Sunday, March 15, 2015

Funny Things My Kids Say

The other day I got out Nolan's Bible to read to him at breakfast.  He pointed to a picture on the cover and said, "Read that one.  The one with all the animals and Jesus."
I said, "Noah."
"No, it's Jesus.  But I like Noah and Jesus."

And at lunch:  "Nolan, will you say grace?"
"Thank you Jesus for our food. Amen.  You pray, too."
I said the same thing he did, but he came back with, "No, you pray lots more things than that."

"Mom, is that lady walking a pig?"
"No, it's a dog, called a bulldog."
"Oh.  Well, it has a funny face."

Dad: "I'm eating you up!"
Nolan: "No!  I have ribs in there holding me together!"

Madeline was at the dentist the other day getting some fillings and was quite frozen on the one side, making her talk funny.  Of course, I was laughing at her, and even more when she told me to "Thuth!"

And at supper, Dad to M: "Hey, do you know what gets rid of the freezing really quick?"
M: face lights up, gets all excited.
Dad: "Nothing!"
M: face falls.
Dad: laughs and laughs and laughs...

And one from last night.  I went up to bed and found Nolan sleeping on the floor (his bed is a twin mattress on the floor).  He half woke while I picked him up. "Mom?"
"I'm just putting you back in bed, buddy."
"Because you were sleeping on the floor!"  All tucked in, I give him a kiss.  "I love you."
"I love you."
"Good night."
"You're welcome."

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Discussion Questions for An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

As I said yesterday, the last book we read for Book Club was Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.  This particular book was Lisa's pick, and in our group that means that this month we met at her place, and she led the discussion on the book.  Usually you can find discussion questions for books online, but Lisa said there was nothing out there that she could find.  So, being the competent teacher that she is, she wrote her own.

And here for you, and all other book clubs that might be looking for discussion questions on An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, are the questions, courtesy of Lisa Ashton. 

Chris Hadfield: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
Discussion Questions by Lisa Ashton

1.   What was your reading experience? Did it take you awhile to get into it? How did you feel reading the book? Amused, confused, bored?

2.           Have you had a similar goal or job that you broke down into daily tasks like Chris did when he was 9 years old? Example: If I want to be an astronaut should I stay up late, or wake up early and read a book?

3.           What has been your experience with the theme of space? As a child were you fascinated? What elements of space interest you?

4.           What have you learned about space exploration from this book?

5.           How do you think his marriage survived?

6.           Describe Chris’ personality traits.

7.           Does he remind you of anyone you know? Explain.

8.           Does Chris change throughout his life? Grow and mature, or remain the same?

9.           What themes does Chris explore?

10.       What passages strike you as insightful or profound? Read these passages.

11.       Has the novel changed you? Broadened your perspective?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Another Book Post

In my 'To Read' list on my phone, (which I have recently alphabetized by author to make browsing the library shelves easier), I've started moving the books I've read to the bottom of the list along with a rating, to make it easier to share with you.  I'll delete them after I've posted them here for you, and voila, you get my thoughts on everything I've read again, and my list stays up to date.  (I do keep an author's name in the list if I liked them, so I can look for more of their work.)

So here is what I've read in the last while:

Janette Walls - Half Broke Horses   7*
Glass Castle is her story, and very good; Silver Star is fiction, and a good read.  This one is the story of her grandmother, and I found I didn't enjoy it as much as the other two, but it is still worth a read.  It's an interesting look at a time when so much was changing across the States, and the main character has great strength.

Mira Barton - The Memory Palace   5*
This one was on a recommended list somewhere - it's also a memoir of a hard life with a schizophrenic mother. I hate to diss anyone who's written a book, honestly, but there was not much here that I enjoyed.

Chris Pavone - The ExPats: A Novel   9*
Excellent read with lots of twists and keeps you turning pages. You might stay up late with this one!

Carry On Warrior  - Glennon Doyle Melton   8.5*
This author is nothing like me, and probably nothing like you.  But she has so many good things to say that I almost turned back to page one to start over the minute I finished.  This was a book club read that I might not have found otherwise - gotta love book club!  You can check out her site Momastery to get a feel for if you want to pick this up.

