Thursday, June 30, 2011

Daily Bread

Watch: Food Inc.
Read: Farm City

The Library:
 daily bread for the soul, body, eyes and ears.

If you haven't heard The Band Perry, you are in for
a real treat:

xoxo Michele


When my daughter pulled Blockhead off the library shelf
I was skeptical. Lets just say Math and I dated for a while
but it didn't work out. He was always right, I was always
wrong, who needs that aggravation?

But Fibonacci came home with us
and changed our lives.
We see his sequence daily. 
Upside down.
Objects once regarded as ordinary became

Our daughter's math fair project. Her teacher was so 
impressed she requested the book as part of her permanent
collection. Her previous teacher caught wind and 
asked for a class instruction as well. 
Our daughter potential teacher was happy to oblige.

The perfect summer read - learning about math
while surrounded by the mysteries of nature.

And Fibonacci is a perfect gentleman.
After all, he was called a blockhead.

Great books inspire.
And the library has a lot of great books.

xoxo Michele

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gone Surfing

Watch: Surf's Up
Listen: Beach Boys Gone Surfing

Remember those summer days when your skin looked 
like it got in a fire fight with a dragon? And bruises 
from making tents in your bedroom out of sheets and blankets
held in place by books and bowling balls; and the cat thought
the top was a new hiding place? Was that just me?

My children have made tents in their rooms. Summer is here!

This collection is for my daughter. Adores the movie and
the music. The cookbook is coming with us to the beach next
month - easy, delish recipes that involve very little
cooking and an abundance of fruit and chocolate. 
Lynn Reiser delights both children and adults. 
All of her books are educational but infinitely engaging. 
My daughter teaches with this as a guide in her school room.

What are some of your favorite beach reads for children?

Boys of Summer

Listen: Don Henley Boys of Summer
Cook: Emeril Lagasse There's a Chef in My Soup

I was going to post this collection towards the end of summer, 
but after reading this thrilling post from Molly 
I was inspired to share right away.

It has probably become apparent that I love reading,
but reading aloud to my children is one of life's
greatest rewards. For an hour (almost) every
night we transport ourselves to somewhere irresistible.
This collection is one of my older son's favorites. He started
collecting insects in earnest after reading Children of Summer.
But you don't have to be a potential entomologist to 
find pleasure in the antics and adventures of this eclectic family.

Emeril's fish-sticks are a must make. The movie is
immensely entertaining but doesn't reach the shoulder
of the book (in can't cover the material). If you enjoy it I 
recommend reading the book aloud with your family.
And Don Henley? He is for me. All mine.

Sigh. The library. 
Adds meaning to our life without spending money.

xoxo Michele

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heirs of the Revolution

Watch: John Adams
Listen: Bruce Springsteen Born In the USA
Cook: Apple Pie

Posting early so you'll have a chance to pick
 these up at your local library; just click on the links
and you're in the land of luxury the library ~ I'm sweet like that.
As in, when I'm not forgetful, which is rare. 
My family is wondering if they will ever eat again. I guess I have
been a teensy-weensy preoccupied with this little bloggy-blog.  

I have seen the mini-series about 4000 times and never tire 
of listening to these courageous men (and me oh my the 
women). Fall in love with Jefferson and Washington - 
total swoonfest happening in our living room let me tell you.
But the love story of John and Abigail. It will make you
rush right out at midnight banging on the library doors to 
Open! Open!
so that you can borrow all of their biographies. 
Or maybe that is just me. Don't miss the documentary
that is included of David McCullough - more swooning.
But in a good, writer-crush sort of way.

The cookbook is divine, but I am a horrible baker. Horrible.
I cry for my mommy. Or Carl's mommy. Sad things happen
when I go into the kitchen. But I try. I cry and
sing along with Bruce.

And then the book.
 A teacher here in town recommended it. I was ensnared by
the first sentence. The title comes from that chapter, 
but I'm not telling you anymore. This is a book that should be
read at night when the kids are tucked in bed (doesn't happen
here, hope it happens at your house though) and you aren't
distracted, or have obligations because it bounces around
from story to story. And you will want to stay
with the Alpha company. The mother in you will be torn.

"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it." 
                                                                         — John Adams

I will be posting some of my favorite collections 
for children tomorrow. Thank you for all the kind
feedback!! It means so much to me. Please let me know if 
there are reading topics you would like me to cover.

xoxo Michele

Miles To Go

Watch: First Dog 
Listen on Audio Book: 1776
Listen: Miles Davis 

As thoughts turn to our nation's birthday, the 
library has a variety of media to make your
family summer vacation more meaningful.

