Read Alouds – November 2008

November 30, 2008 Categories: Books , Homeschooling | Comments Off  

Monks and Mystics: Chronicles of the Medieval Church by Brandon and Mindy Withrow
Tales from Shakespeare by Tina Packer
Flyte (Septimus Heap, Book 2) by Angie Sage

Natalie’s Reading – November 2008

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Island Dreamer (The Christy Miller Series #5) by Robin Jones Gunn

Jonathan’s Reading – November 2008

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Geronimo Stilton #8: Attack of the Bandit Cats by Geronimo Stilton
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Noah’s Reading – November 2008

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The 39 Clues (The Maze of Bones, Book 1) by Rick Riordan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Josiah’s Reading – November 2008

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Emily’s Birthday (Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear) by Else Minarik

Congratulations, Michelle!

Categories: Writing | 1 Comment  

She will be totally embarrassed that I’m doing this – but I wanted to congratulate my best friend, Michelle, for completing NaNoWriMo. During the month of November, she wrote a 50,000 word (actually, a couple hundred over) novel. Woo hoo!

Links for Friday

November 27, 2008 Categories: Books , Health , Holidays , Movies , Reviews , Writing | 1 Comment  

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did. Since it was just us at Mom and Dad’s, it was relatively quiet. We ate until we were stuffed, visited, were glad we didn’t waste much time watching the Seahawks/Dallas game, played a game of Apples to Apples, and visited some more. It was a good day.

Nothing new on the health front. I slept with a pulse oximeter on my finger Monday night, to measure my oxygen levels as I sleep in order to test for sleep apnea. What with the holiday this week, I can’t imagine I’ll hear anything until next week. My doctor’s nurse must still be waiting for insurance approval for the CAT scan, cause I haven’t heard anything on that front. Emotionally, I’m doing pretty well, so thanks for all your prayers.

Tomorrow, we will put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house. Can you believe it’s that time already? We’re planning an at-home type of weekend, before we gear up for the big push of holiday season. Next weekend will be absolutely crazy, what with Natalie’s birthday party and a bunch of other stuff going on.

~ I’ve been doing some prep work for my taxes as a freelance writer, and came across this great comic.

~ The new trend in disgusting food is insect sushi.

~ Jo-Jo is giving away Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane.

~ Some of the books I’m thankful I found this year.

~ My review of A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King.

~ More great TV on DVD.

~ Mini-reviews of High School Musical 3: Senior Year and Get Smart.

Have a great weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2008 Categories: Holidays , Poetry | 3 Comments  


A List of Praises
Anne Porter

Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath,
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes,
A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry
living wild on the Streets through generations of children.

Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away
With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle
As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning,
Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh
Of the wind in the pinewoods,
At night give praise with starry silences.

Give praise with the skirling of seagulls
And the rattle and flap of sails
And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell
Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor.
Give praise with the humpback whales,
Huge in the ocean they sing to one another.

Read the entire poem here.

Random meme

November 25, 2008 Categories: Memes & Quizzes | 1 Comment  

I can’t seem to resist a meme, and I saw this one at Kev’s.

1) How do you like your grilled cheese?
On white bread, with Velveeta, light to medium brown with the cheese melted.

2) Where did you go on your last vacation?
Lincoln City, Oregon this summer.

3) Who are your godparents?
My paternal grandparents, but my Grandaddy isn’t with us anymore, so now it’s just Grandma.

4) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still homeschooling – an 11th grader, a 9th grader, an 8th grader, and a 6th grader. Still in Colville, but hopefully in a bigger house.

5) Where are you at noon everyday?
Home fixing lunch for my family.

6) How many speeding tickets have you gotten?
One. This year. It was Michelle’s fault – we were visiting too much on the way home from Spokane, and I wasn’t paying attention. ;)

15) When was the last time you swam?
Two or three weeks ago, I think.

16) What do you order at Subway?
Roasted Chicken Bacon but instead of Ranch, I like the Chipotle Southwestern sauce.

17) Do you keep your closets organized?
Only enough so that nothing falls out when I open the door. Usually.

