Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, my pie dough is chilling in the fridge, the girls are watching a TV show, so I thought I'd pop in and blog about Thanksgiving books while they are still on my mind.

Since I am doing Little Saints Preschool with Charlotte this year, I have been reading more picture books than ever. Of course, since the curriculum was written in 1999, a lot of the suggested books are hard for me to find (it might not be such a big issue for people near larger libraries, but our small town library has very few of the suggestions in stock) and the Thanksgiving books suggested were no exception to that rule. So, after realizing that I didn't have ANY books about Thanksgiving (and Eva is 6...I feel like a bad mom about that) I went ahead and searched the internet and found recommendations from a variety of homeschool bloggers. I purchased 4 books and found two more that were recommended at the library. So, here are the books and my thoughts on them:

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh - This is a very good book, perhaps a little old yet for my kids. Eva did well with it, but Charlotte rolled around and was a punk while I was reading the book. Lots of information in it, and I liked how it focused on a set of siblings of the baby born on the Mayflower. I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of the illustration style, but I am definitely glad that I purchased this one.

The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern - I loved the details in this book, I loved the focus on what the children had or did not have and the work the children did. I also liked the illustration style better than the first book. The text was probably a little better for my girl's ages and attention spans (6 and 4). Glad I bought this one.

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B.G. Hennessy - Cute book, right about at Charlotte's level. Probably the best replacement for the books in the Little Saints Preschool curriculum because it is just the right level of read aloud for my 4 year old. Eva put up with it well, but I think she liked the other two books better. Not sure if I am glad I bought this one or not...I'll have to wait and see next year how the girls react. If I had another little one, I would say yes, but since as of now Charlotte is the youngest, I'm not sure how many Thanksgivings we will read this one.

Thanksgiving Is... by Gail Gibbons - Generally I like Gail Gibbons books, not so sure I am crazy about this one. It is also at a reading/attention level more appropriate to Charlotte's age, and it does have some interesting information in it, but I am not so sure that I am glad I bought it...I would prefer to own either of the two library books instead.

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin - Very cute book. I like the storyline about the grandma and granddaughter inviting one person each Thanksgiving, I like when things turn out differently than the grandmother expects, and the cranberry bread recipe in the back of the book is very tasty (we left out the raisins and did all cranberries...I also didn't get my timer set right on my new oven, and tried to depan the bread too soon, so it doesn't look as pretty as it could!) Very cute, although not an informative book about Thanksgiving, it does involve a thanksgiving meal. I may have to check it out of the library again next year!

Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson - This one is too funny! Eva loved the whole "Thanksgiving needed a superhero" thing, and the book is all about a woman who helped Thanksgiving become a national holiday. I never had heard anything about her before, but I learned a lot in the book, and it was a lot of fun to read. Definitely a fun one to learn about how Thanksgiving became the holiday it is today!

Well, Happy Thanksgiving! I should get back to making some food!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quick Takes Friday

Well, it has been quite a while since I did any quick takes (I have to admit that three small successes seems less daunting than 7 quick takes these days!) But here it goes...

Charlotte will be 4 (4!) this weekend...I started this blog while I was pregnant with her, which means two things...I have been blogging for too long and my baby is getting too old.

I am absolutely loving the fact that softball season is over and I no longer have to take a daily trip into town. Of course, now MILs exchange student is playing basketball, so she has to take trips into town she is nice enough to let her exchange student participate in jazz band in the mornings, which means she has to take him to school twice a week in the morning and pick him up every evening. I still seem to have plenty to do without softball practice, so I am still trying to decide whether or not to put Eva back in piano lessons. I'm leaning towards perhaps buying her some piano books that I can teach her out of, since I really don't see a need to make another trip into town (particularly since her piano teacher has 6 pm or 7 pm as possibilities for piano lessons on Tuesdays...which would get us home at 7 or 8 pm...)

