April 4, 2013

12 Things (The Oh-My-Goodness-I-Have-a-Craft-Room Edition!)

If you are new here, 12 Things is this thing I do every once in a while where I share links I like and questions I have and updates on what's going on around our house. It's a chance to get to know each other a little better, so please do take a moment to comment and say "hi!"

1. As you may have guessed by the title of this post, we've made some progress on my craft room.  It's slowly coming together, mostly with paint and furnishings we already had or scored second hand for nearly free.  I love this sort of organic decorating, where a room isn't planned out or "designed" but just comes together slowly as pieces are required and found and incorporated.




2.  A friend introduced me to these Cooking With Clara videos on Youtube.  Have you seen them?  It's this sweet old grandmotherly lady cooking depression era meals and talking about what it was like to live through the great depression. Hubby and I like to watch them together.

3.  Our sofas are old and broken so we are ripping them apart and re-building them into a brand new (sorta) sectional.  Right now our living room is in shambles with pieces of sofa and fabric and foam, but in the end it is going to be so worth it.  And shockingly it's not going to be teal. (Well, not entirely.)  In fact, you can see my inspiration photo here.  (Eeek!)

4. I am part of a great women's bible study and we are working through this book I like it a lot, and not just because I get to spend four delightful hours with a fabulous group of women every second Thursday!

5. When I'm done that study I want to round up a group of people to study this one at my house.   I just love Shane Claiborne, in a he-makes-me-want-to-sell-everything-and-give-it-to-the-poor sort of way.

6. This Honest Toddler blog is hilarious, in a slightly painful sort of way if you currently have a toddler unraveling your toilet paper on the living room floor.

7. We are nearly done reading all of the way through the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House Series and I don't know what to read next.  Any mamas out there have good chapter book suggestions for me to read to my 3,5 and 6 year old?

8. I love this Dear Mom on the iPhone post from 4littlefergusons. It seems to have started a bit of a controversy around blogland as people think the author, Tonya, was trying to shame and discourage people. But I think if you take it for what it is (a reminder to let how we spend our time reflect our priorities and to make sure our kids know that they are immensely more important than our smart phones or any media that can so easily steal our attention) then I think it's a reminder I definitely need.  It stung a little, in a good way.

9. I hosted an apron sewing party.  We sewed simplified versions of this pattern and ate chocolate and bounced babies and talked for hours.  It was lovely.  I'm already brainstorming my next excuse for a ladies night in.



10. I love this Hierarchy of Cleaning chart from Small Notebook.  When I have people coming over and too much to do and feel like I'm just running around like a chicken with its head cut off it gives me a place to start.

11. I've been making this Garlic Rice Pilaf at least once a week and the whole family enjoys it.  I increase the garlic to a whole head (we love garlic!) and I add some toasted sliced almonds at the end.

12. We've been playing outside a lot and enjoying the (somewhat) spring-like weather.  We had our first picnic of the year last week and my kids are excavating parts of the back yard in search of rocks to "sell" in a little "store" under the porch.  So if I'm not blogging much it's because I'm out back buying rocks from a three year old and eating lunch in the wet grass.

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51 comments:

  1. Here are some good books I can think of that they might enjoy:
    The Secret Garden
    Dealing with Dragons (I have only read the first one in the series and it was delightful - although there is some suspense, if you think the 3 year old is up for it)
    Peter Pan
    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

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  2. Boxcar Children!!
    Series of Unfortunate Events

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    1. I really enjoyed Boxcar Children when I was growing up too!
      Anne of Green Gables was good too, sort of in the same stream as Little House on the Prairie.
      Nancy Drew might be a bit too old for them right now, but I liked those books when I was younger.

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  3. I don't know if you're looking for Christian books specifically, but I loved Roald Dahl books as a child, and still have them aged 35 as I can't quite bear to get rid of them!

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    1. Hi Abi! No, I wasn't looking for Christian literature, specifically. Thanks for the suggestion. It's lovely that you still cherish the books from your childhood! :)

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    2. I was also going to suggest Roald Dahl. I especially loved his book "Danny the Champion of the World." Also, the Secret of NIMH is good. The Boxcar Children series has lasted through time as well.

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    3. I was going to suggest Roald Dahl also! The BFG was a favorite of mine and I've since read it to numerous children of all ages :)

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  4. You could try using this to find a new book:

    http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/

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    1. What a neat tool! Thanks Sarah.

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  5. We're reading the Guardian of Childhood series and loooove them. We've just finished The Chronicles of Narnia for the second time (with the exception of a Boy and his Horse because my Hubby didn't think it really fit)

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    1. We just started the Guardian of Childhood books too and I was going to suggest them! We started with the picture books (The Man in the Moon) and moved on to the chapter books. It was fun to start with picture books and then move to the chapter books. I am so excited to read them all! (And then watch the movie!)

