Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Week Of Wonder: The Links

Every year we watch this and this the week leading up to Easter.

Inspired by their talent ~ we'll be making attempting this over Spring Break.

Arielle and I just started this fantastic read, thanks to my friend Carla's recommendation.

Habitually Chic shares my passion for this show.

I put this new cookbook on hold. Summer is right around the corner.

Through amazing Amber I found Awesomeville.

I love this transformation.

After watching them rock the Grammy's, only the library welcomes you to check out their music, read the bio, and then return them so others can share. Yes, this simple yet profound fact never ceases to amaze me.

A library implies an act of faith. ~ Victor Hugo 

xoxo Michele

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Birthday And Books In The Number Eight

Our local library {and librarians} has played an important role in the growth of our youngest child ~ and he turned eight today. The books above represent a teeny tiny portion of what he's enjoyed reading over the past year. He is the neighborhood DJ, a Calvin connoisseur, a fearless climber, a screen door slammer, a lover of wild things. These characters, ideas and truths are alive and well and living in John's energetic heart. 

What does the mama of John read? This:

(I'm certain he wrote this book with my John in mind).

John-John, the innumerable facets of your spirit reflect the dazzling light and love of God. We are infinitely blessed by His gift of you.

Happy 8th Birthday, Little Fish.

xoxo Your Family

You can see Nick's birthday books number here.
You can see Arielle's birthday books number here.

Which books do you see in your children?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quarterly Top Five Photos

Can you believe I'm not talking about books today? I'm joining amazing Amber for her photo linky party - and you can too! Just go here.

I love this photo of my weekday dears. Wanna know what they're looking at? Cheerios. Food, dear friends, is the greatest bribing invention known to mothers. And babysitters.

I love the calm yet intense spirit of "O", and I think this photo captures him perfectly.

Friendship is a treasured gift, and scouting binds them as close as brothers. There is more meaning here than my limited ability with words can imply.

The simplicity of an old-fashioned lemonade stand, the timeless beauty of friendship. I could photograph these sweeties all day.

I love this candid shot. The discovery of the world unfolding before her eyes. Childhood is miraculous.

Now it's your turn - choose your five favorite photos from January, February or March and hop on over to Amber's blog. Can't wait to see them!

Tomorrow will be all about books and the library again, scouts honor.

xoxo Michele

Aloe Blacc

I can't stop singing this song.

So I had to share.

Hope you can find his cd at your library today.

xoxo Michele

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Book Diaries

Back in October of 2011, I blogged for 31 Days. In a row. I'm still married, and the kids still love me. I met (online) some amazing bloggers through that experience, and Shelly was one of my favorites. She has started a new blog, The Book Diaries, and I was hoping y'all would go visit her and give her a warm bloggy welcome. The best part - you'll be blessed with great reading recommendations and make a new friend in the process. Welcome back, Shelly. So glad to see your book beauty online. 

xoxo Michele

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Art Of Fielding

Baseball season is here, and I'm looking forward to sharing this highly acclaimed read with my husband. I picked up the audio book for him and the book for me at our library. 

I'm married to a man that is quick to forgive, and he along with our children have taught me much on the art of forgiveness. But I still have my moments. 

Feel like reading along with us?  Your library specializes in the art of sharing and would love for you to borrow this beauty today.

I found the book quote on this amazing blog.

xoxo Michele 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Week Of Wonder: The Links

Meet Ember, our totally rad cocoon (soon to be a totally rad moth). 

Can't wait to try this amazing DIY photo to canvas project. Jen's giraffe is almost as cute as she is. Almost.

My favorite post of the week. So was this one.

I'm kinda sweet on Grammarly, but he isn't so sweet on me. My posts? "Weak - Needs revision". Every time.

Parent of teens/tweens that read The Hunger Games: are you taking them to the movie? If you've seen the movie, I would love to hear your review.

I adore this Chic blog

Watching this movie after listening to the audio book. Robert Downey, Jr. +  this pie = my kind of weekend.

Jill is the sweetest Showoff.

Please visit your local library this weekend.
I'd love to hear about the borrowed beauty you brought home from the stacks.

xoxo Michele 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

True Confessions Of A Pie Addict

This pie has become a problem. I think about it when I wake up in the morning. And pretty much the entire day until bed. The recipe came from How About Orange, and couldn't be easier: 2 avocado's, half a cup of fresh lemon juice and 14 oz of sweetened condensed milk - blend, pour into a graham cracker crust and refrigerate for an hour. Pull it out, dress it in whipped cream and, voila! Pie party! Hubby thought it was a Key Lime Pie. Precious man; tells you all you need to know about my baking skills.

Since we're talking sweet, beloved Edie is graciously featuring my Library Laundry on Life In Grace Girls today - and she is looking for more dear bloggers that would like to contribute a post. Come over for a visit, but make sure you have some pie and a cup of tea because you'll stay for awhile.

