Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

Now blogging at THIS SIMPLE HOME.

At This Simple Home

  • Taco Soup Recipe - My mom has fibromyalgia. Last weekend she and my stepfather came to visit for the first time in a couple of years. During their visit, I wanted to provide ...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Great Books Read in 2011

Last year I began Net's Book Nook just as a place for me to document the books that I read and listen to throughout the year.  You can go there for a more complete book list.  I read over 30 books, including the ENTIRE BIBLE.

Many of the books I read were very good, but here are the great books that I highly recommend.  Each link is to my thoughts on the book.

Words: A Novel by Ginny Yttrup

Words was an incredible read.  A ten year old girl no longer speaks because of horrific abuse, but she collects words.  A woman meets the girl and both are changed...

Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace

Emily of Deep Valley is definitely one of my all-time favorite books.  Just go read it.  It's so good.

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
Pearl in the Sand
Pearl in the Sand was incredible.  It is a fictionalized story of Rahab.  I thought Tessa Afshar's writing was seasoned, though it was her first book.  I really loved it, and it made me think a bit more about biblical fiction-something that can be done well (like this) or not so well...

God's Priorities for Today's Woman by Lisa Hughes
God's Priorities for Today's Woman: Discovering His Plan for You
God's Priorities for Today's Woman is a must-read for Christian women, but be prepared to be convicted!

Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace
Betsy and the Great World and Betsy's Wedding
Well, I am a Maud Hart Lovelace fan, right?  Betsy's Wedding was the perfect ending to the Betsy-Tacy series.

Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman
Don't Make Me Count to Three!
Don't Make Me Count to Three gave me great ideas in this crazy thing called parenting to help focus on heart attitude/behavior.  I will be re-reading this one!

Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland by Roseanna White

Colonial Maryland.  A book I couldn't put down.  A well-written, not-your-standard-romance!

The Bible (NIV, 1984)
NIV Life Application Study Bible
That's right.  I read the whole Bible (with a few days to spare) in 2011!  You can read about my experience here.

I listened to some INCREDIBLE audio books this year, too.  Some were so good that I feel compelled to read them for myself though I already know the story!  (Click the link to see the titles.  If you haven't read them yet...go find them!)


Knowing my favorites (including audio favorites), do you have any reading suggestions for this coming year?? Please share!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Read the Bible!

Honestly, I am really surprised and pleased that I made it through the Bible. IN. ONE. YEAR!  I have never read all of God's Word from cover to cover, though I had read most of it over the years.  By reading it all within one year, I was able to see more of the "big picture" much easier than when reading it just a chapter or so a day.  On the downside, I did not really study the Bible this year...instead I read it like without really taking the time ask thoughtful questions or even looking into other verses to compare (because I chose not to based on time) as much as I would have liked.  However, I know it has been beneficial.  I pray that I will continue to use what I have learned to glorify God and that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in me to bear fruit as evidence of my commitment to the Lord.

You may be wondering how I managed to keep up once my (really-fussy-often-screaming-doesn't-want-to-leave-my-arms-and-rarely-naps) baby was born in October.  Well, my husband has an iPod from work.  Prior to the baby's birth I had barely used it (once, I believe).  However, during the many, lengthy night feedings/cryings I could read the Bible with it (along with emails and my blog reader)!  I could do all of this one handed, so it worked out very well and it kept my place even if I dropped it.  I could never have held a Bible with all the bouncing and patting needed.  (Using biblegateway.com on the laptop works, too.)Of course, my mind was not capable of comprehending everything that I read during those nights, and I often read the same verses multiple times, but I did it!  I read the entire Bible!  And in one year, no less!  (Okay, let's be honest here.  MUCH of that nighttime reading I spoke of was not comprehended though my eyes read the words...)

I really liked Walk Thru the Bible's reading plan (free online) because almost every Saturday and Sunday was a combined reading assignment.  This allowed a buffer day to catch up each week.  It was usually needed.  Walk Thru the Bible also offers a monthly magazine that offers great insight to the daily readings.  However, it wasn't long before my husband and I focused only on the Bible itself...it was just too much to read that, too, though really, it should not have been.

