Thursday, September 29, 2011

Books for Big Kids

About a year ago I was having a tough time finding the boys books to read that weren't too easy or too hard and that would hold their interest. It seemed like it was hard to find books that weren't written for either little kids or pre-teens. Here are a few good ones I found for kids about age 7-10:

The Great Brain - This one took a little while for them to get into, but after the second chapter or so they were asking to read it every night. It's about a kid who is always scheming up ideas to get himself ahead and once in a while his plans help other people too. We have only read the first book in the series so far.

Beast Quest - These are a series of fantasy books that are each based on a different "beast" that the two main characters have to defeat. I couldn't tell you much more about these, but Jack really liked them!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - These are definitely Dylann's favorite books. I catch him reading them in bed late at night when he's supposed to be sleeping and both boys have read them over and over again. There are five books in the series and they are easy to read with cartoon drawings throughout and lots of (gross and) funny stuff to keep kids interested.

Matilda - This was the first real chapter book Dylann ever read on his own. He loved reading about the tricks Matilda played on her mean and ignorant parents. Since then they've read a few other Roald Dahl books and loved them all.

How to Eat Fried Worms - They haven't read this one yet, but I have the feeling they're going to like it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Farewell to Summer

We had a wonderful summer this year and even though the boys only get 6 weeks off from school, it seemed like we got the most out of it. The kids and I flew back to the states for the first time in 3 years for a month long visit. I was hoping we could have a good "Minnesota summer" like I remember growing up and we really did. We spent time at a cabin near the lake, lots of time at Grandma's house, and made the trip over to what the boys call "the secret lake", which is a very pretty little lake that has always been a special family gathering place.

It was really nice to see everyone and to be able to stay long enough to not have to rush through the trip.

Shortly after we got back, we celebrated Helena's 2nd birthday with a teddy bear picnic birthday party. It was lots of fun, but we were all still very jet-lagged at the time of the party. Helena refused to even crack a smile for the camera!

Then last weekend we finally threw Jack's 8th birthday party - a month late, but oh well! He had his first sleepover and they had a blast staying up half the night watching cartoons and showering the living room with snacks. Nothing out of the ordinary!

We're having a little extra summer weather here in England at the moment, a whole week of weather that's expected to be in the 70's. One last hurrah before we're all wrapped up in sweaters and huddled under umbrellas!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January Thoughts

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

poem by e.e. cummings