Giveaway & Update

I have a been a little inconsistent with this blog lately. I have a few things going on, and many changes coming up, and I’ve been MIA at best. But I have plans for future posts… eventually!🙂

In the meanwhile, I wanted to share a giveaway with all of you from one of my favourite author: Sally Clarkson!

Her’s and her husband’s new edition of “Educating the WholeHearted Child” is finally out! One of my good friends owns the last edition, and absolutely LOVES it – so I was quite looking forward to the new one coming out!

There is only one catch: I just found out about it today, and it ends tomorrow…. so hurry!🙂

http://www.itakejoy.com/educating-the-wholehearted-child-a-giveaway-for-the-best-book-ever/

Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 5 & 6

A bit behind on my weekly updates… here goes!

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~* Books Finished *~

Club Dead: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 3, by Charlaine Harris
I don’t have that much to say about the books that I haven’t said yet – they are all pretty good, still a nice mix between Mystery/Investigation and Fantasy/Supernatural fiction. I find that they are getting better as we move through the series, and the plots are getting more complex, more intricate, and more characters are being introduced in every book. I think each book COULD be read as a stand-alone, the author does summarize the key parts of the action of previous books to explain some of the things happening in that book, but it’s pretty basic, and I think a reader wouldn’t get the full scope of the intrigue and building up of the stories without reading them from Book 1.
The next few sentences are a bit of a spoiler (but not too much🙂 ), so heads up if you don’t want any :)  I kind of like that Sookie is not tied in to anyone in particular, portrayed as the ultimate soul mate. I like a good romance story with strong soul-mates like the next girl, but at the same time, it can become pretty predictable and kind of Been There, Done That. Sookie ends up involved with a bunch of different people, as love interests and as friends (or, enemies), it keeps things fresh and real: a real (not perfect fictional character) would have ambiguities, different levels of friendships, people who annoy you but you like anyway, etc. Personally, I found myself routing for various person at different time, and am mighty curious as to how this whole adventure will end up🙂
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Dead to the World: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 4, by Charlaine Harris
Same as above🙂 I actually really liked this one, (spoiler-alert!) Memory Loss Eric was actually kind of sweet! Made me root for him for awhile, actually, I’m still slightly rooting for him😉


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Dead as a Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 5, by Charlaine Harris
Although this book was also good, it’s probably my least favourite of the series so far. Nothing major, just maybe didn’t draw me in as much. But the intrigue is getting more complex, and new elements & characters were introduced. I’m looking forward to Book 6!

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~* Books Started *~

Room, by Emma Donoghue
One of my playgroup hosts regular Book Club meetings, and this is the next selection. I’m free on the evening they are meeting, and my other book club kind of fell through the cracks, so I thought I’d join in! Pretty good book so far, even though the subject matter is a bit of a dark one.


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~* Next Up & Added on the List *~

No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley

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Definitely Dead: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 6, by Charlaine Harris
It’s in from the library – I’ll read it as soon as I’m done with Room!

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Feeding Your Soul, by Jean Fleming
This is our next Monday Night Bible Study book, starting May 30th.

Easter Sunday

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 NIV

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Happy Easter Sunday everyone!
Eat chocolate, do egg hunts, enjoy the spring weather, and remember to celebrate His glorious rising!

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Calendar Time!


In the mornings (or around lunch time, whichever is more convenient), we got into a nice routine of doing some simple calendar work with rhymes and songs! Both girls love it🙂 (yes, even Miss C! Who doesn’t like songs!)
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We start by singing the months of the year:

(Tune: 10 Little Indiens)
January, February, March and April
May, June, July, August and September
October, November, and December
These are the months of the year!

We usually shout out the current month (which has the little purple sticker, so A can see which month we’re at, and visualize it in the context of the whole year): “January, February, March and APRIL!!!”🙂

The image for the months of the year is taken from the Montessori for everyone site, right here, and the song comes from 1+1+1=1.
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Following that, we check the weather outside the window, and move the arrow to the correct section on the circle. Then we place a little sticker dot on the Weather Graph, to see how many days during the month it was sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc.

And then we sing this fun song from 1+1+1=1:

(Tune: Bingo)
Today the {sun} is in the sky
And SUNNY is the weather
S-U-N-N-Y (3x)
And SUNNY is the weather!

If you go on 1+1+1=1’s website, you’ll find all the alternatives for the other weather options.🙂
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Right afterwards, we talk about which season it is. As our weather chart says, currently the season is spring! We have a little sticker next the our season as well (season chart also from the Montessori site, right here).