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  6. I'll second Roald Dahl, I loved his books when I was a kid. Especially "James and the Giant Peach".

    My favorite book at that age was "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White. He also does "Stuart Little" and "Trumpet of the Swan", which are good too, but "Charlotte's Web" is still the best, I think.

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  7. I was going to say the Boxcar Children series too! We are reading one right now to our children. They are 2, 5 and 6. The 5 and 6 year olds love it, but the 2 year old is easily distracted. :-)
    ~Joelle

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  8. Love this post! No Other gods looks like a great read. Adding it to my to-read list right now! Currently reading Shepherding a Child's Heart. Love it, wish I could just absorb it, it would be a much faster and probably more thorough way to read.
    Loved the blog posts you recommended. And I think I'll try the rice dish with meatloaf tomorrow night.
    I forgot about Roald Dahl books! Loved those as well. I've read my girls, Charlotte's Web and they loved it. I enjoyed reading the Narnia series, but don't think my girls, 3 and 5, would like them just yet.
    Thanks for the great tips.

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  9. You can find a lot of great books by checking out Sonlight.com. Here is an example. http://www.sonlight.com/read-alouds-a.html I look forward to checking out your other links as time allows! You are a blessing!

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  10. Charlotte's Web (and other EB White books )The Mouse and His Motorcycle series by Beverly Cleary is great too. Roald Dahl is funny. Anne of Green Gables, Boxcar Children is good too.

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  11. I had forgotten about Clara. Thanks for reminding me!

    Recommendations for reading:
    Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
    Roald Dahl
    Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle

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  12. Bible studies and apron making, I LOVE this! What sweet ways to spend time with other women. I need women like that in my life, seems everyone around where I live are too caught up in the latest and greatest and working tons of overtime to get it.

    As for book suggestions, I agree with the Peter Pan suggestion. It's my all time favourite children’s story!

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  13. Thank you for sharing you seem to be filling every moment x

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  14. Nate the Great are fun little mysteries for kids. I also agree with the Boxcar Children.

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  15. I was also going to suggest the Boxcar series. As a former working mom & teacher (kindergarten), I always read the first book of the Boxcar Children to my class in the early spring. The kids loved it and I enjoyed hearing their predicitons about how they thought things would turn out along the way. The result was always my kids badgering the school librarian for other books in the series, which meant success to me! :)

    I'm a new reader and just wanted to let you know that I love your blog! I also wish I could join you for a sewing session!

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  16. Anne of green gables ?
    (I love this serie :-) Anne is so funny, and she very kind with her children when she becames a mom. Everyday, I try to act like her :-) )

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  17. On reading to your little ones, here's a post I wrote recently on all the books I plan to read to my girlies!! SOOOO many lovely stories that take me back to my childhood... and a few of other people's suggestions in the comments too!
    http://clarinascontemplations.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/great-girls-your-girls-should-know.html

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  18. My kids (4, 5 and 9) all love the Railway Children. It has nice short chapters so 1 or 2 a night is perfect

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  19. My daughter is almost 5 and she LOVES Stuart Little, we are reading it a second time now. also she has some books with a bunch of old classic books. she also loves Junie B. Jones

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  20. Our household grew up on several book series:

    Happy Hollisters
    Boxcar Children
    Dealing with Dragons (my all time fave series, launched my reading addiction)
    Shel Silverstein Poem books
    The Berenstain Bears

    We were a little older for these, but they are great reads!
    Harry Potter
    Animorphs
    Goosebumps

    Ella Enchanted one of my all time favorite stand alone books :)

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  21. I like what you had to say about the "organic decorating". That is my house. Between hand me downs, my husband being a garbage man and me not being above picking things up curbside, our house is filled with castoffs. Recently my hubby was at a friends new house who has WAY more money than we do and a decorator wife, I was eager to hear how the place looked and he said it wasn't anything special and I probably could have done better. I took the compliment and smiled with pride in the fact that we have made a nice home out of "nothing". It's the same with babies, life doesn't have to be expensive with a little bit of creativity and openness. :)

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  22. Raggedy Ann and Andy books. I still remember mom reading these books to us before bed, and could not wait until the next night to hear more!

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  23. May I suggest a book for you to read?
    Please check out The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. It is an awesome book about the benefits of reading alout to your children. For me, it reenforced the importance of reading aloud to children, what makes a good read aloud book, and how to look for books that may be above thier reading level but not above their comprehension levels. He also has lists of great books

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  24. The Magic Treehouse series, quick suspense-filled chapters and great references to history. http://www.magictreehouse.com/#about_the_authors
    Careful, the kids will want to keep turning the pages and finish the book in one sitting! :) -cindy

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  25. So we just read "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" a few months ago, and while I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get into it, it turned out to be a really wonderful and truly whimsical book. Though perhaps a little long for your littles. We read the second one as well, and we're excited to read the prequel soon.

