Backyards, Parks, and Birthday Cake

The weather this weekend has been beautiful, and we have been making the most of our days outside. Wyatt has been that kind of tired every night that comes from playing outdoors and honestly, so have Billy and I!

Saturday we tackled parts of the yard! I had a cola plant (that does smell exactly like cola!) that was getting too large and spreading too much in the butterfly garden, so we yanked. Like Monty Don says, if it doesn’t give you joy, get rid of it. So we did. Now I have an empty spot in there that I can fill with something that does make me smile. And Billy made a super cool discovery when pulling it out – an ootheca!

I tucked it into another plant but..I am seriously considering putting it in an aquarium and bringing it in to watch it hatch. I am still debating this though. It might be more up close nature observation than even I can do. (Also have I mentioned Wyatt wants a snake? I’m not sure about that either!) This ootheca is probably filled with hundred of baby mantis. We would release the babies of course, but can I handle seeing that many? It would sort of coincide with our current read aloud, Charlotte’s Web. I don’t have a spider egg sac handy and this would be sort of similar. So, I am debating it for educational purposes but it might be too much for me.

We also were inspired by a YouTube video to put in a tiny wildflower patch. Billy has wanted a cut flower garden for years but we just never have gotten around to it. But, we had space and seeds and the manpower so we put one in. Right now it is a weird little patch of dirt that is not too much to look at but hopefully we get some wildflowers soon!

After that I put on my headphones, switched on Going West, my current favorite true crime podcast, and started cleaning like a maniac while Billy took Wyatt to the park. It’s challenging to take kiddo to a park, especially if it is crowded. He has to scoot around and with kids just flying around it is dangerous. Billy found a park that was empty though and Wyatt had a blast!

We wound up the evening enjoying ice cream sandwiches on the porch, watching the birds… and rescuing them. A fledgling fell from the tree into our busy street, with two nearby cats on the prowl. I couldn’t let it just fend for itself, so Billy rescued it by scooping it up in a towel and putting it back in the crook of the tree, next to its nestmate. It was so super cute!!

Sunday was another beautiful and busy day! We celebrated my dad’s 75th birthday, and it was a great day filled with family and chatter and playing outside. It was the first time I think I have really relaxed in weeks!

When your family starts an inclusive game of catch – priceless.

After my dad’s party, my brother invited us over to his house for a fire, which was the perfect ending to the day. The kids continued playing until they both wanted a snack, then ran out of steam. Wyatt was a limp noodle of a boy when we finally loaded him into the car.

It was a wonderful two days, and today..we are just being lazy. Which is pretty wonderful too.

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

Happy Sunday! I am feeling grateful and thankful this morning – the sun is shining, I have good coffee in my cup, and a cat sitting next to me. My husband and son are sharing the couch across the room from me, unlike last Sunday, when my husband was on day 7 of quarantine with Covid. Billy spent ten days in his basement office, while Wyatt and I were upstairs. We are now all back together, Billy is feeling much better although still a bit tired at times, and all is back to our normal.

I didn’t have much time for reading last week, with all that I was doing by the time I made it to bed I was pretty exhausted. I did read one book though!

I LOVED this book! It is definitely one of my favorites so far this year. A family full of magic and secrets? Yes please! If you like magical realism or fantasy, make sure to pick this one up.

I am still reading the middle grade book Mystery in Rocky Mountain National Park, and I don’t know what I am going to read when I finish. This week is sort of weird, with the holiday and Wyatt has another 24 hour EEG as well. I have a few books checked out from the library, but now I don’t want to read them. I will be looking at everyone’s blogs for some new recommendations; I am not sure what sort of reading mood I am in!

Posted Last Week:

Where I Have Been

Book Review: Beauty from Ashes by Lisa R. Howeler

Morning Coffee Catch Up

Watching:

Well, when Billy was quarantining away from us, I didn’t want to watch anything that we may want to watch together. Then I remembered I was behind on When Calls the Heart! I started watching it again and found it just as calming and happy as I remembered, which is exactly what I needed. Now, I think we might start watching Stranger Things since the new season is out. And Lisa from Boondock Ramblings has suggested The Larkins to me and we are hoping to start that as well.

