Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's on My Nightstand, November

If it weren't for the 2 monthly link-ups at 5 Minutes for Books, I would be blogging even less frequently! I do plan to post more, but the subject of this Nightstand post explains why it hasn't been happening much over the last 6 weeks. It's Cybils time. As a Round I Middle Grade Fiction judge all of those books are on my list!

At this point, I've read over 60 books, but there are 143 on the list! I know I will not read all the books, and I'm not required too. I am part of an incredible panel, and at this point, over 100 of them have been read by 3 or more of the 7 panelists. So they are all being given a fair shake. But I would like to tackle at least 40 more before we deliberate in late December.

So my "Nightstand" has consisted of books everywhere.

Books in progress under my coffee table:

Recently received review copies on the shelves in my closet:

And most of all, a giant bag of library books:

There are some great books here, and I just need to get to reading!!

You can find out what other bloggers are reading each month on the 4th Tuesday of each month at What's on Your Nightstand at 5 Minutes for Books.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What my Kids are Reading - November

As always my kids have been reading, and they do have some recommendations. Amanda's 8th grade schoolwork is keeping her busy, so she's not reading as much as usual, but she has enjoyed reading some of the Cybils nominees with me.
One of her favorites (which I have not yet read) is The Detention Club. She highly recommends it, and it's in my stack, and I hope to get to it soon. She also loved revisiting Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero, and I think she enjoyed it as much as she read it the first time.
My 2nd grader Kyle has been doing a fair amount of independent reading. He and Calvin and Hobbes are inseparable! When he wakes in the morning, he reads a few pages. He generally takes them to the breakfast table with him. He brings them along in the car as well, frequently reading aloud a strip that he particularly likes. I'm so glad that he's become so immersed in the world of books and find them to be a friend to cheer him.

However, though I'm thrilled and encourage him, I still insist on "real" books, and fortunately, he enjoys them too. He has particularly enjoyed reading through the Magic Tree House Merlin Missions, and I've even got him reading one of the Cybils nominees that I liked and that is aimed to a younger audience. You can read my full review on Cinderella Smith today over at 5 Minutes for Books (with his full review to come later).

Find more Kids' Picks over at 5 Minutes for Books the 2nd Tuesday of each month!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


I love letting my kids think about their costumes each year and getting creative with them as we put them together. I've probably only bought a handful of costumes (and many of the more homemade ones look just that way -- not necessarily a good thing!).

This year Amanda wanted to be "a girl Where's Waldo." Apparently there are even names for the "girl costume" online, Wenda. She had the blue skirt, and searched for a red and white striped shirt to no avail. So we ordered the shirt and beanie as a part of the costume, and she rounded it out with the tights. She also bought the Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail stickers in red and white that I hope will make a yuletide appearance as well (she loves these and likes to give them as gifts as well).

Kyle at first planned on being a mad scientist, but he wavered. He finally decided on the Ninja. The $6 plastic Ninja tools that I bought at Target have been worth the money so far. He plays with them all the time (run to Target and get them on clearance now for even less!). Add those to black wind pants and a black turtleneck, and he was set.

We also had some other opportunities to dress up last week. Friday was crazy hair day, so we sprayed on the blue color (which was mostly worn off by the time he got home -- strange).

At church Sunday, they were encouraged to wear their "non-scary" costumes. He asked and a Ninja was deemed as scary, so I got to use my creative juices. We had a Team Impact rally all last week. They are a group of Christian strong men who use their skills and strength to draw people so that they can share about how Christ changed their lives. They were incredible, and if you have a chance to see them, I highly recommend you go! So -- Kyle was a member of Team Impact. He has the logo on his tank, and we used an off-white shirt (the closest we could find to flesh-colored) to cover his "muscles." The muscles were floaties on his arm (half inflated and taped on), and his abs and pecs were those smallish air packing bricks. Very fun and easy!

The dog was not happy for me to try to dress her. The bandana stayed on, but the hat did not :)

Our neighbors were very generous, to the point where Kyle complained that his bucket was too heavy! We went with the neighbors across the street, which was fun.

We went with the neighbors across the street, which was fun. The boy is road kill, another cheap homemade idea. Boys of that age LOVE blood, so he has some blood on his face and his shirt, which his mom ran over after she painted her tires!