In the past we've completed a handful of Valentine's Day and heart crafts. I thought I would highlight some love themed ideas.
The Heart Owl Craft is one of my all time favorite crafts. My daughter made one...but so did I! (Mine was more of an Owl Valentine. Same process, but two different links since they served two purposes and were made at different times.)
I will not be sharing Anne of Green Gables to my daughter for quite some time. Though I love the books, they will wait until she is ready for them. As I have been participating in the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge for the second time, I personally enjoy these books, and suspect that M (now age 4) will be curious about these books that I read. I sure hope so!
Lucy Maud and the Cavendish Cat tells the tale of Maud's cat, Daffy, and how he came to be and stayed with Maud. I liked how the author, Lynn Manuel, used Maud's own journals (she wrote faithfully as an outlet) for the details of the book. I thought the illustrations were well done, with an impressionist feel to them. The illustrations just seem very appropriate for a book about Lucy Maud Montgomery! I suspect all fans of LMM will enjoy this book, though it may not be a book that all children love. (Though it's about a cat and Maud, there are no children in it, so some children may not relate as well to this book as to others. My daughter didn't dislike it, but she didn't beg or more either.)
I enjoyed reading this book by myself, but I especially delighted in sharing it with my daughter.
Very early in the book I had to learn what a Mayflower (the flower) looked like. Jem, Anne's oldest son, loved giving these flowers to Anne each May. Did you know?
At the beginning of the book Gilbert's Aunt Mary Maria comes to stay for a short visit and stays for longer than she was welcome. She stays on even though Anne is about to have another baby. This particular Aunt Mary Maria is not nice to the family...and yet she stays. She is incredibly aggravating to read about. I can't imagine being a gracious host to her! I actually loved how Anne planned a special birthday party for her, but the results of the party were the best, though I won't spoil it for you!
Anne's children each seem to have one dilemma or another in Anne of Ingelside. Anne is a very understanding mother, and of course she never laughs at her children. I really like Susan, the family cook and housekeeper. She calls Anne "Mrs. Dr. Dear." It's quite sweet and with a great deal of respect.
Something that I really enjoyed was the mention of an onion sandwich! I have never eaten one, nor do I plan to, but onion sandwiches were also a big hit with Maud Hart Lovelace in the Betsy-Tacy books. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to reflect the times in the early 1900's.
The focus was certainly not on Anne and Gilbert despite the summary on the back cover indicating marital trouble, or at least Anne's concern that Gilbert doesn't love and adore her as he once did. This concern doesn't really show until nearly the end of the book, though the back cover summary makes it seem like it should be the most of the book.
To be honest, I found this to be a slow read. I actually started it last year...and struggled with it. So when I did not complete it in time for last years LMM Challenge, I figured it would wait until this year. It did wait, but, once again, I had a slow start. (Of course I started over again.) I don't know why the beginning of the book was so hard for me. Despite all of this, I certainly enjoyed it.
Next year I will read the seventh book in the series, Rainbow Valley for the LMM Challenge. I still have a few days to share about Lucy Maud and the Cavendish Cat, a picture book that I shared with my daughter! Thanks, Carrie, for encouraging us to read a great classic! Speaking of classics, I am also linking this up with Reading the Classics Reading Challenge! LMM is definitely a classic!
I'm having lots of fun sharing a few of the books we are reading each week. I'm going to try to do it on a regular basis and hope my readers enjoy it.
We read another "chapter" book last week by Arnold Lobel. We read the ever-popular Frog and Toad Are Friends! Frog is a real sweetheart, I think. Toad is a bit more...moody? But combined they make a great pair, and work through their little problems. We'll be checking out all the Lobel books that our library has! M is totally enjoying chapter books. I do think illustrations are still important for her though.
