Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Collier's Junior Classics

I happened upon the first volume ABC, GO! while in an antique shop during our Wyoming trip.  Besides nursery rhymes and poems, it has a great selection of folk tales and stories, and the illustrations are awesome.  While reading the introduction, I found myself salivating and knew I had to have the whole collection.

Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar

"I found my poor little doll, dears,
As I played on the heath one day;
Folks say she is terribly changed, dears,
For her paint is all washed away,
And her arms trodden off by the cows, dears,
And her hair not the least bit curled;
Yet for old sakes' sake, she is still, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world."

The librarian-editors of Collier's Junior Classics have combed the best children's books of the past and present to assemble in a single series a sampling of the finest literature for boys and girls.  High standards have been maintained for the art work also, which in most instances has been taken from the original book.  No attempt has been made to cover all fields of knowledge or to include factual material for its own sake.  The emphasis here is on good literature, chiefly fiction and biography, folk lore and legend, and some poetry.  Special attention is given to the American scene and American democratic ideals, but many selections cover other cultures, geographical areas, and historical periods.

Billy and Blaze

The Box with Red Wheels

The particular copy of the first volume I found (which has been "lovingly compiled for the youngest") was printed in 1962.  But from what I can gather, there was an earlier publishing sometime in the 30s.

Scaredy Cat

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe--
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
Anyway, I happened to get a little inspiration today after storytime, and looked them up on paperbackswap.  Sure enough!  I found and ordered seven more volumes, which means I only need two more to complete the set (and those two look amazing, Roads to Greatness and Call of Adventure).

The Three Bears

Little Red Riding Hood

Henny Penny

So far I have loved every minute of reading from this book aloud, and my audience members seem to agree.  It's become a big deal when I pull this book from the shelf.  The other books seem to be geared to a slightly older audience, but my little seedlings will grow.  Until then, I think I will be enjoying them myself.
Wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the king?

Doesn't that look like such a fun place to live?  I would love to ride on the back of a bird or sway with the wind on the stalk of a dandelion.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm A Soccer Mom

Besides the obvious running that takes place on the field....

There's also a large amount of goofing around.
Watching Fritter's team of 4 and 5 year olds (and one very cute 3 year old) playing soccer has got to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen.  There are one or two kids who really get it, but most of the others...don't.  Basically it's just a large pack of kids chasing a ball and kicking it, and who cares which goal it gets in?  Out of bounds, what's that?  Really, they're just in it for the snacks.  :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Knots For Breakfast

While brushing Ladybug's hair this morning, we had an interesting conversation...

Ladybug:  Are you getting my pants out mom?

Me:  Your pants out?

Ladybug:  From my hair?

Me:  Oh!  Yes, I'm getting the knots out of your hair.

Ladybug:  ...Are we having peanuts for breakfast mom?

Me:  Peanuts for breakfast?

Ladybug:  From my hair?

Me:  No, we are not having peanuts for breakfast.  We're having eggs, and I'm getting the knots out of your hair, and we cannot eat them.

Ladybug:  And the nuts are ouchy?

We need to work on this whole pronunciation thing, I think.  :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today and Sunflower

Hi there.  How has your day been?  Mine?  Oh, fine.  I feel like this is the first time I've sat down today, between the wiping, and running, and answering of phones, and nursing.  Well, I sat for the nursing, but multi-tasked through it when I'd rather just sit and stare at my baby's fuzzy head.

And now my dear husband is off on a very special mission tonight (if you feel like it, could you pray for a certain intention for one of our extended family members?), and because I can't really sleep until I know he's home safe and sound, here I am.

In other news, my dear little Sunflower is trying to move out of the newborn stage, but we (and she) are not really ready for that yet.  This girl is such a busy little thing, and my guess is she'll be crawling any time (she can't even sit up yet!).  She gets up on hands and knees and rocks and falls forward and gets mad, and then does it all over again.  She wants solids but still tongue thrusts and then screams because she's so frustrated.  She can roll over, when she's not mad at herself, but usually she's so mad, her arm gets stuck beneath her at an odd angle and she can't do it.

And is she ever a mama's girl!  It's actually one of my favorite things.  She loves dad, and she'll go to other people, but it's me she prefers.  Our other two loved me bunches too, of course, but this one thinks I'm the very best thing there is.  Maybe it's because she has to wait longer and more often than the other two had to, because sometimes I just can't get to her fast enough.

Anyway, we are almost at the six month mark and things are not really settling down for us, but I am getting in more of a groove.  I actually expect things to pick up more when Sunflower starts crawling and then (oh, no!) walking, but maybe she won't be so frustrated when she can actually get to what she wants and things will be more peaceful.  Here's to hoping!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Not In Denial

While getting Ladybug up from her nap this afternoon:

Me: Ladybug, why did you take your hair out?

Ladybug:  'Cause I'm a stinker!

The first step is admitting there is a problem.  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wyoming Trip - Part 3

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.

We left my hometown on the morning of the 23rd (Tuesday) and headed to Laramie where our University is located.  We planned on meeting a family that is very dear to us, who happened to be visiting at the same time.  Unfortunately none of the pictures I took at the park with them turned out decent enough to post.  So this is my record that it did actually happen.

