Friday, March 26, 2010

A Fine Time at the Library

I love going to the library.  Unless I have a fine.  Or even think I might have a fine.  When I finally find the lost book that has caused the fine, I drop it in the outside return box instead of having to go inside and face that fine and the librarians who I assume are thinking the worst of me.  "You misplaced a library book?  For three weeks???  What kind of person are you?"  That's what I think they must be thinking.  So I avoid it.  Until my children manage to talk me into going to the library once again.  It takes all kinds of courage and feeding off of my children's excitement to get me up to that desk where I quietly say, "I have a fine I need to pay."  I'm afraid my face turns red every time.  It's rather prone to do that. 

Just yesterday we found one of those poor lost library books.  Thoughts of dread started filling my mind.  I kept pushing them out.  I know that it really is silly to dread the library and the librarians.  So, after taking Miss Bear to her afternoon Kindergarten class, Miss Monkey, Little Man and I went to the library.  I went right up to the desk and handed the book to the librarian who was smiling at me.  I told her the book had been missing and that I needed to pay the fine.  She said "OK" and kept smiling!  And I'm pretty sure my face did not turn red.  In less than a minute my fine was all gone and I was free of guilt.  I was excited to be in the library again!  The kids and I chose some new books and a couple of movies.  I talked to another librarian and asked if she could recommend any good books about the states for young children.  She couldn't think of anything but left a note for the reference librarian who would be in later.  Librarians are so neat! 

We checked out our books and dvd's, went home, and sat down to read.  It was great!  And this time I'm sure we won't lose any books.  I hope.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting to Know You part 23

I watched Napoleon Dynamite for the first time over the weekend.  I'm not quite sure what to think of the movie.  But high school has been on my brain since then, so.....

Q:  What was your high school mascot?

A:  I went to two different high schools.  First the Cougars and then the Wolverines.

Please leave a comment with your own answer to this question.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Postcards, etc.

The Great American Postcard Swap is off and running!  Hooray!  Group 1 is swapping, Group 2 is starting this week, and Group 3 will start two weeks from now. 

I've had a few questions as to what kind of postcard should be sent and what should we put on the back.  Good questions.  The postcards should be state themed, meaning they should have something to do with the state you live in.  We have received 4 postcards so far (so exciting!) and they are each great examples. 

On the back?  Tell us a little bit about your state.  And about yourself if you would like.  Or just list some fun facts about your state.  You can write it by hand, print it on paper and glue it on the card, or print it out on an address label and stick it on. 

What do you do when you receive the postcards in the mail?  My kids always check the mail.  As soon as they see a postcard, they start yelling, "Moooooooom!  Mom, mom, mom, MOM!  We got one, we got one!"  If it is a reading child they also yell out where it came from.  We get everyone together, read what the card says, then find it on the big U.S. map we have on our family room wall.  I printed out a smaller U.S. map for each of the kids as well.  Found them at  The kids locate the state on the smaller map and color it in.  The bigger kids learn the state capital as well.  Over the next couple of days we learn a little more about the state.  Things like state flower or state animal, farming or industries, when it became a state, and sometimes I slip in a big historical event or famous person.  We don't do much at once, just a little here and there.  I'm amazed at what even Miss Monkey is learning and remembering.  We write it down on regular lined paper and keep it in a binder we now call our "States Book" along with the kids' maps. 

Learning Table has been posting some great resources about each state, including a link to some nice notebooking pages to use as you learn about the states. 

Caroline of made this sweet envelope for storing her postcards. 

Havin' Fun Yet? is giving away a couple of educational DVD's about Arkansas that were produced by the Secretary of State's office!  Fun, Fun, Fun!

Patrizzia of iCreate and her daughter are quite busy as well!

Any more ideas to share?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Good Morning.  The sky is lighting up.  It's a beautiful color.  The birds are awake and making lovely sounds.  My favorite is the mourning dove.  I am awake too.  Everyone else in my house is still sleeping.  Peaceful quiet. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Getting to Know You part 22

I wasn't sure what to ask today.  At breakfast this morning, Miss Bear asked a question that cracked me up and I decided to pass it along. 

Q:  Do you like muffins or pickles better?

A:  Almost everyone in my house chose muffins.  Kiddo chose pickles!

Please leave a comment with your own answer to this question!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting to Know You part 21

Q: How many brothers and sisters do you have and where do you "fit" in your family?

A: I have two brother and two sisters. All amazing I might add! I am the oldest.

Please leave a comment with your own answer to this question so that we can all get to know each other.

The 5 of us at our family camping trip last summer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Love and Friendship

The topic for Wordfull Wednesday today is Nurturing Love and Friendship in Marriage. I already talked about this a little in a previous WW post. So I'll just add a little bit to those thoughts.

Mr. Wonderful and I love to laugh together. We all know that laughter is a very healthy thing, right? It is relaxing, it improves blood flow, releases endorphins, and even boosts our immune systems. As long as we are laughing together, laughter has some pretty wonderful effects on our marraige. We feel closer, we forgive easier, we enjoy each other more, and don't stress so much. Like I said, Mr. Wonderful and I love to laugh together. We laugh at funny things the kids do or say. We laugh at the corny jokes we tell each other but would be too embarrassed to say in front of anyone else. We love to laugh at Don Knotts. And Bob Hope. We love to laugh! And life is good.

These pictures really have nothing to do with marraige, but they are my favorite laughter pictures, so I'm going to share them anyway. For more Wordfull Wednesday entries visit Chocolate on my Cranium.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Our first postcard has arrived! It was an exciting thing, let me tell you! My whole purpose in this postcard swap (besides getting fun mail) was to help my kids learn more about all 50 states. So, after receiving our Alabama postcard, we set out to see what we could learn about that great state. We found some wonderful resources online.

