Monday, December 29, 2008

Goings on in the Garden State

A few shots of some of what we've been doing while we were not blogging...
Naturally, all that exercise required snacks.....

I found these old "banana split" dishes at a Thrift Store visit
with my friend on a rare day away from my family.

We have actually got a lot of school stuff done as well.
Farmer Dad has been doing a lot of math with Princess,
and her reading is really improved. We have also been baking
and listening to music, and watching old movies on t.v.,
Princess has taken a liking to old Judy Garland movies of late.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in the Garden State

It looks nothing like Christmas in Connecticut
(at least not as shown in movies).No snow, only rain.
We spent Christmas Eve at our Goddaughter's home
with some of our family, and some of her fiance's
(who are fast becoming some of our own).

My father was too ill to come, but my stepmother (hope you are feeling better Dad)

and two of my little brothers were there. Princess was very happy to see
Grandma L and Uncles M and A (shown here).

Ironically, the two who showed up, were the two who live
in other states, several hours away.Out of the five of us siblings,
only J was missing. We colored, danced,sang,played a Christmas
song trivia game,and our family's traditional card game.
We ate some wonderful home cooked food and yummy cookies
and ended the night with pie.Princess put on a Christmas Carol Extravaganza
and was interviewed about her career in "show biz"..
She had a blast. By the way, she handled the press wonderfully,
and never lost her cool, when questions became too personal, she
simply hopped up and said "oh look ,we're opening presents!"
If I can get it to work, I will post some of the video. Too cute!!
She was very happy to get two games she has been asking for,
Apples to Apples Jr, and Connect 4.
Yes, they have been played several times already.
Our goddaughter has finished the first step in her education, and we are so proud of
her, she will be a substitute teacher soon, and transfer to another college to
pursue the next level.

She is also blossoming into a lovely young woman.
Wondering what her sister's been up to?
She made this
Baby C. He is twice as yummy as he looks, and oh so cuddly.
Don't mind the wet face, he says to tell you all "Drool is the new Black!"
Here is my Grandmother, his Great-Great Grandmother, playing
on the floor with him. That is how yummy he is..she forgot she really doesn't
like children!

After a long drive home, we set out milk and cookies for Santa,
and Princess wrote him a quick note (it was 2 am!)

Christmas morning I "found" this...

and this. (the "coal" is candy)

Most of those gifts are to bring to my Aunt's house later in the day.
Princess was delighted to get a couple of new games.
This one from Farmer Dad and myself, as well as two math games
from the cats, and an Arthur book with tape from the crabs.

I also found another Eiffel Tower ornament for her collection.
and Horton Hears a Who from Santa brought her Horton Hears a Who as well
as a stocking filled with oranges,and candy.
Here is Pumpkin, happily snuggled up with his new toys from Santa.

I will post more photos of the afternoon at my Aunt's later...I need
more coffee.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

One of my favorite holiday songs has to be;
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas from the film
Meet Me In St. Louis.Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane in 1943.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,our troubles will be miles away.
Here were are as in olden days,happy golden days of yore.

Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more.
Through the years we all will be together

If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.
If you aren't hearing Judy Garland singing this in your head right now,
go put on Meet Me in Saint Louis right now!
What? You don't have it sitting in the drawer just waiting for you?
Tisk Tisk, poor excuse..go rent it if you must.
And while you're at it...Have yourself, a Merry little Christmas now.....
I will be working on getting my camera hooked up to the new machine

so I can upload photos..soon..I promise. ((hugs))

Friday, December 19, 2008

Deck the Halls

Are we all in the "Holiday" spirit yet?
Alley is..Pumpkin just likes to sleep under the tree.
I wanted to get a photo, but he refused to sign a release
unless his terms were met.

We've been spending a lot of "family time" here in
our corner of the Garden State, Farmer Dad has been
on vacation, and will be home until January 2nd.

Many hours are spent carrying Alley around in his coat .
He did hook my camera cord back up to our OLD
Dinosaur computer, and I'm going to try to post.

I feel really behind, as I have not been able to get
computer time to visit everyone, let alone update here.
Our new computer is on it's way to us, and most of
today was spent cleaning up our computer area to make room for it.

Here is some of what we've been up to....
snacking on "Santa" pizzas...eggnog and cupcakes.
Curled up reading here...

watching the lights come on across the street...
Hot cocoa in our Santa mugs...
Visiting the neighborhood "Christmas House"..we'll be heading there tonight,
as Santa will be available for pictures.
We had sunny warm days (Monday was 65 degrees)
and some snow.
Today we got more snow.
We used the cold times for crafting and making holiday cards..

and adding a bit more "sparkle" around the house.

