Saturday, August 12, 2017

Liberty Rock Hounding Trip

Mike got the scoop on some leaf fossils near Liberty, so we headed up there for the day to see what we could see. (We ended up bypassing the town completely, but we may be back.)

Picnicking on the drive up. 
Beautiful scenery


While we were hiking, Mike took a cheatgrass to the eyeball. It was extremely painful.

Can you see how long that sucker is? Cait can see the scratch on Mike's eyeball and it bothered Mike the rest of the day.
After a few false starts, we finally found some promising-looking shale.


O doesn't like pictures into the sun.

It appears that most of the leaves were fossilized in clumps, rather than individually, which led to some problems getting out good-quality specimens. Most of them just flaked into little pieces and it was a little frustrating.
But we found a few good ones! Look how awesome these are!
Beautiful fossils!
It was a good adventure.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Riding a Bike

We got a bike for O--it's a little too tall still, but he sure likes it when Mike pushes him around.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Toddler-Approved Books

I have been reading a massive amount of children's literature recently (my son has inherited my desire to carry every book in the library home with us), and I thought I would share a few of our (that's the key word here) favorites, in case anyone needs some ideas.

Anything by Richard Scarry
(O loooooooooves all the crazy cars in these books)


Anything by Sandra Boynton.
(The Going to Bed Book is one of our favorites.)

Through the Town by Libby Hamilton

Anything by Mo Willems.
(Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is fun because it lets my 2-year-old get his "NOOOOO!" out of his system before I tell him it's time for bed.)

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman
(O knows this book by heart and frequently reads it to me)

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
(Another book we know by heart)


Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

The crayon books by Drew Daywalt

The Napping House by Audrey Wood
(Her other books are also fun and beautifully illustrated)

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen


Cars Galore by Peter Stein
(Dr. Seuss-esque with clever illustrations; O can look at this book for a very long time)

Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos

The Boy and the Book by David Michael Slater

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson

Rhymoceros and Hippopposites by Janik Coat

Race Car Count by Rebecca Kai Dotlich


The BabyLit Board Book series by Jennifer Adams
(Emma, Moby Dick, and Sherlock Holmes are current favorites)
Let's Play by Herve Tullet

Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson

Noisy Night by Mac Barnett
(I also like Barnett's collaborations with Jon Klassen, like Extra Yarn, but the plots are still a little beyond O) 

Egg by Kevin Henkes
(Henkes has always been one of my favorite authors. I even got O's name from his book.)




Happy summer reading!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

July Books

All images from Goodreads.

I love Sarah Andersen's comics. So many of these describe my life.

Worth the Wrestle was another short, on-point read for me by Sheri Dew. This book looks at faith as a process, of working through the tough questions and the tough experiences to come to a better understanding. She says faith takes hard work and a lot of time, but the peace that comes as a result is worth it.
Shadows by Robin McKinley was a book club read. I finished it, but I think I only really liked the last third. A lot of the book was build up, and then the action suddenly arrived, but I still had a very incomplete understanding of why the heck things were going on. I would skip this in favor of her other novels.

I really liked Alex, Approximately. It used the online vs. real life trope, but it worked so well here. You know fairly early on in the book what is happening, and it just makes you want them to get together even more. The characters were well rounded and realistic and everything was perfectly paced.

The Names They Gave Us was a wonderful surprise. This YA novel crammed so much in here. Love, loss, growing up, family, friendship, hardship, faith, compassion...this was very good. This book brought up the questions and let the readers find their answers.

I decided that I should consider O's age in my audio book choices and I picked up these Roald Dahl CDs. I tried to discuss the stories a little bit with O as we listened to them, but...they're still a little complicated. 

Fantastic Mr. Fox was a good listen and cute. I do think that "fantastic" is a little bit of a strong word for what he did (i.e., "just keep digging...just keep digging..."). Not my favorite Dahl story, but probably will stick around in our family.

Same thing with Esio Trot. It's a clever, odd idea with quirky characters but not really much going on.

For some reason, I liked The Enormous Crocodile more than the others. I guess I just laughed at the visual of a crocodile trying to pretend to be children's playground equipment so he could eat them. It's a story about a villain for a change.

I could not remember reading this book before, and it fit in line with the other stories. Funny because of the characters, and the plot ends up all hunky-dory in the end with everybody getting everything they want.

Essentially The Boxcar Children of the 1650s. Four orphaned aristocratic children have to hide in a forest (because Britain ousted their king and history history history I had to look up because I didn't know what was going on) and then everything works out as they all grown up. This was written in the mid-1800s, so watch out for some artifacts of its time.

Mary Poppins wasn't what I was expecting. I grew up on the Disney one and sobbed through saw Saving Mr. Banks so I went in expecting it to be different than what I was expecting. But still. Mary Poppins isn't...nice. She isn't fun. She's quirky and abrupt and vain and constantly leaves the children wondering what the haystack is going on. And then she just....leaves. I mean, c'mon, Mary Poppins. What's the deal, here? I think I'll need more of the stories.

 I thought this was a picture book, but it wasn't. :) Very cute, fast read for older elementary school (the ending was a little abrupt). I mostly checked it out because my mom had a pet skunk once, and I wanted to see what happened. It was a little happier than her story.

This book popped up in the Goodreads monthly email, so I thought I would give it a try. It was a good thriller, very creepy, with a Wonder-Woman-esque heroine, pushed to the brink by evil forces. Unfortunately, this is a CLIFFHANGER ending as part of a SERIES. Ugh. I hate it when this happens to me. So now I have to wait until November 2017 for the second installment.

Adding this to everyone's Must-Read list. It's very short, very thought-provoking, and very well done. The twenty lessons are short, drawing on both current and past events, to remind us that democracy is fragile and we very frequently relinquish power (both personal and political) to others around us without realizing it. The best takeaway is that we all need to see each other as people.

Words in Deep Blue is another, more serious, YA novel, but I liked the characters a lot. I don't recommend it as much as the other two I read this month, but it's pretty good.

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