And I made up this song for the season:

(Tune: Are You Sleeping/Frère Jacques)
Every year, has four seasons
Winter Spring, Summer Fall
This month the season is spring (2x)
March, April, May (2x)

You can sing:
This month the season is summer (2x)
June, July, August (2x)

This month the season is fall (2x)
September, October, November (2x) {yea… sing quickly lol}

This month the season is winter (2x)
December, January, February (2x) {another tongue twister!}
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Following that, we’ll read a story about the current season.

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Then we move on to the calendar itself!

I made a little scallop sticker that we move around every day, as well as a “2011” sign.

We sign two songs to learn the days of the week, both from 1+1+1=1’s calendar section.

Following that, we read the daily story from our DK Children’s Everyday Bible. I really like this book, I find that the stories are short enough for a young child, but not so simple that an older child will be bored, and the illustrations are just beautiful and very engaging. They go through the entire Bible, covering most of the books, in a story that flows well. It’s a GREAT introduction for the kids! Through it, they get their first complete exposure to the Bible, from where they can go more in depth as they get older, since all the stories will already be familiar to them. You can do it year after year without it being repetitive since it will be a whole full year before you repeat the same story. And it helps foster the habit of daily Bible studying🙂
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And that, is our calendar time!
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Some resource links:

  • We got our calendar at our local office supply store, but you can also order it from Amazon here. I laminated it all to add durability, and also the repositionable stickers can peel on and off easily, as we move them every day or every month.
  • DO visit 1+1+1=1’s calendar post, she has lots of great resources for you, free printables, ideas on how to set one up, etc. It’s very thorough!
  • Homeschool Creations also have great calendar stuff, ideas and printables. I didn’t use them just yet because the calendar set is pretty complete and enough for A’s level, but as she gets older, I definitely might add some of her stuff!

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 4

2 (and ~3/4) books this week!

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~* Books Finished *~

The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, by Susan Ashley
I liked the Q & A format of this book, made it easy to go through and find precise information. Overall, I’d say the book is fairly basic – a good first overview of the subject, to get basic info and know where to move on from there. It does a fairly decent job at explaining the different aspects of ADD & ADHD, as well as various methods to manage the disorder, including but not limited to medication, and presents ideas for working with teachers and schools. It presents options in a neutral way, neither advocating medications nor condemning it – rather, it presents the facts and guides to reader into making an informed decision, including questions to ask your care provider. It’s fairly easy to navigate and find answers to a specific issue/aspect you want more information on. The Q & A format also lets the reader read the parts that are relevant to him (or their child, etc.) at that moment and gloss over or skip those that are not. I would recommend it to anyone who has a child with ADD & ADHD, or who suspects their child might have, it perhaps even suspect THEY might have it. It’s a very good introduction book and/or first resource book to find more info, and could be a valuable tool to have in your personal library if you need to manage this disorder yourself or for someone under your care.
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Living Dead in Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 2, by Charlaine Harris
A little bit different than the first one: not as much mixture between mystery and fantasy, more fantasy with some investigation going on, but more of a fantasy-related investigation than pure police investigation… if that makes sense :)  The first book had a feel for both style, but with this one I felt we went more in the vampire/supernatural realm, although there is a murder, and we do follow it through. It was a bit like there was 2 stories in one: the book started with a story, then introduced the 2nd story, we concluded that one, and the came back to conclude the other one. It flowed well, but I have to admit I had almost completely forgotten about the first intrigue until it came back up – in fact, by the time we concluded the first one, I was wondering what the rest of the book was going to be about since there was a good chunk of it left but we had seemingly just tied all the plot lines for that second intrigue! ;)  But all and all though, a good book, just like the first one. I couldn’t put it down, and I had to start book #3 immediately🙂

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~* Books Started *~

Club Dead: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 3, by Charlaine Harris
I really wanted this book to count as a finished book this week! :)  I’m almost 3/4 done, and if I didn’t have a conference to attend today, followed by my parents and sister visiting afterwards, I’d have postponed posting this until later today and finished it during naptime😉 Ah well. No cheating today!
I would have been done sooner, but I gave some priority to my Bible in 90 days reading, seeing as I neglected it for, ahem, 2ish weeks, and I’m now very behind. But I still want to finish on May 5th, so! Also, DD2 gets too distracted with I read paper books versus on my Nook when I nurse her to sleep, resulting in, well, not falling asleep. Since I currently do a bulk of my reading when I nurse her to sleep 3 to 4 times a day, well, paper books go “slower”😉 The waiting list for them from the library is toooo long for my patience in reading them, so I’ll stick with the paper version my dad lent me. I have them to book 5, and I already placed books 6 to 8 on hold from the library – hopefully they’ll be ready when I am!!

