Harry Potter night!

I Harry Potterwould link this up over at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, but I’m not sure it counts if I read it to them………..

We finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and as promised watched the movie together.

And this time I actually made fancy snacks!  Go me!
Pretzel sticks dipped in candy coating and then sugar sprinkled on them.

Harry Potter Movie night
Colby Jack cheese cut into stars.
Harry Potter movie night
Gummy bears, spice drops, and jelly beans (in a bag saved from when the first movie came out, ages ago).  The spice drops were deemed “too spicy,” and the jelly belly jelly beans were turned their nose up at (I forgot I’m the only one in my family who likes jelly beans).

Hopefully I’ll have more time to plan ahead, as in not 2 hours, and I’ll be able to actually find something more like “chocolate frogs,” for the second movie.

All of this equaled three happy kids.

We’re thinking after book 3 we’ll stop until they’re older and more able to handle the scarier themes in the last 4 books.  Any suggestions of other books to read aloud?

Virginia biographies

Have you read any of David Adler’s books?

I’ve been seeing them at the library for a while, and kept almost getting them, but I always had another book about the same person that I got instead.  This time I couldn’t find anything else on Robert E Lee, and I wanted to make sure to teach about him when we learned about Virginia.

Now, I might make a point to get these just for a general overview of the people.  It’s a nice introductory biography.

I used them for Robert E Lee, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Patrick Henry in Virginia.  Yes, all 4 of them.

I did a couple of different things:

Robert E. Lee and George Washington- I simply gave them half a sheet of paper and found an image of the person.  Then they wrote a sentence about something they learned.  I learned Robert E. Lee was against slavery and freed all of his slaves before the Civil War.

167Thomas Jefferson-We learned about how he was an architect for a while and how he designed Monticello as his “dream house,” so they designed their own dream houses.  Here’s the outside of Superman’s house, don’t be fooled by the innocent flower, it’s a well protected house.
Actually all of the boys had quite the fortresses for their ideal houses and would have been able to withstand impressive battles.


Of course once you got inside, you’d see the pet room, and the Halloween room, that’s right he had a year round Halloween room.

And then in the attic there was the spiders.  I think those were pets also.

And more weapons.

Favorite Resource This Week

Anyone else Ladybug Girl fans?

Amazon.com Widgets



We own the two I linked and I’m slowly collecting them all.  My kids love these books and I love how they encourage my kids to think creatively and think of their own ways to do things.


After reading “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad,” Princess insisted we had to do everything they did in the book.  So far we’ve decorated rocks, and



worked on creating our own heroes.  Meet:

Blue Arrow- master of the bow and many more powers.

Green Cowboy- sharp-shooter extroidanairre.

Super Rapunzel- her sparkly jewelry distracts you as she takes you to jail for your evil ways.


Our plan is to go to Zilker park in our costumes and create a story about our characters using pictures.  That’s the plan, we haven’t been able to do it yet.  The one time we tried the batteries on my camera went out, so you see one of the few pictures I took on that trip.


But I have plans, boy do I have plans.

If you head over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns you’ll see more great books to read, and probably ones that aren’t all over the blogosphere already.

Quick post: Saw this and thought of some of my readers

I know a few of you have mentioned in your posts having kids who love the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and I saw this post over at Chasing Cheerios talking about a cool present she got her daughters.

On a somewhat related note, does anyone remember or know of any current book clubs that Scholastic does? I remember back when I started teaching Scholastic would occasionally offer in their book orders book clubs where the kid each month would get a book along with an activity to go with it. I got what was at that time the entire Dear America book series that way, along with some great activities to do with it.

I finally wrote these down…….

Amazon.com Widgets



It feels like ages since I’ve linked up here, probably because it has been ages, but we’ve been running around like chickens with our heads cut off for so long I can barely remember what books we’ve read.


Mostly lots and lots of joke books.  Jeff and I are rather tired of endless rounds of jokes that make no sense and the kids laughing like mad men, so we endeavored to teach them what makes a good joke.  This has resulted in the kids memorizing two jokes and telling them to us a MILLION times.  You only think I’m exaggerating.


Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad– I LOVE this book and this series.  I’m trying to think of a fun activity to do with this, and everything I’m thinking of requires going outside in the heat or is way too complicated.  I’ll keep thinking.


Ponyella- I got this as a surprise for my pony crazy Princess, and she hasn’t let it out of her sight since.  It’s a total knock-off of Cinderella, but it’s still cute.  Princess LOVES this book, there was a small meltdown when she couldn’t find it one night.