I'm thankful that I took this challenge and  highly recommend reading through the Bible in a year or less at least once!  I'm not sure how I will read the Bible in 2012, but I look forward to taking it slowly while continuing to read it daily.  I'm considering reading through the New Testament.  Anyone can read the Bible, but it is what we do with the wisdom and knowledge within that holy book that matters.

Lord, let my readings of this year and every year bear fruit for your glory.  May my excitement in studying and reading your Word be greater than any other written word.  Help me to grow closer to you through the study of your Word.  Amen.
Image and photo permission from These Grace Filled Days,
a blog of beautiful photography and godly wisdom.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Books I Wish I Read in 2011

In addition to the books I read, I listen to a lot of books on CD.  It makes the time in the kitchen washing dishes and preparing meals so much more pleasant!  I have tried to keep track of the books I listen to, but haven't done a very good job.  I created Net's Book Nook for the purpose of documenting the books I read and listen to, but I often forget!

I highly recommend each of these books!  I listened to each of them this year and wish I had taken the time to read them instead.  (I listened to them on CD instead.  I hope to read them one day for myself though.)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Help
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
From the Trade Paperback edition




Sarah's Key (Movie Tie-in) - Tatiana de Rosnay
Sarah's Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay

Two of these books have been made into movies, but I haven't seen them yet.  All but The Help are set (at least partially) around World War II.  The Help takes place in Alabama in the 1960's.  Can you tell I love learning about history through fiction?

Honorable Mentions go to Anne of Green Gables and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, two books I own and love.  Savvy by Ingrid Law and Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.  Both were great!  All four of these are considered books for young readers...yet another theme of my reading.

My apologies for not including descriptions.  Links are to Amazon for you to read more there since I never actually reviewed them.  Please forgive me, but time is limited, but I really wanted to share!  If you want to see the reviews for my top favorite books read (not audio) go here.

What books are your favorites?  I'd love to hear and add to my must read list!  Please leave a comment (and link to a blog post if appropriate) and share!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Organizing Christmas Ornaments



If you are looking for a way to organize Christmas ornaments, I have heard that using an egg carton is a great way to do it.  I plan to do that this year with some of ours when we take down our tree.

Do you have something that works well for your family for organizing ornaments?  I'd love to hear about it! Last year we organized the kids' ornaments in separate boxes and it worked great!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!  For the most part, this blog will be quiet until 2012, except some reading plans for the new year.  God bless! 

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finally...A Keeper Biscuit Recipe!

As a bread lover, I just can't get enough of it.  But sometimes I just need something quick.  Biscuits work to fill that need in my belly at those times when I don't have the time or energy to make a loaf of homemade bread.

But I'm always so disappointed in biscuits.  Flat, somewhat tasteless, despite new baking powder.
Until now.
Do you see that lovely split in some of the biscuits?  That had never happened before in the many recipes I've tried.

I made these biscuits twice.  The first time I was thrilled.  The second time I was even more thrilled-since I had made a double batch that time in hopes of putting some in the freezer.  Only a handful made it to the freezer, but it's enough for a dinner for the four of us.  

This recipe actually uses Bisquick, but please, allow me to assure you that they are nothing like the Bisquick recipe's product.  Because I've tried it.  Oh, if you have no buttermilk, that isn't an issue, either.  To make your own buttermilk, just add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of milk.

My Keeper Biscuit Recipe

2 1/4 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup buttermilk (OR 2/3 c milk + 2 tsp vinegar.  Let sit 5 minutes)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
melted butter for brushing
flour

Preheat oven to 450.  Mix Bisquick, buttermilk, and sugar together by hand.  Add the melted butter and stir until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough onto a well-floured surface.  If dough is sticky (likely) add additional flour.  Knead 20 times.  

Roll or pat 1/2 inch thick (or thicker).  Cut.  Place close together on ungreased cookie sheet.  Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove when nicely browned.  Brush tops again with butter.

A tip for you...when you are craving a bacon-egg-and cheese-biscuit on the way home from learning that you actually are not in labor and your lost sleep and painful contractions were all for nothing...make a batch of these biscuits and cut them out with your biggest biscuit cutter (or even cut squares!), and then make your own sandwich.  Your belly will thank you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Colonial Maryland...

