My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was such a great week – we went on a mini-vacation to Holland, MI for Wyatt’s fifth birthday, and we really needed the time away. It was pretty perfect! We had some good food, visited some new trails and nature center, and did some shopping. If only vacations could last longer right?

Read Last Week:

So I received Girl Can’t Help It from the author and started it last week – and I am loving it!! I hope to finish it up soon.

I can’t get into The Starless Sea – I have tried and failed and when you start avoiding reading because you really aren’t interested in the book you have, then you know it is time to quit. I am not going to quit forever on this book though – I am going to try again in the fall. Sometimes I do better with books depending on the season. So – I am just putting this on hold for a bit.

Reading This Week:

I’m going to finish up Girl Can’t Help It, then I have a few books on my nightstand and Kindle calling my name. I will probably start at least two of these three this week.

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library – I love a book that has offbeat and quirky characters!

Booked for Trouble – I enjoyed By Book or by Crook so much I need to keep reading! (Amazon..)

Wild Thoughts from Wild Places – I am doing pretty good reading nonfiction. I am slow but sure! Lol.

Posted Last Week:

Our Family UK Dinner

A Family Mini-Trip

Currently… March

Watching:

We are still watching Doc Martin. We finished up Locke and Key, which for me was a slow start but then I ended up loving it. We are also watching Frankie Drake and Hometown.

What Wyatt’s Reading – Valentine’s Day edition

I have been reading to Wyatt since he was in his isolette in the NICU, day 2 of his life. I would read The Poky Little Puppy, and then Billy started reading him The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss, through the little porthole window. And we have never stopped reading to him. I have shelves and shelves of picture books, so many that I had to start offloading my own book collection. But it is something we have always done together and we all love. I recently started reading every night to Billy and Wyatt, and not just picture books. Wyatt knows now, and around that time of night, asks for me to read. I love that he already loves reading and books as much as I do! This month we have read a wide variety of books, but of course we focused on Valentine’s Day! Holiday books are awesome! Here are a few of our favorites..

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for books, where I will make a small commission if you were to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

The Llama Llama series is one we read all the time, in all its forms. I of course love Llama Llama I Love You because of the relationship between Llama Mama and her little one. And Love From the Very Hungry Caterpillar is another one we love – but then, Wyatt loves the Very Hungry Caterpillar. This one is super cute and pretty simple too. Porcupining has been a favorite of mine for years, and I am always excited to read it to Wyatt around Valentine’s Day- it’s about a poor forlorn porcupine just looking for love. Will he find it? Read and find out! Hedgehugs is sort of similar in that prickly sort of way – I guess when you are a quilled animal hugging and finding someone to love you is difficult! These two are not technically Valentine’s Day but they are about love so I always read them to him this time of year. And then I picked up Snowy Valentine because of that adorable cover. I can’t tell you what Wyatt thinks of it yet, since it is actually his Valentine’s Day gift from us! I also found a read aloud of it online, if you want to check it out!

And since we are a bug loving family, Slugs in Love is another one that is fun. It must be love, when you love a slime trail. I LOVE reading The Ballad of Valentine, as it is set to the tune of Clementine. I dare you to try to read this without singing! Wyatt loves this one too, because, well singing. My little music loving boy.

Click, Clack, Moo I Love You , Love Splat, and Little Blue Truck’s Valentine are two more from some of our favorite character books. Love, Splat is another book from my past working in the library. ALL the kids wanted the Splat the Cat books, and Wyatt is no exception. I have to be honest, they are not my favorite but seem to be a hit with the under ten category. Lol. Wyatt loves all the Little Blue Truck books, and honestly so do I. They are pretty cute. I saw there is a Little Blue Truck Springtime that we haven’t read yet and I am kind of excited to read it! I guess I have a new type of TBR going… And Doreen Cronin’s books on the farm are always great too, and Click, Clack, Moo I Love You even has one of my favorite animals make an appearance – a fox. We read this one over and over!

