Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Reading Week 3...

Ships and Pirates...

What we're reading this week:

Come away from the water, Shirley, by John Burningham
A Pirate's Life for Me! by Jilie Thompson and Brownie Macintosh Illustrated by Patrick O'Brien
Pirates Robbers of the High Seas, by Gail Gibbons
1001 Pirate Things to Spot (Usborne book)
Everything I Know About Pirates, by Tom Lightenheld
The Barefoot Book of Pirates, retold by Richard Walker Illustrated by Olwyn Whelan
Roger the Jolly Pirate, by Brett Helquist
Tough Boris, by Mem Fox Illustrated by Kathryn Brown
The Hairiest Pirate Who Ever Lived Backbeard and the Birthday Suit, by Matthew McElligott
How I Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long and David Shannon
Pirates Don't Change Diapers, by Melinda Long and David Shannon
What's Inside? A Pirate Ship (author unknown)
100 Things you should know about Pirates, Barnes and Nobles book

My 7 year old will be reading: Pirates! Raiders of the High Seas by Christopher Maynard

Activities for the week:

There won't be many crafts this week, but we will be making our own treasure maps, going on a treasure hunt and "playing" pirates.  (It's fun to talk like a pirate!)  We'll also be making our own pirate ships... something like this:

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy reading!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Little Birdie First Birthday Party...

My tiny girl's middle name is Wren... so naturally she had to have a little birdie first birthday!!  There's not much to say, because we just had some family over for dinner and cake to celebrate this little lovely of mine, so no games etc.  But I enjoy "party planning" SO much, I had a blast decorating for this little celebration.  I took a whole bunch of pictures for your enjoyment!  ;)
 I pulled the dresser out of her room to display the cake.  (I found the dresser on my local classifieds page, and painted it.)  Mr. B thought I was nuts for bringing it out of her room, but I thought it was the perfect touch.  :)
 Mr. B made me this awesome chalkboard a little while ago.  I was going to share it then, but never got around to it.  But now, here it is!  LOL.  I gave it a light stain and went over it with Miss Mustard Seed's white wax.  I love how it turned out!  And it makes for the perfect birthday "banner" for all my kid's birthdays.
I made the tassel banner from twine and tissue paper.  VERY easy.  There are some great tutorials on Pinterest for them.
 The cake is just a simple strawberry cake box mix, and some easy homemade buttercream.  The bird topper is made from homemade marshmallow fondant, I cut the shape with a cookie cutter.

  I had to display my favorite newborn photo of her, taken by Shanda Photography.  She was 6 days old in that photo.

 The cake was all for my little Wren... (it was just a small smash cake)  So for everyone else I made other desserts... chocolate cake trifle, brownie bites with sweet cream cheese topping and raspberries, and the most ADORABLE birdie sugar cookies made and decorated by my sister Ginger.  Thanks again Ginger!!!
 Glittered mason jars I made with my sister a while back... we continue to reuse them for the many birthdays and baptisms we have this year.  Flowers are from Costco...  I would LOVE to find a floral arrangement class of some sort!  I could use some tips on that.

 More detailed shots of the pretty Cookies.

 I found an old window that I repainted to hang her monthly photos on.  I wish I had a better place to display it, but the thing was too large to fit anywhere else.  I still love this tradition, that I picked up from my sis-in-law Cat over at Catherina's Creative Corner Blog.  It's so fun to see how much these babies change in that first year!

All other decor not mentioned are things I already had around the house, or from my baby's room.
 Not the best picture of us... but I still needed a photo with my baby on her first birthday.  I am so lucky she's mine.  :)  And this picture better shows the true scale of the chalkboard Mr. B made me.  It really is BIG.  I have so much fun with that thing.  LOL.

And I am just head over heals for this little lovely!!

Happy Birthday Little Wren!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Reading Week Two...

Bugs and Gardens....

What we're reading this week:

Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
The Very Lonely Firefly, by Eric Carle
The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner
In the Tall, Tall Grass, by Denise Fleming
Over in the Garden, by Jennifer Ward Illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler
The Eensy-Weensy Spider, adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Oddhopper Opera A Bug's Garden of Verses, by Kurt Cyrus
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, by Simms Taback
Angelina and the Butterfly, adapted by Katharine Holabird from the TV series
Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids, by David Kirk
Miss Spider's Wedding, by David Kirk
Miss Spider's Tea Party, by David Kirk

This upcoming week is a rather crazy one for my family, so I'm limiting the crafts we'll be doing... but here are a few fun ones I found:

Easy "bananapillars"  by   (we'll be adding peanut butter, because banana's are just sooo yummy that way.  ;)  And I really wanted to do "the lifecycle of a Butterfly" as seen on that link, but I know I just won't have time for it this week.  But check it out, in case you would like to do it, it looks super cute!

  And finally some fingerpainting, because that's always easy and fun.  :)

This Bees art by

 And this garden art by  She has 19 other bug crafts that are darling, so check them out in case you find one you like better!  I simply chose these because I know I already have everything on hand, and as stated before we don't have time for a whole lot else this week.

We'll also go on a "bug hunt" and I'm going to have my children help me weed and water the flower beds.  :)

Happy reading everyone!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Reading Fun! Week One...

     "Summer Reading Program" just sounded way too formal for us.  "Summer Reading Fun" is a better fit around here.  :) I want to keep things VERY simple, and not make reading a complicated or have-to thing for my kids.  I chose some fun topics for each week this summer for us to learn about, and find our own adventures in through reading.  Rather than keeping points or stickers for how many minutes read, I am simply encouraging my kids to read each day... finding books at the library, from a friend or ones I already have on hand that go along with that weeks theme and have planned some simple activities/crafts to coordinate with those themes to keep them motivated.
     We've already begun at our house!  I'm going to do my very best to update each Monday of what I have planned for the week ahead.  So feel free to follow along with us, or come up with some ideas of your own.  And if you do happen to have some ideas to add, please share them with me!!  :)

     This week we are reading all about Castles/Dragons/Knights/Kings etc...

What my 7 year old is reading:  "The Knight at Dawn" by Mary Pope Osborne  (She actually read this one the first day, so I went and found her another chapter book... it's a tad above her reading level, so instead we'll be reading it as a read-aloud together.  It's "Dealing with Dragons" book one by Patricia C. Wrede.  (I LOVE both the magic tree house books and Dealing with Dragons series, both were favorites of mine as a kid!)

Other children's books we'll be reading this week:

Sleeping Beauty, Illustrated by K.Y. Craft
Cinderella, Illustrated by John Patience
The Twelve Dancing Princesses as told by Marianna Mayer, Illustrated by K.Y. Craft
Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
What's Inside a Castle?  (author unknown)
The King's Highway retold and Illustrated by Howard Fullmer
The Knight and the Dragon story and pictures by Tomie DePaola
How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet
The King's Taster by Kenneth Oppel Illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
The Egg by M.P. Robertson

Activities planned for the week:

This Knights craft by

And finally this fun Castle painting by

My whole purpose in doing all of this is to make some fun memories with my kids while reading.  And hopefully a lot less "I'm bored" comments from my children too.  LOL.

Happy reading, everyone!