Don't forget Miles Davis; a summer road trip 
without him just wouldn't be as sunny.

xoxo Michele   

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Husband Prefers Blondes

Listen: Faith Hill Fireflies

So do I. A little beauty for both of us.
Inspire. Create. 
Add a little flair and wisdom to your home today. 
If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina 
area, click on the links and you will be magically
transported directly to heaven the library.

xoxo Michele

With a Twist

Listen: Adele 21

How do you see the public library? As a place of beauty? I do.

 I've been making my own beautifully balanced
borrows of various media for decades

~ thanks to the library ~

and want to share how I do it, so that hopefully
you will do it too. My collections are designed to inspire creativity, 
a love of reading with your family and beauty in your home. 

Visual aid was inspired by this sublime beauty of a blog. 
Although I haven't met Jane, we share 
the same love of literature. 

This media and more are available at your local library.

xoxo Michele

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Name Calling

We found this great read last week at the library.

Marla Frazee, our family puffy loves your new classic.

To learn more about this great author click here. 

Warning: This book will cause a new trend in your home – 
name contractions, or as we now call it, 
a Kuh-Name.

 Meet Jocket.
{John and Rocket}

Kid's Favorite:  the humor

Momma’s Favorite:  what it inspires. 

 We'll make these penguins during our beach vacation in July, but for now this great book inspired memorizing all 17 species of Penguins:

Sung to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey”

Royal, Macaroni,
Rockhopper, Fiordland,
Erect-Crested, Humboldt,
Magellanic, Snare…
Galapagos, Chinstrap,
Adelie, Gentoo,
King, African, Yelloweyed,
Fairy and Emperor.

It takes about 5 minutes to learn and is quite catchy  - I know this because they’re working on a new version sung to the Black Eyed Peas “I’ve Got a Feeling”  ~ sure to be hit very soon on You Tube.

Great books inspire songs, new words 
(and name calling).

You can find this book at your local library.

What is your Kuh-Name?

xoxo Cachele  {Carl * Michele}

Friday, June 24, 2011

Library Love

 She placed second at her school's Art Fest

because she found these books at our local library
and fell in love with simple machines.

Great books inspire art.

Your local library has these titles and more.

xoxo Michele

Summer Streaking...

Do you read aloud to your children?
 Your spouse?
{Hmm. Your dog?}

I do all of the above. 
And more. 

Alice Ozma inspires me. 
Her father amazes me.
His selfless dedication as a elementary school librarian alone
would be enough to impress a saint. But what he accomplishes 
with his daughter makes him my hero. 

Her father started reading to her every night from 4th grade until her first night away from home at college. 

You can read about starting your own Reading Streak here:

Would you give streaking a try?

What are some of the obstacles 
preventing daily reading?

xoxo Michele

Thursday, June 23, 2011

About Michele

 Welcome! I'm naturally curious about most everything, so I read. A lot. I'm a passionate advocate for the public library because it has contributed greatly to our family's way of life. I don't work for the library, but based on the time spent there, I should ~ it has always been my second home. I spend hours there each week so that our children will have a well-rounded combination of all subjects in various mediums. Quite simply, I couldn't afford to provide them with this abundance of knowledge any other way. My hope is to create a strong and vibrant intellectual home life that promotes curiosity about the world, critical thinking skills and inspires a lifelong love of learning. As C. S. Lewis said: 

"I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the 
same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a 
man who walks in a field has of finding a new blade of grass."

My bloggy purpose is to share the beauty of the library, and encourage reading aloud with your children. It takes a little fortitude and trial and error at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll start re-arranging your life to make it a priority. Why? To watch their memory, vocabulary and confidence grow, discovering remote as well as neighboring parts of the world - together - is addictive. I have also found that our communication and relational skills with each other are flourishing because of the connectivity that reading aloud requires.

My husband and I just celebrated 12 years of marriage and have 3 elementary aged progeny. I am an Idaho spud but have lived in the North East, Central Minnesota and for the past four years we have  enjoyed calling North Carolina our home. I don't care much for housekeeping - would rather be doing crafts and activities with my family, or reading. Or camping in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains tubing down the New River while our smoochy dog runs around barking at flowers and clouds, which is a fair trade-off from his incessant barking at the doorbell, TV, phone, cars, joggers, and the mailman, believe me.

I would love to hear from you! If there is a topic you'd like me to cover, questions you'd like me to try and answer or just have feedback, please feel free to reach out by email or leave a comment below. So glad you stopped by!

xoxo Michele