Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Whats on your Nightstand or Book Reviews November 2011

Once again joining 5 Minutes for Books for this month's Whats on your Nightstand.

This last month I read Laura Bush's book: Spoken from the Heart and Adventurous Women by Penny Colman.

Spoken from the Heart was great to read after I had read George Bush's book Decision Points.  Its like a his and hers commentary of the 8 years in the white house and some of their time before the presidency.  If there is ever any doubt men and women are different just read these two books for the perfect example.  Her book is an inside view of things that go on at the White House that you never hear about.  The cost, the intense schedule, how little time the first couple actually get to spend together despite "working from home" together every day.  She chronicled her time spent working with charities and how she chose the decorations every Christmas.  It was so enjoyable and warm.  Aptly named, her book truly is Spoken from the Heart.

Adventurous Women is a great book for pre-teen and teen girls.  The book showcases 8 women who not merely were adventurous because they were women in a mans world, but they did things even men didn't do. From exploring the arctic to changing laws on citizenship. Its a short book and not too in depth, just enough to give an overview and peek your interest.  I am going to write up a unit study on it for my girls to do, when its complete I will post the PDFs.

I have already started on The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw and if I can fit it in with all the holidays, Onward by Howard Shultz.  I have about 10 books sitting here though so I might change my mind. Like that ever happens.  I have a cute little book about Leonardo da Vinci I picked up for the kids for school.  Its a translation of an Italian book about his paintings.  I was hoping to wait till next summer to read it but its just so cute I might have to do it after Tom Brokaw's book.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

American Heritage Festival

We love us a good history lesson.  My poor 2 year old was scared of the canons.  The shooting didn't seem to bother him too much, but he still held his ears for them.  The baby didn't flinch.  We enjoyed the music and fashion show.  I really loved hearing about gun making.  And I am always reminded about how great it is to live when we do, to have the things that we have.  Here are some pictures from the event.  If you are in AZ next November, its a great event.

 Yea, we bought a toy hatchet.  Cause you know, the kids don't have enough stuff to hit each other with.
 Fashion show. Thankful we wear only 2 layers of clothes, maybe 3 when its cold.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Craft - Old Fashioned Turkey

We only had 7 pieces of construction paper to do a craft today.  Seems someone forgot to buy some.  *cough*

So we had to improvise a little.  We were going to do a more colorful version that my 2nd son picked.  But we settled for just tracing hands on construction paper, cutting them out and taping them on a picture they drew.  Suggestion: make a couple of samples for the kids to get ideas from.  Also, rolling tape and adhering the turkey to the picture that way makes the turkey pop and looks neat that way.

 They can make more feathers if they want a fuller turkey.  Or add scraps of construction paper between the fingers.
 We had a lot of farm scenes.  My oldest had a cornucopia, one of my sons had a snowy scene.  You can draw a thanksgiving table or woods.  Whatever your little heart desires.  An oven would be funny.

 Cutting skills is hard to learn.

 My oldest's and my 7 year olds.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Craft - Puzzles

You can buy blank puzzles for your kids to make, but I prefer not to spend the money.  It also gives you kids a chance to practice their scissor skills.  You need blank paper or poster board.  Construction paper will also work.  Draw your puzzle shapes on one side. 

 You can get creative or go traditional.  Kids can do their own but be sure to supervise so they aren't making pieces that have no way of being cut out.

 Like this one here.  He did cut it out but it was rather hard to fold up and store afterward.  When the pieces are done, flip it over to make a picture.  Here is my 2 year olds.
 Once the design is done just cut the pieces out.  He didn't seem the least bit upset his picture was cut up.
 Here is my 11 years old put back together.  The kids had a fun time challenging each other.
 Store in plastic baggies or small boxes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What I learned today

I learned that to a 4 year old "Ankles" and "Knuckles" are very similar, and honestly they look a lot alike.  My 4 yr old came to me with his pants on and asked, "Are my knuckles showing?"

I learned that if you leave the window open on a breezy day you will most likely have to dust.  ALOT.

I also learned if you use a wet sponge to clean it up you make mud.

I learned that you might think that recycling a container into a tool box is a great idea until your neighbors ask to borrow a tool.  Then it looks more hillbilly than hippie.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review - All Creatures Great and Small

My oldest daughter read All Creatures Great and Small by James Harriet and wrote a wonderful little review on it.

All Creatures Great and Small was a unique book that showed the life of a young man making a hard living was still content with what he had. It helps us understand the value of any life, and to value our own, no matter what we do.
     Despite his hard job in the unknown countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, James Herriot was a determined young vet who put up with everyone he met, no matter their attitude. We should learn from him, looking ahead at dangers or rewards, and always try to do the best you can even if it isn't the best outcome.
     The book itself was special; it brought us to many different areas and times, helping us learn and letting us see how good we have it today. It didn't follow a single line, but let us see his memories in parts.
     We see that Herriot teaches us to respect, be content, always try, and value all life, whether great or small.