Sunday Share Week 6

Wow. What a response! Thanks to all those who replied to the Sunday Share post I posted on Thursday. Normally on Sundays I share posts from bloggers I follow or blogs I have read and thought you should, too. This time I asked you to share with me so I could share it with others. I usually share five. Today you get 14! It’s kind of like a meet and greet, except you don’t have to do anything but mingle. Go check out some of these posts and I guarantee you’ll find some new follows. We all win!

Happy Reading!

Moms Ranting
How to take a hiatus from social media

Invisible Illness
On lucid dreams…

Curious Hart
On the structure of text…

Humor Columnist Blog
A blond and a catfish…

A Momma’s View
Stop eroding yourself…

Grubbs n Critters
Join this recipe showdown!

The Only Sup
What would happen if…

Thunder When It Rains
Masquerade

Nocturnal Mom Talks
The best of friendships…

Four Acorns
Kids who experience nature…

Super Mommy of Twins
Being beautiful…

Confessions of a Reborn Girl
The power of positive thinking…

Not the Average Mama
The power of essential oil…

Ethan n Evelyn
Blogging hosts picking their favorite posts…

blogging-quotes-66

Wed Nes Day

fcb7185ddbf0d0cbcfb98b3a6346cc56

There’s a picture of it on the internet therefore I am not the only who does this. I spell it like it sounds. That’s fonetix for you.

Exept fonetiks dusnt werk all the tim

If you can read that, you must be a teacher.

Have you ever watched a blooming reader? I’ve seen it many many times now. Never did it make such an impact on me as watching my own two boys learn that letters have certain sounds associated with them. Put the right letters together and you can make a word. Put the right words together and you can make a sentence. Put the right sentences together an you can make a paragraph. Put the right paragraphs together and you can make book.

Crash has now written 4 or 5 books. Mind you, they are entry level readers he wrote for his 5 year old brother, but still. He wrote books. He, himself, is reading slightly above grade level. His brother is following suit.

But the English language is anything but easy. Bang catches on really quick to word families. He sounds them out one letter at a time to discover the word. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Look and Loot do not sound alike.
Hair and care do sound alike.

Then there’s enough, though, plough, and cough.

WTH?

Ignoring the exceptions, of which there are many, he sounds out new words perfectly. After reading them a few times they become locked away in the sight word vault. I wish I could memorize things as easily.

Alas, I have a photographic memory. I just don’t have an SD card. I have memory like a sieve. It’s on par with that of a goldfish…

I had it a minute ago, I don’t know where it is now.

Anyway, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah. Reading…

Bang comes home with a new book to read from school every day. He’s already progressed three levels since September. Crash reads every night as well. He’ll either read to himself or to his mom or I. Then we’ll ask him about what he read. Lately, he’s into books that take place within the world of Minecraft. But isn’t that the beauty of books? There’s something out there for all of us.

Watching an emerging reader is much like watching butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. That it takes years instead of minutes makes it that much more exciting.

I wonder what kinds of chapter books he’ll like to read?

What kinds of books do your kids enjoy reading?

to-learn-to-read-is-to-light

Meeting A Best Selling Author

Feis [pronouced [fʲɛʃ] [it rhymes with “meas” in measure]. It’s a Gaelic word for a traditional arts and culture festival.

My Dear Wife (DW) works for a literacy council. Every November they hold a huge fundraiser and invite two authors to speak. They also hold a silent auction (where I won a DeWalt drill) and offer a delicious catered, buffet meal. Since DW has come to work for this council three years ago, I have looked forward to Feis.

It counts as date night, too. We don’t get many of those.

Thanks to this event I have now met 5 Canadian greats.

  • Sheree Fitch
  • Graham Steele
  • Lesley Crew
  • Bette MacDonald
  • Ami McKay

Ami Mckay was the speaker this year and I think I was as excited to meet her as I was to meet Sheree Fitch. She was invited along with David Muise. However, Mr. Muise had to cancel last minute. He’s been battling prostate cancer for the past three years. On the day of the event doctors discovered a second strain of cancer and he immediately underwent a dose of chemo and was instructed to go home to bed. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Ami is the author a best seller, “The Birth House”. It’s on my to read list.

