Monday, February 28, 2011

A few words:
On seeing a large print set of scriptures:
"Wow, that's a book only a fat man could read!" Mowg

"Joseph Smith arrived at the island of Sodor.  Bill must pick him up."  Mowg

Tiny says lots of funny things too, but most of hers come in the form of pronunciation that is very difficult to translate to the written word.    She is a girl after her folks heart though.  We were at a second hand store and she filled my cart half full of books when I wasn't looking.  I did put some back though.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are you ready for some books?  Today I'm sharing some of my favorite wacky books.  I tend to like the absurd.  They also fall into the category of wacky books from the 1970's.  So here they are:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett.  This is not the movie version.  I've not seen the movie version (or read it in book form either for that matter).  The two stories appear to be quite different.  I have loved this book since I was a kid.  It's a great story about giant food falling from the sky.  Visually it's hilarious.  You see drifts of cream cheese sandwiches, spaghetti snarled on lower intestine street, a giant pancake on a school, and my personal favorite a guy with a giant noodle on his head.  My kids love it too.  Great read, fun to look at.

The next one I've only recently discovered thanks to a friend of mine.  "Stand Back," said the Elephant, "I'm going to sneeze."  by Patricia Thomas.   When the elephant says that he's going to sneeze everyone complains about what happens last time:  fish lost scales, birds lost feathers, zebra lost stripes, etc.  Then there is a reversal and for a moment they thing they're all safe, but alas.  Very fun to read aloud.  Lots of giggling ensues.

Finally, The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord.  I happened upon this again because of the above Elephant book.  This one I remember loving as a kid.  It's about a town plagued by wasps and their solution of using a giant jam sandwich to get rid of them.  Fun absurd read.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What to do on a winter day when your Mom says she won't let you go outside:

Get ready, just in case.

Stay that way for about an hour

Don't let it stop you from reading and hanging out with your seed catalog reading brother

I know that last one looks posed, but they really just caught me taking their picture.
We were listening to a sherlock holmes story on a cd.
Tiny insisted on getting dressed to go outside.  She's got a pretty stout cold and so I didn't think that was a very good idea.  However, who am I to prevent a girl from being ready for possibilities?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A few words from our Tiny girl:

As anyone is coming up from dowstairs (the street, the garage/laundry area) She will greet you from the top of the stairs with her arms wide open, "Suprise, its your birthday!"

"I yuv you"

"Thank you.  That was really good." At the end of any meal--she thinks it's her ticket to get down.  Sometimes she won't have done more than tasted.

"Will you snuggle me?"

"Mom (or Dad) I need you."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Last week was Kindergarten pre-screening for Mowg.  It's been a bit of a shock for me, but I'm managing.  Mowg loved all of it.  He was a little nervous at first, but very pleased by the end.  He met the principal and visited with him while they had me talk to a couple of other people.   In the course of their conversation the Principal asked him what his phone number was.   Mowg threw back his head and laughed.  "I don't have a phone number you silly guy!"  He thought that was hilarious.  The principal laughed too.  I told him on our walk home that he actually did have a phone number and why he thought it was so funny that the principal had asked him.  "I just thought that he thought I was like a big guy with a phone number, but I'm just a little guy."  It still makes me smile.  Oh and now he knows his phone number.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What happens when you really love Jelly? 
You're on your second piece of toast--so it's really about the jelly you love.

You take a bite out of the middle of the toast
(note her octupus skirt that I made!  One of her favorites--mine too.)

 It's deyicious.
(yeah that's really what she says)

Doesn't it look that way?
Thank you Granny for the Nagoon Berry Jelly.
Tiny's not the only one that loves it, but she shows it the best.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Commercial Fishing, another pet topic of mine has precious little representation in the picture book world.  In my attempt to discover one I found this one, Going Fishing by Bruce McMillan.   It's about a boy that goes fishing first with one grandfather, then another.  It's set in Iceland.  It's true.  They fish for two different types of fish and the author gives you the pronounciation for the Icelandic words and names in the text.  It's possible that I love this book because I can feel the wind and the lift of the waves as I read it.  It's possible that I love it because I can see myself walking up from the dock.  It's just possible that while I haven't earned my fisherman's hat I've stood at a similar place.  I've tried to capture it on film.  Mr. McMillan you have produced a fine book.  A great true story.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Did I mention we had cheese?  "The finest you can serve at your table." According to Mowg.  Tiny refused to try it at first.   I coaxed her into trying just a tiny piece--when she was ready.  I left it on her plate.  She asked for more.  What kind of Cheese?  Dad made Camembert.  Mmm!  Behold the power of cheese!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

May there be love in your day.
(I know oranges aren't traditionally valentiney, but they just make me smile.  Especially the other day when we had such a blizzard that it plastered snowflakes to our window.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