Historical fiction has been bringing the past to life for me.  I have been learning so much and loving it!  Well-written historical fiction share incredible insight into the language, dress, culture, and specifics about the setting.

Before author Roseanna White's second book was even published, I wanted to read it.  By reading her blog, I had a taste of her writing, research, and most of all, her passion.  In fact, I chose that (her second) book, Jewel of Persia for the on-line book club next year!

I happened to have won a copy of Roseanna's latest book from Colonial Quills upon its release date earlier this month.  I was thrilled to finally read one of her published books.

The funny thing is that it is a romance.

Typically, I don't mind romantic elements within a book, but tend to avoid romance novels.  Something that I noticed for myself is that sometimes I take away unrealistic expectations from some romance novels (and this includes Christian historical romance), so I tend to shy away from them.  Based on knowing Roseanna from her blog (and just recently from Facebook, too) I knew that Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland would be a solid work of art...a book full of historical facts hidden within...a highly developed, well-written book.

I was not disappointed!  I absolutely loved Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland.

Lark finds her betrothal, Emerson, of two years (shocking for the day) in a compromising situation.  Needing to get away, she flees to Annapolis, Maryland to stay with the family of her brother's friend-complete strangers-with intentions for staying for months.  Lark quickly becomes best of friends with the family, especially their daughter Sena.  Sena's circle of friends open Lark's eyes to all that she has taken for granted and been sheltered from in the past.  She begins to look deeper within to examine herself.
"Never in her life had Lark felt so utterly selfish.   She didn't even know with whom her father dealt in business, much less whether all his  transactions were fair.  She only had an academic knowledge of the less fortunate in Williamsburg, recognized only the poor who sold her goods.
Now everywhere she turned, she was faced with realities she had either ignored or been unaware of.  Slave auctions and outcasts, ostracized Tories and social rebels.
And where did she fit in all this?  Where did her problems with Emerson rank on this scale of desperation?" 
Emerson learns of Lark's location and goes to her and remains in Annapolis since she will not return to Williamsburg.  He attempts to win her heart by remaining in Annapolis and spending time with her...finally getting to know Lark.

Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland  is a great book.  It offers insight into colonial life in Annapolis when it was our country's capitol and how snow nearly destroyed our independence as a country.  (Read Roseanna's thoughts here.)  The reader meets some of our founding fathers, though they are not main characters and Tories, too.  All of this fabulous history is interwoven through a not-your-standard-romance. I definitely recommend it!

Roseanna is offering the Great Annapolis Giveaway with all sorts of colonial goodies.  Round one ends today.  There will be another chance to win in February, so be sure to check it out!  While you are there be sure to get a taste of colonial times and Roseanna's writing by exploring a bit!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sparkly Fun

A snowy setting, cute mice, and sparkles make these new Christmas titles just plain sweet!

Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls are large, padded board books that bring the familiar lyrics to life.    Illustrated by Veronica Vasylenko, the mice in the books tell the story of the songs.  The mouse family decorates their home in preparation for Christmas and enjoy a fun, though crowded sleigh ride.  Each book has added sparkles to the illustration which is a bonus for the reader...and little fingers who love to touch shiny things.

Both of these books have been enjoyed in our home as part of our reading at least one Christmas book a day this month.  If you want to teach a young child either song, this may be the way to do it!

I'd love to see more Christmas hymns and songs in books!  We have The Little Drummer Boy board book and love it.  Homeschooling Just Next Door shared about some other Christmas carols found in books that might interest you!

Thank you, Tiger Tales, for sending us review copies!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Raising Real Men

I hope he always loves and adores his sister...and one day will be her protector!
Though I only have two daughters and only one son, I want to be purposeful in understanding the way his mind works and the differences between boys and girls.  I was never a boy, so I need help with this-obviously!  Of course, my husband can help, but I recently read the book Raising Real Men to help a bit, too.

