Thursday, January 26, 2012

Flat Stanley came on vacation to our house.
The first day he painted a "fresco" with egg paint.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'm a bit focused on winter and books at the moment. A lovely combination. The above book is a beautiful collection of photomigraphical snowflakes, quotes and a smattering of information (light smattering mind).

Here is my favorite quote:

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain childrean all our lives --Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Flashback: Christmas Book Advent
I was so pleased with how this worked with our "Christmas/Santa Bag".  I wanted to share some new to us Christmas books that we used in our advent:

This is a cute story of friendship and turning accidents/possible failures into success using what you know. It's written in simple sentences. It's illustrated by fun woodcuts. It's a sweet story about two friends who successfully fufill an assignment given to them by Santa. There's stamping (with stamps) on paper, there's gardening (a tree) and friendship. I love this off the beaten path story. I got a request to "read it again" immediately from both kids.

This book is beautiful in message, illustration and story.  It's loosely based on a historic Christmas Train, thematically about paying debts of kindness and not getting what you want, but what you really need.  The illustrations are beautiful.  Tiny wasn't the least bit interested in this book.  Mowg was fascinated by an old police car.   It's a great story that I think will grow on them in time.
As part of the advent on Christmas Eve we had a book for each child wrapped in the Santa Bag.
Tiny opened The Christmas Cat

This is a sweet story about a cat that finds a home for Christmas. It's a simple story the illustrations are classic Tasha Tudor. Tiny loved looking for the cat on each page. Mowg said he liked the story and could still tell me the outline of the story a week later.

Mowg opened:

He didn't like it. This is the story of a boy's sacrifice for his Dad and his discovery of the love that they had for each other. This is a great Pearl S. Buck story--but a little too complex (in its simplicity) for him. I love the story and enjoy Mark Buehner's illustration style.

Have I overwhelmed you? One more. I've seen this and avoided it as the cover didn't really draw me in.  Don't judge a book by it's cover! This is a fantastic book! I'm so grateful to the friend who shared her extra copy with us.  It's so much fun.  It answers the question of what snowmen do at night and why often the next day they don't look as good as they did when you left them. Lots of comedy in the illustrations--but then you probably already know all about it.  If not check it out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Musical Discoveries:

The Carnival of the Animals.  Poems by Jack Prelutsky and Music by Camille Saint-Saens .
The Carnival of the Animals is a classical music piece (in case you didn't know--I didn't) that was written as caricatures of the composer's friends ill-disguised as animals.  It was introduced to me as a good way to introduce children to classical music.  It has been a delightful book.  We listen to Jack Prelutsky read his poems and then dance to Camille Saint-Saens musical sketch.  The illustrations are the perfect combination of beautiful and relevant (to the text) art.  Our favorites are the fossils, swan, donkey and aquarium.  I am not a huge fan of classical music, but I thoroughly enjoy this.

I really like feel-good music with feel-good lyrics.  They're hard for me to find.  Here are two.

Next up C'mon  by Renee and Jeremy.  Check out a YouTube music video of one of the songs from this album:  It makes you feel good.  This whole album makes us feel good and dance.  My kids love it, I love it.  It's music that sparkles with words that uplift.  "C'mon, C'mon let the happy in."

Last, but certainly not least is Elizabeth Mitchell's "You Are My Little Bird."  This album saved my emotional life this fall as far as Mowg's concerned.  There were a couple of songs that took all the tension out of whatever circumstance we were in.  We love this music.  It's fun, sweet and peaceful.....without being only mellow.  When this is playing we're singin', we're dancin', and most importantly we're smilin'.  That's a good place to be.  You might recognize the cover art Ida Pearle who wrote and illustrated A Child's Day (An Alphabet of Play).  Definitely worth the Monday (or money if you prefer).

Monday, January 9, 2012

More River Adventures

Tiny is very into spelling her name right now.
She can sign it in ASL.
She can write it.

At the river she wrote it in rocks.

Each rock represents a letter.

Will you get out of my face?!
I can't help myself I have to say--I just like looking at it.

Rock throwing is constant through the season.
The river is a little smaller in winter--ensconced as it is in ice.

After lots of attempts to reach the water the ice was littered with rocks.
Time to head for home and new adventures.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

As part of our magical day that was January 2, 2012
We tried out our snowshoes.  The snow wasn't deep, but we had fun.

Tiny is the one we wondered about.
She did much better than we thought she would.
Much better than these pictures might make you think.
She walked almost to the river before abandoning them.

They stayed on her feet too.

Mowg couldn't get enough.
He walked.  He ran. He raced.

Proof that I did some stomping around too.

A race.

When Tiny was done, she was really done.

When life knocks you down, kick your feet up and watch the sky.

Snowshoeing is fun!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy way into the New Year!
Here's our first family picture of the year.  We're all here.
(Thanks for the hats Mom!)

The second day of the year we took a little walk to check on the river
I love these shadow pictures.  They're trying to pound a hole in the ice.
It was pretty thick.

Favorite pictures of the day

Rock collecting

Moving forward (after throwing lots of rocks toward the trickle of the river)

(Which would you rather be: A cat or a zucchini?  It's a debate that's currently going on.  I think Mowg is going to be a girl zucchini (who knew?!) and Tiny is going to be a cat.)
Perhaps that will help you understand the lack of cohesion in this post. ;)
Next up adventures in snowshoeing