket with notes about the author. After reading her story and looking at her picture I had the impression I was reading a fantasy she had that put her as the central character. The basic plot of how the character/s moved through time was very interesting and I was curious how it would all play out. Overall, I would say that the plot was interesting, but a bit too raunchy for my tastes.

This is the third installment of the popular, young-adult, vampire series by Stephenie Meyer. The raw emotions and the teen angst make up the majority of this book. The werewolf vs. vampire turned allies was a good story. Teen hormones make decision making more than a bit difficult. So there is a lot of back and forth reasoning by each character. I like the series, but can never put it in the same caliber as J.K. Rowling's books to which they are constantly compared.
I'm currently 75th in line for Breaking Dawn, so we will see what is next for the trio.

Friday, August 01, 2008

We Could Have Stayed Home...

...and watched this on t.v.!" said Noah, immediately after the first inning.

We were given tickets from friends of ours at church after the Court of Honor on Wednesday night. We had some good upper level seats directly behind home plate. Since we only had 4 tickets we were going to leave the younger kids with my mom who graciously said she would watch them. Noah's lip quivered when he found out he wasn't going. Michael put the situation before the kids and Rachel volunteered, immediately, to give up her ticket.

The weather was forecasted to be stormy so we were glad to be near the covered area. We also were given a parking pass and food vouchers. Aaron and I got jumbo hotdogs, he got a slushy, Noah a large Sprite and Michael and I shared a large Sprite and the tab came to $26.50. YIKES!
Noah kept asking if we won when people would cheer. Michael spent different parts of the game explaining the rules and I would interject at times, too. The rain came down during the 6th inning, but not enough to slow play. We just scooted 4 rows back and were completely fine. We watched the lightening play in the clouds. The first inning was pretty ugly for the Braves, but the team was able to convert some hits to runs and a couple of homers helped, too.
Michael told Noah he owed Rachel an apology for taking away her opportunity to go to the game because she would have enjoyed it more than he did. It was kinda funny to see how clueless he was about sports. I remember my dad, during my Summer visits, would watch every sport available. The only ones I would watch with him were baseball and basketball. My mom and Jim watch zero sports on t.v. and we aren't sports enthusiasts at our house. We don't follow any sports teams on television and our kids aren't athletic. However, Michael and I do think it is a lot of fun to attend baseball games (major and minor league) and hockey games. I am the only one in the family that will watch volleyball. I really like to watch Olympic games, but I think my family would rather watch paint dry. Oh, well.

Take care! :)