Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week 4 - Books, Books, Books

We've declared this to be the year of the book around here. Although Dean has long been an avid reader and he and myself read to Grace nightly (along with other pockets of time throughout the day), I'm a bit lacking in the area. So I've decided to read more this year, with an initial goal of finishing twelve books (considering that I've already read three, I'm off to a decent start).

When Dean heard my goal he decided to join the challenge and suggested we step out of our reading comfort zones - for him, fantasy books and for me, romance - and choose books from different genres. We both agreed to give it an honest effort. Who knows, we may discover a new favorite.

To keep us motivated I've made a reading journal (it's just a simple handmade book created from a pizza box with a book-themed patchwork sewn on the cover). For each book we finish, we'll write it down under the corresponding month. We're also recording the chapter books we read aloud to Grace (I wish we could keep track of all the pictures books, but I'm afraid that would be too overwhelming) by having her write those titles in her handwriting. Then as space permits, she's drawing images that relate to the books she's listened to.

And in other book related news, Grace just reached twenty points in her school's "Reading Counts" program, making her the sixth kindergartner to do so. That earned her an eagle (the school's mascot) on the RC tree in the library. This made for some exciting times for our little reader.

I'll finish this post with a quote that I found while searching for something totally unrelated. I found it quite fitting as Dean and I find pure joy in reading to Grace.....

You may have tangible wealth untold,
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be -
I had a mother who read to me.
~S. Gillilan

Good night and happy reading!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week 3 - Projects for the Birds

We've reached the time of year when our backyard is brimming with birds. In fact, we have so many feathered visitors that we're having a difficult time keeping up with their hunger appetites. No sooner does Grace get the feeders full, then birds come and empty each and every one by nightfall.

So after thumbing through (this) book, Grace decided to make two projects for our backyard friends - a peanut "acorn" (mainly made for the squirrels, which are in abundance too) and a winter squash bird feeder. Both were made after she arrived home from school, allowing her some fresh air and time away from the endless homework that she seems to be having these days.

Thankfully, the birds (and squirrels) appear to be quite happy with their new dining options. Here are some pictures of the projects in process......

When the new feeders were complete, we sat back and enjoyed the view along with the wonderful array of "singing" - it doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week 2 - Celebrating Pop's Birthday

This past weekend Grace, Sophie and myself headed to Meme and Pop's house for an overnight visit to celebrate my Dad's birthday. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances the events didn't go quite as planned. But as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade - so that's just what we did.

Grace decided that the theme for her Pop's birthday was going to be football, since he "loves it so much". For his gift, Dean and Grace selected six bottles of beer that they thought he would enjoy, then we made a batch of spicy snack mix for him to nibble on while watching the playoffs. Add in some decorations that Meme purchased and homemade birthday cake (which I made to a certain someone's detailed specifications) - all making it a football party indeed.

On Saturday we had the chance to visit other members of the family, including my Grandpa, whom we met for breakfast. Without a doubt, it was a fun-filled weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Week 1 - Unplugging..... a bit

As the new year approached, Dean and I had several conversations on what our goals, hopes and dreams were for 2011. During our discussions we both agreed that the computer, particularly the Internet, has occupied too much of our precious time. With that, we seriously considered "unplugging" ourselves from our provider. Then the reality settled in, we have a child in school who has already needed to "google" a topic on more than one occasion. Oh what a conundrum.

So with some thought, I have decided to post here only once per week, therefore reducing my computer time. This will allow me more time in the evening, in turn giving me the opportunity to accomplish my goals for the coming year.

Here's to a productive 2011!