Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What We're Reading: Princesses, Ballerinas, and Fairy Tales {Five Favorites}

Cecilia's been on a princess kick lately, and has been begging me to get more "beautiful" books from the library, so I put several on hold for her and think I'm going to end up buying them, she and the twins love them so much!



The Starlight Princess (And Other Princess Stories) - I love books that use nontraditional means for illustration, and this one is so beautiful to look at - all the pictures are embroidery, and the stories are written in a manner that makes them pleasing to read. They're on the long side, so you won't be able to read the whole thing in one sitting, but we've been doing a story or two every day. It's out of print but there are many used copies available, and I think we'll be adding it to our library!



7 Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (Illustrated by Maurice Sendak) - This is one from my childhood that I loved back then, and the illustrations by Maurice Sendak make me love it even more! Again, some pretty long stories, but there are plenty of pictures to keep everyone's attention. The language is engaging enough that I enjoy reading it aloud, which is always a plus! Also out of print, but easy to find used.



Ella Bella Ballerina (Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker - a new one is coming out in October, also!) - we spotted these at a friend's house and Cecilia immediately asked if we could get them, too. They're fairly new (the first was written in 2008), and go through abbreviated versions of the accompanying fairy tales. They also have a page at the back explaining who the composer of the actual ballet was, and I think we'll be watching some YouTube videos and listening to the music to go along with the books - you can't go wrong with Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, and others!



Beauty and the Beast - Really any Jan Brett is going to be wonderful, no matter what. The illustrations beautiful and detailed as always, and everyone loved pointing out specific details in the pictures. This is one that the girls are happy to look at quietly for long periods of time, and they also love having it read to them. My mom read it to them several times on her recent visit, and it's NOT short! But it's another that's written well enough that it's enjoyable to read aloud. And did you know that you can get free coloring pages on her website?



The Princess and the Goblin - I'm really not sure what the best edition of this book would be to buy... Ours isn't illustrated, and I wish it were! This is the one I'm currently reading aloud with John Paul and Cecilia and they LOVE it. Not all of the books we read have strong male and female characters, but this one is so perfect for them - Curdie is a very strong but skeptical boy and Irene is sweet and compliant but fiery at the same time (remind you of anyone?). George MacDonald was one of C.S. Lewis's favorite authors, and didn't write this specifically for children but for ALL to enjoy, which is apparent from the rather lofty vocabulary. I'm finding myself having to explain a lot of tricky words to the kids, and sometimes the sentence structure is complex enough that I have to go back to make sure I've put the proper emphasis on things... But it's so beautifully written and engaging that I don't mind!

Linking up with Jenna for Five Favorites and Jessica for What We're Reading!

*Amazon links are affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I get a small percentage to help support this blog at no extra cost to you! I'm saving up for a new camera lens, so I really appreciate your help!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chaos Sunday {WIWS}

That second reading today, man... Hit anybody else?

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.” 
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me."

So with that reading in mind, shall I boast of my weaknesses? Mass behavior. It's never gone well. Some day, maybe? But I like to turn our crazy into a little bit of humor, so I made this up and posted it on facebook last week:


There were so many that I forgot about or that didn't make the cut... Most notably, kids crawling under the pews, kids flashing the congregation, kids making MOM flash the congregation... Worst Mass moment for you? I'd love to hear it!

Another weakness? Housekeeping.


This is tame. Believe me.


These pictures are from last weekend, actually... My sister was in town and we took the four older kids to Mass together, so of course the twins had to play off of each other and be fairly obnoxious the whole time.

(Pet peeve: If you're going to sit behind a bunch of kids with your ONE baby, and your baby HAS to have food during Mass, can you at least make it food that doesn't come from a large crinkly bag? And can you maybe not drop some under the pew so that I have to kick it out of the way so my kids don't try to eat it? Sigh.)


I couldn't pick just one picture, obviously! And don't ask me why Mary Claire ripped her barrette out of her hair and shoved it in her mouth for the pictures...


While I'm blogging, I might as well answer Kendra's questions!



1. How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

Low-key, grilling at home (when the rain let up!) and then fireworks and sparklers in the back yard!

Elizabeth ran inside screaming, Cecilia ran to me, giggling, and sweet John Paul unconsciously grabbed Mary Claire's arm when she started to dash towards the fireworks. He may not always be nice to his sisters, but when it comes time to protect them? He's got this big brother thing down!

I shared this picture on instagram but had to share it again - we set some off while the twins were still awake because late bedtimes were NOT happening...


Needless to say, we did the remainder of the fireworks after the little kids were in bed... But still didn't even wait for it to get dark because John Paul and Cecilia were so tired and we wanted them to go to bed!


The fireflies were already out though, which was fun!


2. Do you sunburn easily?

YES. I've got freckles all over to prove it, but these days I just stay out of the sun during peak hours and don't have any issues. 

3. Hot dogs. Yay or nay?

Yay! But only beef hot dogs -  anything less is gross, but I dig Hebrew National!

4. Have you ever personally set off fireworks?


No, and I have no desire to!

5. Have you ever jumped off the high dive?

Nope. I've never been a very good swimmer, and still have unfortunate memories of a low diving board and a skimpy bikini and a rather long time underwater before I felt comfortable emerging after a wardrobe malfunction... 

6. Do you do anything weird in your sleep?

Apparently sometimes I talk in my sleep. In college I creeped out my roommate because I was whispering one of our Latin choir pieces in my sleep and she thought I was possessed. These days mostly I just nurse in my sleep, but I don't know that that's very weird!

Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year and Fine Linen & Purple - hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Favorite Sister?

Sometimes I wonder if the novelty of Peter has worn off... Nobody's jockeying for his attention anymore now that he's mobile, mostly they're trying to keep him from eating their various books and chokeable treasures. 

But Mary Claire still acts like every time she sees him again is the FIRST time!


"PEEEEEE-der!!! Can I give him a hug and a kiss? And say 'Ip, Pih-bip?' (Her nickname for him) Can I mush him? And say 'Peter WHAT are you doin'?' And I kiss him and he give me a WET kiss?"


She makes him laugh SO hard. Usually whatever it is is incredibly annoying to me until I see how much Peter absolutely adores it. 


Of course, she also thinks it's hilarious to try to ride him when he's crawling. And she runs up to him "mushes" his cheeks until he MUST be in pain.


Lately I can't leave them alone to play together anymore because I'll hear him inevitably cry and run to find that she's pinched him.

"DO NOT pinch the baby!"
"Um, I di'nt pinch him, I 'nidded' him!"

Not a thing.


Or I find his head covered with saliva, because she practiced her spitting skills right over his hair.


It really is nice to see how much these two have bonded, though - the twins have their special twin thing going on and I really wondered where Peter would fit in with all the other kids. I think they still like him!

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