Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Review--Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper

Ghost HawkGhost Hawk by Susan Cooper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the BEST book I have read in a very long time.  If you enjoy Historical Fiction, please read this book.  It deserves to win the Newbery Medal.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Torchon--A Precious Gift

I received a group e-mail from
my brother Lynn recently.
He also sent the e-mail to my mother,
my brother Terry, and my sister Kim
telling us to watch for a gift he had mailed
to each of us.

This is the gift that
we each received.
Lynn explained that he had seen
these dishtowels 
(he later discovered they
were called Torchons)
 in a Paris
flea market and that
they called out to him.

As many of you know, my sweet father's
initials are BA for Bill Aven, and because
daddy is now in heaven, we don't get
to see these initials as often as
we used to.

Every time I pass this precious
gift in my kitchen, I think
of my wonderful daddy and
look forward to being
greeted by him with a big hug when I
get to heaven one day.

On a side note, Lynn later discovered
that these French dishtowels,
  or Torchons, 
have a very interesting history.
If you want to read more about Torchons,
click here.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Children's Literature Contest

My very creative son, Jeremy,
made me coasters for Christmas
that he knew would put a smile on
my face each time I use them.

Now, I am going to allow
you to join in the fun
by guessing what children's books
the coasters represent.

Be the first to get all 5
correct without using Google
and you will win, either a 
picture book or one of the
professional books that I have
written for using Children's
Literature to teach 
reading and writing skills.
I will mail the book
to the winner.
(USA winners only--Sorry!)

You must leave
your answers in the comment
section of this blog
(not on FaceBook).

Ready, Set, Go!






A winner (along with the correct answers)
will be posted in the blog comments
of this post on Wednesday,
January 15th, 2014, so don't
forget to check back.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Road Trip #2

Jeremy and I have been talking
for a while about taking his boys
on a Road Trip.
We finally decided it was time to go!
The final goal was Mt. Rushmore but
Jeremy is very good about scouting
out fun spots to stop along the way.
Wyoming was our first stop.

We stopped the first night just a short way
from Mt. Rushmore.  We had driven through
pretty bad weather and driving conditions
but Jeremy is a pro and the boys
were convinced we were going through
a "time tunnel".  What an adventure!
Mt. Rushmore is absolutely amazing.
When we rounded the bend in the road,
there was the sight that I have seen
in pictures all my life,
but even more spectacular.
It dawned on me that
it was one of the wonders
that I never really expected
to see in person.
After all, who wants to drive all the way
from Houston to South Dakota.
But now that I live in Colorado,
the trip wasn't bad at all.
This is a reflection of the mountain
in the glass of the museum.  
The tunnel of flags leading
to the mountain is really pretty.
I was going to use the word
"amazing" but I think
I might be overusing it.
Loved this profile of Washington
on the side of the mountain.
I just visited Washington's
grave in October at
Mount Vernon so his
was even more meaningful.
As we were heading to Wind Cave,
we encountered a herd
of about 30 buffalo.
I think Nana was even more excited
than the boys.
They surrounded our car and were licking the car.
You are probably observing a FIRST--Buffalo
lick marks on a Toyota 4Runner.
Jeremy had to maneuver carefully to
get out of the herd and as we looked
back, the buffalo were chasing our car.
Jeremy, the ultimate road trip planner,
took full credit for the appearance of
the herd of buffalo.
Our next stop was Wind Cave National Park. 
The formations were beautiful
and the Park Ranger was both
knowledgeable and fun.
Caleb was especially fascinated and
asked lots of questions.
Aaron's main question was
if there was a way out.
When we left the cave, Caleb
asked, on his own, if he
could thank the park ranger
for the tour.  How proud Nana was!!!
Because their daddy is a history buff,
these boys have already been in
more museums than their Nana
has in a lifetime, and they love them.
This is a fun cowboy boot outside
the Wyoming State Museum.
I love the sunsets in Colorado Springs
behind the mountains, but there
is just something special about
a sunset in the wide open spaces.
One of the hotels that we stayed at
had wildlife in the lobby.
Here are Caleb and Aaron
imitating the mountain
lion's stance.  It's so much fun to
see the joy that children can find
in the simplest things.

On the second night, we stayed in
a Hampton Inn.  Caleb was just
in awe of how fancy it was.
The paper plates at breakfast
were embossed.  He asked me if
I thought Fancy Nancy would
like it there.  Again, the joy
of simple pleasures.  
Sorry that this picture is a little out of order.
We got tickled at this sign saying that
Nebraska was the home of Arbor Day.
Looking at all the flat scenery,
I couldn't help
but think that this sign
indicated wishful thinking.
I had never heard of Scott's Bluff
National Monument.
It is the sight where settlers
on the Oregon Trail often stopped.
It was pretty spectacular.  While there,
we drove through the only 3 tunnels
in all of Nebraska.

Thinking back to Caleb's comments
about the fancy motel,
I think the settlers would have
appreciated the luxury
that we take for granted.

What a FANTASTIC time
I had hanging out with my
son and grandsons.