Monday, July 30, 2012

Kate's Book Review + Giveaway

Reading is one of my passions.  I love getting lost in a book.  I love being excited to get in my bed at night so I can see what happens next.  My oldest daughter never falls asleep on time because she is always reading in bed.  I love it that she does this.  

When Victoria Simcox contacted me about her book, I was very excited.  Dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and an evil queen – all these and more can be found in The Magic Warble, an enchanting tale of adventure and friendship.   This book is listed as a middle grade read, ages 9-13. I thought my daughter would love it.  However, her best friend picked it up  before she did and started reading it.  As she got into it, I asked her if she would review the book for our blog.  Wouldn't you want to know what a 9 year old avid reader really thinks of this book?

I should have scanned the review that she wrote, so you could see her pictures.  Too cute.

I LOVED, and loved, The Magic Warble!  It is now one of my most favorite books!  
My favorite characters are Roage, Taysha, Looper, and Clover.  Everything about it was so fun and interesting, like the rainbow tree, and the indra river, Zelbocks, and that Kristina came down a laundry shoot.
I also liked how animals could talk.
I am looking forward to reading the next book!  I thought all the art in the book was very beautiful like all the flowers and trees and the river.
This was a great book and I enjoyed reading it!
By:  Kate S.

My daughter I. and Kate S.
How is that for a review?  
We are giving away 1 hard copy (US residents only) and 3 ebooks (international).  In order to be entered, do one of the following:
  • Join or follow Victoria Simcox's blog here  OR
  • Like The Magic Warble on Facebook here  OR
  • Follow Victoria Simcox on twitter here  OR
  • Leave me a comment about a favorite book that your children are reading!
Winners will be chosen randomly from the comments, so leave a separate comment for each entry.  The winner will be chosen this Sunday.

Good luck!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Grateful Sunday

My oldest turned 10 yesterday!  Honestly, she has more skills and talents than one person should be blessed with.  She is super smart, causes goosebumps when she sings, is strikingly beautiful, she tries to be a good person and when she messes up, she honestly tries to learn from it  AND she is kind.  I feel very blessed to be her mother.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Alphabet Rainbow Beanbags

Alphabet Rainbow Beanbags - just thinking of these makes me happy and a little giddy!  I made these with my kiddos this week and we had so much fun doing this together.

In my pre-mommy days, I used to teach 1st grade.  I loved it.  Perhaps one of my favorite things to teach is beginning reading.  Now, I have a 4 year old who is reading up a storm and I am strongly encouraging her any way I can.  I chose to stencil letters of the alphabet - upper case on one side and lower case on the other side.  We have spent so many hours with these beanbags - seriously, the possibilities are endless.  You could do numbers or shapes or even words.

Before you start with your kids, there is some prep that needs to be done.  I cut 5" squares out of rainbow fabric that I had.  Then I spent forever cutting stencils out of freezer paper.  You could probably just run it through your Silhouette or Cricuit if you have one and save some time.  After you cut them out, you can just iron them on - freezer paper is awesome like that!

Now, the kids can help.  I just showed them how to stencil lightly and let them try.  It is better to do lots of light coats rather than one heavy coat of paint.  It was sort of a reward for them to do this at the end of the day.

While they were sleeping that night, I sewed around the edges, clipped the corners, and turned them inside out.  The next day they filled them with rice.  We used 1/2 cup per bag - and because I let my kids do it, there was rice all over the floor.  Oh well, nothing a quick swipe of the broom can't solve. 

It took about an hour to edge stitch around the bean bag and sew the holes closed of all 26 of them.  Then - the play time began.  

We've just tossed them around.

We've made words with them.  You can then ask them to switch one letter and make a new word.  You can also build crossword puzzles of sorts with them.

We've sorted them by rainbow order.

We've pulled out the "power letters" - aka vowels.

We tried to see what we could balance the bean bags on - heads, elbows, tops of feet . . . 

We've shot baskets with them.

With my seven year old, we talked about proper nouns and when you capitalize something.  I've also just placed them in front of them and watched what happens!  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Garden Progress

For how busy we have been this summer, and how much neglect our backyard is doing, the gardens are awesome!  This is our view from the sideyard:

The flowers that we planted are all growing in nicely.  And the rudbeckias are awesome. 

The petunias are overflowing onto the path - just like I wanted!

Our pots are massive - taller than our 4 year old!

