Booking Through Thursday – Discussion

Do you have friends and family to share books with? Discuss them with? Does it matter to you?

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m part of a Stay-at-Home Parents book club (which is a bit of a misnomer, as some of the ladies involved are working, but have some free mornings where they can join us!), where we get together once a month to discuss a book while the kids play around us. It’s a great outing, the kids like it (we rent a room at a community center), and it provides us with some discussion time! The books are chosen randomly, first from a running list of suggestions by members, which the organizer randomly chooses from every 3 months to create a voting list. From that list, we vote for our 3 favourites, and the 3 books with the most votes become our next 3 books – those not selected are kept on the running list for future votes.

I personally love it. I love discussing books with other people, but find it hard sometimes to find others with similar interests, or who want to talk about books more deeply than “Oh yea, that latest chick lit was cool, I liked it a lot!” (nothing wrong with that, I read them too πŸ˜‰Β  But it’s not a very huge discussion, once both parties have agreed it was “cool”!) It also permits me to read books I might not have chosen myself, or even known about. I like to give each selection a fair chance, in case I like it, but also because I would like others to give my suggestions a chance if it was selected and to come to the meeting to talk about it.

This month, we’re reading “Reading Lolita in Tehran“, by Azar Nafisi. This is definitely a book I wouldn’t have chosen myself – in fact, I didn’t even vote for it in the last selection! I think the synopsis was a bit misleading, the book was much more insightful than just relating the meetings of a group of ladies. A very good read – I finished it yesterday πŸ˜‰ The meeting date is not yet scheduled, but I’m looking forward to it!!

Garden Update

Some plants are doing awesome!
Others… not so sure… :/

Carrots

Carrots – will need to be thinned soon (now).

Lettuce

Romaine & Mesclum – growing steady!

Corn

Corn – the roots shot through holes at bottom of pots, lolΒ  Well, I guess it’s growing strong πŸ™‚Β  I wonder if it’s too crowded though; will inquire about that.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins – not sure if it’s doing so good :/ Flowers seem to bloom, then wither and die. Perhaps container is too small… Will also ask about that.

Peas

Peas – Now those are doing most excellent! πŸ™‚Β  I think they might even be ready – or very close to ready – to harvest. πŸ˜€

Clothespins Colour Match

I love making little games for A – she really enjoys them, and it’s frugal and sometimes even green, when you re-use things you have at home πŸ™‚ (I say sometimes, because other *often* times, I do have to get a few supplies from the store…)

I’ve made her a bunch of folder games, which I’ll blog about at a later time. I still need to take pictures of them! She mostly has colour matching games at the moment, since that’s something she’s into at this stage. My neighbour – who’s also into the game making business for her slightly older (8 months, older I mean) daughter – made her a cupcake counting one for her birthday: you have to match the numbers of cherries on the cupcake to a written number on another cupcake. If we do that one with A, she’ll do it, but obviously it’s a little bit beyond her scope to do on her own just yet πŸ˜‰

The latest little game I finished is a clothespins colour matching game. I got the idea for that one from No Time For Flash Cards, and thought I had to do it! It was different than just matching coloured socks or paintbrushes in pockets attached to a file folder, looks nice, and is very hands-on, which I’m sure will be up A’s alley.

So next time I was at the store, I picked up a few strips of paint samples and a cheap bag of wooden clothespins (of which I have many left for more projects involving clothespins). I chose my colours, attached them to the side of an old cardboard box from the recycling bin, glued the matching colours on the clothespins, and voilΓ ! A little colour matching game, that’s kind of like a puzzle too – A is sure into puzzles right now as well πŸ™‚

I had started out making it too complex for A, with lots of colour shades – and then decided that 1) she would not really enjoy that right now (I have another one I made in a folder with paint chips that has shades and she gets bored of it VERY quickly – a simple blue, yellow and pink is fine for her, thank you), and 2) it was taking forever to cut ALL those chips (I had 45 pins lined-up!) So I simplified to keep one of each core colours, and those I had already made, I glued to another piece of cardboard and gave to my neighbour – her older daughter is a bit more into shades, and I’m sure she’ll love it πŸ™‚

Cost: Maybe $1-2, if you count ALL the clothespins in the bag? (so really, more like $0.25 for THIS game). Not bad!

Canada Day Crafts

July 1st is Canada Day!

We had a wonderful day as a family with friends – first attending the festivities at the park down the road (verdict: Miss A is so-so about Bouncy Slides, won’t go near Bouncy Castles, loves Beaver Tails, and was initially afraid on the Merry-Go-Round but now has been asking to go back on for 2 days!), and then by having a pot-luck BBQ with some of our neighbours. The weather was chilly but beautiful – perfect! πŸ™‚

We then made some Canada Day themed crafts.

First, we made a Canada Flag – part traditional, part funky πŸ™‚

Funky Flag

I used a Maple Leaf colouring page template found here, and got A to colour a few with reds, pinks, and purples (figured it’s all colours in the same family!). Then I glued 2 red construction paper sheets over a white one, so the red bars are a bit bigger than the white one (not proportionate though – I didn’t exactly measure). We glued one of the big leaf in the center, explaining that the real flag has a red leaf in the middle – and then went wild with the remaining small leaves and a sticker sheet I got from the dollar store. πŸ™‚ A had a blast!

I also noticed that I had enough knitted A’s to spell CANADA:

Knitted Canada

Knitted Canada

And we have this Canada puzzle, also from the dollar store, which A absolutely ADORES to do with her Daddy. She actually did it so much now that she not only knows her provinces and territories and where they go, but fun facts like Saskatchewan has cereals, Inuits are in Nunavut, and we can ski in British Columbia. Is that unschooling, just having the prop at home for the kids to play with, and then they learn from it in their own way? πŸ˜‰ hehΒ  In any case, she can sit and do this puzzle for an hour at a time – she’s a short attention span girl so that speaks for a lot!

Canada Puzzle - In Progress

Canada Puzzle - In Progress

Canada Puzzle - Completed

Canada Puzzle - Completed

Happy Canada Day!

Booking Through Thursday – Disappointment

Name a book or author that you truly wanted to love but left you disappointed. (And, of course, explain why.)

Brick Lane“, by Monica Ali, left me rather disappointed. This was the May selection for my stay-at-home parents’ book club, and it was chosen in our quarterly vote by many members because it was apparently highly rated – and the synopsis really did seem good.
(we have a running list of books suggested by members, and every 3 months the organizer uses Random.org to select a handful of books to select from, and then we are invited to vote for our 3 favourites – at the end the 3 books with the most votes are our books for the next 3 months. Those not chosen are kept on the running list. It’s a good system!)

I was disappointed in the book because I felt it unfortunately did not deliver. The action was very slow moving, if any action there was. It felt to me that nothing really happened at all through all the book. I didn’t feel like there was any character growth, even though there was a change in situation at the end – but even that wasn’t a huge break from the previous situation. It just felt more ambiguous than anything – together, but not together… (vague I know, I don’t want to give any spoilers, but if you read it, you’ll know what I mean by that πŸ˜‰ ). It was hard to connect with the characters, and I found lots of the events were not described very well or in detail, leaving you wondering what exactly happened – and that applied to some life changing events too.

However, this being said, these are simply my honest personal opinions – I should note that the great majority of the ladies in the group DID enjoy the book very much… πŸ˜‰ Ah, well! I’m enjoying this month’s read a lot πŸ˜‰ (“Reading Lolita in Tehran“, by Azar Nafisi).