Night - Elie Wiesel   8*
Nobel Peace Prize winner about his experiences in the holocaust.  This was on many Have to Read lists, and I agree, it's one that should be read.  Not entertaining, of course, but well written and important.

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn   8*
Almost didn't pick this up because there was too much hype, maybe?  But I did, and the first half I didn't really even enjoy - wasn't sure if I liked either of the main characters, wasn't sure where she was going - couldn't tell who was going to be the bad guy.  But.  The twists that came made it a pretty good read, and it's stuck with me more than most.  I mentioned it at book club last night and there was lots of discussion already; we've decided to do it as out May read.  So pick this one up.  And let me know - have you read any of her others?

An Astronaut's Guide to Life On Earth - Chris Hadfield   7*
The latest book club read & the one we discussed last night.  I followed him on twitter while he was in space, and maybe had higher expectations of this one.  Good life lessons, well written, lots of interesting details.

The Dressmaker - Kate Alcott   7.5*
Set on the Titanic, this was a pretty good filler read that I picked off the shelf knowing nothing about it.

Go pick up a book!!  After you've gone for a walk.  Happy Spring!

And as always, share what you are reading & enjoying - I love to hear your suggestions!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

New Products

I got an invitation from the Regina Family Child Care Homes to be a part of their craft and trade sale happening on March 7 in conjunction with their annual conference.  It's from 8:30 - 4 at the Conexus Arts Centre, if you are close by and want to come.

It gave me a boost of motivation to sew up a few things that I've had in my mind for a while - Kid Sized wheat bags that are half as long as my regular ones (9x6), and mini 5x5 wheat bags to keep in the freezer as ice packs, or 'Owie Bags.'  I figure the crowd at a child care conference may be interested in some child specific products - here's hoping, anyway!

These are the kid sized bags - I've mad a few for friends before, but never had them listed in the shop until now.  I let Nolan pick one, so the blue cars bag is not in the shop, but the rest are available here.

And these are the Owie Bags.  They have covers that are removable, just like my bigger bags, but these have a full double layer of the flannel on one side, so you can choose your level of protection from the ice, or you can use the opening as a pocket to hold the bag in place.  This first batch is quite full, so a little difficult to get in and out of the cover; I think the next batch I will try a third less filling. You can find these in the shop here.

These next two are favourites - I love using N's hands to show the size of the bags.  He's a fun little hand model.

This one shows a regular bag and a kid sized one for comparison.  The owls are fun.

I found some time too, to make up new regular wheat bags - I've got 11 new patterns that I've just listed today.

I'm also hoping to have a booth at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival May 23rd, and at the Etsy Made In Canada Sale on September 26th.  I'll keep you posted on those as they get closer.

Thanks for having a look!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

2015 Word of the Year

I didn't think too long or hard about picking a word for this year; in fact, in December I thought that I wouldn't do one this year... and that's when HEALTHY popped into my mind.

Yeah, that fits.

I want our teenager to find a healthy state of mind, and healthy ways of dealing with life.

I want us to have healthy ways of dealing with our teenager!

I want our 3 year old to have a healthy level of attachment - to be able to go to sleep on his own, to be able to go to Sunday School on his own...

I want all our of relationships to be healthy.  I want for us to seek to understand each other and love each other well.

I want an always healthy marriage.

I want a physically healthy family & to feed them healthy meals.

I want us all to have healthy friendships and healthy hobbies.

I want our businesses to be healthy and growing.

I want us to have a healthy thriving church family that we are active in.

Of course we are not unhealthy in all those areas - like everyone, we have lots of ups and downs in lots of areas.  But in thinking about what is important to me and what I have been focusing on lately, healthy seems to be a word that fits in all areas. 

Having one word does seem to be a help as I pray - a springboard to know where to start and what to ask for. 

May your year be a healthy one, too.

