Friday, March 30, 2012

Mommy's project52: outside

I know , I know late. Over a week late. I've been busy with work which is "no excuse" bc I hate that "I'm so busy excuse". If it's important to you you'll make time for it- so I digress- I'm not bitter or anything when it comes to people/ friends using that excuse :), but I have decided to spend less time with these excuse makers- told you I'd digress. Sorry.

I ran outside today and loved it. I'm in San Antonio and am pleasantly surprised by this part of TX. It is quite nice and doesn't scream ultra-conservative if you know what i mean.

I have been running outside. Have been feeling good and realized you learn much about the city if you run outside. So I share with you my pics from outside.

Running outside in a city you don't know is fun and exciting. I'd love to cone back here with "running hubby".
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hunger Games

This month for book club we read "The Hunger Games".  We talked about reading it last year and I went to the library to look into this book everyone was talking about and found the largest "hold" list I've ever seen at our two libraries.  (30 holds at one and 12 holds at another). So we didn't read it last year and so here we are a year later and the "hold" list was still long especially because of the hype with the movie coming out so I bought it on sale.  It was a great read and I'm thankful for book club which made me read the book.  I thought it was very well written and a quick read.  I wonder what age this book is appropriate for in regard to it being Young Adult literature. I know some 6th graders who have read it and the subject matter is pretty Adult to me, but maybe I'm becoming an old conservative lady :).

The story is basically post apocalypse and children have to fight each other to the death to determine which "district" wins.  12 Districts in total and 2 children (1 girl, 1 boy) from each district fight each other in this- what I would call huge terrarium. The environment is controlled by head political leaders, natural disasters occur during the "games" to challenge the children. The story's main character Katniss is a great heroine.  She is strong, courageous, athletic and logical.  The story is based on her time and outcome during "the Hunger games".  I probably shouldn't say too much more and give the story away.  I really enjoyed it and now am reading the second "Catching Fire".  Don't know if I will be running out to see the movie any time soon.  Kind of like books better than movies most of the time and don't want to be too disappointed :).  So get your name on the "hold" list for your library's copies and read "The Hunger Games"- very entertaining.

Sophie's Choice

Book #7 in my "marathon book list".  Despite not reaching my goal of all 10 books (not including my monthly book club reads) by February I have continued on.  Sophie's choice was a lengthy book and the writing style was not quite what I expected.  This writer did make me realize that I'm not the biggest "tangent" person who talks/writes.  He my friends entwined so many stories/tangents within the story that I at times was not the happiest of readers.  However, that said, the story line- once you got through side stories- was interesting, honest and utterly sad.

Here is how Wikipedia describes the book...

Sophie's Choice is a novel by William Styron published in 1979. It concerns a young American Southerner, an aspiring writer, who befriends the Jewish Nathan Landau and his beautiful lover Sophie, a Polish (but non-Jewish) survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. The plot ultimately centers around a tragic decision Sophie was forced to make upon entering the concentration camp, a secret revealed near the end of the story.
An immediate bestseller and the basis of a successful film, the novel is often considered both Styron's best work and a major novel of the twentieth century. The difficult decision that shapes the character Sophie is sometimes used as an idiom. A Sophie's Choice is a tragic choice between two unbearable options.

I've always found stories about the holocaust interesting.  I know it isn't feel good type of reading, but it is honest and this book is historical fiction, although I think this type of situation, Sophie's Choice, is probably true and happened to many Jews, Polish, Russian, etc whom were placed in concentration camps.  It boggles my mind every time I read about the Holocaust how such things could have occurred and do occur.  How can one race/ethnicity/culture be so "F$#ked up" excuse the adult language.  And then on the reverse how could Jews, Polish, Russians, etc who survived the concentration camps live afterwards.  How could they ever trust anyone again.  How could they find happiness.  I'm glad I read this book, although a little disappointed with his writing style, I found that I kept on wanting to read to wade through the other/extra mini dramas going on in the book and find out about Sophie's time in the concentration camp.  Meryl Streep is one of my favorite actresses and she played Sophie and won her 2nd Oscar for best actress in this role.  I haven't seen the movie, had been holding off until I got the book read and now I look forward to watching her on screen portray this woman I feel I know so well through the reading of Sophie's Choice.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Playful Learning

I finished this book over a weekend and really enjoyed it.  Mariah Bruehl knew how to write about different levels of learning and development and has great ideas throughout the book.  The book is broken down into sections and activities based on the topic of that section.  
1. Nurturing Young Authors
2. The Joy of Reading
3. Mathematics at Work
4. Scientific Investigations
5. Exploration of Arts  and Artists
6. Growing Globally
7. Raising the Citizens of Tomorrow
8. Printables

I took notes while reading because the book was filled with such great ideas and quotes.  I have a few to share...
"What can look like simple scribbles comes alive when we listen to the stories behind them"
"When we capture their words on paper, children realize that their stories are important and that the words you write express the same message over time".
"The family- whatever shape, form or construct it may take- is the most important aspect of a child's life".

