Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Cute Story

I enjoy reading Skye's stories. She is quite creative. She is spelling phonetically which somehow makes the stories even better. Here is a story that she brought home the other day.

The toking cran by Skye
Wons their theved a cran. Evryday the cran wood get pekt up and got shotr and shortr.
Evry day his fase wood get madr and madr entoo wan day he skrim stop! the end.

The Talking Crayon by Skye
Once their lived a crayon. Everyday the crayon would get picked up and got shorter and shorter. Every day his face would get madder and madder until one day he screamed stop! The end.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Books for Boys

One of my greatest joys in life is seeing my children learn to love reading. Currently, I have two children completely addicted to reading, one mostly addicted to reading, one learning to read, one that sleeps with a bed full of books, and one that eats books. I grew up with books as good friends. At college, I worked in the HBLL (Harold B. Lee Library) and it was one of my greatest joys to go to work each day surrounded by books. I enjoy finding books for my own library collection (library sales, thrift stores, Scholastic orders- I am not picky as long as they are in decent shape and readable!). I felt fairly confident that I would always be able to hand my children a book and say "Here, read this, you will like it." I felt that way, that is, until Joseph began to read.
For some strange reason Joseph doesn't dig Little House on the Prairie, A Girl of the Limberlost, or Anne of Green Gables. Even some of the books that I thought all boys would love (Kildee House, Rascal, Wolves of Willoughby Chase), he doesn't really enjoy. At one point, desperate to find new books for him, I searched the Internet for Books for Boys lists. I found some good ideas- but not too many. So here is my own Books for Boys list. If anyone has any other great book ideas, please leave them in the comments! I am always searching for new books- because Pride and Prejudice just doesn't cut it with Joseph!

A Long Note: This list includes books that Joseph has read and LOVED. However, I felt the need to add a couple of my own suggestions because I think that other boys may enjoy the books (i.e. Lloyd Alexander Books- so far Joseph doesn't seem to enjoy them, but I think they are great fun!). Additionally, these books are not in any specific order. Hopefully I can get around to organizing the list by age, but for now, this list is random. Also, I may not list all the books by a specific author (like Andrew Clements- he has many, many books that Joseph loves), I will just list the author. Lastly, you may notice that this list is mostly missing a huge group of books that boys love- nonfiction. It was a book about sharks that sparked Joseph's love for reading. It is a huge category and deserves a list of its own. This list is obviously just a beginning. There are many good books for boys. We are still discovering, but here is a start!

Susan Cooper (The Boggart plus The Dark is Rising)
Lloyd Alexander (All)
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Andrew Lost by JC Greenburg
Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Narnia by CS Lewis
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Gregor the Overlander by Susan Collins (of Hunger Games fame- I don't think JT is quite ready for Hunger Games!)
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Of Mice and Magic by David Farland
Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
Redwall by Brian Jacques
Warriors Series by Erin Hunter (Joseph says "I think these are for girls because boys don't generally read about cats. Maybe dogs, but not cats." He may be right because he only read a few, but Rachel loves them)
The Princess Bride by William Goldman (also try The Silent Gondoliers)
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Boy Scout Field Book (newly revised and both Joseph and Paul say it is "AWESOME")
Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
Blood on the River by Elisa Lynn Carbone
Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
Roald Dahl
Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls (Also Where the Red Fern Grows)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
While Mrs. Coverlett Was Away by Mary Nash
John Bellairs (read with caution- pretty spooky!)
Bartemaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud (JT hasn't read yet)
Danny Dunn by Jay Williams
Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J Sobel
Sideway Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (plus his other books like Holes)
Asterix by Rene Goscinny
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Ben and Me by Robert Lawson (many other books also!)
The White Mountains by John Christopher
Kidnapped by Robert Lewis Stevenson
Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs (JT hasn't read, but I remember my brothers loving them)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary (All of her books)
Star Wars by Jude Watson
Brighty of Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry (all her horse books are great)
Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Soup by Robert Newton Peck
Andrew Clements (books for young readers like Frindle and older readers also)
James Howe
Gordon Korman (started writing books at age twelve and is still writing- very fun!)
Ghost Who Went to School by Judith Spearing
Cricket in Times Square by George Seldon
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Call of the Wild by Jack London
War of the Worlds by HG Wells
Freddy the Detective by Walter R Brooks
Twisted Tales From Shakespeare by Richard Willard Armour
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Three Investigators by Robert Arthur and MV Carey
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Daniel Pinkwater

This list is dedicated to two books that I got Joseph for Christmas: The Mysterious Benedict Society and Gregor the Overlander. I am always a little hesitant to buy books for Joseph without his stamp of approval first. I found these books listed on an Amazon list and decided to try them. Joseph finished reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and came and told me it was "AWESOME"- high praise from him for a book- generally the only way I know if he likes a book is if he reads it twice. I just finished reading The Mysterious Benedict Society (three books in the series) and I concur, they are awesome. He had the same response for Gregor the Overlander. Hooray for good book choices for Christmas!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Austria Ad Campaign

Dear Austria,

Do you need a new cover girl for your tourism ad campaign? I might have located a good model.
Adrie decided to wear my dirndl today. This dirndl was a gift from my Tanner grandparents after one of their trips to Europe. It was one of my favorite dresses to wear as a little girl. On another note, Twilight move over. We have our own version and he is much better looking than Edward.
Nathan is making small attempts at eating real food (as opposed to baby puree) and his two favorite things are cucumbers and green beans. The cucumbers make sense because of the cool relief they offer his gums (3 out of 4 top teeth are in!), but the green beans? I think they are just fun to play with.

Friday, January 15, 2010

At Last!

When Paul became Scoutmaster Joseph looked like this:
I remember thinking how many years it would be until Joseph would be a scout. At the time it seemed completely crazy to think that Paul would still be Scoutmaster that many years down the road. Bwahahah Bwahaha little did we know! Today is a very long awaited day for Joseph (and me!). The scouts just left on Klondike (our 11 year olds go on a few campouts with the scouts) and Joseph WENT WITH THEM. I hope they don't freeze. Most of all I hope that I am not sending my next boy off with my still Scoutmaster husband- twelve years from now!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Finally a Quiet Day

I have been meaning to post for ages but I keep waiting for a quiet day. Today Paul took the three oldest children skiing and so it is relatively quiet. Our holiday season was lovely. The children woke up at 5:55 on Christmas morning. They all came and got in bed with us for a little while before we went out to open presents.The day after Christmas we headed home to Mesa. It was so nice to be home and visit with family. The weather didn't hurt either! We were able to go for a hike in the desert and despite Rachel's hysteria about cholla, we avoided any cactus spines!Now we are back to normal life- school, work, church, scouts. Speaking of scouts, Joseph turned 11 (we celebrate his birthday in June) and is now officially in scouts!

We have been enjoying these eyes:
Nathan weighed in at 20 lbs at his 6 month Dr visit. He is a sweet boy who may someday sleep through the night. We have done sleep training twice with him and each time something (new teeth, a cold, etc) has thrown him (and us) back into old habits. Yesterday the first of his top four teeth broke through the gums. Hopefully we can push through the next few days of sleep deprivation, err I mean sleep training and get back on a good schedule.
Skye lost her first tooth! She is thrilled beyond words (although once she started talking, she spoke with a great lisp!) because she has been waiting forever to lose a tooth. I personally mourn the loss of baby teeth because with our lovely dental genetics it means the children move into the awkward stage between cute baby teeth and orthodontics;-)

This morning I came into my room to find this:
Katie was playing the mother and had tucked a long row of "babies" into bed. Nathan will certainly never be bored in this family- maybe tortured but never bored.