Saturday, March 26, 2016

Great Library Finds

It's no secret that we love books at our house and read a LOT of them!  Having a mama for a bookworm tends to produce bookwormish children, I suppose. ;)  In addition to an extensive personal collection of children's books, we also check out stacks of picture books (both fiction and non-fiction) from our local library on a biweekly basis.  (Hurray for free!)  

I carefully peruse each book before it lands in our bag to check-out.  My examination is looking mainly at content; I want each book to contain content that is edifying and interesting.  Books with characters who don't speak kindly to each other or respectfully to their parents go back on the shelves.  Books that deal with subjects I don't think my children are ready to know about yet go back on the shelves.  Books that contain well-written English and include important life lessons score big with me.  Academic emphasis that fits with what we are currently learning in homeschooling is always a plus.  I also look for text amounts that match the attention spans of my little ones.  Too much text without enough matching pictures is not usually a good combination in our season of life.  And speaking of pictures, I really love and appreciate picture books with nice-looking illustrations.  Not scribbly, not too cartoony, not comic-book style, not too difficult to make out what's happening in the picture.

It occurred to me today as I was writing my sister an email with some book recommendations based on our latest library run, that this kind of content would make a fun addition to my blog.  In the past, I've shared about books that made an impact on my life or titles I wanted to recommend from my own reading experience.  Now, I would like to start including semi-regular posts about children's books that we are loving.

And just by way of explanation, our biweekly library check-outs pretty much always include at least two Curious George titles at Isaac's request, which are lots of fun, but probably won't be told about in my blog posts simply because everybody already knows that Curious George is a win, right? ;)

Here are this week's picture book *jewels* that have been a hit with both children and Mom!

The Fox in the Dark is a sweet rhyming story with a catchy phrase at the end of each stanza that children start to repeat with enough read-throughs.  As with many children's books, it focuses on animals as the main characters who are all hiding from what they perceive to be a scary fox that wants to eat them, when in reality, the fox just wants to be their friend.  Both Isaac and Josiah were quite mesmerized by this story, and I was very pleased with both the content and the illustrations.

Dewey, There's a Cat in the Library contains both an edifying story and absolutely gorgeous illustrations.  In this book, readers are introduced to a precocious kitten who gets left in the drop-off box of a library and soon learns to help out at the library with all sorts of important kitten jobs.  While I enjoyed the story as much as the boys, the illustrations alone are very impressive.  Out of all the books we've read this year, these illustrations win the prize for the most beautiful.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

February Picture Catch-Up

That is such a JoJo face right there.  Chin tilted down, looking at you out of the side of his eyes, half a smirk.  This kid has attitude! :)

He really liked the chocolate cake and whip cream.  Can you tell? :)

One school morning, we read the story of Walter the Baker, by Eric Carle.  It is a cute story telling the fictitious history of naturally, we had to make our own pretzels afterward.  The children really enjoyed the whole activity and still play pretend visits to Walter the Baker's bakery in our bathroom.

Nathan surprised me this year with a whole week of Valentine expressions of love!  Day one included these beautiful, red roses delivered fresh to my door!

Aren't they gorgeous?

Peeking through a pretzel.



JoJo at Aunt Ann's house trying on R2D2 Mickey ears.  Such a cutie!

When we got home after an early birthday bash for Isaac and cousins in Dayton, the boys wasted no time getting out the new birthday puzzles and putting them together!

The Valentine's surprises continued!  Day 2 brought homemade chocolate truffles to the door, Day 3 brought a bamboo plant, Day 4 brought chocolate-covered strawberries, and Day 5 brought these lovely tulips.  My man totally spoiled me this year!  He's the best!

On February 25, Isaac's big day finally arrived!  He was so excited to get to use the birthday plates and napkins he picked out at the dollar store and to wear his giant birthday hat!

Our happy 3-year-old.

Birthday breakfast!

Opening a present from Grandmommy and Granddaddy.

One of Isaac's birthday presents from us was pet fish - three of them to be exact!  Now that he is three, he is learning to be responsible for a pet. (The low maintenance kind for now!)

We also gave him a trampoline for utilizing all that energy! (See previous post for videos.)

Isaac requested "monkey bread cake" for his birthday.  Unfortunately, he was sick with a cold over his birthday, so Nathan and I managed to produce a sugar-free, whole wheat version that was actually quite tasty!

He loved blowing out the candles!

Happy Birthday, Isaac!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Winter Video Montage

Here are some videos I've taken in January and February of our active boys!