18) How do you make headaches go away?

19) Have you owned a beta before?
The fish? Or the old video player? Neither.

20) If you moved out of state where would you go?
I wouldn’t. I love Washington State. Though if you asked me in three months and there is still snow on the ground, I might answer California or Hawaii.

22) Did you attend pre-school?

23) What do your shower curtains look like?
White outer curtain with a clearish inner curtain, no decorations – same as Kev.

24) Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?
I don’t remember.

25) How do you make eggs?
Scrambled or fried or hard-boiled.

26) Where do you wash your clothes?
In the laundry room in the basement.

28) Who are the neighbors who live to the right of you?
Jim and Veronica. They used to head to Brazil every winter, where Veronica’s family is, and Jim would teach scuba diving, but now they stay put.

29) What are your thoughts on Tom Cruise?
Fairly talented actor, but anyone who adheres to a religion created by a science fiction author is a couple bricks short.

30) What is the next vehicle you wish to buy?
Something free that runs on water.

31) Do you pay bills online or by mail?

32) What would be the best gift someone could get you right now?
Money. Or Barnes & Noble gift cards.

33) What is something stressful you will deal with next week?
Next week is one big stress-ball. Nan’s ortho appointment Wednesday, shop for Nan’s birthday plus a gift for her to bring to a friend’s birthday party which she will attend Thursday. Friday night will be Nan’s birthday/slumber party which involves many squealie girls. Possible Tae Kwon Do promotion on Saturday. Sunday evening: choir practice at 4:30, sing at our former church’s women’s Christmas party at 7, pick up Natalie from a Christmas party at her voice teacher’s house at 9.

34) What is something in your home that you collect?
Come on, you can all guess that one, right?

35) What did you do last night?
Slept with a pulse oximeter on my finger. Not a real restful night.

36) Who did you last see?
Kevin is sitting in the same room with me.

37) How do you take your coffee?
I’m not supposed to take it at all anymore. If I do, it’s decaf with half and half.

38) What is the oldest thing in your fridge?
Don’t know.

39) On your keyboard what key is wearing out from pressing it so much?
My computer’s too new to have that problem.

40) Where do you put your keys when you come home?
In my purse.

41) Where do you go for Thanksgiving?
To my parents’ house.

42) How old will you you be in 2010?

43) What actor or actress would play you in a movie?
Maybe Dawn French from Vicar of Dibley.

44) How much cash is in your wallet?

45) Would you have a one night stand with your favorite movie star?
I’m a married woman. Plus, it would be hard to narrow it down… ;)

46) What color is your phone?

47) If you were starving to death would you eat a pet?
I suppose. But I’m not an animal person, so no pets.

48) Ever been to Alabama?

49) What kind of accent do you have?

50) What kind of alcoholic drinks are in your fridge right now?
One bottle of chardonnay.

Let me know if you answer these on your own blog.

Book Spotlight: The Story of Christmas Advent Calendar

Categories: Books , Holidays | 1 Comment  


About the book:
It’s back! The Story of Christmas, the innovative Advent calendar, story book set, and tree-trimming keepsake.

Wonderfully illustrated and brimming with holiday spirit, the calendar features 24 jewel-like miniature board books nestled in a three-paneled, stand-alone backer. The books are numbered 1 through 24, and, like the peek-a-boo windows on an Advent calendar, are meant to be opened one per day from December 1st through Christmas Eve. Read in sequence, they capture the magic of the first Christmas, from Gabrie’’s visit to Mary (Book 4) to the Three Wise Men gazing at the star (Book 9) to Jesus’ birth (Book 24). Each book is one of four different trim sizes and features a gold thread loop so that after it’s read, it can be hung on the Christmas tree.

About Mary Packard:
Mary Packard is a freelance writer who also wrote The Nutcracker Story Book Set & Advent Calendar.

About Carolyn Croll:
Carolyn Croll is the author and illustrator of Too Many Babas, The Little Snowgirl, and other children’s books. She lives in Philadelphia.

The Story of Christmas Advent Calendar is available at or at your local bookstore.