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~* Next Up & Added on the List *~
I’ve added a couple of books to my list, which now brings it over 25 books. I’m going to maintain my goal of 25 books, meaning I might not read all the books in my list – I tend to choose my next book based on what I feel like at the moment rather than a set in stone list, anyway…😉

No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley

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Dead to the World: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 4, by Charlaine Harris

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Dead as a Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 5, by Charlaine Harris

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Friday Fill-Ins – Apr. 15

1. For me, it was the idea of having a levelled backyard that sold it.

2. I wish they had more local, organic/fair trade & seasonal selections at my local supermarket – not that I don’t buy those at Farmer’s Markets, but FM are hard to find outside of our 2 months of summer...

3. Behind the sound of the wind in the trees, I heard springtime coming in.

4. Staying home with my kids is something I always wanted to do.

5. When it was over, I grabbed the next book in the series and started it immediately.

6. It was a long couple of months when I first had DD1 (referring to the PPD), but I never felt alone.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with my mom, tomorrow my plans include attending a local homeschooling conference with – yes! – my husband, and Sunday, I want to spend time with my sister and her boyfriend!

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Spring Reading Thing: Update Week 3

2 books this week!

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~* Books Finished *~
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Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy
I really enjoyed this book. My counsellor had highly recommended it when I expressed doubts on my parenting techniques (to make a long story short, I had Postpartum Depression/Anxiety/OCD after my first child, which came along with lots of doubting etc. I’m in a much better place now, but being proactive and all, I started seeing a counsellor pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant, and I’m still seeing her casually every 2 months or so, just to keep on top of it all – PPD can point it’s nose anytime during the first year, in any case. I would say I don’t have it, but I get tendencies, or moments. Anyway – I promise one day I’ll sit down and write about all that in more details!)
In any case, she recommended the book, and I found it to be excellent! Unlike many parenting books, it’s not a “This is a precise method and if you follow it to the letter you will FOR SURE get X results, and if you don’t it’s because there’s something very wrong with either you or your child”. Bah! No, rather, they present their ideas, back their claims, and then give you tools you might choose to use and/or adapt to your needs and parenting. And I can see why my counsellor kept telling me to just read it already (oops – I kept forgetting to check it out!) – it speaks EXACTLY to the type of parenting I was striving for, and was for the main part doing already. Perhaps it’s a bit of a preaching to the converted thing, but for me, anyway, it just reaffirmed my ideologies, as well as what I was already doing, and then gave me some tools and ideas to work on some areas we are currently having more struggles with.
All and all – I highly recommend it if you’re interested in learning more about this type of parenting/teaching/disciplining.
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Dead Until Dark: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 1, by Charlaine Harris
Heard a lot about this series, supposed to be good. Have not seen the True Blood series on TV yet, but I know it’s based on these books. I like supernatural/fantasy/magic type genre books, so I thought I might like these ones!
I never know how to label these types of books, it seems anyone you talk to will be using a different name for the genre. I suppose there are subgenres too… I guess one could also use the term “vampire fiction”, but I never like to use that, to describe my reading in any case, because it’s not the only fantasy/supernatural genre that I’ll read and like. Example: totally adore the “Charmed” TV series (kay, not a book, but same point :P) I suppose Lord of the Rings would also fit into this broad supernatural/fantasy genre, yet it’s completely different.
Anyway! Moving on.
As it turns out, it is supernatural/fantasy/magic type genre, but with a twist: it’s also very much a mystery/police investigation genre book. Which I normally don’t enjoy that much. But then again, I really liked this one, and I fairly enjoyed Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie too. Hmm…
All this to say it was a good book, and the mix between the two genre was refreshing and entertaining. I already have book #2 of the series on my nightstand🙂 And I will be renting the DVDs – hopefully before the new season starts on June 26th. Think I can finish the books before then too…?

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~* Books Started *~
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The ADD & ADHD Answer Book, by Susan Ashley
I needed more info on ADD & ADHD (for personal reasons), so I searched the library’s catalogue, and thought I’d browse this book. Should be a quick read as it’s all in Q&A form, and I’m skipping those that are not significant for me at this time.

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Living Dead in Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 2, by Charlaine Harris
Book 2 of the series – I had it on request as an e-book, but I just finished Book 1 and it’s darn good and I just have to start book 2 NOW, if you know what I mean😉 So I got it as a good ‘ol paper book.

Night World is being bumped down the list – the book was due back at the library with holds on them and I hadn’t had a chance to start it yet, and anyway my sister has them so I’ll just ask her to bring them over when she comes to visit next weekend.

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~* Next Up on the List *~
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No-Cry Sleep Solutions, by Elizabeth Pantley
I think we might need to address some sleep issues with Miss C, so I thought I’d revisit the book.

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