Sunday, February 17, 2013

Empty Nests, Waterfalls, and Sweet Little Valentines

Three of the many stacks of books around
the house, begging to be opened.
Most days I would say that my kids are far from grown, my youngest being only fifteen. But more days than I care for lately, I find myself alone in the overwhelming quiet of my home (sometimes I feel that the quiet is so much louder than the rough-housing banter of a house filled with boys) with only a book to keep me company, Josh being the workaholic that he is and probably will always be. There are so many things I am sure that I SHOULD do as it seems the house wishes to fall down around me (all warranties having long since expired) and the once manicured and often complimented flower beds have been forcibly returned to the wilds of wisteria and trumpet vine or even the incessant worry of new common core standards to wrap my head around constantly eating at me. Yet more often than not, I find myself lost in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of my latest book, always telling myself just one more chapter, just one more page. I suppose there may be nothing as easy to build an empty nest with than the many piles of books that litter my bedroom or office, waiting for the promise of reading. Even now as I type this, the quiet looms around me and pull of my favorite characters call. LOL....Here's to being well-rounded, right?

Any~who... I did manage pull my hubby away from work long enough to spend the day together. (I even talked him into listening to one of my favorite audio books on the way, hehe.) We hiked beautiful Petit Jean Mountain and visited the falls. It was such a wonderful day! We have been to Cedar Falls often, and I enjoy it more each time. You might think however that it would get easier and easier but goodness knows that climb down still takes my breath away.

I know I mentioned in my last post how much we were looking forward to our Lightning Thief unit, and now that we have dived in, we are simply beyond loving it! When the kiddos are begging to read on, well you know you've got a great book! The touch of humor sure makes it a bit easier for us to connect to the mythology. It doesn't hurt that Percy has just a tinge of hard-headed sarcasm, and it cannot be surprising that many of my sweet and sassy kiddos are connecting with that little character trait. Hmmm.....

Here is our Valentine's Day in pics! I hope you enjoy...I sure do enjoy my sweet group of kiddos. Even on our worst days, I could not love what I do  or our class more! I just adore my sweet little Valentines.




Of course I have a couple of picture books for you. I am pretty sure that by this point, I am pretty far off my goal of sharing a picture book a day, but here are a few more in my effort to catch up. :)

Rotten Teeth by Laura Simms is another Catrow masterpiece. With the turn of every page, I just don't know where to look first. I love that about Catrow's illustrations. This is an easy look at common themes in literature: believe in yourself, courage. Sweet little Melissa learns the gift of show and tell when she discovers the "tell" is the best part.What a great look at storytelling! LOVE it!

Three Hens and a Peacock by the amazing Lester L. Laminack is a new favorite. I couldn't tell you why, but as I read this story aloud when I got to the hens, the voice of Blanche from the Golden Girls popped in my head. Of course I had to read it that way ~ the thicker the southern accent, the better! I love this one for teaching dialogue and point of view as the hens think the peacock has the easiest job, and the peacock think the hens have it easy. It doesn't take long before they realize they each have an important place on the farm, and you just really shouldn't judge or assume. Pretty important lesson for us all to learn I think

I couldn't tell you why I love Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney so much: other than maybe we all have Grumpy Gloria moments. This is a very simple story, so it makes it an easy read in a pinch. But I must say  the adjectives and synonyms make it just as important a lesson to teach. Besides, Gloria's face cracks me up!

OK...those of you that know me well, know that I am a sucker for a Caldecott winner! This beauty is not an exception. Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine is wonderfully illustrated by Kadir Nelson! He is such an amazing artist! Not only do I value this book during African American History month, but all year through. Such a great look at literary nonfiction and strong character traits.

Happy Reading!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, Just came across your wonderful blog! I am a book addict so I love learning about new books! Three Hens and a Peacock is one of my favorites!!
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