Authors Hal and Melanie Young are the parents to six boys and two girls, so they do know a bit about raising boys.  Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys focuses on bringing up sons to be godly men despite the culture around us and even some of our own limitations and expectations.  The Youngs do not focus on just one age; instead they talk about boys as toddlers to young men.  Raising Real Men is an easy to read book, and the Youngs write in a comfortable style.  

The book discusses what God's word says about many things that we, as parents, really do have questions about.  It helps prepare us for what is to come-for those of us who still have young boys-and still gives us plenty to think about in the present, as well.

Some topics discussed are responsibility, leadership, competition, money, manners, chores, sexual temptation, and college.  I liked the variety in topics and thought the Youngs found ways to share from their personal experience and the Bible in a personal way.  I found that MUCH of what they were saying would benefit our sons would absolutely benefit our daughters, too, to be a child, teen, or adult who intentionally serves and honors God.

Early in the book, manly virtues are discussed.  I was told before I married my husband that some of his characteristics that I respect and admire the most would likely be the ones to drive me crazy one day.  (Umm...yes, that is often true.)  In the same way, some of the characteristics in boys that might drive us crazy like competitiveness, aggression, and a need for adventure grow into admirable virtues in men of persistence and courage.  The pursuit of adventure is not to be risky or foolish though.  Like any one of us, we can use our lives (and skills) in vain, or we can use our lives to further God's good and make Him known.  

Like with any parenting book, the reader isn't likely to agree with all that is written.  I understand and know that children, and especially boys are often hyperactive.  (In my experience my oldest daughter has always been a thrill-seeker and has the need to get outside to get her energy out.  But that is beside the point.)  As a former elementary school teacher, I understand that our typical school system is not ideal for most boys.  However, I was rather appalled at a statement within the chapter "Your Own School for Boys."  

"We're convinced if our sons were in school [not homeschooled],they'd be on so many pills they'd rattle when they walked."  

Yes, ADHD may be over-diagnosed and over-medicated (verses trying environmental helps first), but that does not mean it does not exist.  The statement above seems to blame schools and teachers for the children's diagnoses.  From my own experience it is parents who seek treatment, though at times at the suggestion of a teacher.  It is up to the parent to find a treatment plan with which they are comfortable.  If a parent doesn't want an official diagnosis or any treatment it is up to them!  However, a teacher has the responsibility (in the interest of the student) to point out a child's outward behavior that may (or may not) be related to near-sightedness.   It's still up to the parent to seek out medical advice either way!

I really appreciated the chapter about children "bearing arms."  You know...playing with guns.   (It made me think of Dobson's book Bringing Up Girls that made me begin telling my daughter she is beautiful, while focusing on the heart.  Linked to my review.)   At Halloween this year we never even asked our son who just turned 3 what he wanted his costume to be.  We figured we would use our available props/costumes to be a firefighter, football player, or baseball player.  It never dawned on us he would have an opinion, but he really wanted to be a knight.  As it turns out, he will get the Armor of God costume for Christmas, so next year he can be a knight.  I'm not sure he was thinking of protecting his family, but maybe!  This year he was content to be a baseball player.  Phew.  If our son desires to be in a profession where he needs to carry a gun, I don't want him to feel like he would be dishonoring his parents because we said all guns are bad.  (I also want to mention that they did note that not all Christian denominations agree with bearing arms.)


Hal and Melanie Young homeschool their children.  I am pretty sure that at least a quarter or a third of the book is related to homeschooling in one way or another.  By drawing on others' experience (since it is not in their own) could really make this book friendlier to a broader audience. 


Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I have Bringing Up Boys.  I suspect it is a research and life based book without the homeschool slant.  However, I think Raising Real Men was still beneficial read.  If you are a homeschool family with a son, I would definitely recommend it.

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Raising Real Men in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.  You might be interested in their parenting helps or their free homeschool catalog that is for anyone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Preschool Christmas Fun

Last week we were all sick which was not fun.  That means we don't have our tree up yet.  Maybe it will happen soon though.

We have been enjoying The Story of Christmas advent book calendar along with our little manger.  The kids absolutely love opening and reading a book a day, though I must confess sometimes the book waits until the following day to be read!  

