Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Draw Write Now

These books are SO cool! My mom started doing these this year with three of my brothers (ages 5,7, and 8) and I am very impressed with how well they are working for a: boys and b: several different reading levels! The basic concept of these books is combining simple art lessons with handwriting on different subjects. For example, my brothers are doing animals right now. One day they will all learn how to draw a turkey and my 5-year-old brother will practice his Ts, the 7-year-old will write "turkey" several times, and the 8-year-old will do a short paragraph about a turkey.
Even better is they all love these books! I thought it was neat how you could easily customize the lessons to go with different things (doing the turkey while learning about the pilgrims in history for example). Since boys generally have sloppier handwriting, it was neat to see a program that they like that is also constant practice.
The only negative thing I saw with these books is they are geared towards younger grades in the art lessons. I would be interested to see if the authors of these books continued this idea with more advanced drawing/handwriting. I am definitely doing these books with my boys when they get old enough!
Want to learn more? Get Draw Write Now Here.

Schedules, Naps, and Throwing the Rule Book Out the Window

Both of my boys are asleep right now because neither got a nap today.
My mom called this morning and asked if I could take my little brother to a friend's house down near where my husband works and then I could surprise my husband for lunch. Well, it's been a long time since I've been able to have lunch with my DH due to gas prices/little children so I said yes. So Evan kind of got a nap in the car, but Will didn't sleep at all from 8am this morning until I put him to bed at 7pm.
So here's the question: is it ever alright to mess your kids' schedules up like that? To "take the rule book...and throw it out the window"?
Personally, I think it's okay to do on occasion. I know that little one's especially thrive on schedules and knowing what's coming next in their day. I try to stick to roughly the same schedule every day and I find that really helps me too when I'm having a sleep-deprived day.
On the other hand, it makes for very grumpy, tired children.
I still think it was totally worth it to see the look on DH's face when I showed up with lunch <3

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

So when a picture is combined with Scripture, what's it worth then?

Probably quite a lot.

This is one of my favorite websites: Heartlight

The link goes to their art gallery that is loaded with pictures. I have tons of these saved to my computer and I use them as a slide show screensaver. It's a great way to constantly see different verses throughout the day. I also use them as the background for my computer. Plus, I like how you can search the gallery using keywords or a specific book of the Bible.

I have found that putting a picture with a verse is helpful for me in memorizing also. There have been times that a specific verse/picture has come to mind when I hadn't consciously memorized it!
It's a great website & really worth checking out :)

To sleep, perchance to dream

I miss sleeping. Evan was up just about every hour last night. I swear, this kid thinks nightime is synonmous with constant mealtime. He loves to sleep during the day, and will even sleep in his bed then. However, as soon as I try to go to bed, he wants to eat and play.
So here I am, with an almost constant headache from sleep deprivation.
I keep telling myself (and everyone who asks) it's only temporary.
I am looking forward to temporary being done and sleeping for several hours straight again!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Enchanted Inc.

By Shanna Swendson
This book should be read by every female age 13-113. It reminded me of cotton candy. Light, fluffy, and sweet! It is the first book in a series of four about Katie Chandler.
Katie is your typical small-town, single, late 20s/early 30s working gal who has moved to NYC to find success. She is offered (and takes) a job for Magic, Spells, and Illusion Inc. which is the Microsoft for the magical. Her official position is an "immune" - someone who can neither perform magic nor be influenced by it. As a result of a former employee of MSI marketing evil spells, Katie finds that she must help bring MSI into the 21st century, while at the same time trying not to fall for hunky wizard business associate, Owen Palmer.
Why did I like this book?
It's clean enough for younger teenagers to read
It has an engaging and almost believable cast of characters - I loved Sam in particular
It was a fun blend of Bridget Jones/Harry Potter/X-men
Swendson's writing style was light and easy to read
The plot, while kind of unbelievable at times, was solid
The book overall was a clever combination of classic fairy tale characters and "real life"
Want the book? Get it here.

My Favorite Book

I hate it when people ask me this question. It's too broad. I have favorite books in all different categories and sometimes more than one in a category. That's part of the reason why I wanted to start this blog - when I read a book I really like I want to share it!
I am also guilty of asking this question a lot. Although to be fair I usually change it to: what is one of your favorite books? I am always on the lookout for what to read next...

What's This Blog About?

As someone who loves to write, I feel MAJORLY behind on the current craze to have a blog. Everyone I know has a blog but me. But honestly, I really didn't feel like I had anything to write about. Well, now I do! This blog is going to highlight two of the loves of my life (okay three really) : my two boys (and parenting boys in general) and books.
My two boys are Will, age 19 months & Evan, age 6 weeks. My mom always told me that I would marry someone who loves camping ('cause I don't) and have all boys ('cause I was a girly-girl). So far she's right on all counts.
Will likes to climb on everything. He has only had one major fall so far, but no broken bones or stitches...yet. Today our exciting episode was sneaking a box of cornstarch out of the cupboard, hiding behind the living room chair, dumping the entire contents all over the floor, and playing in it. My brother, after seeing pictures, said he looked like a miniture drug dealer. Will won't be playing with any more white powder anytime soon!
Evan is the hungriest kid I've ever fed. His first few days of life he ate every hour. No kidding. Now, at 6 weeks, he has stretched himself to every two hours. He is a really impatient eater too. He has problems with gas/spitting up because he tries to eat so fast he swallows a lot of air. Otherwise, he is a sweetie. Eating, sleeping, and cuddling...and his life is good.