Morning Coffee Catch Up

It’s been twelve days since Billy caught the ‘rona, and I am finally feeling like I can relax. He opted to quarantine for a full ten days – the recommendations all said after five days he could leave quarantine, but to wear a mask for five more days. We couldn’t see how that would work with Wyatt, so Billy made the choice to just stay locked up a few more days. It was a long long ten days for all of us. Beyond missing each other, Billy was lonely and I was working my butt off doing all the things, and with added Covid precautions that added multiple steps to things. It was worth doing, since Wyatt has an EEG next week that we did not want to have reschedule. We would have obviously, but we didn’t want to have to do that. And it seems like we made it through! Wyatt and I were cleared to take him back to therapy Wednesday, and Billy went back to work in the office, rather than his home office, on Wednesday as well. Then Wednesday when he came home from work, he came in the front door again and we all had a nice reunion! Wyatt was so excited to see his dad again! And so was I.

I tried to keep things as simple for myself as I could during that ten days – lots of sandwiches for dinner, soup for lunch. My brother dropped off Taco Bell one night for us, which we inhaled after a week of turkey and cheese and chicken noodle soup.

As an introvert who needs some quiet alone time to recharge, by the time Billy could rejoin the family I was craving some time to myself. I love my son beyond anything but phew, even I needed a break from his cute face and constant chatter. So, last night, I took a much needed trip to the library. Alone. It was quiet. Peaceful. And books! We had read all of our library books and I needed to resupply so I spent a happy half an hour there before heading home.

I am still feeling discombobulated. We are off track for school which I hate. I have an awesome farm unit lined up for the next few months and we are off to a crazy start. But it will get worked out. We are on our own timeline and I need to keep reminding myself of that.

Wyatt and I spent a lot of time outside, which was awesome. Last Sunday I got us drive thru ice cream and we ate it in the park away from other people, just in case. It was so nice to be away from our house, even just for the small time.

I am looking forward to this long weekend!

Anyone have any plans?

Book Review: Beauty From Ashes by Lisa R. Howeler

Summary:

After becoming pregnant by her abusive ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Liz Cranmer feels trapped in a prison of shame. Now a single mother she feels like the whole town, especially her church-going parents, view her as a trashy woman with no morals. That’s not how she used to think of herself but — could they all be right? And if they think that, then what does God think of her?

Ginny Jefferies, 53, has hit a few snags of her own in life. Her husband, Stan, barely acknowledges her, her job as the town’s library director has become mundane and stagnant, and her youngest daughter is having some kind of identity crisis. Pile on the return of a former boyfriend and you have the makings of a near-midlife crisis.

Can two women figure out their chaotic, confusing lives together? And how will the men in their lives fit in their journey?

Shorter description: Two women from two different generations form an unlikely friendship to work through their life challenges together.

My Thoughts:

Beauty From Ashes is the third book in the Spencer Valley Chronicles, and I was very much anticipating it as I loved The Farmer’s Daughter and Harvesting Hope, the first two. And I loved it!

First, let me say I completely loved the relationship between Liz and Ginny. I have friends of all different generations, some older, some a decade younger than me (ugh that hurts to say though lol) and I don’t think friendship needs to be defined by whether someone is of your generation or not. I loved that they so easily became friends, helped each other through some tough moments, and had a genuine, real relationship.

That is one of my favorite things about Lisa’s writing – she has a talent for writing stories that just feel so real, conversations that could be a conversation you have with a friend or neighbor. These relationships, characters, situations, conversations don’t sound fake or weird, like they do in some books I have read. These are people who could be your neighbors, in your community, the policeman that is always friendly, the librarian who doesn’t skip a beat when asked by a child for a book about boogers, and having worked in an elementary school library, I can attest that these sort of questions do come up! And while these characters and situations are very real feeling, there is humor and levity (like the booger scene) as well.

Liz and Ginny are at two very different points in their lives – Liz is just starting her parenting journey, while Ginny’s children are all grown. But both are unsettled, at odds with where they are. Liz feels like she is no good, not a good daughter, mom, or even person. Ginny is wondering what is going on with her marriage, is lonely, and sort of in a rut. The two know each other, as they have relatives married to each other (Liz’s sister and Ginny’s son) so they were not complete strangers but they had never really hung out or talked much beyond that. Their friendship begins one afternoon in the library, when Liz as an exhausted new mother, nods off while reading. Ginny offers to help watch Liz’s new baby, Bella, and from there the two just are off and running. Helping each other, but also having fun as well – like taking an art class together.