The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of the Rare family. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing and a kitchen filled with herbs and folk remedies. During the turbulent years of World War I, Dora becomes the midwife’s apprentice. Together, they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives.

Mrs. McKay gave us a bit of a backstory (I love those) about the book. It’s certainly a house with so much history. I believe she told us that the midwife of the house, Mrs.Rebecca Steele, had just one child whom she adopted. When a mother came to the birth house Mrs. Steele would make the mother and baby stay in the house for a week afterwards.  It is the house the author now lives in. Her second son was born in that house.

Ami was great to listen to. She has three published books: The Birth House, The Virgin Cure, and The Witches of New York.  We received some tangent stories on those books, too. My favorite was about a blue marble. In her book a marble appears to a character. This blue marble has some significance and meaning to it. The character knows this marble was placed for her to find. After writing this part of her story, Ami was out for a walk with her husband in freshly fallen snow. Not a track to be seen in the white stuff and what does Ami find in the snow? A blue marble.

She read a bit to us from The Virgin Cure and The Witches of New York. Afterwards, I bought them both and she signed them (I already have The Birth House). DW has already finished The Virgin Cure. Ami was even gracious enough to have her picture taken with me! You can check out her blog, too!

Did I mention she’s an American (just like me) who married an amazing Canadian (just like me) then moved to Nova Scotia (just like me)? How awesome!

20161103_212809

 

 

My Reading Buddies

Most of the time I feel like we’re in over our heads with this whole parenting gig. What the hell did we get ourselves into? None of this was in the brochure.

Can’t I get a refund?

Can’t I get an exchange?

In-store credit perhaps?

The noise! Oh the noise. Why do they insist on playing so loud. I swear their voices must be heard by a few other countries. If anyone is wondering what the constant sound of thunder is, it’s coming from our house. If they’re not playing loudly, they’re pissing each other off loudly. Usually for fun. Except it’s only fun for one of them. The other one just screams and screams.

Then there’s the dirt. Don’t even get me started on the dirt. And laundry. And messes.

Through all the noise, the dirt, and the messes there comes a time when something remarkable happens. A time when it gets quiet even though they’re still awake. A time when the messes don’t really matter even though they’re still there. There comes a time when they prove they really do love each other.

Crash disappeared to the basement for awhile the other day. No biggie. I thought he was playing Lego or Wii. Or on the computer because I forgot to sign out. That boys can smell when a computer is logged on three flights of stairs away. That’s where I found him, but he wasn’t watching Minecraft videos. He was writing a book for his brother. I thought my heart was going to burst with pride.

Mind you, it was only 4 pages long, but it was a book to teach to his brother! That’s like finding out Putin is sending food supplies to Crimea.

Bang learned it in no time. Of course, he simply memorized it. However, he has learned the beginning sounds for words. He knows the sound each letter makes at the beginning of words. When he comes to a word he doesn’t know he will start with that beginning sound. From there, he just takes a shot in the dark as to what the word might be.

Through the noise and the dirt and the mess there comes a time when we know we may not be getting everything right. Usually it feels like we’re getting nothing right. In th

ese quiet revelations I realize we’ve nailed this parenting gig. We have fostered the love of reading and books and words and questions.

Yesterday I wrote about our trip to Uisge Ban Falls. In that post I told that we had more traveling to do after our hike. That trip was to the mall. The boys spotted the book store and asked to go.  How in the hell could I say no? I could spend hours there. I have spent hours there. DW left us to go get some perfume. She knew we’d be there looking at books longer than it would take her pick out a new smelly. The boys went straight for the kids section. Then I was told ALL children’s books were 20% off. She might as well have told me DW just bought herself a Princess Leia costume (you know which one). Okay, maybe I wasn’t that excited, but you know what I mean.

