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


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gulfshores, Alabama


Eve is ready for the beach:

Michael helps the kids look for Coquina Clams on the beach:

Here is the sea nettle that stung Rachel:

Noah emerges from the sand with help from Eve:

Eve puts herself in time-out aboard the U.S.S. Alabama:

::::::::::::Some Digital layouts of the trip::::

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Some photos of Rachel as Bubbles when she was a very, little girl:

::::::::::::Digital Layouts::::

Here are the girls being incredibly silly:

My 2nd, 100 page, artscow book came in the mail today. It looks awesome!
2008 Book 2

Here is the link to 2008 Book 1

This book was such an interesting read. I learned several things:

1. The smell of newly cut grass, that I like, comes from hexanol-which may be an injury response.
2. The number of wildly acidic frogs have begun to blanket parts of Inida and Pakistan in winter, which may be due to pollutants. Since amphibians are very good indicators of what is going on in their environment, I wouldn't be surprised.
3. When quartz dust lands in the lungs, a macrophage will engulf it. The stomach of the macrophage ruptures and dies, then another macrophage comes to clean up. It will be killed by the sharp quartz dust. Then the bandage-making cells weave a fibrous web over the dead macrophages and the quartz dust. These build up and lead to silicosis. Nasty stuff.
4. Black lung from coal dust will turn the sputum black in the first stages of the disease.
5. Retrieved core samples of ice are under enormous pressure. If you cut it it will shatter. For a year they lay around on the surface to depressurize.
6. Brown lung comes from breathing, in part, cotton dust.
7. The worst offenders in dust making trees for wood workers are: beech, cedar, oak, mahogany, iroko and zebrawood. It is the fungal dust that is released, not the wood itself.
8. Air freshners do 3 things: 1. They numb the nerve endings inside your nose, preventing you from smelling anything offensive. 2. They coat the inside of your nose with droplets oil, to the same effect. 3. They simply saturate the air with such strong smelling chemicals that the odors fade by comparison. (p. 168).
9. Talcum powder is stone dust and is linked to epithelial ovarian cancer. (It's probably causal). p.170-171. People have died from baby powder overdose.
10. The term bonfire comes from the people of Britain who, in ages past, burned their dead on a "bone fire".

We all are affected by dust and each of us do our fair share of contributing to it every day. I recommend this book for those curious about the workings of things that are on such a small scale, but impact us in such a big way.

My current read is:

:::::::::::::::High School Reunion:::::::

I attended my 21st high school reunion on Saturday. Michael and the kids didn't make it home in time to see me dolled up. I wanted them to get my photograph, but oh, well. I had fun seeing friends from the class of '88 and '89. I got to dance a bit and do a lot of talking.

Melissa N., me, Pam S. and Jennifer M.

I would love to have had Michael along, but another $73.00 was out of the question.

:::::::::::Time for Sniffin' some Hexanol:::

I need to go mow the lawn. Later, gators!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Always Playing Catch Up

:::::Halloween 2008 pages:::::::

I am finally getting around to scrapbooking the kids Halloween photos from 2008. Michael did such a great job on the costumes. There was a lot of giggling when all was said and done.

:::::High School Reunion::::::

My 20th High School Reunion is coming up on Saturday. Michael helped me shop for a "dressy casual" outfit. I'll get him to take a photo of me before I leave for the shindig.

:::::Chinese Food::::::

Michael took us out for Chinese food last night. YUM! Noah tried the vegetable spring rolls and decided that he likes them better than he did last time. We are slowly getting him to try more things.