With illness and just being tired, we haven't been remembering to each day's Scripture to go with the Jesse Tree.  Pathetic, I know!

Despite what we have NOT done, I thought I would share that we had some fun with Christmas printables.
Below is E matching shadows to their pictures for Nativity people and items.
 Below M is hiding behind one of the Nativity counting pages.
We were thankful that Baby E allowed us to do this!  The above activities were free from a Pre-K Nativity Pack. I really liked it because there were some items (like the shadow match) that both children could use (older child cut them).  Other items E, age 3 was able to have fun with, while others were for M, age 5.
Little Angel Interactive Book
Next up is the Little Angel Interactive Book, a freebie printable from Musings of Me.  Michelle offers lots of free printables and some huge units for a small fee...a great resource!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Am I Forgiving?

Sometimes a simple children's book has a message that is so clear that the reader can't help but to understand the message.   Less often, in my case, I am willing to listen to the message as an adult.  All too often we expect the many moral messages in children's literature to only apply to children.

Am I Forgiving?
When I saw the title of Am I Forgiving? I was excited for our family to check it out.  A gift to us a few years ago was the title Am I Praying? also by Jeannie St. John Taylor which we like.

Erik's friends treats him poorly...but through it all he checks his emotions and thinks through his disappointment and loneliness.  I love how he works through each difficult situation and continues to forgive.

I say, "That's okay, guys, I'm not mad."   And I'm really not.  That proves I already forgave them, doesn't it?  It's not hard to forgive them, because they weren't mean on purpose."


Erik is even able to forgive his best friend who purposely treated him meanly on purpose.  AND it seems natural in the book...not forced at all...because Erik shares his thoughts and feelings with the reader.


What a great book to help each of us, young and old, to check our own behaviors and attitude and to forgive!  It's so easy to be bitter and hold a grudge!


Thank you, Kregel Publishers, for sending me this copy for review purposes.  

Christmas Resource

Our Worldwide Classroom

If you are looking for Christmas traditions, activities, crafts, or recipes head over to Christmas Fun at Our Worldwide Classroom.  I plan to link up, too!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Club!

I have never had the privilege of being in a book club.   However, I greatly appreciate others' recommendations and especially like to hear what others think about a book I read-whether I enjoyed it or not.
Reading to Know - Book Club
A while back I was invited by Carrie at Reading to Know to choose a book for the Reading to Know Book Club!  This is a new venture for Reading to Know, but the twelve books chosen for the year of 2012 look fabulous.  Nonfiction and fiction.  Books I hadn't heard of, but have fabulous reviews and sound great.  Others I have always wanted to read or read long ago.  So exciting!


I had the toughest time choosing a book.  I didn't want to pick a book that everyone has read (including me), even if I love it.  (Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird -linked to thoughts, The Help, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to name a few.)  I also didn't want a book that would be too heavy (though deep is okay) of a read...and I was hoping it would be accessible easily in libraries.  I finally decided on a book that I have wanted to read since before it was published.  It has fabulous reviews.  It's based on my favorite book of the Bible.  The author is new to me, but I have been reading and enjoying her blog for over a year now.  I love how she puts so much thought and work into the research for her historical fiction!
Ebook Now Available!

In the month of November, the book club will be reading Jewel of Persia, written by Roseanna White.  I was thrilled to pick it out, even if it's not easily available through libraries...and hope people are intrigued enough to find/buy a copy.  My own library does not have it, but I have recently requested it.  I suspect I will buy a copy for myself, as well, though I rarely buy fiction (unless it is children's).  (You know requesting your book store or library to get a book is a great way for you to support an author, right??)


Check out this line-up! 
January - Beyond Opinion, by Ravi Zacharias. Selected by Sky.


February - Running Away to Home, by Jennifer Wilson. Selected by *Carrie* at With All That I've Been Given.


March - The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan. Selected by Shonya at Learning How Much I Don't Know.


April - Any title by P.G. Wodehouse of your choosing (selected by Tim at Diary of an Autodidact) Just choose one. Especially if you've never read Wodehouse before. (Carrie is happy to make suggestions if you need some.)


May - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain. Selected by Amy at Hope is in the Word.


June - A Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton Porter. Selected by Stephanie at Simple Things.


July - Any book in the Chronicles of Narnia series (as part of the Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge hosted annually at Reading to Know) (Again, just choose one. And make the most of it!)



August - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente. Selected by Bluerose at Bluerose's Heart.


September - Professionalizing Motherhood, by Jill Savage. Selected by Stephanie at Stephanie's Mommy Brain.


October - Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Selected by Barbara H. at Stray Thoughts.


November - Jewel of Persia, by Roseanna White. Selected by Annette at Live, Learn, Love.


December - A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Selected by Carrie

Want to join the book fun?  The more the merrier!  Check out the book club Q and A.  I appreciate that we don't need to commit to reading all of the books, though I hope to be able to do so.  Hope you'll read along with us!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Picture Collages

One fall Saturday morning when my husband was busy with the children's sports program at our church, I decided to take the kids to the local county park (9 months pregnant).  My purpose was for photos, but they thought we were just on a nature adventure.  We were checking out the oak, maple, and pine trees...and their cones and acorns (well, not on the maples).  Along the way I was taking photographs, hoping to capture a few good ones.  Of my 76 photographs, a few came out well.  I'm thankful for digital technology!

Same photos are used below, but use a different layout.
I made collages of a few of the pictures using Picasa- a free photo editing program.  (It does not store the pictures for you, but uses what is already on your computer.)

Typically, I prefer the picture pile (bottom collage) over the mosaic grid (top).  This time, I may like the grid better.

I have used the collage in the past to create a bit of a fun "summary" of our year to include in Christmas cards.  Oh, and it's cheap, too.  Just the cost of a print!
  Just thought I'd share in case you were interested in making your own.

Just curious...which style do you prefer?  Picture pile or grid?  Does it depend upon photo content?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Read Alouds

It's been a while since I shared what we've been reading together.  Tomorrow begins A Book a Day for Christmas!  Woo-hoo!

In early July I went to a lovely used book sale.  I spent about 1 1/2 hours in the children's section, and didn't even finish.  I filled two grocery bags with books...for just $10.  Oh, it was lovely!  I took out a few books to share with the kids and set some chapter books on our bookshelf.  Then I misplaced the rest of the loot in plain sight in our basement.  Thankfully I have since found the books, and have been sharing them with the children.  These titles are all from the sale.

Little Bear (An I Can Read Book)Little Bear is a great book...and series.  We've borrowed it from the library before, but now I'm thankful to have it for our own collection.  We also have two other books in this series.  Little Bear books are the perfect level for my daughter who is just starting to read.  She not only enjoys looking at the pictures to see what the story is about, but also enjoys reading the story.  I was just thrilled the other morning when I overheard her clearly reading aloud on the couch while I was clearing the breakfast dishes.  Of course, when I asked her if she was reading, she said no...and told me we needed more Little Bear books.

Dandelion (Picture Puffins)
Do you recognize the name Don Freeman?  I snatched Dandelion excitedly when I saw his name.  He is the creator of the Corduroy series which we really enjoy.  Dandelion is a lion who is invited to a party.  He gets a fancy hair-do and new clothes before the party.  When he knocks on the door, Jennifer Giraffe doesn't recognize him and closes the door on him.  It ends up raining, and his hair returns to normal as do his clothes since he removes his jacket.  He goes to the party again and is welcomed...and reminded it's best to be himself.

Morris The Moose Goes TO SchoolI instantly recognized Morris the Moose Goes to School from my childhood.  I recall very few books, but was excited to pick up this title as an easy reader for M.  It's a silly book about a moose who goes to school to learn more.

Diggers and Dump Trucks (Eye Openers) (Hardcover)Diggers and Dumptrucks is of course one of E's new favorites.  (The funny thing is we have a different book by the same title that is also well-loved.)  This book gives just enough information about different types of construction vehichles to engage a variety of ages.  I also like that there are photos and drawings in the book.

I'm linking up to Read Aloud Thursday today at Hope Is the Word!  Thanks to Amy for hosting!

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