Friday, October 28, 2011

(I hope you appreciate this Mom and Dad--I took my life in my hands! ;))

Leaf gathering



Group tossing
(OK extension of LEAF FIGHT!)

Leaf Angels
(This photo courtesy Mowg)

Another Leaf Angel

Aren't they cute?!

I actually missed the leaf angels as I'd gone inside for a minute.
I love them best of all--all three of them.

Recently we attended a Fancy Party

Fancy Mowg (with hat he decorated himself)

Fancy Mowg enroute to the party

The Lady of the Hour

Tiny in her self decorated hat (and new princess dress-thanks good will!)

There were even magicians peforming astounding feats
(impromptu and with many failed attempts--just keep trying!)

Fancy Tiny on the way to the party

That's for you Fancy Granny and Grandad
We love you!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fun Titles for the Kindergarten Set

I've started reading once a week at the school library here.  It's great fun, but I can tell I'm going to run out of titles.  Can you help me?  I want to compile a list of great read-alouds for the kindergarten set. 

So far I've read:
The Happy Hedgehog Band
Frogs Jump
Some miscellaneous poems like
The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
Sing a Song of People by Lois Lensky (which they LOVED and had me read twice.  We were doing a lot of acting out in that one)

Do you have a favorite book that makes you want to move around (or you think you could if you were a little wiggly?)?  I'm looking for books that the kids can form connections to. 
What about poems?
Do you have a favorite?
If you'd be kind enough to share, I'd appreciate it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Child's Day of Play

You know I love alphabet books, but sometimes one just dazzles.  This is one of those times.  This Book is amazing.  Each letter begins an action word.  Ida Pearle's cut paper illustrations are incredible.  It leaves me a bit speechless really, it's so interesting to look at, so simple in concept.  It's also an amazingly affordable way to have some of Ida Pearle's work.

This is another one that is just fun to look at.  It's not really about the alphabet as much as it is about typeface, but each animal is made up of a unique typeface of the first letter of it's name.  It reminds me a bit of typing class in high school when we'd make pictures just before holidays.  I'm a parent who often responds to requests to draw something with writing the word (I'm trying to stop, but this may be my way around).  I really love the description of typefaces and the pictures they additional pictures that are created with each letter.  B's that turn into boots on a stick figure for example. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Once in a while I get asked to read

"Mom, will you read us a story?""Do I get to pick?"
We read Halloween Pie by Micheal Tunnel and Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelly

I love fall books.  Halloween Pie is a little more ghoulish looking that I like, but I love reading "Give me some pie!" over and over again.  I also like that no ghouls are harmed in the making of the the end they float back to where they belong on steam.

Fall Is Not Easy is just fun.  The tree talks about all the other seasons and how easy they are, but it can't seem to get its colors just right: a rainbow, a hamburger, and even an Eat a Joe's sign show up in the tree and then finally all the leaves fall off and then it's winter again.  Winter is easy.  It's that simple.

In other book reporting news let me share one more:
Frogs Jump by Alan Brooks, illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
We picked this up at DI (a thrift store) on a trip West recently.  It is so much fun!   A little tedious to simply read, but in a large group that's acting out what's going on, it's rollicking.  This is a counting book that counts to 12.  There is also some thinking that goes on.  Each of the animals do something that they do in nature, but they've taken on human contraptions:  snakes sliding on water slides, spiders spinning on merry-go-rounds, pigs squealing on motorcycles, etc.  Half way through the book as you've built up to the number 12 (repeating all previous numbers each time--tedious unless you're moving around with 5 and 6 year-olds') you learn that Whales don't blow soap bubbles.  Then you reverse the count (no longer repeating) and lose all of the human accoutrements (the frog eats them and becomes enormous).  It's very fun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Never underestimate the power of light.  There's a lot of meanings in that all of them good.  Today, it meant two kids having a marvelous time exploring on the way home (from the car across a small parking lot into the house).  Discoveries included:  leaves in the evergreen shrubs (I wonder where they came from?!), nails in the railroad ties at the edge of the parking spaces, the stairs, a skeleton under a spiderweb (decor of course), a ghost, a pumpkin and a "dark spooky house" (meaning we didn't turn the lights on when we came in and it was fun to look around with the flashlight).  Magic in moments. Nevermind those other ones....just turn the sound off.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tommorrow's Alphabet

A little book review.  Tommorrow's Alphabet by George Shannon illustrated by Donald Crews.
A is for seed, tommorrow's apple.
You know I love alphabet books.  There's just something about the letters that fascinates me.  I love how this book takes the basic concept and turns it into a thinking alphabet.  What comes next?  What happens tommorrow.  I also like that the answer is readily available so as not confuse for long what is going on in this book.  You might want to check it out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dad!  I found your pants! 

I went to a garage sale a few weeks ago at my son's request.  We found a treasure trove of things we wanted/needed.  Among them were a pair of kelly green polyester pants.  They look just like the ones you (Dad) used to wear when I was in high school.  At least that's when I remember seeing them the most (will they ever wear out?!).   Yes ,I bought them along with a pile of other shirts and pants in colors ranging from lavendar to mint green.  They're all destined for a quilt (say what you like, I love a polyester quilt in the summer time for "outsiding").

Incidentally, I also found something else of yours, Dad.  A saying that you gave me quite often as a child.  I find myself repeating it to a certain young man in my life.  It seems to be sticking and almost always elicts a smile and (for me) a little lump in my throat.

This is how it goes for us:
Mom (that's me):  Have A Great Day!  Better Yet......(I raise my eyebrows and smile)
Boy (that's Mowg): MAKE ONE! (Big smile and a wave as he turns his back to race onto the playground)

To put it in perspective a little unless I have bribed him the night before this comes after a morning (I almost typed mourning--apropo!) of whining, crying, and yelling.  It's a rollercoaster this parenting.  I'll don't think I'll ever get over the stomach to the throat changing of things.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PS On the chance you might be interested in an I-Spy Swap visit:  Sew In Peace
This is a great way to get a variety of fabric for an i-spy quilt. You send in 3 different fabrics and get a whole bunch of different ones back.  That means buying three yards of fabric instead of a bizillion.  So if you're the tiniest bit interested I highly recommend it.  I've swapped with her before and was VERY pleased.

Singin' in the Leaves

I'm picture challenged at the moment.  On top of that it's been glorious outside and winter is coming (Friday according the weatherman).  So we're outside as much as we can be for the  moment.

 I just recently watched Singin' In the Rain with Tiny.  She watched parts, but it's the handful of favorite songs that she's come away with that are delightful to me.  So here's what we have been doing every morning on our walk back home.We have a small "ditch" area along the road almost to our house where piles of leaves collect.  I don't know if it's the wind gathering them there or people.  In any case, we stomp through them TWICE each day.  The routine never varies.  As we do (at Tiny's prompting) we sing: "We're stompin' in the leaves, just stomping in the leaves.  What a glorious feeling!  I'm haP PY again![all the inflections of the original song are in place] I'm laughing at clouds.  I'm singin' and stomping in the leaves."

You can't sing about smiling and not smile.  Even if you've had a rotten morning, which we often have.

Along that line umbrella's are a new dance prop since we've seen that movie and anything that makes a satisfying slap will do for tapping out the intense splashing scenes from the movie.   Leaves make a great substitute when water isn't available.  I wish I could show you the tip back of the duck umbrella and the squinting of her eyes as if she's stepped under the drain spout when she performs.   It's another thing that I can't help smiling over.
You've got to take the smiles where you find them.