We have a nice set of Winnie the Pooh's Thinking Spot Series. (According to the price tags, they were just $1.50 each at the Five Below store!) M tends to choose these books by color, and requests the purple spines most frequently. She really enjoyed How Did You Make That Web?This book is not just about spiders, but about how different animals build homes with things they find like paper, twigs, or even sand. Some animals highlighted are spiders, mice, birds, and ants. I could not find an age recommendation, but I would guess 3-7. They don't go too deep, but they are perfect for us to explore science a bit more! (Each book also has an activity to do at the end.) M likes to read about the familiar characters while learning.
We read another (very short) chapter book called Henry and Mudge and the Snowman Plan. This series was quite popular with my first graders, but this was the first Henry and Mudge book I have read. Henry and his dad enter a snowman contest and use family life as inspiration. (Mudge is the family dog.) I'm sure we'll read more of these books, but I didn't find it particularly exciting, though M did enjoy it. This is a good read-in-one-sitting chapter book...and more like a picture book than a chapter book.
This week we had a bit of fun with snow. Snow books and snow art and snowflakes. (Some snow art will be posted later next week, too.)
I like coffee filter snowflakes for lots of reasons. Coffee filter snowflakes are easy. Both my 2 and 4 year old children could participate. Circular snowflakes. Snowflakes that make coffee filters useful. (With my small package of coffee filters, they will likely last a lifetime. Yep. My husband and I do not drink coffee, but we do have a tiny coffee maker for guests who need it.)
First color the coffee filters with markers.
Place the coffee filters on a paper towel on a plate.
Then spray it. The kids love this!
Let the coffee filters dry. (If you spray lightly it doesn't take long.)
Fold in half three times
Draw some markings on it if your child is not able to understand how to cut the snowflakes yet.
Let the child cut!!
It takes a long time at our house.
Be totally amazed at your child's beautiful creation!
Honestly, I had a blast with this project, too. (Can you tell?)
I cut the snowflakes that my two year old son or I colored. I had lots of fun.
We hung them in our kitchen window and the windows by our front door.
E (2) had fun coloring and spraying. M (4) had fun coloring, spraying, and cutting.
Initially, I only wanted to make white snow flakes. M had great fun with that. Then on another day, I decided it would be fun for both children to get involved in the project and so we all made colorful snowflakes. M's favorites are the colored ones, of course.
I loved that the the coffee filters were already round since I dislike square flakes. More importantly, they were easy to fold and cut for my little girl's introduction to snowflakes!
About ten years ago, I had a mentor at my little church. When I learned that she had a fettuccine Alfredo recipe, I was so excited. Derek and I hadn't been dating for too long at that point, but I already knew that it was one of his favorite dishes to order at a restaurant.
The amazing part is that it is so, so easy to make! Seriously! It's also even easier if you use leftover chicken from your freezer to go with it! (I like to roast a big chicken. Then I serve it for two meals and the remaining chicken goes in the freezer for meals such as this. The chicken is flavored so much better than if you just pan-fry chicken breast.) The other option for excellent chicken to prepare with this dish is to grill it. Yum. My husband likes when I serve this chicken and broccoli.
Both of my children love fettuccine Alfredo! Other than processed/packaged meals the only other main dish that we all like is spaghetti.
Have I convinced you yet? I hope you'll give fettuccine Alfredo a try!
Fettuccine Alfredo 1 16 oz package of fettuccine (or pasta choice) 1/2 c melted butter 1 c grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 c whipping cream salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine melted butter with remaining ingredients. Mix well. Drain pasta. Pour sauce over hot pasta and toss lightly. Serve on warm platter.
It's so easy!! Since I tend to cook from my pantry and freezer, the hardest thing for me is buying the whipping cream.
Earlier this month I went to a baby shower. Part of the gift I purchased came from a little toy store that gives white paper bags with the purchase. Instead of buying another gift bag and wasting this one, I just decorated this bag. I dipped cookie cutters in paint and pressed to the bag. Simple...though the picture certainly shows how crooked my prints are.