If You Give A……-  We’ve been rereading these books in honor of the author’s birthday last Thursday, and I’m slowly putting together a unit study that I’ll share at some point.  Mainly when I’ve thought it out beyond that I want to do one.

Georgia books

I realized I totally forgot to write about the books we read to go with Georgia, and the ones we weren’t able to get around to.  So, that’s our post to link up to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns this week.
<a href=”http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_cw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fadvenofmommy-20%2F8010%2F1cb19e03-88be-4f00-a82c-9cf14215ac1a&Operation=NoScript”>Amazon.com Widgets</a>

I realized I didn’t particularly write a lesson for this one, so here’s one of the lessons that didn’t have any pictures or fun stuff to go with it.

I held up the covers of “Tough Boris” and “Pirates” and talked about fiction and nonfiction books.  Since some of the kids are older the older kids were able to explain what they were fairly well.  Then they made predictions of which one is which.  I gave them more credit for knowing their children’s authors than they knew, or maybe it’s just the teacher in me that assumes everyone knows Gail Gibbons writes nonfiction and Mem Fox writes fiction.

Well, after our predictions I read the two, and they enjoyed both books.  If you ever get the chance I highly recommend both of them, but in particular Tough Boris.  It has a nice twist to it, and is very touching.  The pictures tell so much of the story that isn’t there in the words, intentionally to my mind.

I’d have to say the pirate books were the biggest hit for my all of the kids.  “Martin’s Big Words,” is a little over my kids head for the most part, but it was good to read.

Our library didn’t have any good books about Coca Cola, so if anyone knows a good one I’d love the suggestion.

What have we read:


So, I just discovered that blogger had eaten half of a couple of my posts recently because of an editing error on my part, so if the post I wrote about my boys and a birthday book we read made no sense to you head on back and it should make A LOT more sense now, or as much sense as I usually make.


Hmmm, I might need to take a break to eat some protein.  I’ve heard that seeing spots is not a good sign.  Ugh, my head hurts.  I’ll be back in a few minutes.


Okay, I’m back a day later, and a dollar short.  Okay, not the dollar short, but it is the next day, and I’m actually wondering why I’m sitting here when my eyes hurt and I’m tired instead of going to bed……….  Okay, type fast.


Hmmmm…..  I said “okay” way too much in that paragraph.  Need sleep.


Amazon.com Widgets


Irving and Muktuk series- I linked to all the ones we had at our library, my boys in particular love these two mischievous bear and their adventures trying to get blueberry muffins.  I was not allowed to turn these books back in to the library


Good Knight- I only got to return it because they didn’t see me turn it in.  Very cute story of a little boy who is being forced through the different steps of bedtime and how he views what’s going on.


Bob Books- Princess has been carrying these around nonstop and mainly will read the first few red books, though she probably can read all of them.  The boys went to the latter books but are picture reading, not word reading all of it.  Now to actually sit down with them and correct where I’m sure there’s errors, but it’s a very cool sign.  Did I mention Princess won’t let these books go?  Seriously, loves the books.  I will stop mocking them in my head now.


Okay, I’ve finished my scanning, now to take my sketch book to bed and color stuff.

What we’ve read recently

Amazon.com Widgets

This is actually part one of two.


Maybe.  It’s been one of those weeks we’ve had great books that we keep reading over and over again.  Maybe I’ll save those for another post.


I’ll go in order from least to most favorite:


Hear My Prayer– there’s nothing wrong with this one, but it didn’t quite work for us.  It did lead to some great conversations about the prayers.  So, I can’t say it’s bad, just wasn’t my favorite.  Though I loved the illustrations.  I think this probably would make a great shower gift, it feels like that type of book, does that make sense?  Actually, I just thought of someone I know who is pregnant who would love this book.  So giving her a copy.


The Brave Young Knight– This didn’t work as much for me.  Maybe because I built it up a lot in my mind.  The first book in this series “The Princess and the Three Knights,” is one of my favorites.  For me that one worked on every single level, so I came in with super high expectations, and this one was more formulaic than I remembered the other book being.  That’s not to say the kids didn’t like it.  They really enjoyed it and the illustrations are awesome.  So, if I was doing a rating, I’d say 3 out of 5.  I’m sure it will still be read often.


Princess Grace and the Lost Kitten– I wrote about one of the other books in this series, and said it was a hit with all three.  So was this one.  Super duper cute, and great retelling of the Parable of the Lost Sheep.  And who doesn’t love cute kittens?  Okay, Jeff doesn’t, but he’s allergic to them, so no surprise.  I’d hoped to play a “Where’s your stuffed ________?” game with this, but that happens so often in real life.