I got a notification from Snapfish this week. Apparently, they will store your photos in albums there indefinately, as long as you make a purchase every twelve months. I have one week before my 12 months are over...this isn't a big deal because of the photo storage, but it is a sad commentary on how scrapbooking has been going since we put our old house on the market a year ago. So, instead of cleaning my house for Charlotte's birthday party this weekend, I've been uploading photos and blogging...yep, I'm a procrastinator.

My SIL who recently moved back home has been helping me a lot with cleaning the house. Pretty much every weekend, she is willing and ready to help me...between having a much larger house than I am used to, homeschooling both girls this year, and having our exchange student, the house seems to get very cluttered over the course of a week (some weeks it is getting really bad by Wednesday!) but SIL is willing to help out (and even does things like disinfect my trashcan lid...which I would hardly ever do...) This past weekend, she helped me dig out our walk-in closet (that wasn't a walk-in when we started...) and we pulled out seven trash bags and two boxes of giveaway stuff. I'm trying not to turn my closet back into the dumping ground of things I am not sure what do to with. It's very nice to be able to walk in and get our coats, since it started snowing yesterday.

Eva sold candy, nuts and magazines for her girl scout troop. With the money raised, the troop was able to buy tunics for all the daisies and sashes for the brownies and junior girl scouts. Eva sold the most of anyone in the troop, so she ended up with a whole bunch of incentive awards...and she felt bad that her friends didn't get as many prizes as her. I had to remind her that we didn't sell stuff for the prizes, but we sold to help her troop...and that she made a big difference in helping everyone get their tunic or sash. She's been cracking me up with her stuff...a lot of the prize options were monkey related, and she just loves she got a very large stuffed monkey, a little stuffed monkey and a monkey t-shirt, which she wants to wear for the first time to Charlotte's birthday party...Charlotte wants her to wear a "happy heart" shirt instead.

This Sunday, hubby has a Knights of Columbus meeting in the nearest large-ish city, so the girls and I are looking forward to doing some shopping. I am most of all looking forward to buying a booster seat for Charlotte...YEAH for no more carseats!!!

I'm running both out of time and things to say (of course, I will think of 10 more things immediately after I post this and leave the house!) so I guess I will end my quick takes here.

More quick takes over at Conversion Diary.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Small Successes

Well, it is Thursday again, and it's been a while since I posted, so I guess I'll do a quick small successes before hurrying into the shower and getting dressed before hubby is home for lunch.

We have been starting school early and finishing school early...not really thanks to me, but thanks to the time change and the sunlight that wakes my girls up at 7 am. I have found that I need approximately 1 1/2 hours to wake up before I can tolerate book work with the girls, so where before the time change we started around 10 am and ended around noon (which made lunch a challenge!) We are now getting started at 9 am (or earlier) and finishing up by 11ish...and of course, now hubby is getting home a half hour later...go figure!

I ordered a new stove (YEAH!!!) after living with my broken one since February. I also ordered a garbage disposal (YEAH!!!!) after living here since February without one. Hubby called an electrician (YEAH!!!) so that we can have a switch put in for the garbage disposal, which is the ONLY reason I didn't order a garbage disposal the day we moved in...this will be house number 3 (out of three) where I will have a garbage disposal put in...I just can't put into words how much I love them. House #1 had a broken disposal, house #2 was unfinished and was missing a lot of things (I got a garbage disposal before I got doors for my kitchen cabinets there), and this one, when it was remodeled, they didn't even put in a switch...grrrr...

We are finishing up first quarter for school. Next week we will start quarter 2, which means that we are done with (almost) 10 weeks of school. Eva is done with Science, almost done with history, done with her map skills book (which she loved), and is slightly behind where the book wants us to be for phonics, and taking math at a slightly slower pace than I had anticipated, but is learning it well. Charlotte has done almost 10 weeks worth of Little Saints preschool, and is more cooperative some days than others. I don't think that I have cursed any particular book we are using so far this year, so that's a pretty major accomplishment!

More small successes at Faith and Family LIVE!