She has some great references including books, websites, and even printables to make the exercises fun and easy.  She talks about having things ready so that when the child(children) are ready to work on a particular project it is ready to go. She also talks about trying not to plan and force certain exercises onto kids. If you have it ready sometime the child(children) will be ready to participate.  I really enjoyed this book and hope to use a lot of ideas from it to further "playful learning" with my kids.  

She also has a website: that I plan to look at further.  A lot of her ideas from the book are also in the blog/website.  Her Playful Learning Resource Tab is full of other websites to help further your "playful learning".  The possibilities are endless.  

Mommy's project 52: MUSICALS

I am a week behind, but I didn't want to rush on this topic.  I love musicals!  I've mentioned it before and with mentioning it normally give my mom her due.  She helped me learn about musicals by taking me to them live and also watching them on TV, movie screen, and renting them.  Musicals make me happy, because normally they have great tunes with easy to remember refrains of songs.  Below is a list put together by American film Institute for the top 25 greatest musicals.  I disagree with a few and haven't seen all of them, but have a few I would add.  So my top 25 follows there's.  I've been lucky to find another kindred spirit when it comes to loving musicals- my son.  His first musical he watched was at the age of 2 "The Wizard of Oz".  He has seen many of the below listed and I think he would put at the top of his list "Singin' in the Rain" too.  

Along with musicals comes their soundtrack which I have quite a few of.  The kids love guessing what movie the song is from.  They recognize many of the songs and the movie within a few chords of music. The addition of soundtracks makes my music collection on Itunes very eclectic.

 We drive hubby/dad nuts because he is not a musical lover.  However, he has watched "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" with me and didn't mind it too much.  He did mind the time my mom, me and him went to the movies to see Evita, which Madonna starred in.  Neither of us knew that the whole movie was a musical.  It was a little painful to sit through the whole song/dance dialogue knowing this was not his thing.  But we all survived and now is a running joke between the three of us.  

Sorry if you aren't a "musical" lover.  You really don't know what you are missing- a lot of joy and smiles. If you do like musicals or want to try them out check my favorite "25 musicals" list below. Your kids will probably enjoy them too.  Kid favorites: The Muppet Movie, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, Annie, Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid- to name a few, but don't just stick with the "kid friendly" .  My oldest loves Singin' in the Rain and laughs throughout parts of the movie.
1Singin' in the Rain1952MGM
2West Side Story1961United Artists
3The Wizard of Oz1939MGM
4The Sound of Music196520th Century Fox
5Cabaret1972Allied Artists
6Mary Poppins1964Disney
7A Star Is Born1954Warner Bros.
8My Fair Lady1964Warner Bros.
9An American in Paris1951MGM
10Meet Me in St. Louis1944MGM
11The King and I195620th Century Fox
1342nd Street1933Warner Bros.
14All That Jazz197920th Century Fox
15Top Hat1935RKO
16Funny Girl1968Columbia
17The Band Wagon1953MGM
18Yankee Doodle Dandy1942Warner Bros.
19On the Town1949MGM
21Seven Brides for Seven Brothers1954MGM
22Beauty and the Beast1991Disney
23Guys and Dolls1955MGM
24Show Boat1936Universal
25Moulin Rouge!200120th Century Fox
Here are mine:  I don't know if I could ever put them in order from favorite to least, but I do think Singin' in the Rain, Meet me in St. Louis, Music Man, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Holiday Inn, Brigadoon, State Fair, In the Good Old Summertime, and White Christmas have all been watched several times (more than 5)
1. Singin' in the Rain
2. Meet me in St Louis
3.The Sound of Music
4. Music Man
5. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
6. The Wizard of Oz
7. Chicago (2002)
8. My Fair Lady
9. Mary Poppins
10. Holiday Inn
11. King and I
12. Lost Horizon
13. Summer Stock
14. Annie
15. Fiddler on the Roof
16. Beauty and the Beast
17. The Muppet Movie
18. Brigadoon
19. The Little Mermaid
20. State Fair
21. In the Good Ole Summertime
22. White Christmas
23.Top Hat
24. Yankee Doodle Dandy
25. Oliver

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I have CRS

Youngest showing off her towel rental.

Can't Remember S@;t!

I got to swimming lessons tonight ( I left my house 25 min early). Got to the rec center and couldn't find on the street parking so had to park in pay lot- darn college students. Then after parking I realize that I have left swim bag at home. Luckily I had the kids change into their suits prior to leaving for lessons. However no towels or goggles or change of clothes for after lessons.i figured I could ask the nice college boy if he could lend me towels. Yep he replied for $2/towel. So then i wasn't using my head and rented two towels for $4. The kicker the kid's lessons are staggered so I really only needed 1. Lastly the towels are rentals so I have to return them and drive 2 wet kids home from lessons. Love wet car seats.

No I'm not a total cheapskate just totally irritated that I thought I had it all planned out- on street parking, swim bag with all our swim needs,shower at pool so already for books and bed on return to home.

I need a glass of wine or a beer, but nope good old new training rule of no adult beverages during the week. Plus don't think that kind of beverage intake helps my early onset CRS.

Love trying to be organized and failing miserably at it.

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