Now, the men in their lives…

Matt McGee is the town Golden Boy, the helpful policeman, the considerate gentleman, the good neighbor and friend. Someone who always makes the right choices and does the right thing, who can be counted on in any emergency – like delivering babies on the side of the road type of emergencies. And on top of all that, charming and well..hot. Like maybe you wouldn’t mind being pulled over by him for speeding hot. But Liz is feeling like the town screw-up, and less than, and certainly not feeling good enough for the likes of Matt McGee.

Ginny’s husband Stan is the love of her life, but lately he has been wrapped up in anything but their marriage. She feels lonely and ignored, and there was one particular scene that broke my heart for poor Ginny. Things get a bit more complicated when her old boyfriend arrives back in town, looking quite fit and attractive and most of all, attentive.

Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. There is so much more than I have mentioned, bad guys and bad situations, impulsive decisions, and of course, romance. I loved this trip back to Spencer Valley and I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

The Spencer Valley Chronicles are all available on Kindle until June 30th, and I highly recommend them all!

Where I Have Been This Week

The last seven days have been rough. Full of anxiety and fear, yet shoving all those feelings to the back of my mind as much as I can so I can take care of kiddo. Well, let me tell you what has been happening over here.

Last Saturday night, around dinner, Wyatt started throwing up. When your child has a shunt (he has a VP shunt that runs from his head to his belly to shunt fluids away) and he starts throwing up, that could be a sign of shunt malfunction. So after the second time, we hurried down to Children’s Hospital, which was packed. Wyatt however threw up all over their hallway so they gave us a room within a few minutes. The possibility of intracranial brain pressure is triaged pretty emergent, so after we were in the room Wyatt was assessed quickly. However, there were two code blues while we were there, and after assessing Wyatt we then waited a few hours for him to get X-Rays and a CT Scan.

At around midnight (also when the above picture was taken), Wyatt was feeling better, and the neurologist came in and told us that Wyatt’s scans and x-rays all looked good, so great news! Shortly after that, a nurse came in and told us that Wyatt’s Covid tests and flu tests all came back negative as well. So, we were discharged at about 12:30 in the morning, getting home about 1.

Sunday Wyatt and I took lots of naps, while Billy played video games in his basement office. It was an extremely low key day. Until Billy started coughing that evening. He took a Covid test at home, and .. it was positive. What I have been dreading and avoiding for two years was here, in our house. We still have no idea where he contracted it, but we are guessing work although he only works there three times a week, wears a mask, and is usually in his totally separate from the rest of the building office, behind two locked doors.

After that test we sprang into action, mainly because I had a panic attack and told him to get down to his basement office while we figured out what to do. He made a telephone visit with a doctor, who put him on medicine that was immediately sent to the pharmacy. We called each other and made plans – Billy wanted to isolate in the office so we worked out what to do. He ordered a cot. I deliver food fully masked to a table at the bottom of the stairs. And that is about it. When he has to shower, he opens the window, and disinfects behind him when he leaves. Then we leave the door shut, window open, and fan running for a few hours. I have also been able to leave all the windows open in the house as well.

Wyatt and I have been hanging out upstairs, taking it easier than normal. I called off school and we have watched a lot of tv, read a lot of picture books, played outside, and made lots of curbside pickups. We have strawberries growing in the garden, and the butterflies are back! I found black swallowtail eggs yesterday which made me smile. My last Mother’s Day Gift from Billy and Wyatt came this week, a little bunny hug ring. I have taken tests everyday. I am trying to remain positive in spirit, which is easier said than done for me this week. We have been keeping company with our menagerie, and made an ice cream cone countdown to when Billy can come out of quarantine, if universe and God willing things remain as they are and improve.

I did get bitten by my PacMan frog Freddie this week! It didn’t hurt, but his little mouth and jaw are surprisingly strong! I was more shocked and freaked out than anything, and had to fight the natural instinct to scream (it was 10 pm) and shake my hand to get him to let go. Instead I waited for him to just let go, which was just a few seconds. I had been trying to see if I could find out his (or her) gender – why I was doing this at ten at night, I don’t know.I think I scared him, which made me feel bad. So although it was sort of freaky, it wasn’t his fault. I did tell him that he is not my favorite, but I don’t think he cared.

