Saturday, March 26, 2011

Children's Books

My kids love to read/look at books.  Reading is a habit that I love to encourage as much as possible.  It is so much fun to have one or all of my children come sit in my lap or snuggle next to me to see the pictures.  My Aunt Jocelyn is an amazing resource on children's books. She has given the kids books for years for Christmas and birthdays.  It has been fun to see what books she picks and my kids have loved them. I wanted to share with you some of her favorites.  (Thank you Jocelyn!)  I plan on checking the library and for all of these.


Alphabet Book by P.D. Eastman -- just a basic simple abc book with an alliterative phrase for each letter. I began enjoying this book with my kids when they were very young. It was a fun way to introduce them to the alphabet and they were soon "reading" the book to me!

Jamberry by Bruce Degen -- A delightful preschool book with delicious language and cute illustrations.

A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss -- clever and sweet

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood -- written in an "interactive" (the character and reader are engaged with each other) style, this was definitely one of my kid's most favorites.... not too many words and great illustrations (watch the mouse's facial expressions)

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone -- another "interactive" style book... silly fun (Sesame Street Characters)

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes -- We love most of this author's books. His illustrations are so endearing and the characters a sweet and spunky

King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood -- Another amazing book by Don and Audrey Wood. This husband and wife both write and illustrate and this particular book is so clever. The illustrations, while dark in hue, are fascinating.

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller -- This author/illustrator has written many many many educational books and each is done in rhyme. Her illustrations are bright, bold and beautiful. This is the first book of hers that I discovered and I think it is great (since reading it I have never forgotten the meaning of "oviparous")!

Color by Ruth Heller -- I have always been so thankful that God did not create the world in black and white. What a wonderful gift He gave us when he created color. That's probably one of the reasons I love this second book by Ruth Heller. So well done!

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston -- I read this sweet story to my kids every Christmas and never made it through the book without getting choked up (my kids actually got a kick out of that).

When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant -- Written in a very similar style to the story above. I obviously have a weakness for these nostalgic stories with wonderful illustrations.

Hunting the White Cow by Tres Seymour -- OK, this is the last one in this same genre. Love the illustrations... definitely lends itself to fun voices by the reader!

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas -- a fun and clever twist on the classic

Heidi by Johanna Spyri -- this is a classic I enjoyed reading to my class each year. It has adventure, suspense, endearing characters, animals... what more could you want? But the thing I like best is that it is the story of a sweet girl sharing God's love with her bitter hardened grandfather.


An A to Z Treasure Hunt by Alice Melvin -- I can't wait to spend an afternoon with Annabelle adventuring through this one!

Good Egg by Barney Saltzberg -- Such a fun preschool book!

Do Your ABC's Little Brown Bear by Jonathon London -- Can you tell that I have a thing for alphabet books?

Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller -- the most fun book about manners and kindness that I have ever seen!

Hope you enjoy all of these as much as I have!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Simple Sticker Book

We have a problem in this house with stickers. My kids love to get stickers and love to put them on clothes, books, furniture, car seats... everywhere.  I made my 2 year old her own "special" book to put all her stickers in.  We are currently potty training and the stickers are the rewards.  There are alot of stickers "floating" around this house.  These books are quick and simple.

Materials needed:
paper lunch bags
scrap book paper
1" book rings (I got these at Office Depot)
paper cutter or sciccors
hole punch

Cut the scrapbooking paper to be the same size as the paper bag.  Glue one piece of paper to front and one on the back.  ( pretty complex instructions huh?)  Once glue dries cut the paper bag in half.

Punch 2 holes in one end.  Make as many pages as you want.  Bind the pages together with the book rings.  Embelish/decorate (this is the fun part).  This project is simple and I love using pretty scrapbooking paper.

Hopefully our stickers will find their way to this book...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Paper Topiary

Spring is finally here!  I want to put flowers, birds nests and butterflies everywhere but the hubby might no go for that.  I had some paper roses laying around and a glue gun idea hit me and this is the finished product.

The canvas cost $2 and the rest is just stuff from my crafting stash.  It made me smile to be walking around in my back yard looking for just the "right" stick for my paper tree.  To see how to make the roses check out my Valentine's Heart post.  I took some curvy scrap booking scissors and cut out the flowers.  It gave the "petals" a little more texture.  The black "border" is just 3 pieces of ribbon.  For the butterfly I just found this pattern and cut it out of scrap booking paper.  Glue guns are the best therapy.  Enjoying spring!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


There is nothing sweeter to a small child than the sight of a huge puddle.  The murky water can provide hours of entertainment unless mom catches you first...  I am one of those moms who buys rain boots for just such an occassion.  My kids may get completely filthy but the smiles under the dirt are worth it every time.

Today I was watching my 2 year old "enjoying" a huge puddle in the driveway.  This may not seem much to some of you but here in Montana we haven't had much puddle weather... just ice.  It got me thinking about how we react to the puddles in our lives.  Sometimes God lets it rain in our lives.  It feels like everything is pouring down on us.  Once the rain stops we are left standing in a huge puddle.  My immediate reaction is to complain about the rain/puddle/present location.  I can picture God watching and nudging me say "come on, enjoy where you are".  I look at the dirty water and ask "enjoy what exactly?"

The longer I live the more convinced I am that He wants us to just enjoy life right where we are.  Splash around.  Don't just be proud of the fact that you are still standing after the rain storm.  God is with you always even in the storm.  Slosh around in the murky water. Thrive!  Do somthing silly or spontaneous.  Silliness is easier when you have small kids but anyone can have fun.  Life is to short not to enjoy every day!