(My words from other years are here.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Recommended Reads

I got a message from my cousin Sandra today asking for book recommendations, and I realized that I haven't talked books much here lately.  I haven't talked much of anything, really, because I have a now 3 year old who never naps and that's life for now.  But M is home from school today so I just send the kids off to play together so I could blog books.

First off, this year's book club reads:
A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout - a journalist from Alberta and her story about the 15 months she spent in captivity, kidnapped for ransom in Somalia.  I didn't love it, but it was still interesting.
Peony in Love by Lisa See - set in long ago Japan, and a story about love and longing; interesting on the other culture level, but as the main character is a ghost for most of the book, sort of strange...
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - found this one very interesting and plan to read for more of his.  This one's about success and why some people have what it takes to excel.
Luminaries by Eleanor Cattan - set in New Zealand in the gold rush days, this is a really interesting trip to another unfamiliar time and place.  She writes with so much detail, including the many characters wound throughout.  It is a massive book, and some in our group found parts of it tough, but I quite enjoyed it all.
In the next few months we will read:
Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield (I gave this one for Christmas last year meaning to borrow it back to read, but haven't done it yet.  Looking forward to it.)
Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King

Other books I have read in the last while that have stuck with me, which makes them recommendable in my mind, are these:

I read Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay sometime in the past and mad a note to look for more of her books.  I recently picked up a couple more - The House I Loved, which I recommend; it's set in Paris during the rebuilding, when many old streets were razed to make way for the new modern Paris.  I also read The Other Story which while well written, was not as enjoyable.  I like to like the main character, and this guy didn't quite get there.

Jeannette Walls is another author I read before (Glass Castle - highly recommended), and I picked up The Silver Star.  I enjoyed that one, too, and need to find her other one, Half Broke Horses.

Rainbow Rowell - I read Eleanor & Park (fun & recommended), and Attachments (also pretty good).  She has a few others that I will keep my eyes open for.

Kate Morton - The Secret Keeper.  She writes bigger books that are easy to get lost in.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - read and enjoyed.

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.  Ridiculous and fun.  Will check out more from this author.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Really liked this one.

Twelve Years a Slave.

The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Quick read, a classic that you should have on your read list.

Tana French - Haven't read her in a while, but I quite enjoyed her Irish murder mystery stories The Likeness and In the Woods and Broken Harbour.

There you go - a whole handful of maybe new-to-you authors and books to look for when you are looking for something to put on hold at the library.  What have you been reading?  My list to read is long, but I'm always looking for more recommendations.  Leave a comment and add to the list!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Massive Layout Catchup

Most of these I made or started at the retreat last October - they are from fall 2013 up to last spring.

I really like the pocket pages for getting the everyday kind of photos in the albums.  There are lots of little bits I want to remember, especially with Nolan changing so much.

This one's about selling my stuff retail and how it felt so pro.

Nolan loves keys...

and dishes / water.

The first stuff I cut with my Silhouette.

Nolan's 2nd birthday...  Almost exactly one year ago!

My favourite boy.

And my favourite girl.

Parked on the flight path watching planes take off.  Fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Back to Scrapbooking

January feels so good. Gone are the to do lists and full calendar of December - I feel quite relaxed and like I have time to do things just for fun. With freer time and a new cutting machine (I got a Silhouette Portrait from Sean for Christmas!), I've been scrapbooking a bit.

I've finished up the layouts from the retreat that I didn't have titles for (I meant to pull out the Cricut (my old cutting machine that doesn't work very well anymore), but hadn't got around to it yet.  Also didn't get around to posting the ones I did have finished... Today I got out the camera and you should get to see the whole works of them soon.

Yesterday I left out on my desk the next bunch of photos to do, along with some papers I thought might work, but today in the mail came a stack of 6x6 paper pads that I had ordered - those are perfect for doing these kinds of pages!

These photos are from May last year - this is in progress with the new papers.  I so like that I have space to leave it until I can get back to it!  (I picked this page, with the 9 4x4 spots, because most of the photos on this side are vertical, and most of the ones that will go on the other side were horizontal.  I needed to pick a page that would suit both.)