How about you all? Any Valentine favorites? I would love to hear about them!

January Book Tallies

This month I tried something new – I started keeping track of different things related to my reading. I tracked the books I read, the books I read with Wyatt, the amount of money I saved using the library for the month, reviews I completed and ones that I need to do, and any type of challenge books read, so right now any nonfiction that fits with the nonfiction challenge I am participating in. So pretty simple stuff, and I kept track in an even easier way. A journal. I am a blank book fanatic so I have billions around the house, so I decided to use one just for this. It’s nothing fancy to look at, right now just little dot lists. Maybe as I get used to it I will get fancier but for now it is pretty straightforward.

So, looking back at my month, let’s look at books read.

Despite my reading slump, I managed to read six books! Not too shabby.

Out of these I reviewed Winterwood and The Secret Life of the Owl so far, in my post yesterday. I also read one challenge book, The Secret Life of the Owl!

Wyatt and I read 26 picture books together this month! Some of them more than once, I am not counting that! Lol. I did put together a post of our favorites the other day, if you are interested.

I am pretty excited about the money saved by using the library category. My library always puts it at the bottom of my receipt. I can’t really think of it exactly as money saved, since I wouldn’t actually be able to spend this money on books! But because of the library, we were able to read this many books and that is even more important. Without the library, our reading, especially for Wyatt since we go through so many, would be lower.

The total amount saved was…. $656.10. Isn’t that crazy!! On average our total for each visit was about $130.00. This number means so much to me, honestly. It shows just how important the library is to our lives. We would never be able to purchase this amount in books, especially in just one month; thank goodness the library exists! And for us, the library is such a part of Wyatt’s community. The librarians and clerks all know him, and if I stop in without him they want to know where he is. I went the other day to the library with my mom, and it brought back so many memories, of all the times the two of US went to that very same library, when I was Wyatt’s age. My mom has memories of going to that same library when she was a little girl, with her brother and sister. It’s a family tradition. One of the librarians has been there my entire life and has known me since I was a little girl. The clerk who checked us out has known me over 20 years. It is such a part of my history, and now Wyatt’s too. I love that I am continuing this tradition with Wyatt that began with my mom and me.

This was my first month collecting this information and it was pretty interesting! I am sort of excited to see where I end up next month!

Puddles and Pinecones

Over the weekend the weatherman predicted torrential rain storms, flooding, and then to top it all off, ice. Well, it did rain, a very drizzly cold rain that did do a little flooding, and raised the rivers and creeks a little bit higher. We had plans to stay inside and do fun things there for most of the day and night, but..we couldn’t resist a little splashing in puddles first!

Wyatt wears AFO’s – braces for his feet to help him stand stronger when he is working on walking and standing. We love his braces, they are great tools to help him. But they also make it hard to buy shoes and boots, boots especially, as we can’t really manipulate his foot into one with the stiff braces. But we found that Butler boots have enough give in them that they slide fairly easily right over the braces – so we ordered him a pair of bright cheery yellow boots, his favorite color, and perfect for adding some sunshine to a dreary day. Then it rained and we got our wish to go stomp around in the puddles!

The cutest little stomp and splash ever!

While we are all excited that we found boots that work with his needs, Wyatt is more excited about the fact that he now has gumboots like the character and kids on one of his favorite shows, Scout and the Gumboot Kids! This very morning while we were watching one before school (they are short and perfect for a moment like this!) Wyatt went and got his boots out and started putting them on, just like Scout and the Gumboot Kids. Gumboots are another name for rain boots, or wellies, whatever you want to call them, and this show is adorable, with nature mysteries presented by a felt mouse in his own little cardigan and gumboots. The episodes are short, with a quick mystery that includes clues, and a mindful moment, which I am hoping to incorporate more of into our lives. The talented Jessie Farrell also provides the music and song for these episodes, with lovely lilting tunes that are so catchy that kids don’t even realize they are learning as they are singing along. As a companion to the Scout series, there is also Daisy and the Gumboot Kids, and Daisy is a crafty little mouse full of ideas for nature crafts. We love these shows and I love the inspiration they provide, while teaching Wyatt about all sorts of things – caterpillars and butterflies, space, agates, trees, dinosaurs are some of our favorites!