I'm off to do that. The only day I missed last week was Saturday. Even the rain didn't stop me on Sunday. I am almost through with my book on Meriwether Lewis. It is a great read.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Little Bit of This and That

One of the pages for the kids' book::::

::::::::::Currently Reading:::::::

Apparently, I am "The Book Lady" at the park. I had a lady who was walking with a companion say she had just wondered out loud if she would see "The Book Lady" because they had changed the direction that they usually walk. I had a man stop and talk to me about his equal love of Patrick O'Brian books, last week. I think most folks are wondering how long it is before they find me sprawled on the ground, dazed, from running into a tree. I have to say that I'm a bit curious about that, as well.
I'm really enjoying the information that I'm learning about some forensic science methods being used in the book, The Death of Meriwether Lewis: A Historic Crime Scene Investigation. There are several experts brought together at an Inquest brought about by James E. Starrs. Mr. Starrs wants the body of Meriwether Lewis exhumed to see if Lewis committed suicide, or was murdered. Some of the fields represented at the inquest are firearms expert, military wound expert, two document examiners, forensic scientist and law professor, and an epidemiologist.
I am still reading through the question and answer portion of the testimonies. The epidemiologist, from reading through Lewis' journal, believes that Lewis and some of the Corps of Discovery men got syphilis from the Shoshone Tribe and became symptomatic several days later. He believes he had the neurosyphilitic kind that may have led to suicide, but I'm not finished reading his determination. If you like history and forensics this book is really cool.

Here is a very current article about where the exhumation stands:
::::::::::::::::Book Reviews:::::::::

If you are looking for some crazy satire, mixed with history then this book is up your alley. There is quite a hugemongous caveat: there are a litany of foul words and a page of nude old people (satirically purported to be the members of the Supreme Court). Professor Stanley K. Shchultz uses his red pen deftly in marking up many of the errors in quotes and historical dates. I like what he said about the book, "This book has many fine qualities, but its cavalier disregard for accuracy of quotations, its insufficient scholarly documentation, its often quixotic use of illustations, and its frequent usage of inappropriate language and word choices all detract form its virtues." p 225
What appealed to me about the book was the use of satire to make you think about the role of people from the founders to modern day politicians. They expose in their satire the cavalier way politians take their responsibility to our country. Lobbyists drive me to distraction. The amount of time politicians spend campaigning is another big annoyance.
The book has sections on "Discussion Questions" and "Classroom Activities". One of my favorite classroom activities is found on page 129, "Make the Electoral College come alive! Divide your entire school into 50 groups of varying sizes. Then assign a point value to each group roughly based on its size. hae each individual student then vote on an issue- say, "chocolate or vanilla." Tally the votes but tell them the side wth the most votes isn't necessarily the winner. Instead, caculate the winner within each of the 50 groups, then give the previously assigned point value to the respective flavor, Add up the point values and see who has more. Isn't this a better way to figure out a winner?"

Another favorite quote is, "The 1990s brought the advent of a dynamic new medium for news, the Internet, a magnificent new technology combining the credibility of anonymous hearsay with the excitement of typing." p. 151

The spotlight was shone on politicians and media alike. No one was safe. I appreciate the different perspective that these types of books bring to any subject. It makes people not take themselves to seriously and those that don't take their positions seriously enough quite a lot to consider. This book has quite a Monty Pythonesque quality.

Another fantastic trip aboard and abroad with Patrick O'Brian. If you love sailing books of all sorts, as I do, you will love this yarn. The Irish humor having to do with the different counties and old grudges is quite a hoot, too.

::::::::Housekeeping, Scrapbook Style:::::::::

I have been scanning each of the kid's baby albums. I have them uploaded to and hope to find a coupon code to have them made into 8x8 books for the kids. Aaron's has 140 pages, Rachel's has 93 pages, Noah's has 62, and Eve's has 43. I had the most fun looking at the Halloween costumes Michael sewed for the kids. Rachel had fun flipping through everyone's books, multiple time, and sharing what she liked. Noah had me sit down and read his out loud. He really liked that I put actual quotes on some of the pages.


I'm hankerin' for some Chinese food.

Smiles! I hope y'all have a fabulously safe and fun weekend.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

"I'm Ashamed of What I Would Do For A Klondike Bar!"

The blog title was taken from a statement made by Rachel. Do your kids have any disturbing quotes, as well?

