Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of Library Living {Day 31}: Do Not Fear Drawing


Arielle is ready for tonight. All of the kids would have slept in their costumes for the past two weeks had I let them. But she's also been spending a considerable amount of time in her room teaching her class of dolls and stuffed animals how to draw. These books from the library have been a hit:



Ed Emberley's books give her confidence in her ability to draw and share that beauty with others. He has numerous titles on the shelf for a variety of holidays and just plain 'ol drawing books, so pick up a few today.


Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

  
Has this really been 31 Days? Behind us? Already? As always, my favorite part has been meeting many new bloggy friends. I may post tomorrow, I may take a day or two off; but I'll be here loving on the library and hope you'll want to come back for a visit real soon.

Thank you for all the encouragement and positive feedback. I truly see the library as a healthy part of our lifestyle and hope that you'll make it a part of yours, too.

xoxo Michele

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 Days Of Library Living {Day 30}: Liberty Is Another Word For Library


A few years ago when my personal world was rocked from head to toe, I was looking for courage. While browsing through a bookstore's devotional section, my eyes landed on this captivating cover:


At the time I didn't think of this book for myself, but as a book that my husband could read with our oldest son, so I bought it and brought it home. Each night, I would hear them reading and discussing, questioning and occasionally pausing to catch their breath from the gloriousness of what they had just discovered: courageous men ~ and women. 



During the day, I would tiptoe into my son's room and read what they had the previous evening, and sometimes jump ahead so I could be in the know on that evening's discussion. Throughout the book, the same man kept coming up, front and center: John Adams. After finishing the book, my husband said we needed to know more about him, so we rented the HBO mini-series, John Adams, and fell head over heals in love. With John. And Abigail. And David McCullough.



Close your eyes. Make a wish. And when you've finished, thank God for John Adams. And wish him a Happy Birthday today. 


I had big plans for a celebration, but my health over the past two weeks has been compromised, so we did something simple. I own numerous copies of David McCullough's book, John Adams, because I'm forever loaning them out to anyone silly enough to ask me who my favorite author is. I left one on a bench with a small note congratulating the lucky finder that the book is a gift in honor of John's birthday. I hope they read it. And tell their children about him. Especially about the liberty part.


Our public libraries give us access to that knowledge, and every time you walk through their door you are in essence preserving liberty. When you read history to your children, you are giving the gift of liberty. I have learned that it can take courage to say no to TV (and anything else distracting) and say yes to reading to our children daily. But you will never regret that time. You will never wish that you had spent your valuable moments on something else. 



Looking for some courage today? Borrow this beauty from your library:




You can see the letter we wrote to John Adams here. Yes, I'm a tad obsessive, but I know it and have accepted it and kinda love it a lot.


   
Thank you for joining and encouraging me in this amazing month-long blogging adventure. It all started here.

Thank you, Nester, for inspiring all of us 31 Dayers.

Most of all, thank you librarians. You are the true defenders and preservers of one of the most precious liberties we have in this country - free access to knowledge. It is right up there with our freedom to practice any religion we choose.

xoxo Michele



Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days of Library Living {Day 29}: New To You

01) Jonah

I don't know how it happened. Our youngest son didn't discover Veggie Tales until last month. This hilarious world of herbage is new to him, and his passion for reciting all the quotes has renewed our love for Bob and Larry and the gang of greens (and yellows, oranges and reds). Your local library most likely has the entire collection. Pick up one this weekend and get ready for silly singing. Do you have a favorite?


This series, 31 Days of Library Living, started here. Please join me for the month, maybe even follow me forever on this blog by email or subscribe to my posts - I would be honored.

Are you a 31 Dayer? Leave me a message, I would love to come visit you. 