Not only is this series on television, they are now a series of books published by Firefly Books! We were lucky enough to receive a set of four signed books before Christmas, and now that the holidays are over, we really have time to spend looking through them together and talking about what we read. These books are beautiful, with full page artwork that captures the eye and attention, as page-size photos of the characters that Wyatt loves, solving the mysteries on paper within a book! Each book also contains two pages of field notes that relate to the mystery, mindful moments, and a nature craft. There is so much within the pages to inspire creativity and learning! We have been having a lot of fun with them. We also received a cute little coloring and activity book, a signed CD of Jessie Farrell’s music for the show, and stickers!

Today we spent some time reading through the books a little after school – Wyatt likes to “read” them to me too.

After we read about bird feeders and butterflies, I had a book and craft set up in the other room waiting for us.

We read the book, The Wooden Timekeeper, and talked about conifer trees, pincones, and the rings on trees, and how when you count them you can find the age of the tree. Wyatt really liked playing with the pinecones and petrified wood the best.

I showed him the pictures in the book of the craft, and let him choose whether we made an owl, bear, or mouse. My sweet boy chose to make an owl, my favorite! It was a group effort, with him doing the gluing while I helped out with the placement and cutting. We had a great time reading and making this little owl together! And look how cute!

Scout and the Gumboot Kids and the series, both on television and the books by Firefly Books are such a great resource for kids to learn, and entertaining and cute to boot! (yeah, see what I did there..)

Thanks to Firefly Books for the wonderful gift of the books, CD and extra little fun things!

My Favorite Reads of 2019

Hey all! I can’t believe it is this time of the year already! Wowzer. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday or at least a few great days in December.

I feel like I read some pretty great books this year! I don’t keep up on my Goodreads very well – I get about halfway through the year and forget, so I can’t give stats which is a bummer, because I love everyone’s stats posts. Goals for next year! I know that I read a lot of nature books, thrillers, some magical realism, cozy mysteries, and some romances. And probably some other things too! I also participated in Paris in July which was so fun, and also Nonfiction November, which was pretty spectacular. I feel like I have a great idea of what to expect of them both next year and I am looking forward to them both again.

As I look back, some books I just really liked. My list is sort of based on just what I actually really loved, whether it was a bestseller or not – just a book that I really couldn’t stop reading and wanted more of when I was done. So, that being said, here they are!

I can’t believe this is the first time I had ever read Anne. Now I love her to pieces. And The Wolf Wilder was so so good. If you are going to read it, read it when it is cold – and if you live somewhere warm, just turn that air conditioning way down! Lol.

My love for these two books is real. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating touched my soul, and The Wood I read first, and then read aloud to Billy and Wyatt over the course of this year, that is how much I loved it. John Lewis-Stempel is one of my very favorite authors to read and I am slowly making my way through his books.

I am pretty sure this is the first time I have had two graphic novels on my list! I absolutely adored Pumpkinheads, but what can you expect from Rainbow Rowell, but greatness, in my opinion. And Brazen – I picked this up on a whim at the library then read it cover to cover without stopping during Wyatt’s nap. I never reviewed it properly but it was seriously amazing.

These are three new to me authors – and I believe Luanne G. Smith and Glendy Vanderah are new authors in general! I loved each of these books for different reasons, but I can’t wait to read more by all of them. Read my review of The Vine Witch here, and Where the Forest Meets the Stars here. And hey I did review Brazen! A mini-one in the same post as Leaving Time!

Hands down my favorite book of the entire year. I am always a little skeptical of big best sellers for some reason, but when Gulfside Musings posted that she loved it, I gave it a shot. And I am so glad that I did. It was everything – nature and mystery and emotional. It was spectacular and I recommended it to everyone I know.