I will be back on track here soon, but in the meantime, please leave a comment here
if you put photos of your halls being decked on your blog
so we can all come visit. Mr Linky is not compatible with my
level of computer skills, or perhaps my dino of a computer. ;-)
Any new ornaments this year?
Why yes, two so far...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Themed Books it's cold outside.
Here are some books to snuggle up on the couch
and read together...

Now, I know many of you have snow right now,
but we had 65 degrees here in New Jersey on Monday,
so we are faking it.

The First Day of Winter
A counting book...a book about building a snowman..
does it get any better than that?
Join this pile of snow as his "friends" bring him
all the things he needs to be a snowman..
So cute!

Snow Dance
This cute book starts with ..
Winter weary
cold and dreary
"how we wish that it would snow!"
low clouds hover
sky is covered
"it just might,you never know."
Princess loved the illustrations, especially the ones of the girls painting
in the beginning. You all know how much we like that around here. ;-)
Watch what these kids get up to when they get their wished for
"snow day".

In the Snow
This is such a cute book about all the birds and animals who come around
to eat the seeds left out for them in winter.
Warning..your little one will want to go out
and fill the feeders immediately after reading this, so have some seeds on hand.
It might be a good day to build a feeder of some kind. Last year we scooped out oranges
to make little holders for birdseed to hang on the trees, and little Dixie cups worked too.
We jumped right into our other bird books to learn more about the birds in
this book, and several more nature studies are developing from it as well.

Pip and Squeak
If you haven't already picked up this book for your kids, go
get it today. So cute! Pip and Squeak are going to a party, but they
left the gift behind. They try to find another gift on the way, as they are late already.
Princess loved the illustrations, the snowman was a delight!

Santa Claus the World's Number One Toy Expert
Princess enjoyed this book more than i did, although it was fun.
No one knows more about kids,toys,and gifts than Santa Claus.
If you want to know how he does it..this book might be for you.

I am having major trouble with the computer, so I will not be around
as much until our new one arrives. I did however try to get the books to link
special for Nina.
If you love them so much that you wish to own them, I'd appreciate your
clicking on my bookstore on the right sidebar and ordering through there.
But first and foremost I encourage you to go to your local library and borrow the books
and read them over and over again with your child or children tucked around you,
or running in circles around you with occasional stops to see the pictures as is more normal here. ;-)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Green up Saturday

Here is something you can do to make the world a bit greener...
Go here
and sign the "No Child Left Inside" petition .
Or order some lovely holiday gifts for friends and family.
Check out the many links for ideas for making your kids
Find out how you can take part in wild life watch.
Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean we should
stay inside all day every day. Even though those library
books are beckoning me to do just that. ;-)
That was easy right? Doesn't quite let you off the hook from
practicing those three Rs like we've been discussing, but pretty easy.
Now, remember what your Mother (and mine) were always saying? "Go play outside!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How do you feel about buying toys from China?

Does it sit well with you that it may soon be our only choice?
Mom Unplugged has a post about this issue today, and I will link you to her, not just because she is so much more eloquent than I am, but because my linkies are not working too well, and
I may quit before I get this up here..and you all need to follow the links and act on this.

Unless of course you are fine with not being able to buy lovely handmade toys on Etsy
any longer...and I'm guessing you will not be fine with that.
As my Bube would have said..."I know my customers!"
Now go..write to your Senators and Congressman and
I just did, and it is quick and painless to find the contact info, if you follow the links.
Hurry! There are only 63 days or something before this goes into effect.
Be sure to pass it on as well..we Mommies need to stick together.
I really don't want to be left with only the companies that caused the problem to begin with.
I am not creative enough to make my own.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So many books, so little time

We have so many books out, and I have so little time to blog
about them. I have been experiencing trouble commenting on blogs
the last couple of days as well, so if you have not heard from me,
it's probably because I could not leave a comment on your blog.

For all of you who have asked for an update on
Grandma, she is doing ok, the last stroke did affect her
dementia, although I have no idea what that means to the medical
community.They are hoping to get her moved into a rehabilitation facility
some time today before sending her home. It has been especially stressful
for my sister, who is her primary care giver.
Keep them in your thoughts..they need it.

Now, without further ado, this weeks books.....

Without words, this book tells a story about a little boy,
who is alone in a big house on a rainy day.
Then he finds a mysterious key, it leads to an unexpected place,
his afternoon gets a lot more interesting. Princess enjoys these books
that allow her to make up her own story.

Ruby Sings the Blues

Ruby is loud, and all the neighbors, her friends at school, her teacher, her family
all want her to quiet down. Two neighbors in her building (blues musicians)
come to ask to teach her to control the power of her voice instead of telling
her to quiet down. It works quite well for Ruby.

