Monday, December 31, 2012

Books Read in 2012

I've always liked to read, but this is the first year I've kept a list of all the books I read--not including picture books or read-alouds.  I put a * by my favorites!

1.  Code Busters Club #1--Penny Warner

2.  Missing on Superstition Mountain--Elise Broach
3.  Murder in the PTA—Laura Alden
4.  Closet Confidential—Mary Jane Maffini*
5.  Organize Your Corpses--Mary Jane Maffini*
6.  Death Loves a Messy Desk--Mary Jane Maffini*
7.  Murder of a Creped Suzette—Denise Swanson
8.  The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder--Mary Jane Maffini*
9.  The Cluttered Corpse--Mary Jane Maffini*
10.  The Tilting House—Tom Llewellyn
11.  A Long Way from Chicago—Richard Peck*
12.  A Year Down Yonder—Richard Peck*
13.  A Season of Gifts—Richard Peck*
14.  Foul Play at the PTA—Laura Alden
15.  The Kellyhorns—Barbara Cooney
16.  Secrets at Sea—Richard Peck
17.  Here Lies the Librarian—Richard Peck*
18.  The Great Wheel—Robert Lawson
19.  On the Wings of Heroes—Richard Peck*
20.  Frankly, My Dear, I’m Dead—Livia J. Washburne
21.  The Teacher’s Funeral—Richard Peck*
22.  The Orphan of Ellis Island—Elvira Woodruff
23.  Bloom—Kelle Hampton*
24.  Matisse on the Loose—Georgia Bragg
25.  Heaven is Here—Stephanie Nielson
26.  Moon Over Manifest—Clare Vanderpool*
27.  All the Lovely Bad Ones—Mary Downing Hahn
28.  Destiny of the Republic:  A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the
            Murder of a President—Candice Millard*
29.  Homicide in Hardcover—Kate Carlisle
30.  If Books Could Kill—Kate Carlisle
31.  The Lies that Bind—Kate Carlisle
32.  Murder Under Cover—Kate Carlisle
33.  One Book in the Grave—Kate Carlisle
34.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone—J.K. Rowling*
35.  Hot Time in the Old Town:  The Great Heat Wave of 1896 and 
            the Making of Theodore Roosevelt—Edward P. Kohn
36.  Ruby Holler—Sharon Creech*
37.  Chasing Redbird—Sharon Creech*
38.  The Homeschool Experiment—Charity Hawkins
39.  Sew Deadly—Elizabeth Lynn Casey
40.  Death Threads—Elizabeth Lynn Casey
41.  Pinned for Murder—Elizabeth Lynn Casey
42.  My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife—Sara Horn
43.  Miracle’s Boys—Jacqueline Woodson
44.  Wonderstruck—Brian Selznick*
45.  The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln--Stephen L. Carter
46.  Letting Go of Perfect—Amy E. Spiegel
47.  Let’s Play Dead—Sheila Connolly
48.  A Comedy of Heirs—Rett MacPherson*
49.  A Misty Mourning—Rett MacPherson*
50.  Family Skeletons—Rett MacPherson*
51.  A Veiled Antiquity—Rett MacPherson*
52.  Killing Cousins—Rett MacPherson*
53.  The Dancing Pancake—Eileen Spinelli
54.  Keepsake Crimes—Laura Childs
55.  Photo Finished--Laura Childs
56.  Blood Relations—Rett MacPherson*
57.  Marland Tragedy—Kim Brumley
58.  In Sheep’s Clothing—Rett MacPherson*
59.  The Broken Statue—Bob Perry
60.  Thicker Than Water—Rett MacPherson*
61.  Dead Man Running—Rett MacPherson*
62.  The Twelve Clues of Christmas—Rhys Bowen*
63.  Died in the Wool—Rett MacPherson*
64.  The Blood Ballad—Rett MacPherson*
65.  Mrs. Jeffries and the Yuletide Weddings—Emily Brightwell
66.  The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries--Emily Brightwell 

Happy Reading!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Get-Togethers

 Christmas Eve started quietly here.  We watched Home Alone 2 and Alice fell asleep right at the end.

 We let the kids open one gift on Christmas Eve.  Jack got the graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time and Alice got some Princess and the Popstar figures, which she said she had wanted her whole life!

 Ready for the traditional Christmas Eve party!

 Christmas morning we let the kids come down at 7:00--though Jack had been awake and ready for a while!

 I love this picture of Jack thanking Alice for a picture she drew for him!

 Jack got Jay these Pez dispensers.