What Wyatt’s Reading – December

This is a very image heavy post, I apologize! We read like crazy this month! When I returned books to the library the other day, I could barely lift the bag, and this is with us going every week as well. I check out books for the month and also weekly, and rotate them out. The favorites we keep for the time, which is only one week longer than we are allotted (I of course renew those) and then some we read just once and they go back. And then of course our own well stocked library here at home contributes to our reading…. Anyway, I have listed here our favorites this month, some Wyatt’s, some mine, some both of us.

Wyatt is a big fan of the Duck and Goose books, as well as the Bear Stays Up books. I like the Bear Stays Up books too, they are cute! And I also like Duck and Goose purely because sometimes you need a quick fast read, and those are perfect for that. We also really loved Marion Dane Bauer this month, reading Winter Dance and The Longest Night quite a few times. I enjoyed Long Night Moon, and discovering different names for the different full moons and it was well done between the illustrations and text. Owl Moon is a winter favorite around here – this is one of the first books we ever bought Wyatt, and we read it to him all the time. And I have to admit, I checked out The Christmas Quiet Book as a hint to my child…. lol. An introvert raising an extrovert over here.

Jingle Bells and My Christmas Treasury are great reads for learning about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries, something I have loved since first reading about it in My Christmas Treasury when I was around Wyatt’s age. I actually had to buy that book used, I couldn’t find it anywhere! Bear’s First Christmas is just beautiful and a story of a bear waking up in the winter – it’s a long one but good. Wyatt loved Christmas Wombat and Merry Christmas from the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I have to admit, I did too. I love A Homemade Together Christmas, about a family who opts to make their gifts that year. A very sweet story told in a very easily accessible way for kids. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree has been a favorite of mine for years, and Wyatt really liked it too. I love this tale of how one tree can make so many different families happy! Then Wyatt’s two stand out favorites this year – Little Christmas Tree and The Animals’ Christmas Eve. We probably read these two books a million times. The Animals’ Christmas Eve is about the stable animals remembering a long ago Christmas in Bethlehem, while Little Christmas Tree is well, about a Little Christmas Tree in the woods, and all the other flora and fauna in the woods. It is beautiful and glittery and has little lift the flaps.

Did your families read any good picture books this month? Let me know, we are always looking for more!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

I am in overdrive mode – is anyone else? Lol. I must have been on super coffee last week, because I feel like I did all the things. I finished shopping, read three books, posted here like every day, and still managed to get breakfast with a new friend, get my hair done, go to work at my job, and make cookies with my friends. Along with all the other regular things we all have to do every week. ‘Tis the season I suppose! This week coming up has far less on the calendar.

Read Last Week:

I have been waiting forever to read the Queen of Nothing and it did not disappoint! I loved this book and these characters. Holiday by Gaslight was delightful – I have such a love for Victorian/Edwardian Christmas books. When I was maybe a senior in high school, my mom started gifting me Christmas romances, all set in those eras and since then, I have loved them. The Glittering Hour was also fabulous. I read it as part of a blog tour, and it was beautiful but also a tearjerker.

Reading the Rest of the Month:

I am just posting the books that are on my nightstand lol. I have these lined up to read the rest of the month and since I probably won’t be posting at all the week of Christmas, or really after the 20th, I thought I would share them all. They all look so good! Half Spent Was the Night is a tiny little thing, so I will be done with that in no time flat. I also started the Karen White book the other day, and I am really enjoying it.

Posted Last Week:

My Almost Last Minute Outdoor Inspired Gift Guide

My Almost Last Minute Kid’s Gift Idea Guide

Book Review Shorty: Wrapped Up For Christmas

Our Week in Photos

Book Review: The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

Watching:

Christmas movies! We are also watching Shetland (season 3 blew us away!) and Virgin River.

What is happening in your world?