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

Another winner from Michael Buckley! The kids were so excited to read this book, so was I. I think the consensus is that Puck is our favorite character. He is unruly, contrary and big-hearted. This book reveals the "Master" who leads the Scarlet Hand (the baddies). The kids are I were shocked by who ended up to be the dastardly Master. The other exciting reveal that I can let you know...a positive spoiler...there is going to be another book! WOOT WOOT!

:::::::::A Few Layouts for 2008:

:::::::::::Music Downloads:::::::

Since I was working on a slideshow for the Scout Troop's Court of Honor I decided to download a song by Andy Griffith that worked for the pictures submitted to me. I grabbed "The Fishin' Hole". I love that song, the tune, the lyrics, the finger brings me happy vibes. Looking for music is like Pringles, I can't download just one. Here is a list of my downloads:

Song: It's Not My Time - 3 Doors Down 0.94
Song: Mama, I'm Coming Home - Ozzy Osbourne 0.94
Song: I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers 0.94
Song: Times Like These - Foo Fighters 0.94
Song: Mercy - Duffy 0.94
Song: Hollow Man - R.E.M. 0.94
Song: Slide - The Goo Goo Dolls 0.94
Song: Cath... - Death Cab for Cutie 1.24
Song: The Fishin' Hole - Andy Griffith 0.94
Song: The Climb - Miley Cyrus 0.94
Song: What I've Done - Linkin Park 1.24
Song: Detours - Sheryl Crow 0.94
Song: Pork And Beans - Weezer 0.94
Song: Burning Down The House - The Talking Heads 0.94
Song: Magnificent - U2 0.94
Song: Chicken Fried - The Zac Brown Band 0.94
Song: Iron Man - Ozzy Osbourne Featuring 1.24
Song: Everlong - Foo Fighters 1.24

::::::::::::::Fourth of July Plans:::::

My mom is planning to take the kids to see the new Ice Age movie in 3D on Friday. The plans to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen have been axed due to the raunchy nature of the movie. Thanks for those who forewarned us.

We are invited to a pool party and cookout with some friends from church. It should be fun to just hangout and eat. I hope everyone has a safe holiday!

::::::::Victoria's Walk and Read Program:::::

is working out okay. I have yet to walk into a tree, step on dog poo, run into people, or parked/moving cars. Minor successes are gladly accepted. Reading slows me down, but tends to add distance. I get caught up in my reading and sometimes go an extra mile. I walked a little over 7 miles on Mon,Tue,Wed, Thurs. Fri., last week. That is 7 miles on each of those days. I finished Scientific American's April 2009 issue, but it took 2 days. There were such amazing articles. One I particularly liked was how trichromasy has developed in New World and Old World Primates. There are even people out there that can see in tetrachomatic ranges (4 colors), but don't have a way to really know they can. I have a suspicion that Michael and his brothers Reuben and Marcus maybe able to see a greater range of color. I am currently reading The Golden Ocean by Patrick O'Brian, on my walk.

There are a few authors that can write dialogue and set a scene that draws you in so thoroughly that you feel like you exist within that story as some eavesdropping spirit and Patrick O'Brian is one of those writers. For me, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Jane Austen, and J.K. Rowling write that way, as well. I have a fascination for any books about ships and submarines, but have no clue why. My guess is that I would puke my guts out on both and would have sever claustrophobic episodes. But I would almost swear that I can feel the sea spray and hear the accents in real life when I read an O'Brian book. Excellent stuff, my friends!

::::::::::My Next Read::::::

I have Forever Odd by Dean Koontz in the wings to read. My sister, Katherine, has read the series and wants to me to, as well.

::::::::::High School Reunion Coming Up:::::

I have my high school reunion this month. I'm looking forward to seeing several of the gals and catching up with what they have been doing these last 20 years. I will probably go wild a buy a new outfit for this auspicious occasion. Aaron wondered if I actually owned any shoes other than my gray croc sandals, so I might need to get a pair of shoes that come in wide, yet flattering.

::::::::::In Other Good News::::

The new heating element and thermal fuse came in today and Michael has put it in. Laundry awaits my attention.