After lunch, we headed to the University to spend a few hours while we waited for another friend to get off work.

Ladybug and Fritter playing in Prexy's Pasture on campus.

Dan and I in front of Engineering Hall where we spent WAY too many hours.

The block reads "The control of nature for the service of man."

While my dear husband was braving the crowds buying textbooks in the bookstore in order to get us shirts, we played in the Pasture.

Fritter sharpened his rock climbing skills.

And we all tried our best to fit in in the middle of a college campus.  What do you think?  Did we stand out?

We snuck into the stadium to watch our beloved Cowboys practice while we had a yummy Taco Johns dinner.  Never had Taco Johns?  You don't know what you are missing!

Trying to get a good picture of all of us with Steamboat behind us.

My beloved and Fritter in front of War Memorial Stadium.
We left Laramie that night and drove north to meet up with my husband's brother and his family.  Driving Wyoming roads is always an adventure, especially at night.  Besides watching out for deer and antelope, we drove right past a mountain on fire.  I didn't get any pictures, because it was too stressful of a drive to think about. 

Once we arrived, we spent even more time enjoying just being outside.

The boys played a little football.

Grandma soaked up lots of love from the little girls.

Sunflower loved all the attention she got from everyone, especially from my sister-in-law, L.

Fritter was able to test his new bike riding skills with more advanced riders.  He learned fun tricks such as jumping off curbs, and racing down driveways.  He got lots of road rash, and enjoyed every minute of it.

The cousins.

My brother-in-law, M, getting elusive snuggles from Ladybug.

The girls.

The boys.  Notice my dear husband's shirt?  :)

It was so nice to see M & L and their boys, and Dan's mom came as well to meet Sunflower for the first time.  My only wish is that we could see them more often than we get to.

Our drive home was, thankfully, uneventful.  We took our chances on a cute (from the outside) little motel in southern Utah, and regretted it.  See my rant in Part 1.  Overall, it was a very good trip.  One our family needed after the busyness of the past six months.

Candy Thief

My kids just got two bags of candy from a party we went to a few weeks ago, but they don't know it yet.  (We left early, and didn't get the goody bags, so they were delivered to us tonight).  There are a few little toys in there too, so I don't feel so bad that I only am leaving them each a bag of Skittles.  I'm eating the rest.  Uh-huh.  Present tense.  ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gaming, Old School Style

Is my title a little too corny?  Sorry, I couldn't help it. 

We were going through some things in a closet this evening for a yard sale we are planning, and came across my old Nintendo.  Though I remembered that only one controller worked, we decided to hook it up anyway.  So we just spent 45 minutes playing Dr. Mario, and loved every minute of it.  My eyes are older and it's not as easy to see, but I haven't lost any of my skill.  Memories...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wyoming Trip - Part 2

Part 1 is here.

After a wonderful nights sleep for us all in Rifle, Colorado we got up early in order to meet my dad at Dillon Lake.  So pretty.  It was a good visit for all of us, and my kids got to meet their grandfather for the first time.  And of course, I forgot to take pictures.  :(  Thankfully my step-sister took quite a few, I just don't have copies of them yet.

Friday afternoon, we made it up to my mom's house in Wyoming.  It's been so long since I've been home that the moment I saw the familiar rolling hills right around the Wyoming border, I teared up.  And my home state did not disappoint.  The weather was nice (hot for them, nice for us) and because of such a wet winter, the wildflowers were still scattered along the hills.

To make it easier on me, I'm going to do most of the rest of these posts as picture posts.  I know you don't mind.

All is right with Sunflower's world.  She is finally out of her car seat.

Enjoying a lovely Sunday after Mass on my mom's porch.

Fritter and Ladybug investigating grasshoppers.

Ladybug tickling daddy.  Can you tell we really enjoyed being outside after being locked indoors all summer?

Fritter and Ladybug got to enjoy a ride on grandma's lawn mower.  I think that might have been one of the highlights of the trip for them.  :)

And guess who learned how to ride his bike while we were on vacation?  My baby is a big boy now!

My mom took this picture.  You wouldn't catch me coming that close to a grasshopper.  I know they're harmless, but I've had nightmares where they hop in my face and get stuck in my hair.  I'm taking no chances.

Proud grandparents.

My dear aunt getting initiated into the slobber club.

Dan enjoying conversation with my grandfather.

Enjoying the time we have with the ones we love.

My beautiful aunt enjoying snuggles with Sunflower.
My 92 year old grandfather.  He walked me down the aisle at my wedding.  A year and a half is just too long to go without seeing him.

This picture is close to my heart for many reasons.

Sunflower is charming another of my grandparents.

My cousin held a barbecue for us at her great house.  So much fun!

It was so nice to see my family, especially after the year it's been for them all. It seems every week for awhile there, I received news about this family member's cancer diagnosis, that family member's cancer diagnosis, so and so's heart attack, such and such's surgery, and the general fact that my grandparents are growing older every year. I wish I could be there more for all of them, but I know they are all aware that we have been praying heavily for them all.

We were in this part of Wyoming for a very busy three and a half days before we headed north to visit my husband's family.  More on that later...