Just finished State of Wonder and need a great Spring read to go with my pie addiction - any suggestions?

xoxo Michele

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Fever

Sneezing, wheezing and beezing: pretty much describes the past week in our home. And it has cut into my reading aloud time. But I never fear when the library is near. 

These Storybook Treasures are a voice-saver. Our library has over 40 of these DVD's and they feature 3-5 books per video. Pair them with the actual books and you're borrowing priceless beauty for the entire family.

If your children are older (3rd - 6th grade) like mine, don't miss the following books and DVDs. Personally, I believe they shouldn't be missed at any age.

You know I love reading aloud, but I can't bring the music to life: the DVD is magical. 

Lincoln and Douglass is an absolute favorite book of mine for reading to my children, but hearing Danny Glover narrate this story is unforgettable. 

And we all love watching our childhood favorites presented in a new way. It is a gift the library keeps on giving: sharing beauty and knowledge is their specialty.

You can browse all of the Scholastic Storybook Treasures available at the library here, and then I'd love for you to leave a comment and tell me which one you will pair with the book today.

xoxo Michele

One of our all-time favorites:

Monday, March 19, 2012

How To Read Poetry

My amazing friend Carla and I went to the Joel Conarroe Lecture* at Davidson College last Tuesday evening and listened intently as Edward Hirsch nurtured us in the beauty of poetry. I was hooked. The next morning, I walked up to the library and checked out a few of his books. Can you guess which of his poems is my favorite?

April is National Poetry Month, and I'm going to be featuring some of our favorite family poetry over the next few weeks, and hoping you will share some of your favorite authors as well.

May we all "perch in the branches of the old branch library, radiating heat, singing with joy."

xoxo Michele 

*Two years ago, I intently listened to this author.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fun With Dick And Jane

I adore this sweetie girl and am abundantly blessed to hang out with her every week while my children are in school. Lucky for me, she loves the library as much as I do. Really. But when she picked this book, I almost put my hands over my ears ~ the same way Jane's mom is on the cover of the book ~ and shout: 

Help, Jane. 
Help. Help. Help. 
Save me from this book.
How many pages are left?
Shoot me now, Jane.  Just shoot me now. 

But she is having fun with Dick and Jane. She is memorizing sight words - and to become fluent in reading, you have to instantly recognize sight words. At three years of age, she is well on her way. You can find all the Dick and Jane books at your local library. There is even a Yiddish with Dick and Jane. Are your children attached to great books that drive you crazy? Please share.

This Fun With Dick And Jane is more my style.

xoxo Michele

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Week Of Wonder: The Links

 I swiped Edie's Photo.

I'm still walking with the words of life spoken by Edie last Saturday and the four additional Pearl Girls. Edie has started a new blog, Life In Grace Girls, and we are all invited to submit a post of our own while visiting and encouraging the other bloggers. Interested? Check out the blog and then contact Edie at

Charity and I met at the Pearl Event. I was immediately smitten by her effortless ability to make everyone feel at home (I originally thought she was running the event). Her beautiful blog, The Heartfelt Home, is the epitome of her sharing spirit, and I'm grateful to call her a friend I know in real life.

Have you seen the movie, Game Change? While it wasn't super flattering of Sarah, it was of McCain. I'm now swooning over this book. And craving grapefruit for breakfast. Woody ate grapefruit in almost every scene (actually only twice, but it seemed like every scene). 

We are making this tomorrow - here's hoping it turns out better than this.

We will be attending the Summit Coffee Leprechaun Loop 8k on Saturday night with our friends and neighbors. If you're nearby and can make it, put on some green and get ready to party. No, I'm not running (or jogging or even fast walking) - I'll be working the corner (that doesn't sound good) of Mimosa and South Street, cheering on the runners with Rocket and our family. Summit Coffee will be hosting the afterparty with live music, food and drink. 

I wouldn't have discovered the beautiful brilliance of Lin at Stylephile without the help of DavidsonNews.Net. So thankful for our local online news source that offers so much more than just local news.

Have you become obsessed with Booklover yet? Don't say I didn't warn you.

Claire at The Captive Reader is my newest online fabulous find. I'm planning to join her Library Loot just as soon as life stops boxing my ears. Daylight savings called and wanted her hours back: I'm not a fan. 

Please visit your local library this weekend.

Have a happy St. Patrick's Day.

xoxo Michele

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Library Living At Home: The Craft Table

Our dining room table is rarely used for eating meals (don't panic - we eat plenty and we are always together). It's mainly our craft table. The library welcomes me to find treasures to create with my children and {Bonus} gives us a new tablescape each month. We found a book on Saint Brigid (I had never heard of her before), and this year for our St. Patrick's Day craft we're making a simple Saint Brigid's cross using different colors of raffia. 

