Thursday, August 30, 2007

Nothing is cuter than...

watching your baby sleep.

The best of our Summer

Finally! Here's some pictures from our trip to South Dakota.

Sammy at the Mammoth Site and
bear cubs at Bear Country

My boys lounging at the camp site

Here's Luke with a non-threatening bear at Bear Country.

Here's just one of the bears we saw up close at Bear Country USA!

Here's another bear at Bear Country.

Paul and Sammy at Mt. Rushmore

Luke and Sam in front of Mt. Rushmore.

Here's Sammy and Ella looking a little too happy with the big bag of M&Ms.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Luke read to me tonight

It's been a long time since Luke has done some reading aloud. For a while now, our routine has been that I read to him at bedtime and then he reads to himself. For instance, right now, I'm reading Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and he is reading Trouble in Pembrook. Anyway, tonight, I thought that I would like to hear him read to me. I checked out what I thought would be a delightful book and I was right! I checked out The Garden in the City by Gerda Muller. It looks like this book is out of print and I couldn't find an image of the cover, but I did find a sampling of Gerda Muller's lovely illustrations. This is the story of Ben and Caroline who move into a house in the city. There happens to be a large backyard that has seen some serious neglect. Ben and Caroline and their parents set out to make a plan to restore the garden. They grow a lawn and both Ben and Caroline each get small spaces to have their own gardens. Caroline chooses to grow vegetables and Ben grows flowers. There's so much nature in here that one could make an entire nature study from just this book!
Ben and Caroline show so much enthusiasm for their garden and the backyard. It's obvious that the children get so much joy from gardening and outdoor living. Ben and Caroline also meet another little boy (who happens to be named Luke) who is in a wheelchair. He also loves gardening and he happens to grow beautiful things in pots on his balcony. Luke knows so much about birds, flowers and insects. He teaches Ben and Caroline about the different birds in their garden. Slowly, the seasons change and we get to see how the yard changes through each season. I love the rhythm of watching the garden transition slowly into each season and it each season, the garden looks inviting! It's a beautiful book and it's a shame that it's out of print. This book was originally published in Germany.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Jane Austen overload

Okay, I've been reading some light and fluffy stuff over the summer. I just finished reading Me and Mr. Darcy about a young woman who just wants to find a decent man like, well, Mr. Darcy and then finds herself in a modern day Pride and Prejudice except that it takes her a while to catch on. I also read Jane Austen's Guide to Dating not because I need advice, but because it was referenced in another book I was reading earlier this summer. I just received Austenland as a birthday gift and I checked out Jane Austen in Scarsdale on the recommendation of my friend Jennifer. I've also managed to watch Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice (with Colin Firth) and Pride & Prejudice (with Keira Knightley) in the past few weeks and this from the girl who most of the time doesn't have the attention span for movies. Well, obviously, there are exceptions! But seriously, it's time for a little less Jane Austen and time for more planning for Luke's third grade year. More to come on that. There's still a little summer left!

Now for a perfectly enchanting movie

After a long wait, I finally broke down and bought a copy of Miss Potter featuring Renee Zelweger and Ewan MacGregor. I had hoped that Paul would have been able to borrow a copy of the movie from the library, but it was just taking way too long. Apparently everybody read this post by Elizabeth Foss. When it comes to movies, usually I am extremely patient. I just don't have the zeal for film that I once did and more often than not, movies disappoint. Anyway, I loved this movie! I really didn't want it to end because I knew that it would be a long time before I felt this way about a film again. Even Luke liked it and suddenly he wanted to draw cute little animals too! As I watched, I remembered my mother buying me one little Beatrix Potter book. It was so cute and little. More than anything, I remember just how petite and lovely the book was. I fell completely in love with the Lake District in England and despite some true sadness in the film, I found it both uplifting and inspiring. Of course I had to run out and get a biography of Beatrix Potter right away! And seriously, who doesn't enjoy saying "Hunca-Munca"? I highly recommend the whimsical Miss Potter.

Do you remember this?

I mentioned in this post that I was excited to see Becoming Jane. Well, I did get to see it and overall it was enjoyable, but not outstanding. I came across this review
and it pretty much sums up how I felt about the film.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Not very shocking

You Belong in Fall

Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you

Ahhh! I love Autumn. It's always been my favorite season. The nights are crisp, but it's still warm in the day. I love pumpkin patches and maple leaves in autumn. I just love the coziness that is Fall. I also love BTS! What, you ask, is BTS? Well, it's my husband's acronym for Back to School. I know that I will sound like a total nerd, but as these three words signaled the end of summer and dread for my husband, I relished buying new notebooks, pens, erasers in preparation for returning to school. I always sense the early arrival of Fall sometime in August. I know that sounds strange, but sometimes I hear the wind blow through the trees and just by the way the trees rustle, I know that summer is over despite the fact that the official end of summer is sometimes about six weeks away. I'm always okay with the end of summer and I joyfully anticipate the beauty of Autumn.

Well, now, I'm beginning to plan Luke's 3rd grade year. I'm excited as I always was as a young girl. I get to buy all the new notebooks, the color pencils, the new books, etc. I've decided that I really don't like how many schools have adopted a year round school. I feel that school should start right after Labor Day and end in June. I tend to live on a more academic year believing that the new year should always start in Fall somehow. Fall is just a new beginning for me.

I can't help taking these little quizzes for my blog. I'm not sure where I saw this first. I think it was Karen's.