The Alabama Secretary of State has a neat Kids Page which includes Alabama history, symbols, fun facts, and even a couple of games. We learned that Alabama became the 22nd state in 1819, the state animal is the black bear, and that Alabama and our state, Idaho, share the same state insect, the Monarch Butterfly.
The Alabama Department of Archives and History also has a kids page which includes some nice printable activity sheets.

Kidskonnect has an Alabama page with lots of really neat links. We could spend lots and lots of time exploring there.

The Alabama Tourism Department has a Flickr photostream with over 600 photos. And on the actual Tourism Department website they have quite a few virtual tours of places all over the state. These were both great ways to "visit" Alabama.

Do you know of any other good Alabama resources? We would love to hear about them.

Great American Postcard Swap

How it works: 50 families (one from each state) will swap postcards over the next year. Each state will have their own week and will send out 49 postcards, one to each state, during that week. We will go in alphabetical order of the states. At the end of 50 weeks we will all have received a postcard from 49 other states!

To join: Check the lists below to see if there is an opening for your state, then send me an email me at adventuresandpursuits (at) gmail (dot) com.

Postcards: Please send state themed postcards and include 1 or 2 state facts in the message area. Postage to send 50 postcards is $14.

Swap Groups: There are three FOUR separate swap groups each needing 50 families.  The following lists show which states each group still needs. I will update these lists as spots are filled.

Group 1

North Dakota

Group 2

North Dakota
West Virginia

Group 3

North Dakota
South Dakota
West Virginia

Group 4

North Dakota

Grab a button!

Adventures and Pursuits

Friday, March 5, 2010

GAPS Blogroll

I thought it would be fun to put together a list of the blogs of our GAPS families. So we can get to know each other a little better. Not everyone has a blog or would like to share it if they do, and that is just fine. We have such a huge variety of families! How exciting!!!

To the GAPS families: If you do not see your blog listed here and would like it to be, just send me an email, adventuresandpursuits (at) gmail (dot) com.
Group 1

The Geeky Gimper - Alabama
In the Potters Hands - Arizona
Havin' Fun Yet? - Arkansas
Let's Explore - California
Livin' in a Boys World - Colorado
Mel's Box of Chocolates - Delaware
One Happy Mama - Florida
An Island Life - Hawaii
Adventures and Pursuits - Idaho
iCreate - Illinois
Houseful of Maidens - Iowa
KC Jayhawk - Kansas
Table Scraps - Michigan
Blah, Blah, Blah - Missouri
Barefoot by the Sea - New Hampshire
River Girl - New Jersey
Olivia Jean: Keepin' it Green - New Mexico
Knitology - New York
Thurman Family on Flickr - Ohio
Unforgettable Childhood - South Dakota
Kids Stuff World - Texas
Me and the Boys - Utah
Bird and Little Bird - Vermont
Clothesline Chronicles - Virginia
The Weaver Fam - Washington
The Cute Little Bainbridge Family - Wisconsin
The Mobsquad - Wyoming

Group 2

Serendipity Mama - Arizona
Itty Bitty Wittes - Colorado
An Organized Mess - Hawaii
The Crafty Monkey - Louisiana
Something To Do - Maine
The Berni Family - Minnesota
The Leggett Family - Mississippi
A Lifetime of Days - Missouri
Our Adventures - Nebraska
Trying Traditional - Ohio
Imagine Creative Name Here - Pennsylvania
Dancing in the Rain - Rhode Island
The Merediths - Tennessee
Blue Yonder Ranch - Texas

Group 3

Two Girls and a Boy - Arizona
Kiwi Adventures - Colorado
MonkeyBoy Adventures - Connecticut
RS Island Crafts - Florida
A Few Good Things - Idaho
Give It a Go - Illinois
Deco Dollop - Maine
Camie and Matt - Minnesota
Me and My Double B's - Mississippi
My Many Coloured Days - Montana
The Happenings - Nevada
Kimmarie's Korner - New Jersey
Home of the Budds - Oregon
The Fantastic Five - Tennessee
Pluto and Back - Texas
Sunshine Daydream - Virginia
Refined Metals Academy - Wisconsin

Group 4

Mrs. Marine and the Tiny Troops - Hawaii

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Getting to Know You part 20

This might seem like a silly question......but here it is:

Q: Do you have a cell phone? If so, how long have you had it? And what color is it?

A: Nope.

I really wanted to ask this question because I wonder sometimes if there is anyone else who does not have a cell phone. Anyone? I am completely curious!

Please leave a comment with your own answer to this question.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

House Stories

March is my month for the 1 Year 12 Quilts quilting bee. I love houses in quilts so I'm asking the ladies in the bee to make house blocks that represent them. They will all have the same blue sky, but the houses will be all different kinds of sizes, colors, and styles. I'm excited!

I've made two house blocks so far.

I'm planning to make one block for every house I have lived in. These two blocks were actually made with the same house in mind. The first real house Mr. Wonderful and I lived in after we got married. Before this house we had lived in apartments.

This is the actual house just a couple weeks before we moved into it.
It was small and old and in a not very nice neighborhood. There was an oil refinery just half a block south of us and a very large and busy railyard about two blocks north of us. We were quite literally on the wrong side of the tracks. But it had a nice big flat yard and two huge trees in front. We really did enjoy our time there.

But that house is no longer there. The city we lived in made plans to re-align and expand the street next to it and even put in a greenway running along the new street. Our house was in the way. I was pretty sad when I first heard about it. But it turned out to be a great thing. It came at just the right time for us. And we got a great deal!

I'm trying to decide now which house to sew next. Each house has it's own special stories and memories. I'm really looking forward to this quilt!