Thursday, April 23, 2009

Celebrating Shakespeare 445th Birthday

We celebrated by listening to Much Do About Nothing from Shakespeare for Children by Charles & Mary Lamb.

Here are some fun links and resources:

Talk Like Shakespeare

A great blog post from Mental Multivitamin.

Check out Shakespeare for the Ears at the Homeschool Freebie of the Day. Discounted price today only!

Now to leave you with a little bit of fun (Scroll to the bottom to turn off the player):

Friday, April 17, 2009

Melody Time Disney DVD


Melody Time is a fun DVD with some great stories. Stories as "Johnny Appleseed", "Little Toot", "Pecos Bill and others are included. This isn't the first time we have watched this. As the kids were watching today I realized that this dvd has one of my favorite stories on it. Well, not really the story, but the awesome organ playing that is done in "Blame It On the Samba." Check it out. (Scroll down to the bottom to turn off the player.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Review: The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen:Live Well, Laugh Often, Cook Much by Teri Edwards & Serena Thompson


I saw the Farm Chicks in the Kitchen advertised in the Country Living Magazine. I quickly put it on hold at the library. Due to being sick I sat down last night and read through it. I know it's funny that I'm reviewing a cookbook when I don't even like to cook, but a girl can read (or maybe dream).

The book starts out telling the story about the authors and how they started their business and their love for cooking and old things. The photography in this book is great and makes everything look appealing. The recipes are broken down into four catagories: Breakfast, Appetizers, Lunch, & Dessert. The recipes look delicious and easy to follow. Most of the ingredients are what I would consider normal (meaning I don't have to look up what that ingredient is or it sounds edible). It has little fun and interesting tidbits throughout the book such as: the Magnetic Message Center, Aprons from Vintage Sheets, Countertop Utensil Holder and other fun topics.
Overall, this book left me with a feeling that maybe I could be a "Farm Chick"! Unfortunately, real life is here and my kitchen or the food in isn't just isn't inspiring me! If you love to cook or you like to dream about cooking then I highly recommend it.

If you would like to learn more about the Farm Chicks check out their blog and their show.

Book Review: the Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society was another book that I have read a lot of reviews about how great this book was. I had ordered it from the library and tried to read it, but I couldn't get into it so it went back. But again I kept finding reviews about how good this book was, so I ordered it again and started to read it again. Here is the description of the book:
"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"

When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.

I found this story very slow going. I even took a peak to see the genre (beside children's) only to find out it fell in the science fiction catagory. I don't think I've ever mentioned how much I dislike science fiction. Even as a kid I avoided it. Well, I decided to keep reading to see if I could be convinced to like the book. My conclusion is the story was okay. I don't feel it is the best book I have ever read and don't need it for my personal library. That being said, I could see how this book could be exciting for someone who enjoys this genre of fiction or for a kid. I think I will get it on audio book and let my kids listen to it and let them make the final choice.

Book Review: A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick

PhotobucketI kept seeing reviews for A Single Thread plus the book cover kept catching my eye when in the bookstore. I do not quilt but I have enjoyed books that have been set in a quilting situation so I ordered it from the library.
Here is the book description from Amazon (and the back of the book):
It's a long way from Fort Worth, Texas, to New Bern, Connecticut, yet it only takes a day in the charming Yankee town to make Evelyn Dixon realise she's found her new home. The abrupt end of her marriage was Evelyn's wake-up call to get busy chasing her dream of opening a quilt shop. Finding a store front is easy enough; starting a new life isn't. Little does Evelyn imagine it will bring a trio like Abigail Burgess, her niece Liza, and Margot Matthews through her door.Troubled and angry after her mother's death, Liza threatens to embarrass her Aunt Abigail all over town unless she joins her for quilting classes. A victim of downsizing at the peak of her career, Margot hopes an event hosted by the quilt shop could be a great chance to network - and keep from dying of boredom...As they stitch their unique creations, Evelyn, Abigail, Liza, and Margot form a sisterhood they never sought - but one that they'll be grateful for when the unexpected provides a poignant reminder of the single thread that binds us all...

