Monday, December 17, 2012

{Mama Recommends}

In the wake of all that has happened in the last few days, I needed to focus on something simple and good. As a Mama, one of the sweetest times in my day is when Jackson and I are reading books together. There is sweetness about sitting together and reading book after book and watching him react to the narrative and illustrations. I'm pretty sure there are some families who would give anything to toss aside the laundry today and read to their babies.
Over the past year we have read some of the greatest children's books. I cannot take credit for these literary treasures. Trip is the one who goes and searches the shelves for great books. When he had exhausted that search method he started using the internet to search out even more. I am so grateful for his joy at finding these books.

We have been blessed that our library has a great children's section. If your library doesn't carry one of the books below, REQUEST it! You'll be delighted to add it their collection.

So, without further adieu...

Click, Clack MOO: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Rescue Bunnies by Doreen Cronin

Knuffle Bunny Series & The Pigeon Series by Mo Willems
~actually ANY book by Mo Willems is a "must read"

The Bear Series by Karma Wilson

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Loren Long has a collection of books that he has authored as well as others that he has simply illustrated. If he is ANYWHERE on the cover of the book, CHECK IT OUT. Among our favorites are the Otis series, Drummer Boy, Toy Boat and Windflyers.

Brian Lies has a clever "Bat" series.

Lasso Lou & Cowboy McCoy by Barbara Larmon Failing

J. Klassen has two "Hat" books that are hysterical.

The Snowman Series by Caralyn Buehner

Here Comes the Train by Charlotte Voake

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

...and finally, our favorite book from this year ~
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

I could have listed 100 more books, but these were among our favorites. If you have one that you consider a "must read", please let me know.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The First Christmas Pageant

For weeks we have listened to Jackson sing the cutest songs in preparation for his preschool's Christmas pageant. He was so excited to have us come to hear him. He must have asked me ten times today, "Mommy, are you sure you can come hear me sing?!" And each time, I would assure him that this was a special night and we wouldn't miss it.
Before tonight I had never had the chance to be in the audience and anxiously await the entrance of my child in a program. As a teacher I was always concerned that my class would be on time and that they would do well. But being on the the other side of such an important event at a school was so special.

As his class entered I could tell that he was anxious to find us. Trip and I dropped any sort of "cool" facade and waved wildly making sure he knew we were there and that he found us. Once he saw us he had the biggest smile and, if possible, more spring in his step.

I have looked forward to a night like tonight ever since Jackson was born. I love everything about the Christmas season. But the chance to see and experience it through the eyes and mind of a child makes you truly stop and reflect upon what Christmas is really all about. 
~ Luke 2.11~
For unto you is born this day in the
 city of David a Savior, 
who is Christ the Lord.

Henry {6 months}

I find it completely inappropriate how fast these first six months have gone. I cringe to think that the next six months will go equally as fast. The thought of placing a candle on a cake makes my heart just race.

I find myself savoring the time in this stage more so than I did with Jackson. Part of me loves the simplicity that our lives are right now and part of me knows the milestones that are lurking around the corner.

Speaking of milestones...

Mr. Henry, the only big change this month is your determination to crawl. You have a shuffle and scoot thing going on right now. But, like you brother, you seem to only know REVERSE. This frustrates you terribly and you roll your way to the intended target. Don't tell Jack, but while he was at school you rolled your way to one of his firetrucks and squealed with joy as you grasped it for the first time.

You are a traveling champ. The Thanksgiving trek to Ohio was, dare I say, enjoyable because of how well you did in the car.
You love to eat. Peas and apples are among your new favorites. And it shows! Two more pounds and a half an inch in growth. Your still hanging off the top end of the chart in height, but you made it on the chart in weight.

What I love most about you is your smile and your laugh. You are so ticklish. If I need a good Henry laugh, I know exactly where to tickle. And the laughter of little boys in this house is such a wonderful sound.
Henry, you are such a joy to us. We have treasured these first six months with you and we look forward to what the next six will bring.