 Jack was super excited to get some Harry Potter LEGO sets he has wanted for a long time.

 Alice got a Popstar dress that she really wanted!

 At noon we went to my mom and dad's to have lunch and open presents.

 My sister brought crackers for everyone.

 Jay's joke seemed to be customized!

 Alice in her crown.

 The big kids played Looping Louie.

 Alice helped Grandpa play with his new phone.

 Later in the afternoon we went over to Jay's parents' house.  Jack passed out everyone's gifts.

 Alice helped her new baby walk.

Checking out the Christmas village with Papa.

Thankfully the bad weather missed us and we were able to get everywhere without any problems!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Back Soon!

I'll be back soon with pictures from all of our different Christmas celebrations.  The kids are spending time playing with their cousins so I am using my time to get next semester organized!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

On Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), 1867)

Take a few minutes and listen to this.  Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve!

I hope you have a wonderful evening!  Don't forget to leave Santa some cookies!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Cheer

 This week we've been busy having some Christmasy fun.  One day we went to paint ornaments.

 He really wanted me to take a picture of him pretending to drink the painty water.

 Afterward we went to IHOP to use a gift card we still had from last year.  Jack mentioned to the waitress that his favorite part of the funny face pancakes was the whipped cream and she brought them out almost completely covered!

 We went to see Christmas lights with my sister and her kids.  We've found that if you get there right before the lights come on it's not too crowded--plus it's fun to be on the covered bridge when they come on!

 This was my kids' favorite.  They love the lights that look like they're falling.

 See the hot chocolate sign?

 Of course we had to get some!

 Yesterday we went to Breakfast with Santa.

 The kids had one last chance to make requests for what they would find in their stockings.

 Today the kids decorated giant gingerbread man cookies.  They started out fairly simple, but as you can see above, they got pretty loaded down in the end.

They're not so easy to eat!  We ended up breaking off a few feet to save for later and tossed the rest.  They are fun to make, but not too practical!  Now it's time to vacuum and mop!

Only two more days!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fun Friday: The First Day of Winter

 I didn't take many pictures today!  We had a friend over and they made playdoh gingerbread men.

 Alice worked on some Christmas wrapping.

It warmed up enough that we played outside a bit, too.

Now we've got to get some last minute things done before Christmas!  I'll be back this weekend to share some of the fun things we've been doing this week!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Artist Study: Frederic Remington

 Our most recent artist study was on Frederic Remington.

 We got to see some of his work when we visited the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in October.  Photographs weren't allowed in the galleries, but we found an enlargement of "Coming Through the Rye" outside.

 In the children's building they had a neat display where you can feel the difference between different kinds of sculptures.

 We also visited Gilcrease (where photographs are also not allowed) and saw more of Remington's work.  Then we made our own sculptures in the art room!

 We also found a couple of the SmART Cards on Frederic Remington!

One of the books we read was Slim and Miss Prim, which is not actually about Remington, but I came across it accidentally when I was looking for children's books on him--there aren't many!  The artist used "Coming Through the Rye" as an inspiration for this illustration.  And of course we read the Getting to Know... book about Remington!

 Remington was a painter and a sculptor so we painted some horses and the tried our hand at sculpting using an activity from Great American Artists for Kids.

 We had never used an oven bake clay before, so the Sculpey took a little getting used to after using Model Magic so much--a very different feel!  This is the face Alice made all by herself!

 After we baked the faces, we made impressions in blocks of Sculpey.

 Then we filled them with plaster and let them dry.

 Once they dried, we pulled them out an painted them.  You can make as many as you want if you are careful with your mold!  (If you want to show your kids how bronze sculptures are made, this is a good video to watch.)

 Our finished pieces!  Yes, mine looks like a drag queen.  I gave it big eyebrows because I wanted features that would stand out, but the color of the lips looks funny and the sparkly paint doesn't help.  We really had fun doing this project!

Now we're learning about Grandma Moses!

(Late) Fun Friday: Birthday Dinner

 Last night we got ready to go out to dinner for my brother-in-law's 40th birthday.  Alice wanted me to put curlers in her hair, which actually straightened it a little.

 We got to watch our dinner being cooked right in front of us!

 Jack is definitely becoming more adventurous.  He ordered the chicken and calamari and downed all of his shrimp, too.

 The volcano was Jack's favorite thing.

And Alice?  She fell asleep while we were waiting for our table and stayed asleep until we got into the car to go.  She told us it wasn't a very good party because all we did was stand in line.  (This picture reminds me of this one--also sleeping at a birthday party.)

Happy birthday, Kevin!