Things We’ve Been Enjoying Lately

I wasn’t ecstatic when the boys picked out this movie at the library, but it turned out to be great!  Enjoyed by all! - Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole.

Tasty homemade spaetzle and lettuce from the garden (what’s left of it after the local bunny population devoured most of it).

Monster Mini Golf - one of these just opened in our town.  Man - where were places like this when I was a kid???  CheezWaster I’m sure will want to have a future birthday party there (and the party room is killer - seriously - it looks like a haunted mansion - how cool!)

1001 Bugs to Spot - My mom spotted this in a store while they were on vacation and had to bring it home to The Destroyer.  He just LOVES looking at bugs (and unfortunately for them crushing them when he is done….hey…we don’t call him The Destroyer for nothing!)  Not only is this a great look and find book, it also lists all of the names of the bugs on the pages making it a great learning book as well.  If your kids aren’t into bugs, these books come in all different genres - 1001 Pirate Things to Spot, 1001 Animals to Spot, 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea, 1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland, etc.  There is something for everyone!  These would also be great for plane trips or long car rides!

Jem and the Holograms - THANK YOU The Hub!  My favorite childhood show makes it’s triumphant return! After telling the basic gist of this as a bedtime story, my boys think it is Totally Outrageous!  ;)

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Raise A Reader

It’s National Children’s Book Week, through May 16 so grab your kids and a good book!  I never was much of a reader growing up, despite always being in Honors English classes (I’m the grammar dork - not the literary dork!).  My mom always enrolled me in the Summer Reading Program at the Library and I enjoyed that very much, but during the school year, I was always so busy with extracurricular activities like band, gymnastics & dancing, that when I did have some free time, I rarely spent it reading - at least not “for fun” reading.  I also think the fact that I’m so nearsighted contributed to this.  To this day, I find reading to be hard on my eyes.  With my contacts, I have to hold the book out and without them it is touching my nose (please don’t say bifocals - I’m TOO young!).  My husband was an avid reader as a child (and still is) and that is something I admire about him.  He can sit down with a book and read it cover to cover no matter what is going on around him.  Not me.  I’m more of an ADD reader - you know, stop, give my eyes a rest, get the kids a juice, what page was I on, oh let me read that chapter again because I can’t remember what happened from the last time I read.  So you now understand why I prefer to read things like magazines where I can finish one article and come back and start something fresh the next time I’m ready to read. 

I want to encourage my boys to read.  Even though they are still too young to do it on their own (though CheezWaster is making strides), they delight in listening to the stories and seeing the pictures - especially when I do my special voices as part of the stories.  We, again this year, will sign up for our local library’s summer reading program.  We will also again partake in TD Bank’s reading incentive program which will give kids $10 into their savings account for reading 10 books (1 time offer only).  Borders is offering a free book to kids who read 10 books over the summer (also a 1 time offer).  Most of their book offerings seem more geared toward the tween/teen set, but we’re going to try our hand at Flat Stanley.  If you are looking for some book ideas to read to your kids, here is a list of the NEA’s Teacher’s Top 100 Books for Children. Or check out Parenting Magazine’s Best Books to Read with your Kids list.  And finally, here are the 2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards.  HAPPY READING!

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The Closet Ghosts

My mom picked up a very interesting book for the kids on their recent trip to the library - called The Closet Ghosts by Uma Krishnaswami.  The story tells of a young girl who has recently moved into a new house only to find ghosts in her closet.  What really caught my attention in this story was not only the numerous lessons it taught (moving into a new house, leaving behind friends, making new friends, going to a new school, being afraid) but the incorporation of Hindu mythology.  This story was a great way to introduce my boys to the Hindu culture, as well as the idea that some people believe in more than one god.  The book is also beautifully illustrated by Shiraaz Bhabha, whose pictures are vividly colorful.  I highly recommend this touching story.

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The Turtle and the Hippo

My sister-in-law is pregnant and has selected turtles as her room theme.  We were asked to bring a book for the baby’s library to her baby shower.  I wanted to find something nice that related to turtles and stumbled across this heartwarming story of Owen and Mzee.  After reading several articles online about their friendship, I decided to order a copy for my own kids as well.  I’m sure glad I did because this is a wonderful story for all ages and the photos are magnificent. 

Owen & Mzee

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