The library is our centerpiece for new ideas and inspiration, and my children (and their friends) think I'm quite the crafty creator. Sharing more, spending less ~ the library helps us live, love, and learn.  

Update: Wednesday afternoon I put cookies in the oven, made a festive party punch and Arielle had her best girls over for a crafty party at the table. In  the words of my youngest son, it was an epic fail. Don't make the Brigid's Cross with 3rd graders - unless you're into despondent girls ("Your directions don't make any sense, Mrs. T." and "Are you sure you know what you're doing?") and a wreck of raffia that will make the most courageous vacuum cry. Stick with the shamrocks, Michele. Stick with the shamrocks.

You can find more creative ways of 
Library Living At Home here.

xoxo Michele

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rapid Heartbeat In 3, 2, 1...

Putting books, music, movies and magazines on hold at your local library is a gift you give yourself - and your family. When I walk in and see the bestowal of borrowed beauty waiting for me on the hold shelf, it's a blissful day ~ no matter what else is happening. 

How do you put material on hold? Just log onto your local library website, or try our local library website below. Yes, I've really put our local library website on my blog and you can test it out right now. Note: this won't work if you are viewing in your reader - you will have to pop on over to my blog. Sorry. 

  Catalog   Website  SEARCH   My Account  |  Get a Card  |  Pay Fines  |  Classic Catalog  |  Mobile

Go ahead and enter a subject or book/movie/magazine title in the Search Catalog/Website field right now - it is completely painless, I promise - then press the "SEARCH" key
If you type in "Details, Lili Diallo" (okay, I might be a teeny bit obsessed with that book) the next page will bring up that book. Click on the book - which will bring you to the page that will have the two most beautiful words you've ever seen: Request Item. Click on "Request Item" and a small window will open and ask you for your library card number and your pin number. If this is your first time ordering online, it will ask you how you want to be notified that your item is ready to be picked up (I prefer email). 

In less than 60 heartbeats you have put a gift for you or your family on hold.

Is your heart racing a little faster? Mine is. What will you borrow today?

xoxo Michele

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Pearl Event II

I met one of my favorite bloggers

I made a new friend

I made my feet cry (see photo above).

I was challenged to find joy in painful circumstances because of her.

I was inspired to exchange shame for redemption because of her.

I was encouraged to trust my own story because of her.

I was just straight up loved on by her. And her cookies.

I witnessed a glorious impossibility through her testimony

Our individual stories of love and loss, hope and desperation, courage and fearful failures, cute shoes and crying feet - a swirling of pain and patience and perseverance are what make us pearls. I'm thankful that these women took the time to remind me that God is the author ~ not only of our faith and salvation, but our life story. Share your story with someone today.

xoxo Michele        

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Road Trip

My bags are packed for The Pearl Event. I'm going to meet Edie! And make new friends. And savor every moment because I haven't had a solo getaway in years. 

Of course, my trip wouldn't be complete without my co-pilots: audio books and cd's from the library. Sorry, Rocket. Maybe next year. 

Rosie, one of our stellar librarians, recommended The Soloist, so I may just start out a few hours early and take my sweet-tea-time. I can drive 55, people. Hope you aren't behind me. And I won't go anywhere without them, a complete obsession since reading this with Nick.

Please visit your local library this weekend, and be sure to leave a comment and tell us what you found. Sharing makes life sweet, doesn't it?

You're killing me with that look, Rocket. Next year. I sorta promise.

xoxo Michele  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Teaching Trees

If John had his way, we'd live in trees, delight in muddy socks, feast only on Frosted Flakes with strawberry milk, and have unlimited credit at the Lego store. But he came home today and declared: "Hurry up with dinner, I want to go to bed and read." 

Dearest Jennie, his teacher turned him on to King Arthur, and now there is no looking back. As soon as he fell asleep, I went to our local library website and researched every book I could find on those great Knights Of The Round Table. 

Something amazing happened as I scanned through the list of books. An author kept coming up, and although his name sounded familiar, I couldn't place him. I entered his name in the Library Search, and almost fell off my chair. This author is a giant ~ a Redwood if you will ~ of children's writers, and yet I had not carefully studied all of his branches. I don't want you to miss him.

If you haven't picked up Leonardo's Horse ~ one of Nick's all time favorites ~ find it at your library today. It is gift-worthy. Forging Freedom is simply one of the most heroic (and educational) stories we have read on the Holocaust (this Author's Note is not to be missed). 

I'm forever grateful for the variety of teachers in my children's lives: at school, at home, and at the library ~ and you, dear Beth. If you are imparting knowledge to youth - thank you for being a priceless teaching tree, lifting up those around you. May we always live among your branches.

xoxo Michele