For a list of all of the 31 Dayers, click here.
For the amazing girl behind all of this 31 Days magic, click here.

xoxo Michele

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days of Library Living {Day 28}: Courage To Continue


"Success is not final, failure isn't fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." ~ Winston Churchill 



She is always on the go. Even when she is sitting quietly, I know that beautiful mind is taking her places. She whistles when she's happy, snuggles in my lap when there is bad weather, crafts me out of supplies faster than Michael Phelps in a 200 Fly heat, writes poetry for her teachers, whips up gourmet meals in the kitchen with very little assistance, asks questions about ancient world history and what I think about her attending a local college and living at home until she graduates (for the record, I think that would be awesome). 


But up until just recently she wasn't into chapter books. Yes, my daughter doesn't like them, Sam-I-Am. Give her a trivia book or math books or science books - or her fave, poetry books - and she'll bear hug you silly. But chapter books are required reading for school, so each night we'd endure a merry-go-round of emotions that would drain me of all logic and laughter. Seriously, I felt fifty years older and ten pounds lighter (of brain cells) when we finished. She loves me to read chapter books to her - but reading on her own has been a struggle.


My advice if your child is going through something similar: keep reading to them. Keep going to the library each week and browsing the aisles for new chapter books. She settled on some Edward Eager books and has stuck with them (yippee), but it wasn't until a sweet neighbor gave her the Allie Finkle series by Meg Cabot (thank you, Morgan!) that she started reading without prodding. 


We still talk each night about how a challenge is something to go through - not give up on. That success is more about the going than the destination. In fact, what makes a story so compelling is the courage to go on and face the challenges. Wouldn't a chapter book be boring if there weren't any problems? She sees this and states quite clearly: I'm going and I'll never give up - not on reading, not on life. It's a beautiful message for my life as well.
 
What do you do when your child doesn't want to read? 


This series, 31 Days of Library Living, started here. Please join me for the month, maybe even follow me forever on this blog by email or subscribe to my posts - I would be honored.

Are you a 31 Dayer? Leave me a message, I would love to come visit you. 

For a list of all of the 31 Dayers, click here.
For the amazing girl behind all of this 31 Days magic, click here.

xoxo Michele

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 Days of Library Living {Day 27}: Borrow Or Buy



These photos were taken on October 1st, just as this 31 Days series began. John and I walked to town, the library being our first stop. We dropped off books and borrowed new ones, and then checked out the sale table. His eyes landed on the Super Smash Bros book and he silently high-fived me in delight.


Over the years our family has started a wonderful home library. Everything from the classics like Dickens to what you see above. Ninety percent have been purchased at the library.I will occasionally buy books from Amazon or at the children's Book Fair at school. But most come from our local library.



When you visit the library weekly, you know when the librarians are putting out new books for sale. Hardbacks for as low as fifty cents. Most paperback classics are five for a dollar. Not all of them are in perfect shape, but I'm not the type of person that wants perfectly-untouched-looking books on my shelves. 

We've had to buy four sets of bookshelves off craigslist through the years to house them all.  Our children have classics that will take them through college and beyond. The library provides this beauty to borrow and many to buy. It's just one additional benefit to visiting your local library.


And a great way to start your Saturday. A special thanks to The Nester for inspiring this 31 Days series. I'm so thankful to have a month-long diary of my favorite time of the year.


This series, 31 Days of Library Living, started here. Please join me for the month, maybe even follow me forever on this blog by email or subscribe to my posts - I would be honored.

Are you a 31 Dayer? Leave me a message, I would love to come visit you. 

For a list of all of the 31 Dayers, click here.
For the amazing girl behind all of this 31 Days magic, click here.

xoxo Michele

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days of Library Living {Day 26}: The Quiet Teachers


He is hooked. At eleven years of age, he is lining up what to read next and carries two (heavy) reads at a time in his backpack to avoid any delay in beginning the next work of fictional beauty. These books have become constant companions; forever fiction friends. And it didn't happen by chance. 


For the past year, the great reads he has fallen in love with have been recommended by the children's librarian at our town library. Beverly is his quiet teacher, and her temperate book endorsements have transformed our son into a prolific reader, mostly through relayed conversation with me acting as the go-between. 

