Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Books I Should Have Read...

The weather here is beautiful! I am dreading the heat which is just right around the corner. We are enjoying the spring like weather while we can.

I am about halfway through Lois Lenski's Strawberry Girl. I am really, really enjoying it. How did I miss reading this wonderful book? How have I missed out on so many wonderful books? I have resolved to start adding books to my to-read-pile that I should have read as a young girl.

So you'll probably see me sitting at my desk at work, reach into my sleek (ummm, very professional) black handbag at luncheon, and pull out a tattered copy of Ramona The Pest. Just wink and smile, and know that I am just catching up on some very overdue reading.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Have you read Heidi?

Once again, it was a beautiful day here. We spent a few hours playing at the park, had lunch, and then came home. We then spent the afternoon outside playing in the water, blowing bubbles and painting. It was a wonderful day.

I have stacks and stacks of books that I would like to share with you, and the one I have picked today we actually have three copies of. I have never read the unabridged version of Heidi by Johanna Spyri. I know right? I grew up with a copy of the book in it's entirety on my parent's living room bookshelf, and how I missed reading it, I will never know.

That being said, we now have three copies, one unabridged, and two abridged copies. All three are vintage books that I have found in my thrifting adventures. The book I am going to share with you is one I found last month, and so far it is the only copy we have read.

Heidi is a beautiful story about a little girl who grows up with her grandfather on top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. She has a very happy life and plays with a boy named Peter who herds goats. Though one day Heidi's aunt comes to take her away from her grandfather to go to school in Frankfurt. There she stays with her ill cousin Clara who cannot stand or walk. Even though she learns to read, and  loves her cousin, she becomes more and more homesick for her mountain home and her grandfather.

One day she is finally able to go back home. Once home, Heidi wants her cousin Clara to visit, because she knew that the mountains would make Clara strong. One day Heidi gets her wish and Clara is brought up the mountain by a procession carrying her in a chair. With the help of Heidi, grandfather, Peter, the goats and the mountain air, Clara finally starts to get stronger. 

Not only is this story about courage and determination, it is about love. The love for family, friends, and nature. I just love the Little Golden Book version. The illustrations by Corinne Malvern are just lovely. My son has let me read this to him quite a few times since we acquired it last month. 

I am putting the unabridged Heidi on my to read list. I want to read the whole story for myself. I know some day I plan on reading the unabridged version to my son. I want him to grow up at least having "heard" the classics, but I hope he reads them for himself too.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Quote of the day...

I got off earlier than daddy today, so I was the one to rush and pick up our son from school today. He was playing on the playground when I got there. He must have saw me pull into the parking lot because I could saw him waiting for me through the glass door to the playground. So instead of going to his classroom first to pick up his things as I normally do, I went out to get him from the playground first.

We then walk back to his classroom to gather his things from his class cubby. As we are gathering his things, a little boy from his class walks up to me. I then hear my son tell him in a very polite way, " Umm, I'm very sorry but I can't talk to you right now, my mommy is here, and we are going home now." I turn and look at my son, and he had the most serious look on his face. Kids say the funniest things, even when they aren't really funny. I just can't believe that he is growing up so fast.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finding Balance...What is really important....

I can not believe that it is almost the middle of March! It seems like we just celebrated Christmas. Time is flying by for me. St. Patrick's day is a few days away and Easter is not far behind. I haven't even got out the Easter books yet. Yes I know, I am so behind on everything this year. We haven't done any crafts in forever and I feel like such an awful mother.

I am trying to find some kind of balance between working, being a mom, and being a significant other. Trust me, this is a very hard thing to do.

I am so glad I take the time to read aloud to my son. It is the most cherished hour of my day. It is the calm to the storm my life has been weathering. I always know that we will have that precious time together at the end of our day.

I know that there are parents like me out there with the same dilemma of trying to balance it all and make it all work. Trying to be the best at work, and the best at home. Sometimes things have to take a backseat. Please don't let it be our children. They are the most important thing in the world. 

I have been doing three positions at work, and the other day I had to finally tell them that I can't do it all anymore. This was a very hard thing for me to do but the hours are killing me, and more importantly I am missing precious time with my son. Before he was born, work took center stage in my life, but it can't be that way anymore.

I am thankful for the job I have and will work as hard as I always have, but I am even more thankful I get to come home and be a mom. I just needed to remind myself of what is really important.

So no book reviews today, just please spend time with your children. And if you choose to spend that time  giggling over the mishaps of Curious George, or following the adventures of Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House series, or laughing and crying over the trails and tribulations of Jo March and the lot from Little Women, then know that your time with your child is being well spent.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Seeking Adventure

We love to travel, though, we haven't traveled much lately due to our work schedules. So we have been seeking adventures closer to home. It seems that we have spent almost every weekend looking for local train parks.

I love that we can actually feed our son's train obsession in a rather inexpensive way.

Through real life experiences, and books.

Lots and lots of books.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Update...We are still here...

Hello, oh how I have missed this little space. I have been working ten to twelve hour days, and the last thing I want to do when I get home, is spend more time on the computer. So, I have been spending my time with my family, reading aloud to my son, and reading for myself.

The weather here in Arizona has been beautiful. We had rain on Friday, the mountains surrounding the valley are covered with snow, but that will be gone this week because it's supposed to get up to 89 degrees for the high on Friday.

We have been spending our weekends at the park running barefoot in the grass. Or taking walks and examining the natural world around us. For some reason getting outside with my son has been very important to me this year. I feel that we need sunshine, and lots of it!

We are still reading, though my son is going through a stage where he only wants to read at bedtime. This has cut our read aloud time down quite a bit, but I am still aiming for an hour a day. I think this may have to do with my working so much, all he wants to do when I get home is play, so that's what we have been doing.

We just finished Dandelion Library's lovely abridged version of Peter Pan. I just loved the illustrations, and my son loved the story.

I just finished re-reading The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma. I really enjoyed this book, their story was interesting, but what was so thought provoking was how reading aloud brought a father and daughter together. No matter what was going on in their lives, divorce, Christmas, prom, late night play rehearsals, or laryngitis, this father and daughter made it a priority to read aloud. Which, in my opinion, built a very strong relationship between a father and a daughter. The kind of relationship that most fathers and daughters don't have in today's world. 

I also just finished Laura Ingalls Wilder A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hill. I found this book fascinating. I felt the book was more about Laura's relationship with her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, who was also a writer, than anything else. It described how the Little House books come to be, and the role that Rose played in helping Laura with editing and publishing her stories. I also found it fascinating that Rose said that Laura loved to read aloud at night. I wonder if her love for reading aloud came from her mother?