Wednesday, August 27, 2008

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Nature's bounty, courtesy of K and D's garden. Thanks K!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What a great idea! Rainbow Jars...

I came across this great idea on the blog of an Etsy seller whose products I adore (and who is, it turned out, a fellow MDC mama and friend of a friend!). Here's a link.

I love this idea, and so will the girls. Julie's all-time favorite pastime is (surreptitiously) pouring water from receptacle to receptacle--usually in the kitchen or living room, where I then have to clean up the mess *sigh* This activity will honor her urge to pour (on the patio) and will get them both outside too.

Thanks to The Rowdy Pea!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Book Jar list

One of our goals for this "first-grade" year is to bury ourselves in good literature. To that end, I finally compiled, from many, many sources, a huge list of books that I'd like to read with Bella (or have her read herself) in the next year or two (or three, or four!). My plan is to print out the book titles, cut out the titles and fold them up, and deposit them all in a Book Jar. When we near the end of each readaloud, she'll pick a new book from the jar, and we have to read it (or at least start it), no matter what it is. She has a tendency to to balk at books I choose, even when I know they'll be perfect for her, so this is designed to be fun for her and useful for me, and to give us lots of variety. Of course, many of the books on the list have sequels and follow-ups, so if she wants to continue in a series, we'll do that for as long as the interest is there.

Bella's reading capabilities are at a second/third grade level. Even so, some of these books are picture books that I'm just really looking forward to, some are possibly at a higher reading level than she's ready for (though we've worked our way through some pretty high-level books, surprisingly), some are "twaddle" that I know she'll just plain enjoy--we're just looking to spend a lot of time reading :-).

So, without further ado, here's the (gigantic) list I've put together. I hope it helps someone who's putting together a list of their own. I'll post a pic of the Book Jar in action when it's finally completed. Feel free to comment on books you think should be added or removed!

A Little Princess
A Mouse Called Wolf
A New Coat for Anna
Abel's Island (William Steig)
Aesop for Children
Baby Island
Ballet Shoes
Balto and the Great Race
Bears on Hemlock Mountain, The
Beatrix Potter Tales
Billy and Blaze
Blue Fairy Book (Andrew Lang)
Bread and Jam for Frances
Burgess Bird Book for Children
By the Great Horn Spoon
Caddie Woodlawn
Catwings 4 Book Box Set
Chancey and the Grand Rascal
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
Charlie Muffin's Miracle Mouse
Charlotte's Web
Daisy Comes Home
Detectives in Togas
Dr DeSoto
Ella Enchanted
Encyclopedia Brown
Fantastic Flying Journey (Gerald Malcom Durrell)
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Favorite Poems of Childhood
Fifty Famous Stories Retold
Finn Family Moomintroll
Five Children and It
Five Chinese Brothers
Flat Stanley
Follow My Leader
Freddy the Pig
Funny Frank
Ginger Pye (Eleanor Estes)
Gooney Bird Green
Grandma's Attic books
Gregory’s Shadow
Henry Huggins
Hitty: Her First Hundred Years
Homer Price
Hundred Dresses, The
It Could Always Be Worse
James and the Giant Peach
James Herriot book of animal stories
James Herriot's Treasury for Children
Just So Stories
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prarie
Little Pear
Loudmouse (Richard Wilbur)
Mary Poppins
Mother West Wind's Children
Mountain Born
Mr Popper's Penguins
Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
My Father's Dragon
Nate the Great
Next Spring an Oriole
Old Mother West Wind
Owls in the Family
Ox-cart Man
Pioneer Cat
Princess and the Goblin
Puss in Boots and Other Stories (Anne Rockwell)
Rabbitt Hill (Robert Lawson)
Raddedy Andy
Raggedy Ann
Railway Children, The
Ralph S. Mouse (Beverly Cleary)
Red Sails to Capri (Ann Weil)
Runaway Ralph
Sarah Plain and Tall
Secret Garden
Skunk Lane (Brom Hoban)
Smoky by Will James
Sophie's Snail
Strawberry Girl
Stuart Little
Swallows and Amazons
The Biggest Bear
The Borrowers
The Boxcar Children
The Courage of Sarah Noble
The Cricket in Times Square
The Enormous Egg (Oliver Butterworth)
The Family Under the Bridge (Natalie Savage Carlson)
The Firebird
The Gifts of Wali Dad (Shepard)
The Great Brain
The Indian in the Cupboard
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
The Littles
The Magic Finger
The Magic Fish
The Matchlock Gun
The Midnight Fox
The Milly-Molly Mandy Storybook
The Moon of the Moles
The Original Winnie the Pooh books
The Red Lion
The Red Wolf
The Rescuers (4-book series) (Margery Sharp)
The Saturdays
The Storm (Lighthouse Series) Rylant
The Story of Ferdinand
The Tough Winter (Robert Lawson)
The Twenty One Balloons
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Water Horse
The Year of Miss Agnes
They Called her Molly Pitcher
Thornton Burgess Animal Stories
Trumpet and the Swan
Understood Betsy
Voyages of Dr. Dolittle
Water Babies
Wheels on the School
Wind in the Willows

Friday, August 22, 2008

The 17-year cicadas, up close and personal

Check out this terrific video, posted on my favorite HSing site by Jane in NC. I never knew I could feel so emotional about giant, army green bugs *sniff*!

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's better than gorgeous Blogger templates? Gorgeous, FREE Blogger templates!

If you're in the market for a new look for your Blogger blog, check out Lena Toews' site. Her work is simply gorgeous. I looked through a gazillion free (and not so free) templates today, and hers were the nicest ones, and they actually WORK, unlike some others I tested. She has a great eye. Thanks for sharing, Lena!

Well well well, look who's back...

It's me, of course! I've decided to completely revamp the blog, and Wordpress is not particularly amenable to that, so here we are. New school year, new blog, right?

We've been on one heck of a wild ride these past few weeks, but I'm too worn out to even post about it right now. Suffice it to say that decisions have finally been made, and I'm so relieved. I'm so looking forward to the start of the new school year!