Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Tuesday Review: Author Highlight - Jim Arnosky

Jim Arnosky is one of our all time favorite authors.  Over the years, we have read many of his books.  Some have been all about a favorite animal, like sharks or fish.  Others have been stories about animals based on real accounts.  His illustrations are amazing and have been studied by my boys as they have learned how to draw many different types of animals.

Our most recent Jim Arnosky book to check out was Following The Coast.  It is a beautiful book, full of fun information and inspiration to be out in nature more, observing, learning, and soaking it in!


Some of our favorites over the years have been:

The Brook Book
All About Sharks
Hook, Line, and Seeker
Wild Tracks
Dolphins on the Sand

And honestly, I could go on and on.  Of the books that we have read by Jim Arnosky, they have all been fantastic!  There are several books of his that I discovered while researching for this post that we haven't read yet.  I can't wait to see if our library has them! Whether your kids are young or getting older, or if you enjoy quality nature-based literature, then I highly recommend any book by Jim Arnosky!  See his website for details. http://www.jimarnosky.com/

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Tuesday Review: Beautiful Outlaw and The Noticer Returns

I love to read. Fiction, non-fiction, historical, self-improvement, children's literature, picture storybooks, science, and any other well-written, quality literature.  I love to learn new things, to have my perspective challenged, to read a good story.  I could stop there, but instead I would like to share those good books with you!  Now, I should have been doing this for years.  There are so many good books out there that I've read, that my boys and I have read together, that I have wanted to share with others. Instead of listening to the voice of regret that says it's too late to start, I'm going to choose to move forward and share with you books that I have enjoyed and been challenged by!  And maybe along the way I'll be reminded of some of my favorites from the past as well.

Recently, I read Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge.  I love that it challenged how I view Jesus, his personality, and how his personality is revealed in nature and other people.  It brought back hope that I can experience Jesus on a deeper level and know him and be known by him in a more intimate way. The book also helped to peel away some layers of 'religion' that had crept into my life. If you are up for having your perspective challenged, or perhaps just want to see Jesus and his love for you in a different way, then I would recommend this book.

I won't usually highlight two books in one post, but I am compelled to share another book with you as well.  Personally, I'm trying to do better about finishing one book before I start another.  It helps me to stay focused on what I am reading at the moment.  As soon as I started reading Beautiful Outlaw, another book on my 'To Read' list came available at the library.  It took all of my self control to wait until I was finished with the book I was currently reading before picking up The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews.

The Noticer Returns is all about perspective, how we think and what we think, and the conclusions we draw about what happens to us in life. These conclusions shape the decisions we make and the actions we take or don't take.  Those actions that we take affect our influence in the lives of those closest to as as well as those we have yet to meet. This book, as well as the book that precedes it, The Noticer, are both engaging stories that continue to challenge me at the core of who I am and what I believe about life. I would highly recommend both of them!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On Ninjas and Pokemon Trainers

I never know what the boys are going to decide to be for Halloween.  It usually changes a few times over the course of the fall, so I don't even ask until about two weeks out. Big J knew exactly what he wanted to be (a Ninja) and did most of the costume himself.  I spray painted an old pair of shoes black and bought a new set of ninja swords for him.  Easy enough.  

Inevitably, though, M-man usually decides to be something for which no official "costume" exists.  This is fun for me, but also a bit stressful, as I'm generally under a time crunch.  He wanted to be Pokemon Trainer Lance.  So, we found a picture online and worked from there.  It involved hunting for just the right pair of sweat pants, a shirt to match (which he happened to already have), some orange Washi tape (super cool stuff!!), a cape (already had from a previous Darth Vader costume), metal buttons, old boots, and spray paint!  Oh, and lots of hair gel!  I thought his costume turned out well.  He approved. It was a job well done, and right on time, as I was doing the finishing touches on Friday afternoon. :)

Better Right On Time Than Never

Whew.  This has been a crazy month.  We just barely squeezed in carving pumpkins.  In fact, it was Friday afternoon on the 31st when we finally got around to it. Ha.  Thankfully, the boys are older now, and were able to do almost all of it themselves.  Both boys designed their own pumpkins, and Big J did all of the carving on his pumpkin by himself!

Here is M-Man's pumpkin!

Big J, with both pumpkins!