    Here is the goodreads page if you want to look at it: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9591398-the-girl-who-circumnavigated-fairyland-in-a-ship-of-her-own-making

    And if you don't end up reading it next, you should definitely keep it on your list :D

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  26. What about reading Heidi? What a beautiful story of redemption!!!

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  27. i second the Happy Hollister! I loved those books growing up

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  28. I still remember my mom reading Boxcar Children to us as kids. I still have her copy from childhood (which is falling apart). I remember my mom reading Trumpet of the Swan to us and Stuart Little. Also Heidi. Great memories. I can't wait until my little one will sit still for things like this.

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  29. I can't wait to see how your sofa/sectional turns out! I love your inspiration photo. Now I'm off to check out the cooking lady videos. Sounds very cool. :) I loved this post!

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  30. Charlotte's Web
    The Trumpet of the Swan
    Mrs Piggle Wiggle
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Danny the Champion of the World
    James and the Giant Peach
    Fantastic Mr Fox
    The Tale of Despereaux
    Because of Winn Dixie
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    Heidi
    A Little Princess

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  31. Just had to come back to tell you I watched the poorman's meal episode of Cooking with Clara and by the end I was surprised at myself for tearing up. Seeing her with her grandson and his friends was wonderful. What a remarkable lady! Thanks for sharing about her.

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  32. I just love your board saying: " you are made in the image of a Creator, so Create (without fear)"
    This is so meaningfull, I've always felt lousy at anything arty or crafty but this phrase is so true, I'll try to make sure my kids create without fear :)

    For the reading, have you already gone through all the Grimm brothers stories? The full version original ones are great ; they can seem a little violent but are really foundational stories, not to say myths and very usefull in the self-development of any little person.

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  33. When your girls are a little older, you could start on the Junie B. series. I am sorry I don't remember the author. My daughter loved them when she was about 7 or 8.

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  34. Anything by Beverly Cleary, such as the Ramona Books. As a child, I also loved the Booky series and The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. Island of the Blue Dolphins.

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  35. Misty of Chincoteague, and it's sequels. Some of the other series that have been suggested here are wonderful stories (Anne of Green Gables, Narnia), that I enjoy re-reading regularly, but my voice just couldn't handle reading them aloud to my children.

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  36. We love "The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse" by Thornton W. Burgess. It is so engaging, has rich language, and great life lessons. It is a classic in my opinion. There are many in this series about the green forest friends.
    I also second "The Railway Children" and "Five Little Peppers and How they Grew." Although they might be harder for the 3 year old.
    Carolyn

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  37. Have you ever heard of thriftbooks.com. It is a great way to get cheap books when you are looking for specific titles. Often books are about $4, and ship for free. There are ten warehouses, and if you get more than one from the same warehouse they start to take $.50 off each additional book. I do not have any ties to the company, other than being a satisfied customer.
    Carolyn

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  38. Why don't you continue with the books about Rose?! I LOVED them growing up! The first book is "Little House on Rocky Ridge" Make sure you look for the un-abridged version. I read they are producing some now that have a lot missing from them. There are 8 books all together!

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  39. I do not think I saw Elizbeth Enright's books about the Melendy children mentioned above so may I suggest them? They are enchanting, darling, fun books! The first book is called "The Saturdays" we read them aloud and my children loved them. Wholesome and the writting is excellent. I hope your family loves them as much as we do.

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  40. We like Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. It's about best friends and was written in the 1940s. Simple, innocent and my 3 and 6 year olds love the series.

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  41. So everyone else has already suggested my favorite read-alouds! My oldest also reads the Magic Treehouse books to the younger two. They are simple - she can finish one in a day.

    Thimble Summer is another favorite that I don't think has been mentioned yet.

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  42. There are books by Laura Ingalls' mother and grandmother that are great to read, especially if they liked the Little house series. We have not read them ourselves, yet, but are doing the 'Prairie Primer' for homeschooling this next year and hope to include them.
    As well, we love the Elsie Dinsmore series, Gramma's Attic has been recommended to us, Canadian Girls/American girls, though we have screened through some that are not suitable. Little Women is well enjoyed, as Anne of Green Gables. I am also told books by Bill Peet are very good, Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel and Children on the Oregon Trail by Anna Rutgers. Hope this helps!

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  43. The Boxcar Children
    Anne of Green Gables
    The Narnia Series

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  44. An APRON SEWING PARTY!!1! That is SUCH a great idea. SO GREAT! I'm going to plan one for my friends. Thank you!

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  45. In response to your question about books...both my daughter and son (good for both boys and girls) like The Cul-de-Sac Kids by Beverly Lewis: http://www.beverlylewis.com/books/16-books/youth-fiction/30-the-cul-de-sac-kids-series

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