The holly hocks are about to take off: 

Our veggie garden is setting records for this year:

Our squash has never been so massive and tall. 

We have already enjoyed zucchinis, cilantro, basil, and peas.

Our green beans are over 6 feet tall and the tomatoes are massive bushes.

One of my favorite things in summer is to send the kids outside after dinner.  The weather has cooled down and our backyard is turning out to be a beautiful place to be.

llink parties I participate in: 30 Handmade, 36th AvenueA bowl full of lemons, Be Different Act Normal,  Craft-O-Maniac, I Heart Naptime,  Lolly Jane Boutique, Ninth Street Notions,  Oopsey DaisyPositively Splendid,  Serenity Now, Sew ChattySkip to my Lou, Someday Crafts, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Tidy MomToday's Creative Blog

Monday, July 16, 2012

Body After Baby: 12 Weeks

I am now a Post Natal Boot Camp Graduate!  After 6 weeks, I am down 8 pounds.  The thing I've noticed is that this program is very easy to follow and I just didn't miss days.  I do switch some of them up for a good run - it is still hard for me to feel like I got a good work out in without the treadmill.  I'm learning and adjusting though.  I know strength training is just as important - probably more so for me right now.  I just love a good run and the sweat I get!
 Here are some facts:

  • During pregnancy, I gained almost 50 pounds!  Yikes (I can't believe I just let everyone know that).
  • When J. was six weeks old, I had 20 pounds still left to lose.
  • Yes, that means I would still like to lose 12 more pounds.
  • I am 36 years old, 5'9", and have had four babies.  This is so much more work in my late 30s than it was in my 20s.
  • My husband has been working about 16 hours/day, 6 days/week for the past 4 weeks and it is not going to let up for a couple more weeks.  All four kids are with me all day right now.  I am not hiring a sitter to come over and watch them while I work out.  I do pay my 10 year old though.
  • I don't have a gym membership or a home gym to work out in. I do not have a personal trainer or professional training. Just some simple tools and about 40 minutes/day.  I'm just a mom - like most of you!
  • For me, weight loss is SO much more about what I eat!

I've started the 60 Day Slim Down, which is supposed to help me loose 10 -15 pounds.  Just what I'm looking for.

So now, this is what I'm doing and it seems to be working.  Slowly, but surely.  That's good, right?  I'd love to share what I am learning, I'm just not sure what you want.  Ask any questions you might have in the comments section and I'll be able to write better posts in the future.

Ask away!

I am working with moms into fitness for this weight loss journey.  They have provided many many resources for me.  They have not provided my opinions, however.  Those are all mine.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grateful Sunday

The last little while has been spent all round Colorado.  We camped in the Rocky Mountain National Forest - we do this every 4th of July.  

We came home, washed up a bit of laundry, and left for Glenwood Springs for a family reunion with my side of the family.  

I cannot get over the beauty and seem to be consistently reminding my children how extremely special this is!    We spend a lot of our vacation time outdoors, whether it be in the mountains or on a beach.  Life is beautiful!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Taking a Break

Source: via Laurel on Pinterest

We are going to enjoy a little bit of this summer vacation - be back next week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Camp Mom Week 3

And so, our Camp Mom continues.  That is all I have time for this summer.  These kiddos are number one priority, but that also means my sewing machine is getting dusty, there are stacks of paper waiting for me to file them, the bathrooms get so much dirtier so much faster, my head is going to explode with all the projects I'd like to do, but don't have time!  So, please excuse me if these Camp Mom posts are not your thing.  

Move It Monday - swimming!  It is hotter than Denver should be right now and we are sweating.  A swim at the pool is always welcome!

Totally Science Tuesday - cartesian divers.  This was such a flop that I didn't even take pictures. It did lead to an interesting conversation about sometimes things work and sometimes they don't.

What's Cooking Wednesday - yummy!  We made strawberry lemonade and then put it in our ice cream maker.  Homemade slushies!  We also made chicken and rice - always a favorite at our house!

Arts and Crafts Thursday - painted paper tropical birds.  This is my favorite art project so far this year!

Friday Field Trip - Belleview Park in Englewood.  This day was hot!  It is so good for my kids to get out of the house and run around, but I was sweating buckets!

There was a little stream that they waded in.  Or fell in.

So another week has come and gone.  My kids are totally getting into this and we are having a lot of fun.  

How is your summer?

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