The three of us bought two books each. When you have a whole bookstore to choose from, how do you pick just one? I was lucky to make it out with just two.

20161010_191917

Bet you can’t guess who bought which books… Which to read first…

Now that you’ve made it this far, here is a 30 second video of a 5 year old learning to read.

(I silenced their names)

Thursday’s Thoughts (or Books Galore)

We have too many books. HAHA! Best joke ever. That’s not possible! (is it?) Books may be starting to pile up on the floor because they no long all fit on the shelves. That just means our shelves are too small, right? Right?

At bedtime last night, Bang me to read books. And more books. And more books. I ended up reading 4 and DW also read at least one, possibly more. He’s already memorized “The Gruffalo”. It’s 6 minutes… feel to watch. Or not. Up to you, but if you choose not to, know that you are missing out on a good story.

So anyway, Bang was book hunting wanting me to read more and more and more books to him. Unfortunately, there was one in particular he wanted – “Jingle All the Way”. A Backyardigans Christmas book. He searched his bookshelf for it but couldn’t find it. He searched his floor but it couldn’t find it there either. I knew this already, but saw it first hand last night, there are A LOT of books in his room. Too many to fit on his 6′ tall bookshelf. There are piles of books in his room.

It’s the one thing I just can’t get rid of. Not my books. Not Crash’s books. Not Bang’s books. Yes, there are still baby books on his shelf. They are baby books from when Crash (the 8 year old) was a baby. Basically just board books with pictures. Baby’s First Colors, Baby’s First Animals, Baby’s First Words, etc…

Crash has a significantly smaller bookshelf, but it’s jam packed as well. I’m wondering if this is why he can’t stick to just one book until it’s finished. He bounces from book to book and reads a different one every night. Chapter books. He won’t finish them. Even if he likes them. Besides clothes, bed and dresser, it’s the only other things he has in his bedroom. No toys. No TV. No electronics.

DW and I (mostly I) have two bookshelves six feet high and there are so many books on it the shelves have double rows. Many haven’t been read yet. My tablet is also loaded with books. You see? It’s not just the boys shelves that are loaded with books. Asking me to get rid of books is like asking me to give away one of my limbs. Though, I suppose I could be happy donating them to the library where I could go visit them. Shared custody.

Oh! speaking of The Guffalo… here’s one of tonight’s conversations with Bang:

Me: My favorite food is scrambled Bang
B: Nooo
Me: My favorite food is Bang ice cream
B: Noooo
Me: My favorite food is Roasted Bang
B: Nooo. You’re not a Gruffalo.
Me: How do you know?
B: You don’t have purple prickles all over your back.
Me: Maybe they’re under my shirt
B: Your eyes aren’t orangeMe: Ahh okay. You got me on that one.

Saturday Share

I thought I take a moment to share a few articles I read this week that I thought you might enjoy. Happy Reading!

A Momma’s View –
Ode to A Playground – It’s not the kind of playground you’re thinking of. It’s a real playground, but also one created within the imagination of a child.

Tania2atee –
Blue Jay Fever – Her Toronto Blue are (were) in the running for the World Series pennant. And sometimes things just make you skip that test in business class to catch a game…

Ann Grubbs-n-Critters
Fabulous Friday Flavor  This sounds absolutely, mouth watering, likity tasty, delicious. And I don’t even like peaches.

Coach Daddy
Elizabeth, of Autism Mom – This guest post provides a few very helpful tips for Autism Parents. They’re also great for every parent. Even a Ninja Warrior parent.

Diapers and Tutus
MTHFR – It’s not the swear word I thought it was and it deserves it’s share of awareness.