TV has been a challenge! I usually only watch with Billy and I don’t want to watch anything we might want to watch together, so I rewatched a few episodes of The Durrells (I love that show so much) then finally figured out how to watch the seasons of When Calls the Heart that I haven’t watched. It is sort of a full circle thing, because When Calls the Heart was the show that helped me through the beginning of the pandemic, so it makes sense it provides the same calm for me now. I am a Heartie. Lol.

So that is it from here all. Stay safe – and if you don’t mind sending out some prayers and good vibes for our family I would appreciate it.

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

It has been a minute since I posted one of these! I just hadn’t been reading due to life stuff happening and not much time for reading, sadly. However, things turned around for me last week!

Read Last Week:

I read Beauty From Ashes by Lisa Howeler from the blog Boondock Ramblings last week, and loved it as much as the first two in the series. (The Farmer’s Daughter and Harvesting Hope) I will be reviewing it on Tuesday!

Reading this Week:

So, I am a fan of YouTuber vlogger Alexandra Roselyn, and she has recommended this book a few times in her videos, and it sounds fantastic! I am looking forward to it!

Posted Last Week:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Morning Coffee Catch Up!

Watching:

Not much new here – we are pretty engrossed with Murdoch Mysteries still.

Tonight is movie night though, and we are watching The Lost City with Sandra Bullock! It’s been a while since we have watched a movie and I am looking forward to it – and the popcorn Billy makes old school on the stove.

Book Mail!

Billy and Wyatt got this for me! I needed a new copy as mine is in tatters (copy number 4 I believe?). I love it! I had told Billy I needed a new copy, and that I wanted to start collecting various different edition. And then, voila!

I also received this ARC of a middle grade mystery set in Rocky Mountain National Park! I am looking forward to read it!

And that is about it from around here! What’s been going on in your neighborhood?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Photo by Kelly L on Pexels.com

First off, I want to clarify I am not anything but a stay-at-home mom. I have a degree, but it is in History. I don’t plan on sharing anything medical and plan only on sharing only my own experiences and resources. If you are having mental health issues, please please consult a medical doctor.

My family is moody. We are a family of passionate emotions, we feel things deeply. But some of us also deal with with some other very real, very complex, very serious mental health issues. Anxiety, depression, OCD sort of runs amok among our family members, and it can be very difficult, for those who are living with it everyday and for the family members who love and support them.

We all go through ups and downs. Days that seem dark and gray, or situations that cause us to be nervous or fearful. Usually all we need on those type of days are resolution of that one issue, a good friend, a walk, a day off. But when those days begin to be the only type of days we have, when we can’t shake it off, when we are constantly filled with fear and doubt and grief, then more needs to be done.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I had a month of total paralysis almost of who I am. I was scared. I was depressed. I had a hard time envisioning any sort of future, I had such overwhelming feelings of doom. And I had a five year old I had to take care of. So I rallied. Sort of. I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I had had wonderful role models in my life, who have lived with these feelings their whole lives, and who did all the right things to be able to move on, therapy and medication. So, I immediately made two appointments, one with a therapist and one with a psychiatrist. As we were in lockdown, they were virtual and the demand was high at this time for mental health services. I was not the only one going through those feelings! The psychiatrist prescribed me something, very low dose, to help me on my way, and the therapist helped me talk through my fears and feelings. I had good friends and family who talked to me whenever I needed to throughout the day. My support group was large. After two weeks, I was on my way back to the way I was, unsteady but doing everything I needed to do. And when I falter now, they are still there.

I have another loved one who lives with OCD. This person, let’s call them Charlotte, had a doctor who thought it was a good idea to wean them from the medicine they had been on for years, even though Charlotte said they didn’t think that was a good idea. Until then, the behaviors were balanced and under control. However, as the medicine began to leave their system, these old patterns were rearing their heads again. Double check, rechecking, rechecking. Over and over, stuck in a loop unless physically removed from it. Away from the situation. Away from their house. They were miserable. And so, they left that doctor, went to another, explained what was happening, and was first put on their normal medicine again, and second, referred to a therapist to help them through until the medicine could bring them back to balanced again.

I know that there is a lot of stigma surrounding pursuing help for things like anxiety, depression, OCD. Or any other mental illness out there. I think it takes tremendous strength and power to say, “I need more help” and to go and do something about it, especially with the stigma that exists.