A word I've been thinking about a lot lately.  My mother-in-law was an amazingly efficient canner.  I'll never forget the one time I canned with her.  She knew what she was doing and it went FAST!  She'd canned--I'm certain--millions of jars of things by the time she and I canned together.  My own mother is amazingly efficient in the kitchen.  She can make a meal appear out of nothing very quickly.  I know she's made millions of meals, after all I've eaten many of them.  I've watched one of my sisters make bread with incredible efficiency.  She can even guide you through the process while sitting on the couch without looking at a recipe.  It's impressive.  The number of loaves she's made is unfathomable.  So I've been thinking, what of me?  What do I do efficiently?  Dishes and laundry are definitely out (anyone have an efficiency tips in that regard?  I could use them).  Cooking is a slow process...thank goodness for the efficiency of my husband--super chopper there.  I used to be quite efficient in computer use, but I'm seriously outdated now and what's left of what I know mainly rests in typing and even that is getting a little rusty.  Then it hit me....I can load a 3 milliliter syringe with 1-2 milliliters of medicine without even looking.  (I do double check, though as I once overheard a nurse say "We always have someone check us in Peds{Pediatrics}." and the checking prevented my son from receiving an overdose of something.)  There it is my efficiency in all its glory:  2 mils.    Now that's something to write home about.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Behold the Power of Cheese (hands down my favorite advertising campaign)

Cheese has been a regular topic at our house.  We have a cheese making Dad (about a week until our first Camembert sampling), cheese eating kids, and cheese eating Mom.  Since it's become something of an obsession I thought I'd share the wonderful book I found that is based on a true story about...wait for it..cheese.  A tremendous cheddar in fact.

A Big Cheese for the White House (The true tale of a tremendous cheddar) by Candace Flemming is a delightful jaunt through history -- one of those little known sideline stories.  The town of Cheshire, Massachusetts makes a "whopping big cheddar" and sends it to the White House so that the president "won't be serving Norton cheese."  In other words, they've launched an incredible advertising campaign for Cheshire Cheddar.

 There are several fictional characters that help flesh out the story, my favorite being the doubting town member, Phineas Dobbs.  "Ridiculous, It can't be done!"  Throughout the process he points out the problems that need to be overcome in order to complete this "cheese making miracle". 

 It's fun to read aloud.  The layout is varied so that it is visually interesting as well.  Mowg tells me his favorite part is "when they make Cheshire Cheese!"  Just a little more more evidence that the advertising campaign worked well.   What you'll learn:  the historic story and basic process of cheddar making.  Perhaps you'll embark on a travel plan that will include a stop in Chesire to see the concrete replica of the cheese and the apple press they used to make it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We've stayed pretty close to home with the cold weather we've been having--ok we haven't left the house. I pulled out some blocks for the kids to stack (in lieu of stacking movies as high as they could) This is the sun that Mowg built.  It's been fun to see what they've done with them these last two days.  I usually have them put away, so it's novel for them.  Tall towers, bridges, unusual formations have all been built and destroyed rapidly over and over again.

Due to illness we've also had to put off our Friday Fun Days and other Preschool activities.
We were to have done a Train Themed Friday fun day last week.  We will still do it, but could not wait to do some of the activities.  Here's decorating the "Thomas" cookies.  

 Gingerbread cookies are the cookie of choice around here, so we make a lot of them.

Mowg really prefers his without frosting (They're too Sweetish--which incidentally sounds like "Swedish")

 Tiny prefers to eat them, frosting is good.

 Mowg's silly face.

Happy start of the Chinese New Year! 
Are you doing anything to celebrate?  Our town celebration was cancelled this year
and I usually make laterns to string around the room.  I did find a pretty neat, very easy decoration that I plan to make a bunch of.  More about that another day.  We really ought to do something with chopsticks, we recently were given a "few" to play with.  Which we did a bit ago.
Warning:  pictures of people eating below--not terribly pretty. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's a new month!  I'm hoping (praying too) for a change in our "weather".   We lost one of our deer friends last month.  None of the deer showed up for quite a while after that.  Then the past few days they've begun showing up again.  Today we had three in the backyard.  It was sooo cold, the poor things.  Here's a few pictures (and what to do in insanely cold weather):

Two bedded down under one tree, another under a different one.

Try to hold in as much body heat as possible.

Get up, move around--scratch a little.

Eat a little (can you see her tongue?!)

 It was by some reports about -49F with the windchill this morning.  The snow was certainly being blown about.  Sedentary deer got a little frosted.

This one is just outside our backdoor.  She's eating the bottom cut off of our Christmas tree--makes me glad that I've been so slow to take care of it.  Watching them you just want to help somehow.

She's wondering I suppose if I couldn't possibly let her in?

Jack Frost visited the inside of our windows and left some lovely designs

 I love the lacey ferns
 January found us doing quite a bit of this:

The next two are for Granny
(She sent us a drawing of Tiny to "match" one we had of Mowg)

(I think she did a fabulous job on both of them)
Tiny and Mowg are so very pleased to have them up on their bedroom wall.
Thanks Mom!