Nutsrok
Funny Marriage Quotes Here is a good laugh for today. While these are humorous, there might be a touch to truth to them. Just sayin…

R is for…

RI think we’ll all agree on this one. Or at least we better. Otherwise we just might not be friends any more. Of course, R is for running. I’m at mile 241 of a 1,000 mile challenge. But that’s not what R is for today. I asked Crash was R is for. His first word was rascal. Yes, definitely. They are rascals for sure. Perhaps I should introduce them to the “Little Rascals”? But they really don’t need the extra encouragement. Today, I’m acting the proper teacher parent. Continue reading

Passing on Books

I’m sitting here thinking about the books I read when I was kid. Before I picked up novels there were books like this one…

Talk to Me Reader

Talk to Me Reader

Mom says I loved to read along with this. Thanks Fisher Price! That’s the reader on right. You used the reader with Talk-To-Me books, which had a 2-inch plastic record laminated on the bottom corner of each page. You line up the player with the record and pressed play. After a mechanical KA-CHUNK, the record would start playing to read the page to you. Man, I still wish I had this. I bet my boys would love it. If they didn’t I sure would!

Once I did read novels, from what I can remember, I preferred fiction. I still have Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary waiting for my sons to read and hopefully enjoy as much as I did. Actually, I was big fan of Beverly Cleary. I think I wanted to meet her. She also wrote a three book series about the mouse, Ralph S. Mouse. I read The Mouse and the Motorcycle, the first in the series, and I was hooked. Then there was Matt Christopher. Being the somewhat athletic kid I was, I really connected with these. There might even be one two of his books here patiently waiting to be opened by the next generation.

Then there were books on the lesser known side that I enjoyed and often read more than once. One such book was Bones on Black Spruce Mountain by David Budbill. Then there were Choose Your Own Adventure books. In real life, once you make your choice, that’s it, it’s a done deal. It’s not like that in a book. Didn’t like your choice? Go back and pick the other one! I may have cheated a few times to make it to the end.

Quality reading? I’m not sure it really matters. I was reading. My parents let me choose what I wanted to read, with some guidance, of course. I do the same with their grand kids (2 of them, anyway). Hopefully, they’ll learn to love reading the same way their parents do.

bones       mr henshaw

The post “My Early Novel Reading Days” by I Read Encyclopedias ignited this post. I found the comment I writing for his post was turning into a post of my own. Thanks Jay!

Home Alone (sort of) (for a little while)

Quote

RacetrackFinally! Everyone is nearly back to good heath. Crash and Bang were down with fevers the past 7-10 days. Crash missed 5 days of school, effectively gaining him an extra week of Christmas vacation. So now it’s just me and Bang at home during the day. Today we played racetrack (see photo at left). We modified the track a little later so Bang could race some marbles down it instead. We also played trucks. We played A LOT of trucks. Cement trucks. Dump trucks. Garbage trucks. An Excavator. His favorite is the garbage truck. No one touches the garbage truck and no gets hurt. I wish Crash would learn this lesson. Crash likes to play with said garbage truck when Bang isn’t looking. Then Bang looks and all hell breaks loose. Crash tries to pull the “But I had it first” routine. So I make Bang ask for it nicely. Once this occurs Crash has to return the truck to its owner, albeit reluctantly.

Anyway, we delivered Crash to the bus stop and saw him off then played in the snow. More specifically, we played on the big ice patch in the backyard. Slipping and sliding and spinning. We did it again after Crash got home from school. The weather had warmed to +2 Celsius and it was raining a bit so the snow was perfect for snowballs. Many got thrown. Bang knocked on the door. Mom opened the door to see what it was that he wanted and she found herself being pelted by his snowball. His laughter was contagious. We’re getting more snow tonight and I can’t wait.

KnufflebunnyThe rest of the day was pretty boring… Took Crash and Bang with me to get a new headlight and wipers for the car and stopped by the library to exchange some books. We found one of our favorites… Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. It was one of the first books Crash learned to read. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest it. I guarantee you’ll want to read Knuffle Bunny, Too and Knuffle Bunny Free. Crash and Bang are now silently asleep and I’m headed there myself… night night folks.