This is the series she recently recommended:


Peter and The Starcatchers* started out as a fantastic read aloud, but I couldn't read it fast enough for Nick. He had to race to the next chapter just as my voice was running out of gas. After completing the first book of this sensational series he proclaimed that life is better with great books - that fictional characters allow our imaginations to soar, and he loved 'to grab the hand of the wind that picks us up and blows us all through a story world'. Be still my mama's heart.



The library has outstanding teachers - librarians - that quietly teach in an advantageous way - they follow your lead. Instead of setting the curriculum, they welcome your interests and curiosities and help you build a new bridge ~ a new road just for you. 


Beverly has helped Nick navigate the highways of reading; the cities of fiction, the states of history, the oceans of nature, the skies of fantasy, the beautiful world of classic and modern literature ~ all of this done quietly and often times indirectly, through me. She will recommend books without Nick being present because I can give her feedback on what he has enjoyed in the past. A computer can't do what she does - it lacks a librarian's soul. It takes living - and human experience through the love of reading - to come up with the borrowed beauty he holds in his hands each night.


The relationship you build with a librarian is an extraordinary, life-enriching gift. Model that friendship with your children today and they will grow up to trust librarians as a primary source of health, knowledge and relaxation. Real life superheroes, I'm telling no fibs.


What adventures have your children gone on today because of their quiet teacher? What stars will they reach for tomorrow?


* Peter and The Starcatchers is co-written by Dave Barry (yes, the famous writer of adult comedy) and Ridley Pearson. The idea for the series was originally conceived by Ridley's daughter, when she asked "how did Peter Pan meet Captain Hook?" after Ridley finished reading her bedtime story. Thank you, Paige Pearson.


This series, 31 Days of Library Living, started here. Please join me for the month, maybe even follow me forever on this blog by email or subscribe to my posts - I would be honored.

Are you a 31 Dayer? Leave me a message, I would love to come visit you. 

For a list of all of the 31 Dayers, click here.
For the amazing girl behind all of this 31 Days magic, click here.

xoxo Michele

31 Days of Library Living {Day 25}: David McCullough


David McCullough. He is the primary reason our family knows about America's Founding Fathers. Our children deserve to know history, and he is the master at making history the most happening subject, ever. Click on David McCullough and it will take you a listing of all of his books. Another Bonus: you can borrow his audio books and he will read to you.

“You can't be a full participant in our democracy if you don't know our history.” 


Like Roosevelt, is reading a priority for you? Which David McCullough book is your favorite?


This series, 31 Days of Library Living, started here. Please join me for the month, maybe even follow me forever on this blog by email or subscribe to my posts - I would be honored.

Are you a 31 Dayer? Leave me a message, I would love to come visit you. 

For a list of all of the 31 Dayers, click here.
For the amazing girl behind all of this 31 Days magic, click here.

xoxo Michele

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days of Library Living {Day 24}: Autumn Song


Autumn clouds have flown in with all of their spectacular glory. I obsess over the clouds more during this time of year than any other season. In the summer I'm hiding from heat and humidity. Winter seems too overcast, either that or I'm forever looking under the couch for a missing glove or an overdue library book. And the spring is spent weeping that summer is on the way. Really. It isn't easy being me. Or being married to me.


Which makes having a sore throat and scratchy voice all the more unpleasant right now. I'm protesting resting, but this collection from the library has been of some comfort:





What do you do when your health takes a slight detour during your favorite outdoor season?


This series, 31 Days of Library Living, started here. Please join me for the month, maybe even follow me forever on this blog by email or subscribe to my posts - I would be honored.

Are you a 31 Dayer? Leave me a message, I would love to come visit you. 

For a list of all of the 31 Dayers, click here.
For the amazing girl behind all of this 31 Days magic, click here.

xoxo Michele