These feelings can affect anyone, old or young, male or female. And there are resources out there for those that need them, so many. No one has to go this alone. Doctors, social workers, helplines, first responders, even apps for your phone that allow 24 hour access to help of all kinds, by all means, video chat, phone calls, texting. We need to help people overcome the stigma and reach out for the help they need.

If you feel like you need some extra help, I urge you to seek it out. Your own doctor is a perfect place to start. The website Silence the Shame also has a huge list of mental health resources and how to contact them. If you are in need of immediate assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Morning Coffee Catch Up!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend, and if you celebrate Mother’s Day, I hope it was a good one.

We’ve just been caught up in the everyday over here – work, school, family, etc. My mom hasn’t been well, she was laid low by a UTI, and then her antibiotics really took the wind out of her sails, so it has been a few days of balancing letting her rest but making sure she is eating and drinking water. And in case you didn’t know it, for our ladies 65 and older, confusion is a big symptom even before anything else of an issue. (Also, ten days of antibiotics are a must! We learned that the hard way as well)

I did manage to join my friends at our favorite nursery on Saturday morning! I didn’t buy too much for outside, but I did buy a cool bonsai for my mother in law for Mother’s Day, and lots of terrarium plants to jeuje up Freddy, Harry, and Luna’s tanks. I did get a laugh out of the names of those flowers – and I have to say the Wee Bit Grumpy side seems to be flourishing.

When I got home I learned my guys had enjoyed their time together as well, stumbling on an old-timey baseball game at the park.

Billy and I putzed about with the tanks while Wyatt played outside (we were outdoors as well) and I am pleased with how they are turning out!

Sunday I wanted a slow day, after so many days of being busy. We visited our moms briefly – my mom wasn’t feeling well and Billy’s dad just had surgery – and went to the park for ice cream. I loved just laying on the blanket in the warm sun, listening to the birds, surrounded by the little spring flowers that made it seem like fairyland. Billy and Wyatt bought me an Elephant Ear plant “Mojito”, and I apparently have two more gifts coming in the mail, although I am perfectly happy with my new plant. Then Billy made dinner, salmon and brussel sprouts, rice pilaf, and brown bread. It was fantastic!

It was a lovely weekend and then we hit the ground running Monday, back to the daily again.

Today is also book launch day for my friend Lisa at Boondock Ramblings! Beauty from Ashes is her third book in the Spencer Valley Chronicles and I can’t wait to read it, as I loved the first two! It is downloaded and waiting for quiet time this afternoon.

After becoming pregnant by her abusive ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Liz Cranmer feels trapped in a prison of shame. Now a single mother she feels like the whole town, especially her church-going parents, view her as a trashy woman with no morals. That’s not how she used to think of herself but — could they all be right? And if they think that, then what does God think of her?
 
Ginny Jefferies, 53, has hit a few snags of her own in life. Her husband, Stan, barely acknowledges her, her job as the town’s library director has become mundane and stagnant, and her youngest daughter is having some kind of identity crisis. Pile on the return of a former boyfriend and you have the makings of a near-midlife crisis.

You can find it here for just .99 cents!

Or, you can read the whole series for under $5 right now!

What have you all been up to lately?

Hello, May!!

I had high hopes for April – and while it was a pretty darn good month, it was still really cold here in Michigan. Hopefully May brings the temps we are wanting, the nice, beautiful, warm days before the sticky, swampy days of summer. We love summer these days, but still avoid the heat of the day. Spring is pretty perfect for us, and usually involves lots of playing outside and porch drinks.

I have some fun activities in store for us this month, but my main goal for the month is getting the garden all ready and planting what can be planted. I really want to get my tomatoes planted but it is still too early here. We are looking forward to garden fresh tomatoes! My friends and I are hitting up our favorite nurseries this upcoming weekend, and I am making a list of what I think I need.

As I sit here and think about what we are doing this month, it seems like May is sort of a staging ground for summer – planning summer gardens, summer vacations – and I am deciding here and now to not miss the month of May by looking ahead to June.

