Friday, January 16, 2015

7 Children's Books: Delightful and New Unto Us

It's been awhile since I have shared a fun booklist of all the fabulous picture books we have scouted out. In all honesty, I haven't been to a library in about a month (horrors!), BUT the lovely Christy of Fountains of Home has requested a book list, and since she's one of the few people I know who live in colder lands than we, I was happy to oblige. Christy, I rounded up 7 of our newest favorites for your reading delight. Enjoy!




1.

Wordless, but beautiful


Anno's Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno



2.

A read aloud


Dinotopia, A Land Apart from Time by James Gurny (not technically "new" to us, but it is new to my boys)



3.

A biography





4.

A poem


Iron Horses by Verla Kay + illustrated by Michael McCurdy



5.

A re-mixed fairy tale


Betsy Red Hoodie by Gail Carson Levine + illustrated by Scott Nash



6.


A piece of history


Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan + illustrated by Nancy Carpenter



7.

Child friendly Art History a la a biographical story


Matisse the King of Color by Laurence Anholt



And because I was magical enough to come up with 7 books, I'm linking up with Kelly on this fine snowy day.



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This post 7 Children's Books: Delightful and New Unto Us first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 16 January 2015


Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Faces of My Boys

It's been awhile since I've been able to sit down and share a more personal peek at our lives. Here it is, Thursday night, and I'm finally sitting to write this in between the last minute preparations for the birthday of the middle man, Mr. Blaise. (For those here into birth stories, this is the one I did manage to record for all eternity). Cannot believe he's been with us for 3 years already. Man time flies.

In honor of time flying, here are some portraits of my boyOs. As a photographer by trade, I think I owe it to my family of capturing portraits of each child at least once a month if not more frequently. I didn't actually add this to 2015's goals, but it is something I do hope to accomplish.

Enjoy. I sure love looking at these sweet faces. Hope you do, too.


This ham turned 5 back in December, is a self proclaimed and obvious to the rest of the world Lego fanatic. He has also memorized EVERY Star Wars character from all the films, even though he's only seen 2 of them… I started him on Kindergarten level work in September and already he is reading, writing, adding, subtracting, grasping money concepts, doing simple grammar and spelling… it's astounding how much he memorizes and can take in. 
He delights in making Adrian smile. His aspirations include sainthood though he often tells me he's not sure what vocation God will tell him to do just yet. It warms my heart to see him look out for his brothers and share with each of them, even his newest of toys.




Ever my cuddly boy, Blaise has been making so many big boy advances this year. He can count to 20 and beyond, knows his ABCs and has surprised me several times already with recognizing some sight words (already!). He worries about little things like the "crumbs" in his toes (for which he must remove his socks despite the negative temps outside) or whether or not we took care of what each person in our family likes for dinner ("Dom doesn't like sweet potatoes, Mama - did you make him the other ones, too?"). 
A charmer in many ways with a cute personality and face to boot, B is my tackler, snuggler, and all around good natured kid. His whining typically is due to hunger and fixed almost immediately with a banana. Always. Mornings have become his thing, but he still feels that we should hold him while making him breakfast. And he's turning 3! (Yikes!)




Last but obviously not least (just look at those cheeks!) is Adrian. He's mostly into not doing the things I want him to do and attempting things I think might be above his "level." Eating solids - not his thing. Usually he just sits and holds whatever food I offer on his tongue and gives me a look of "Really Mom, Really?" And then he'll attempt to blow it at me. He's perfectly healthy with an extra side o' chunk, so I kinda don't care.
Sitting up. Also not his thing. He can, he just chooses not to. However, he *can* log roll like no baby I've ever seen. He pretty much chases his brothers around by doing so. And he just started clapping. A-dorable. It's this motion where one hand is held out perfectly still whilst the other hand comes together making a soft clapping action. So freaking cute.
He says Hi or a variation of it but at the correct times. He also will vocalize every bit of the 'Hail Mary' and 'Our Father' when he hears others praying it. (Catholic baby for the win!). Although the past 8 months of his life have gone pretty fast, I do think I've been able to delight in his babyhood fully. It's been pretty fun.


And there you have it. The first portraits of 2015.


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This post The Faces of My Boys first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 15 January 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Books for 2015: My month by month reading plan

Every year I write out a lofty list of reading aspirations, and I don't think I have ever finished one during that year. However, I keep making them year after year. Why? I think mostly because I do love reading, and it's a good starter for the year as well as a push for me to read some "heavier" (read: non-fiction) books alongside books that are somewhat easier, for me at least.

I can't guarantee this year's reading list will actually all get read, but I can honestly say that I've never given this much thought to the list and specifically when each one might get read. Maybe this will help me? I tried to make the beginning half of the year a bit more full, with the latter half sparse, knowing that some of those early reads might not actually get finished, and I want to have the time later to catch up.

What I had hoped to read in 2014 and what I actually read were pretty far from one another. And if anything, I hope to at least attain my goal of one new book a month. Honestly, the hardest part will be *not* picking up any books when I am at the library with my kiddos - for me, this is the easiest way to get off track, swayed by pretty covers and catchy titles.



This year's list lends itself to cuddling up with books during the cold months and counts on being more active (i.e. outside) in the warmer months. A '*' denotes it being a re-read, and as you will notice, I am allowing myself more than one month to tackle some books. All that aside, I give you my book list for 2015:


January

Finish:
The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home by Leila Marie Lawton and David Clayton
Chosen and Cherished: Biblical Wisdom for Your Marriage by Kimberly Hahn

Read:
Time to Be in Earnest: A Fragment of Autobiography by P.D. James
Death of a Policeman (Hamish Macbeth Mystery) by M. C. Beaton
The Hunger Games (Book 1) and Catching Fire (Book 2) by Suzanne Collins

Start/Continue:
Theology of the Body for Beginners: A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II's Sexual Revolution by Christopher West
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte *


February

Finish:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte *
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor

Read:
Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins
Designated Daughters (A Deborah Knott Mystery) by Margaret Maron
City of Darkness and Light (Molly Murphy Mysteries) by Rhys Bowen

Continue:
Theology of the Body for Beginners by Christopher West


March

Start
Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset

Read
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen *
Short Stories by Rhys Bowen (there are 3 I've found… all digital copies)
Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

Finish


April

Finish
Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset


Start
Our Pioneers and Patriots by Fr. Philip Furlong


May

Finish
Our Pioneers and Patriots by Fr. Philip Furlong

Read
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh *
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw


June

Read
Someone: A Novel by Alice McDermott
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle


July

Read
Queen of Hearts (A Royal Spyness Mystery) by Rhys Bowen
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath


August

Read
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald


September

Read
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Start
Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution by Mary Eberstadt
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson


October

Finish
Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution by Mary Eberstadt
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson


November

Read
The Edge of Dreams (Molly Murphy Mysteries) by Rhys Bowen


December

Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh


What books are on your reading list for 2015?





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All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. 
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::
This post: Books for 2015: My month by month reading plan first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 8 January 2015


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