Saturday, November 15, 2014

November Book Report

The Halloween Party by Agatha Christie
This was such a fun read.  This is a story of a 13 year old girl that was killed at a Halloween Party.  The plot twists and turns to find the meaning of this murder.  This was only my third Agatha Christie novel and I have enjoy her short mysteries, full of interesting characters, and evolving plot lines.

The Messenger by Lois Lowry
I cannot believe how much story Lois Lowry can fill a short young adult novel.  So much to think about.  This is the story of Matty, living in a town that embraces the disabled and imperfect, and looks for the strength and talents in each individual.  But things are beginning to change and Matty must find a way to help this community heal.  The characters are lovely and memorable.  The story is engaging, magical, and mysterious.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
I know so many loved this novel and I enjoyed it but felt I should be loving it more.  As a dying preacher shares his life story with his son through written word, I found myself struggling to find a plot, and realizing after quite a few chapters that the story was a memoir of sorts.  The writing is lovely and there are many lessons to be learned.

Longbourn by Jo Baker
This is a story of Sarah, a young servant girl in Longbourn, serving the Bennet family during the time that Jane and Elizabeth meet Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy.  This is an engaging read, full of the very unglamorous life of service in a poorer home.  I loved Sarah's story and the hints of what is going on in the Bennet's life seen through Sarah's eyes is a delightful spin on the original tale.

Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
This was such a fun book to read with my kids.  What a sweet pig, with his mother the sheepdog, and his determination to do good things.

Little Britches by Ralph Moody
This has taken us so long to get through and we are finally finished!  I loved this book!  I'll describe it as the boy version of Little House on the Prairie.  Ralph Moody writes about his childhood on a ranch in Colorado.  It is fascinating to read what daily life was like and to explore the life lessons that this boy learned from his good father.  There was some language that I had to edit out for my kids, so just a warning.

Next in line A Circle of Quiet, The Princess Bride, A Christmas Carol, and Emily of New Moon.

Find my 2014 Book List here.

Find my other Book Reports here.

Joining Modern Mrs. Darcy's Twitterature this month.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Outside my window...Ice is melting from the car and the railing and deck.  It has been a cold November. 
I am thinking...about Christmas plans.  I'm hoping to finish up most of the busy Christmas hustle and bustle before Thanksgiving, so I can enjoy the real spirit of Christmas.

In the kitchen...lots of soups and healthy foods, trying to counterbalance the Halloween candy.  I'm baking bread and roasting vegetables. Fall is my favorite time to be in the kitchen.

I am wearing...jeans and cardigans.  Lots of layers.

I am creating...Christmas gifts, lots of cross stitching and wreath making.

I am reading...I'm finishing Gilead.   I'll have my November Book Report on the blog tomorrow.  You can look at my other monthly Book Reports here.

I am looking forward to...Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to be with family and friends on this day of gratitude.

I am learning...a lot from other moms as we have joined together for our second Deliberate Motherhood book group discussion.  Fabulous insights and inspiration from these other amazing moms.

Around the house...I'm still working on decluttering and simplifying.  It has taken a back seat these last couple weeks with Christmas preparations, but I'm still working through cupboards and drawers, going room by room.

I am the apple farm and OMSI with the kids on their days off of school and on fall walks with my littlest.

I am watching...Call the Midwife, 24, and Little House on the Prairie.  Lots of watching, it goes hand and hand with crafty projects, you see.

One of my favorite things...this time of year, I love autumn, the crisp air, orange pumpkins, and the first fire of the season.  My favorite.  

Just a peek into my days.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Some photos from our Halloween this year.  Grandma and Grandpa were in town and we so enjoyed spending time with them.  We kept it simple and I'm learning day in and day out that simple is best.  I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked, so we just have a handful to share.  We had a Jedi warrior, a pirate, a pumpkin, and a zombie man.  The zombie man is not pictured, I still may snap a photo of him.  He just threw on a mask and called it good, growing up I guess, but still loves going door to door and getting all that candy.

We carved pumpkins, a bat and Olaf from Frozen, and I was impressed with the results.  We ate Chilli together, lit our Jack-O-Lanterns, and headed out at twilight.  We trick o treated for a little over an hour.  We had our 6 year old, scared to death by someone waiting in hiding to terrify trick o treaters.  It almost ruined our whole night, lots of tears, but thankfully he came out of it.  Oh, I wish we could save all scaring for those who are older and would like to be scared.  The scary part is not my favorite part of Halloween.  

It was so fun to be out with friends and neighbors.   The night was beautiful, no rain or wind, which is not common here in the Pacific Northwest.  I loved watching the doors open and people sharing and connecting through costumes and treats.  It was a lovely celebration.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Autumn Picture Books

I thought I would share a few of our favorite autumn picture book reads.

Autumn by Gerda Muller
She has one for every season and the autumn version is just lovely.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Gerda Muller

I thought I would add another Gerda Muller book to the mix.  I think this classic tale is perfect for autumn and the illustrations are just lovely.  

Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip: Mini Edition by Elsa Beskow  A lovely little story of little woodland friends who are lost and found.  The art in this is so fun.

Four Friends in Autumn by Tomie DePaola  These four friends experience autumn together.  A beautifully engaging book with wonderful seasonal details.

Autumn Story (Brambly Hedge) by Jill Barklem  I just love the Brambly Hedge books and love that they have one for each season.

Snowsong Whistling by Karen Lotz
A beautiful story, filled with words and images of fall and winter.

Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor
The story of a girl bringing home and carving a pumpkin never looked so lovely.

Wild Child by Lynn Plourde
The story of autumn.  Beautifully written and creatively told.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
This adorable fox worries as all the leaves are falling from his favorite tree.
A lovely story of a Mama and her baby owls.  Don't owls just feel like autumn?

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Foxy Birthday

We had a very foxy birthday for a very special 2 year old boy.  It was so fun to decorate for this happy day.  Thought I would share some photos.