When I first stated the book I it had the familiar feel of the some of the Elm Creek Novels. I wasn't too sure if I would continue reading. Then the book took off in the direction of The Friday Night Knitting Club (which I disliked) and I almost took the book back. I decided to just read a little furthur and finally was drawn into the story. Even though Evelyn is the main character of the story I was really drawn to the stories of Abigail and Liza, an aunt and neice whose lives have been thrown together and they can't seem to reconcile with each. Overall, once I got past the first part of the book I found the story intriguing and had a hard time putting it down.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Enjoying Cake!

Birthday Celebration

Delani turned 1 yesterday so we had a small family celebration after church for her. She wasn't feeling really well and was not her usual happy self. Her favorite toy so far has been the Leap Frog Fridge Farm.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Book Review: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg


I ordered A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg from the library because I had seen a review and thought it looked like an enjoyable read. Molly Wizenberg is the creator of Orangette which I haven't checked out yet, but hope to. Here is the book description from Amazon:
When Molly Wizenberg's father died of cancer, everyone told her to go easy on herself, to hold off on making any major decisions for a while. But when she tried going back to her apartment in Seattle and returning to graduate school, she knew it wasn't possible to resume life as though nothing had happened. So she went to Paris, a city that held vivid memories of a childhood trip with her father, of early morning walks on the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter and the taste of her first pain au chocolat. She was supposed to be doing research for her dissertation, but more often, she found herself peering through the windows of chocolate shops, trekking across town to try a new p√Ętisserie, or tasting cheeses at outdoor markets, until one evening when she sat in the Luxembourg Gardens reading cookbooks until it was too dark to see, she realized that her heart was not in her studies but in the kitchen.
At first, it wasn't clear where this epiphany might lead. Like her long letters home describing the details of every meal and market, Molly's blog Orangette started out merely as a pleasant pastime. But it wasn't long before her writing and recipes developed an international following. Every week, devoted readers logged on to find out what Molly was cooking, eating, reading, and thinking, and it seemed she had finally found her passion. But the story wasn't over: one reader in particular, a curly-haired, food-loving composer from New York, found himself enchanted by the redhead in Seattle, and their email correspondence blossomed into a long-distance romance.

In A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg recounts a life with the kitchen at its center. From her mother's pound cake, a staple of summer picnics during her childhood in Oklahoma, to the eggs she cooked for her father during the weeks before his death, food and memories are intimately entwined. You won't be able to decide whether to curl up and sink into the story or to head straight to the market to fill your basket with ingredients for Cider-Glazed Salmon and Pistachio Cake with Honeyed Apricots.

I am going to say up front that I don't proclaim to be a cook of any sort or fashion. Honestly, I don't enjoy cooking! That being said I did enjoy the stories and recipes (though I probably won't be making any seeing that most of the recipes are above and beyond my cooking knowledge). I enjoyed reading about Molly's relationship with her family and how it centered around food and cooking. If you love to cook you will enjoy this book. If your life doesn't center around cooking, but books, give it a try, I don't think you will be disappointed. Now, I'm off to figure out what crystallized ginger is!

Quick note: I had a chance to check out her blog and looked under the recipe index. Some of these recipes seem more doable (for me) than the ones in the book. Check it out here.

Look at Delani's new skill!

No, it's not drinking from a popcan either!

Here is another video clip. Beware, this one shows real life in the Starr Household!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Books Read in March

Girl Reading at a Window by Karoly Brocky
Girl Reading at a Window


The Year of Miss Anges by Kirkpatrick Hill
Boomtown: Chang's Famous Fireworks by Nowen N. Particular
Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson
Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
Mike and Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse
Psmith Journalist by P.G. Wodehouse
Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery


Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan
Sorted by Lisanne Oliver


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