Warrior– okay, so I read this one, it’s a young adult novel, and it’s book two in a series, that I’m guessing is a trilogy.  It reminded me in some ways of Eragon, though they’re not really anything alike, but maybe the flavor is similar.  Either way, I really enjoyed this series.  Basically, there are two worlds a human world, and a dragon world.  The dragons have taken some slaves for humans and now a Starlighter has come forward who could rescue the humans.  There is a definite gospel woven throughout and if you’re looking for the parallels you can see them.  But, it’s not so artificially put in that it destroys the flavor of the series.  Think more Chronicles of Narnia type flavor than say Left Behind, if that makes sense?

Anyways, I now need to go back and buy the first book in the series for this one to make more sense, and then I’ll have to buy the last book to see how it ends.  Hopefully the author for this book will come out with the next one faster than Eragon does because at the rate that series is going I’m going to lose interest (and talk about a horrible movie adaptation, really why do people feel the need to totally ruin books in the movies?)


Here’s a more official description, because reading mine is not making as much sense as I’d like:


The Dragon Prince Has Hatched In book two of the Dragons of Starlight series, the stakes are raised when the foretold prince is crowned. While Koren and Jason race to the Northlands of Starlight to find the one person who can help them free the human slaves, Elyssa and Wallace strive to convince the captives that freedom is possible. Soon, all four discover that the secrets of Starlight extend much further than they had imagined. Meanwhile, Randall and Tybalt have returned to Major Four and struggle against the dragon Magnar, who has arrived to manipulate the governor. No one knows how the prophecy will be fulfilled, but one thing is clear: more than ever, the survival of the dragons depends on humankind, and they will do anything to prevent the slaves from escaping.


Okay, I’ve rambled enough.  As usual for reviews, the books were given to get my opinion, as muddled as it is, no money exchanged hands.  Though, I wouldn’t mind being paid for reading.  I tried to convince my Mom to do that and she said she’d go broke doing that.

My boys turned 6, how did that happen, but it’s okay we found a great book

Ummmm, that title is a little long.

But, I like it.
Amazon.com Widgets

All week long I’ve been thinking about this book.  I received a copy from Zonderkidz to review, and we’ve already read it about 3 or 4 times.

In the story, it’s Princess Joy’s birthday and she invites all the local prince and princesses to come to her party.  They all say they can’t, so she invites the townspeople and servants.  She spends the week before her party getting party favors ready for her guests.

 Which is where we get to my boys turning six.  See, they’ve spent the week planning what they want to give their friends, and how to best present the swords..  Princess Joy was putting aside what she originally wanted to focus on her friends.  I don’t think Superman and Batman are that altruistic by a long shot, but they truly have great giving hearts.  And it’s been so much fun watching them plan their party.

The Princess Parables looks to be a very cool series, I’ve received two of them to review, and we’ve loved both of them.  I’m planning a totally different activity for the second book, hence why I’m not talking about it here.  I’m looking forward to finding the rest of the books in this series.  It says a lot for a princess book when my boys enjoy reading it too.

I’m gonna link this up to What My Children are Reading over at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.  I’ll hopefully get another post up later today with more books we’ve read or more about the wonderfulness of my boys.  There’s another book that’s been on my mind a lot this week in relation to their birthday, but that one I haven’t actually found a copy of.

What we read this week, more or less

Do you ever notice that when you sit down to write these posts you know you’ve read lots and lots of books but you can’t for the life of you remember what they were called?
And it’s always after I’ve returned a bunch of them to the library.
Amazon.com Widgets

Guess What I found in Dragon Wood- so cute and a fun twist on the “Guess what followed me home” style of book.  It was fun to watch Jeff’s face on the other side of the room as he listened and didn’t know what the pictures were showing and he was oh so confused.  Highly recommend this.

How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the USA- much like the international version she’s missing what she needs to make her pie, only this time it’s the cooking utensils.  So, she flies all around the country to get what she needs to make a bowl, spoon, etc….  Still very cute and amusing.

Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room- I’m not sure if this copy is the one I had when I was a kid or not, but I certainly remember reading it as a kid and my Mom embarking on a cleaning tirade (that may be a slight overstatement), but either way it was cleaner after we read this.  That’s my goal for my house as well.

Side note, I just sent off 4 garbage bags full of toys to go to Salvation Army, and I’ve got two HUGE tubs of books to head off to Half Price Books (and that’s just going through Jeff and I’s books, and not all of them either).  We might have a book collection problem.

Not hits, but cute:

One Lighthouse, One Moon- gorgeous pictures, and simple text.  Maybe a little too simple for my kids, but there’s so much you could draw from it, but they were not in the mood (too distracted by the tent we’d just put up).