Princess, like Ruby, can be especially loud.
I thought this book would encourage her to
"control" her volume a bit more.
I'll keep you updated on how it goes. ;-)
This book is pretty delightful even if it doesn't work.

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell
This is a cute version of the favorite song.
Not as cute as the Thanksgiving version, but better than the Halloween one.
Princess likes when the "stuff" all comes back ..umm..up, or out
to finish off the story.

Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah
Princess enjoyed the way this book explains the
traditions of Hanukkah. My Father's side of the family is
Jewish, so although I was not raised as a Jew, it is a part of
our life. Princess often asks for her own Menorah, although
whenever we have been included in the lighting ceremony,
she has tried to blow the flame out like a birthday candle.

If you want to see more information on these books, or any others I talk about here,
click on My Book Store on the right side bar.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Too Busy to Blog...

That must be it. Or have we been staring at the Christmas Tree
like zombies full of hot cocoa and cookies?
Neither really. This weekend was full of visiting with relatives and friends
at Cousin J's son J's 1st Birthday Party, decorating the tree, and putting up the
blinking lights outside.Reading, dolls,legos, and ok, there was some hot cocoa
and a cookie or two....;-)
Monday came and went so quickly, we hardly had time to finish everything on
our "to-do" list for school before it was dark.Rabbit trails, rabbit trails..
such a fun part of the day.

Unfortunately, I cannot get photos to load up correctly,
so I will keep trying.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Deck the Halls....

We got a late start here in our corner of

the Garden State decorating for the holiday

season this year, but we are going full steam now.

Hot cocoa at the ready, carols we go.

A trip down the shore to visit my Mum-in-law

had the added bonus of an armful of holly.

She took down all but one of the hollies on her

property, but boy is it big! That got us in the mood for

Christmas around here for sure. I have already had this ornament

sitting in my living room waiting for the tree since September.

Mum made it for me and brought it up for Princess's birthday party.

Isn't it adorable? Many of my ornaments are handmade by her, and they are some of my favorites. The next step around here is to clean out my china cabinet. We collect
Depression Glass, and I like to move the pieces around during the year to enjoy them all.
We also love vintage Santas..who doesn't? This is a new favorite that I picked up
at a huge tag sale to support the VNA in our area that I attended with a couple of
my favorite local homeschoolers...

He is also one of Princess's favorites, because she loves to collect "Santa mugs".
On another shelf, sits my Maternal Grandmother's poinsettia plate along
with a favorite green glass sugar and creamer set. This is a new "find" and we really love it.

Well, that is a glimpse of how the holiday decorating is coming along
over here in our little corner of the Garden is your decorating
coming along? Do you hang your favorite holiday pictures drawn by the kids
on the fridge? Set out pretty towels in the master bath? Is your menorah shined
and ready to go? Share it with us...we'll be doing this every Friday through January2nd.
Just click on the Mr Linky and leave a comment saying you joined in.

Deck the Halls !

We are very busy here in our little corner of the Garden State,
decking the halls with boughs of holly (thanks Mum!) and all that good stuff.
I am sure you all are as well.
Whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, or if you are more
of a seasonal decorator. I'd love to see it!
Care to join me here , let's say every Friday from December 5th through January 2nd ?
I'll post a Mr Linky..assuming I can figure it out. ;-)
If I can't, I'll just ask you to leave a comment with your blog address in it.
Let's spread some seasonal/holiday cheer around the blogosphere.

Another update, My Grandmother had yet another small stroke Yesterday, so after being home 2 days,
she is back in the hospital. Send those good vibes Gals..we're going to need them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Itty Bitty Book Post

We have a huge stack of books from our local library, and here are a few of them...

The Legend of Saint Nicholas

We are reading this book in honor of Saint Nicholas Day.

The illustrations are glorious and gilded...a real feast for the eyes.

I was not sure if this book would capture Princess's attention enough

to make it through the whole book. It is a bit wordier than she likes to sit for

under normal circumstances, but the artwork kept her interested.

A Perfect Day
We both really enjoyed this gentle look at one perfect day.
What could possibly be better than spending a day together?
Spending all of our days least according to Princess.
She also enjoyed the illustrations.

We always enjoy this series. This one is perfect for
A little blond girl (like P)..with her little black and white cat (like Alley).
Throw in cupcakes, and it's just like any day around here. You know we love our cupcakes almost as much a s we love our kitties.
I have so many books to tell you about in the coming weeks. I may need to do more than one book post a week. I hope you all enjoy at least one of these with your children.
This time of year can be very, wrapping,planning, party,party,
cleaning, the usual school and meals and laundry to be attended to.
Try to find some time to sit down and read with your children every day.
It will do you all a world of good. I promise! ;-)

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My homeschool buddies and I are all posting pics of our "home schools" as part of our idea sharing.

Plato said...

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