A shot of my work space - there's the laptop and the Sillhouette... and the Carta Bella 'Boy Oh Boy' line of papers I'm using.

This was today's happy mail package.  :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Some New Favourite Ornaments

Last year I picked up some ornaments for M in Michael's $1.50 bin - I got the basketballs first, I think.  The next time I was in there I saw the soccer balls, too - awesome.  Her two sports.  I forgot where I hid the one pack, so she got one and then one after Christmas, but this year they were both around and ready to put on the tree.  :)  They just make me happy.  I've let her know that when she moves out she can take one of each and leave me one of each for our tree.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

It was a Merry Christmas

Our December:

We are done with Christmas concerts and recitals with Madeline and haven't started them yet with Nolan, so this was one attempt at making the month festive - a gingerbread train.  We all worked on it together, and Nolan was surprisingly tidy with his icing and candy placing!

Christmas Day was in Winnipeg this year - Sean and Nolan put together his sled before everyone else came over.


For the other side, we all went out to Circle Square Ranch yesterday.  What a great way to spend family time together - lots of space for the kids, and lots to do.  We'd all love to do it again.

Nolan went for his first little sled ride & did great!

I hope your holidays were full of love, joy, peace & hope, and that your new year holds many good things.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Giving a Book a Day

I've discovered something cool - a way to donate a book a day to support literacy for kids.

I've known about the Hunger Site for a long time, and for a while now have been getting daily reminder emails.  I always do it from my phone - click over from the email to the hunger site and click the button - once a day - to donate a cup of food to the hungry.  There's lots of shopping you can do while you're there, that also supports good causes, and lots of ads, but I always just click and run.  :) 

Until recently.  I've known that it's a whole group of sites, but it just isn't realistic to go to each of the other sites (Breast Cancer, Animals, Veterans, Autism, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Literacy, and Rainforest) and click on their buttons to donate to all of the causes all of the time...  But literacy...  I love books, and I value education, and I believe that a good education can help prevent a lot of the problems in our world.  So once I click on my donate food button, I head over to the literacy site and click there, too, to donate a book a day.

It's the season of giving, and I wanted to give you an idea of on more way to give.

PS - I was just looking at it on the computer instead of my phone, and there were actually a few things that caught my eye as potential Christmas gifts... hmm.  I like that a lot of it is fair trade goods that support people in less fortunate circumstances than ours.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just a Catch Up.

A visual catch up of our last couple of weeks:

Nolan finished his second round of swimming lessons with flying colours!  This is the last day of 'Seaturtle' getting a boat ride from the teacher.

This is ONE order - a generous lady down on the US east coast bought 40 coffee cozies to give as Christmas gifts.  :)

We had a quick visit from Granny & Papa.  Nolan and I took Granny to the Children's Play Place and we all had fun.  Painting is his first stop usually, and today Nolan discovered the microphone...!

We took a long weekend vacation and went up to Saskatoon.  We stayed with friends who have a girl M's age, and they had a great time together.  The other girl is younger and was happy to entertain Nolan.  He liked her almost as much as the dogs...  We stayed in a hotel too and hit up the pool and waterslides - I don't think we've all gone swimming together for years.  Lots of fun.  The sled show was the initial attraction and reason for the trip, and we did check it out (some of us twice!), and also took in a hockey game, a children's museum, and played mini golf.  It was a pretty great weekend.  I can say that now since I've forgotten how hard it was being there with a two year old...

And this past Sunday was my first Craft Sale of the season.  I've looked forward to these for a long time, but honestly for part of it I was wondering what my family was up to and thought it might be nicer to be home on the couch.  Ha.  I did sell quite a bit, so was happy with the event overall.  This Friday and Saturday I have another one (and my last one), and it's a long running one that is supposed to be very busy.  Here's hoping I sell a bunch more!

In other news... Today I took photos of Nolan's toddler bed, the glider chair in his room, and the diaper genie and listed them on Kijiji.  We're making room for a big bed!