Wyatt and I are about to start reading Charlotte’s Web together, which I also am going to use as a jumping off point for a big unit study on farms. I am super excited about this unit study, and have so many books and activities waiting for us, as soon as we finish up our ponds study. We have about two weeks worth or learning left, including some fun field trips, art projects, science experiments, and even a tiny container pond build. But once we finish up, we are starting on farms. I am super excited about it. I feel like we can include so many different little rabbit trails of learning, which usually ends up trickling into our everyday lives. That is one of my favorite things about homeschooling – how our daily lives and homeschool learning activities can become intertwined. (Like, don’t you all think I need to add a tarantula to our menagerie?) And I already have a trip planned for July, to a tiny house set in the middle of a farm.

Speaking of school, I need to get moving on next year’s curriculum! I already know what I want to use, but I want to purchase the programs I am using so I can get working on planning. I am also creating our own language arts curriculum for next year. It’s a lot of work honestly but I think it will be worth it! We will still rely on other curriculum for grammar, phonics, etc but for language arts, that is all me. I am really excited about what I have planned!

I am really looking forward to going to restaurants again this month! We are a bit slower here, to rejoin the world, but we are working on it slowly but surely. I am still nervous with Wyatt’s health issues but things are definitely better than they were two years ago at this time. I am hoping to start with some outside dining before taking the plunge. In fact, I should look at the weather and set something up soon!

What are your plans for May? Is there anything you are looking forward to this month?

April Reading Round-Up

We have had quite a fun reading month! I go to the library at least twice a week and bring home stacks of books, for me, for Wyatt, and for my mom. I love that it is the same library I have gone to since I was a child; the other day I was checking out books and the head librarian, Wally, was telling me how he remembered me checking out books when I was just a little girl. I love that now Wyatt is doing the same at the same library. Our library is such a special place for me.

Let’s start with my mom!

She just finished up Radium Girls and loved it; now she has Code Girls and America’s First Daughter that she is working on. My mom is primarily a nonfiction reader, so if you have any suggestions that are like Radium Girls I would love to hear them (and so would she!)

Now me:

I had a really slow reading month, but it was a good one! I am including Seed to Dust although I still have a bit left. Hopefully I get to these reviews soon!

And now Wyatt:

The Storm is our current read aloud. I wanted something sort of short (lol) to squeeze in before our next longer reader aloud. So far this is pretty cute, and it is a series so there are more to explore if Wyatt enjoys it. Little Blue House Beside the Sea is beautiful, and made me dream of visiting coastlines. Wyatt liked it but I think I liked it more. We both really enjoyed I am You: A Book About Ubuntu! I had never heard of Ubuntu before! It is a South African philosophy about community, a belief system that a person is a person through other people. If you hurt, I hurt. If you are happy, then I am happy. When I am kind to you, I am kind to myself. I love the idea of this connection and empathy and while Wyatt was a little lost on the bigger message, the ideas of friendship and kindness were quite clear to him.

Wyatt absolutely loved Jeff Goes Wild and Moose’s Book Bus. Both were so cute, and filled with animals which Wyatt is all about in a book right now. In Jeff Goes Wild, an orange cat imagines he is a jungle tiger before concluding he likes who he is as he is. I loved the colors and illustrations in this book! And Moose’s Book Bus – I think this was the hands down favorite for both of us this month. Moose starts checking books out for his family, then the animals in the woods. He reads to them until his house becomes too full to hold them all. So he teaches a neighbor to read, who teaches another, and so on, until everyone is a reader! Moose still will have guests drop by though, to hear him read aloud. We loved this one! Somewhere is a very sweet little book about a child’s first “adventure” while on a walk with her father.

Harlem Grown and The Hiking Viking were also at the tops of our list! Wyatt is excited about gardening right now since he got to plant a little garden of his own so he liked Harlem Grown. The Hiking Viking is about a young Viking who would prefer to spend time in nature than doing the typical viking things, like fighting and feats of physical strength. In the end he learns that it is ok to be different. It reminded me a little of Ferdinand, which was one of my very favorite picture books as a child. It also had really fun illustrations. And finally Watercress. I should have included this in my section, since I read it but not to Wyatt. I am definitely buying this one, it was so beautiful and made me cry and touched my heart. It is an autobiographical moment in Wang’s life, about growing up an in an immigrant family in the midwest, being embarrassed of her family, then as she learns more about her family, she feels ashamed of being ashamed of her family. It was just excellent.

And that’s a wrap!