Springtime Means Seed Time

May 1, 2015 at 4:19 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

We are kind of in love with our librarians at this “new” library branch.  We loved our librarians at the old house, don’t get me wrong, but these ones have definitely weaseled their way into our hearts.  Case and point – there’s this adorable seasonal bin one of the children’s librarians puts together, and of course, we find the *best* things there.

P1030750 This week, it was Flip, Float, Fly and Strega Nona’s Harvest, both perfect stories to read during planting season.  Flip, Float, Fly talks about seeds and how they work, blowing dandelions, and the nature of sticker burrs and such.  Strega Nona, of course, in Tomie dePaola typical fashion, covers not just gardening season – but an entire culture of a family and their village and what fresh vegetables can mean to people.  (More typically, the nature of their rituals to ensure that they get an abundance of these fresh vegetables.)

Of course, when we’re not reading and planting ourselves… we’re out and about playing in creeks and inspecting the forest.

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The Mother’s Day Post

May 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm (Events, In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Mother’s Day is celebrated all over the world at various times in Spring to, obviously, honor one’s mother.  In the United States, Anna Jarvis founded the day we know now that is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, in 1908.  By 1914 it was made a National Holiday.  By Jarvis’ death, she was renouncing her own holiday as having become too commercialized.

It is too commercialized.  But, who wants to abolish a holiday that celebrates ones mom? No one. Its not like Valentines when you can commit to showing your partner you love them every day of the year.  A lot of children (especially adults) don’t live anywhere near their mothers, and this is a good day to (of all days) let them know that you’re still thinking of them even from afar.

My proposal? Untraditional gifts.  Token mother’s day gifts come in the form of Hallmark Cards and flowers.  That’s all well and good, and if your mother loves those things, by all means, get them for her.  But get her something more as well.

Always, I’m a fan of books, afterall I write a book blog.  There’s always something special to be found at a bookstore.  Whether its the latest and greatest of a beloved series, a funny gift book, a sappy gift book, a history book on a topic of interest that you both share, music, movies, or just a gift card so she can go have some time to herself and pick out something of her own choosing, there’s something for everyone at a bookstore.

For Dads helping small children, a newer (but not too new) overlooked title is Tomie DePaola’s My Mother Is So Smart. DePaola has been an award winning children’s author for years, but even I didn’t know this 2010 publication existed until I stumbled across in the library the other day.  Its beautiful, as are all his books, and celebrates the love and awe he had for his mother as a child.  Its sweet, and perfect for a young mother to read to her toddler… although I did notice how many things I’ve neglected to master as a mom, like the perfect cookie recipe, and the uncanny ability to always know why my child is crying.

Great Gift #2: I dream of having a cleaning service come through my house once a year.  I keep a fairly clean house.  I actually enjoy cleaning, when I find the time and energy to clean up blocks and toys that have been strewn everywhere for the 300th time that day.  But the idea of having a cleaning crew come in every Spring and scrub my base boards, toilets, showers, and maybe also have my AC ducts cleaned out – that would be the BEST mother’s day gift EVER. (Aside from someone purchasing and installing all my hardwood floors over night without any assistance from me… that would be even better, but a little less practical as a mother’s day gift.)  If this awesome treat proved unobtainable, I might settle for lawn fairies to come weed my gardens in the middle of the night.

Shop AKKlemm.scentsy.us

Great Gift #3: After books and a laziness enabler, I choose  Scentsy products.  I love candles and fabulous smells, but the wickless candle deal with mood lighting has proven to be the best choice when a toddler is running all over the place.  When (I say when NOT if) your kid decides to lather themselves in hot candle wax and try to put every blessed thing you own under wax treatment, you want it to be low heat, no flame, I promise.  My favorite spring scents available this year are Pixie and Cerise.  The Just Breathe is also quite excellent and one of my year round favorites of all time.  But you know your Mom and/or Wife, get what she likes.

Great Gift #4: Reloadable Starbucks gift cards.  Who doesn’t practically live at Starbucks, or would if they could?  Its become an American staple.  Cliche, over-rated, over-priced, I agree, but hey, its pretty darn good coffee available on every street corner, I’ll take it.  The reloadable gift cards are pretty sweet.  Reload them a few times and you are an upgraded customer with free birthday drinks, free syrup add ons, free cups of coffee with your bean purchases, the list goes on.  Buy the mother in your life a gift card and take the time to reload it for her a few times before the year is up and BAM! she is one happy caffeined lady.

Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy the day.  Sundays should be lovely days anyway, but I hope one day Ayla will love to spend a lazy Sunday with me, reading, having coffee, or maybe picnicing in the sun if the weather is nice.

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The Weekly Low Down on Kids Books 2/12/12

February 12, 2012 at 6:43 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , )

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book – Alexander Stadler

So fun and clever, Ayla and I both enjoyed this one.  As a parent, the only thing I didn’t like was that Beverly wasn’t responsible for paying her late fee dues.  But overall Beverly is a fun little friend to have and I hope that one day Ayla can be a part of her very own book club.

Beverly Billingsly Can’t Catch – Alexander Stadler

I saw at the library that Beverly was a reoccurring character in a series so I couldn’t resist grabbing both.  Full of life lessons and the importance of doing research and practicing to achieve your goals, Alexander Stadler is quickly becoming an author I plan to keep around the house for years to come.

Memoirs of a Goldfish – Devin Scillian and Tim Bowers

If Ayla and I were forced to choose a favorite this week, this one would win.  Full of fabulous illustrations, Ayla made me read this over and over.  We actually skipped over other books we had in our library bag this week because we both like this so much.  Fun life lesson and fabulous illustrations!

Can You See A Little Bear? – James Mayhew and Jackie Morris

Ayla liked this one ok, but this was truly more my choice than hers.  The story is sweet and the illustrations are beautifully whimsical.  I highly recommend this book for bed time or nap times.  Its very soothing for both parent and child.

Mice Squeak, We Speak – Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola has been hailed as the go to picture book illustrator for years and years.  I remember enjoying her work as a child, but it wasn’t until I read this to my own daughter that I realized how wonderful dePaola truly was.  Ayla squealed and squealed, pointed at all the bright colors and at the end of the book demanded “more.”  We may choose Memoirs of a Goldfish together, but if Ayla’s vote were THE vote, it would be Mice Squeak, We Speak every time this week.

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